Internet Gambling Discussions in South Africa

The Gambling Review Commission in South Africa has been criticized since it aims to clamp down on casino advertising.

The Gambling Review Commission in South Africa has been criticized since it aims to clamp down on casino advertising.

In South African the government’s Department of Trade and Industry scrutinized the Gambling Review Commission’s report on gambling reform. The report received a lot of criticism, since it suggested that land-based casinos bypassed the provisions of the National Gambling Act with regard to advertising.

The Casino Association of South Africa chairman Jabu Mabuza said in a statement that this issue was “disturbing,” and was not in favour of the Commission’s recommendation that more regulation is necessary.

He pointed out: “The remarks in the report relating to casino advertising are disturbing inasmuch as they suggest that licensed casinos are luring the elderly to gamble at licensed venues by providing chips as a component of junket-type packages.… There is no concerted action or any other action for that matter by any casino that attempts to lure the elderly to its facilities with the objective of getting them to gamble.”

He said that it is pointless to impose further restrictions on any form of casino advertising and to introduce this type of legislation is undemocratic. He finds it rather odd that the Commission would seek any further restrictions when research clearly indicates that casinos are not first and foremost responsible for problem gambling or “stealing” money from the poor and elderly.

Mabuza also pointed out of some irregularities, such as favouring the national lottery advertising over casino advertising creates ambiguity and that further restrictions in the amount of slots and tables allowed at land casinos will lead to loss of jobs and have a severe impact on gambling tax revenue for provinces.

However, all is not doom and gloom, Mabuza said the Commission’s proposal to restrict the amount of casinos is not necessarily a bad thing. Pertaining to internet gambling which the review addresses, he said his Association is of the opinion that land-based casinos should be given first choice to apply for internet gambling licenses.



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