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The Democratic Alliance In South Africa Introduces Gambling Bill in Parliament!

The Democratic Alliance (DA), officially had its Remote Gambling Bill, 2024, introduced in Parliament after more than two years of drafting and consultations with industry experts. This initiative comes in response to the significant oversight by the ANC in failing to provide adequate protection and regulation within the online gambling industry.

In 2008, the National Gambling Amendment Act, which regulated online gambling, was assented to by the President. However, after nearly 16 years, it has still not been brought into operation, meaning that a legal gap continues to exist in the industry. It is highly concerning given the massive strides and advances online usage has increased and grown since then.

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

Read Also: Zambia Betting Economy on the Rise!

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

The Bill aims to regulate the issuing of licenses to be controlled by the relevant provincial authorities, not the centralised national gambling board which now operates as a shadow of itself; provide for procedures relating to objections from issuing of licenses; regulating advertising of interactive/ online gambling entities; provide for the protection of minors and vulnerable persons; and ensure that there is compliance with FICA.

As mentioned, the Bill has taken over two years of work to bring to fruition and finds the perfect balance between protection, regulation, and administration. With the upcoming 29 May national and provincial elections, the ANC looks set to drop far below the 50% majority mark, which means that in the new Parliament, it will no longer have its majority to reject legislation on frivolous grounds only out of spite because it came from an opposition party.

It is Bills like the Remote Gambling Bill which are vital to protect the most vulnerable people and with the ANC below 50%, the DA can ensure that this will be the first of many Bills introduced to rescue South Africa.

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