The halcyon days of unregulated >Internet gambling are almost over for South African punters and gaming companies, as the National Gaming Board (NGB) has published draft regulations for the industry.
So far, local Internet gamblers and the companies that supply the services have been able to operate in an unlicensed manner. There was no law governing the industry's conduct, as compared to the strictures covering traditional means of gambling, such as casinos and horse racing.
The amorphous nature of the Internet makes the regulation of the industry extremely difficult. This allows local players to gamble with companies that are located outside the country, as are their servers. This also makes it impossible to protect the players and the money that could be taxed.
It is also impossible to determine how many South Africans gamble online. However, South Africans are attracted to all forms of gambling, and there are estimates that one in five people gamble regularly at one of the country's licensed casinos.
Eighteen months ago, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the government department under which the NGB falls, had Parliament amend the National Gambling Act to cater for regulating the online industry. The Act now makes provision for the issuance of 10 online licences and has a heavy focus on protecting the player.
Halcyon days of e-gambling draw to close
see also National Gamiblng Board (NGB) and its notice on its illegality