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South Africa’s Remote Gambling Bill seeks to reduce harm from online gambling

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In the first regulation of its kind in South Africa, the Remote Gambling Bill includes various measures that would apply to operators, players, and ads.

The opposition political party in South Africa, the Democratic Alliance, has introduced the new Remote Gambling Bill (B-11-2024) which aims to set out the first regulations for remote gambling in the country. A bill (the National Gambling Amendment Act) has been on the table since 2008 but without any real sign of it moving forward to being signed.

The new bill includes a new licensing system, proposed operator regulations, and protection measures to prevent gambling-related harm. Having spent two years constructing the bill, the Democratic Alliance hopes that this will “promote the development of a responsible remote gambling industry in the Republic”.

“By not regulating this gambling activity, the erosion of the rule of law and criminal activity is being encouraged, while the public is not effectively protected as they are when using land-based gaming operations,” the Democratic Alliance said, as reported by iGaming Business.

“At the same time, a lack of regulation is resulting in revenue worth billions of rand and jobs being lost to other gambling jurisdictions.

“The ANC government has shown, over these 16 years, that it has no intention of protecting players and the industry from criminal elements. We have therefore taken it upon ourself to ensure adequate protection by means of introducing this private member’s bill.”

What does the Remote Gambling Bill include?

Under the proposed bill, three licenses would be available: a remote gambling operator licence, a manufacturer, supplier of maintenance provider licence and an employment licence. The National Gambling Board would have final say on these licenses, while provincial licensing authorities would support it by taking action on any unlawful activities.

Licenses can be suspended or withdrawn from operators if conditions are broken. No details have yet been given on how much licenses might cost.

User regulations include remote gambling only being available to those aged 18 or over in South Africa. Players can not take out credit from operators and could also opt out using self-exclusion schemes. Deposit limits from operators also seek to expand possible responsible gambling tools.

The bill also affects gambling adverts, ensuring that they cannot be misleading and should include messaging around responsible gambling.

Featured image: The Democratic Alliance

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