Govt to review online gambling laws

July 4, 2011 12:48 pm 1 comment

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Rob Davies Govt to review online gambling lawsThe Gambling Review Commission has called on government to review online gambling regulations.

The commission, which was appointed by the Trade and Industry minister, Rob Davies in December 2009, has found the current prohibition of interactive gambling in SA to be “undesirable as it fails to offer protection to South African punters”.

In its review, the commission established that online gambling was unlikely to disappear as the world was driven by technology and recommended that all forms of remote gambling – such as telephone or cellphone gambling also be considered.

The Commission was requested to review the evolution of the gambling industry since 1996 to assess its social and economic impact, with specific reference to the demography of gambling participants, the incidence of problem gambling and gambling addiction, youth gambling and the efficiency and effectiveness of current strategies to mitigate the negative effects of gambling.

It was further tasked with an assessment of proliferation in South Africa, considering licensed and unlicensed activities and technological developments and the viability of new gambling activities.

“The commission further advised that the National Gambling Amendment Act of 2008, be amended to include all forms of remote gambling like online betting and betting exchanges. It further indicated that there should be a single regulator for online gambling who should regulate national lottery and sports pools,” said Davies.

He added that the destination style of rolling out gambling facilities has relatively contained levels of growth and has to some extent controlled the tendency for South Africans to gamble.

“While provincial regulators are successful in enforcing compliance within the industry, operators complain about lack of regulatory uniformity across provinces – uniformity should be encouraged. This calls for the harmonisation of the gambling regulatory framework,” Davies added.

The Portfolio Committee will study the findings of the report and hold public hearings to allow broader public participation in determining the future of the gambling industry in the country.

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