South African Minister proposes nationwide reform

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The Minister of Trade and Industry for the government of South Africa, Dr Rob Davies, has proposed amending the country’s gambling laws to bring national consistency the industry.

The National Gambling Amendment Bill 2018, announced through a published notice of intention by the minister, seeks to alter the National Gambling Act 7 of 2004 to reposition the National Gambling Board as a countrywide regulator.

The NGB would be granted the authority over the procedure for forfeiting unlawful winnings, electronic bingo regulation, and an enlarged remit for gambling inspection duties.

The amendment would also give the National Lotteries Commission office over regulation of bets on national and foreign lotteries, results and the operation of sports pools, despite regulatory power over the secondary lotteries allowing for the establishment of a monopoly.

Horse racing would be recognised as self-regulating, with dog racing, and bets placed on dog racing, completely prohibited.

Overall regulation of casinos would be strengthened, including stricter limits on limited payout machines, facilitated by the recently implemented National Central Electronic Monitoring System, which Davies predicted would “enable the industry to grow.”

Electronic bingo would also be included in regulations to control the maximum number of bingo licenses awarded, and the number of machines per premises, and in total, across South Africa.

Furthermore, gambling premises and automated tellers would be subject to increased restrictions regarding separate entrances to gambling halls inside general public places.

The notice of intention marks the first stage of the amendment’s journey through parliament after two years discussion. However, the bill is expected to receive significant opposition from South African operators.

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