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NEWS 15 January 2015

South Africa i-gaming bill to be tabled

By David Cook
A new bill is to be put forward for the legislation of online gambling in South Africa.

Geordin Hill-Lewis, Parliament Member for South Africa’s Democratic Party, will put the bill forward to Parliament when hearings resume in February.

A remote gambling bill was introduced by Hill Lewis last year as a private member’s bill, as he aims to create a framework for regulated online gambling in the country.

The bill was initially scheduled to be discussed in late 2014, but was put back following allegations of corruption against the South African National Gaming Board, including maladministration, wasteful expenditure, intimidation and the destruction of evidence.

That resulted in the entire board being suspended by the Minister for Trade and Industry and a full forensic investigation being ordered, forcing the remote gambling bill to take a back seat.

There are nine provinces in South Africa, and the bill would aim to make each of them become more involved in the issuing of remote gambling and betting licences.

Sports betting is the only form of online gambling currently legal in South Africa and Hill-Lewis’s bill would look to expand the number of betting options for players.

The Department of Trade and Industry in South Africa is opposed to all forms of online gambling and talks were held on whether to ban i-gaming in October.

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