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NEWS 20 January 2015

South Africa rules out online gambling

By David Cook
South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued a statement on Friday confirming it is not considering creating online gambling legislation in the country.

It emerged last week that a bill is to be tabled by Geordin Hill-Lewis, Parliament Member for South Africa’s Democratic Party, when hearings resume in February.

But the DTI and South Africa’s National Gambling Board (NGB) responded by issuing a joint statement in which they reiterated their stance that gambling is a criminal activity and that they are in opposition to the bill.

The statement said: “Online gambling, or what others refer to as remote gambling, is not allowed in South Africa, and the National Gambling Board together with other law enforcement agencies will act on this illegal activity with immediate effect.

“Online gambling is not desirable and the DTI has raised its objection to the proposal by the Democratic Alliance to legalise online gambling.

“There are a number of social ills associated with gambling, especially online gambling which occurs in unregulated and unsupervised locations”.

A remote gambling bill was issued by Hill-Lewis last year as a private member’s bill, but was put back following allegations of corruption against the NGB.

Sports betting is the only current form of legal gambling in South Africa.

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