Online Gambling News South Africa

Any fiscal dealings constitute the lifeline of internet gaming. South Africa has decided to prohibit internet gambling in its entirety for the time being. South African banking institutions have notified patrons that the use of credit cards to purchase lottery tickets abroad or to wager at internet casinos is against the law. The banks have been instructed by The Financial Surveillance Department of the Reserve Bank of South Africa.

The requirements of Exchange Control circulars state, “Citizens are not allowed not to partake in lotteries organized overseas or to wager at internet casinos; such participation is in contravention with the Lotteries Act 57/1997 and the National Gambling Act 7/2004 as amended by the National Gambling Amendment Act 10/2008.” Banks and issuers of all American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa credit will no longer accept debits incurred by South African citizens who want to purchase overseas lottery tickets or wager at internet casinos. Major banking institutions have issued a warning to their clients that their financial transactions will be monitored henceforth and parties guilty would be prosecuted.

The South African Reserve Bank has been compelled to impose current legislation, since the government has not decided yet which route to follow when it comes to online gambling. In 2009 the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry issued a proclamation that the gambling sector should be scrutinised. As a result a Gambling Review Commission was established to investigate gambling in its entirety. The Commission completed its research and submitted a report to the Minister for Trade and Industry. Based on the report’s findings the minister will convene with provincial ministers and then decide which course of action to take. Similar to the Reserve Bank, the courts are offering judgments based on current legislation. The North Gauteng High Court ruled in August 2010 that interne gambling is against the law, irrespective if servers are located outside South Africa.

In the interim the South Africa casino industry has notified the South African government that it’s losing millions in potential tax revenues. Potentially it could also create much needed jobs and generate additional income. According to The National Gambling Board the South African gambling industry has a market potential of 215.8 billion Rands ($30 Billion) in wagers in the year to March 2010. The government earned from this in tax revenue 1.6 billion Rands. ITWeb estimates that globally online gambling amounts to 7% of all gambling. Therefore it concludes that the South African government could generate 110 million Rands in taxes from wagering of 15 billion Rands per annum.

Lawful experts reckon that South Africa will have to wait another two years before online wagering is allowed again. Government debates are time consuming, not to mention the amount of red tape involved, hence the reason it takes so long before gambling laws are enacted.



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