A Missed Lucrative Opportunity? South Africa Can Gain Billions In Online Gambling Taxes

South Africa losing out

Billions Lost As South Africa Delays Online Gambling Legislation

South Africa’s refusal to legalize online gambling is exacting a heavy toll on the nation’s workforce and tax revenue, according to Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament, Dean Macpherson.

While online sports betting with fixed odds has found legal ground, the prohibition of all other forms of online gambling has proven to be a missed opportunity. The success of companies such as Betway, Hollywoodbets, and Sportingbet, which are now sponsoring South African national and provincial sports teams with multimillion-rand deals, further highlights the missed opportunities.

That said, it’s worth noting that South Africa has already gained a lot from this sector through sports betting alone. As have punters. The same can be said to customers who enjoy playing at online casinos – with the abundance of promotions. In fact, Yebo Casino has a great match bonus: 150% up to R12000 + 30 Free Spins ready to be snatched up!

Former Unsuccessful Attempts

This is the second time the DA has tried to introduce legislation to regulate online gambling in South Africa. In 2015, Geordin Hill-Lewis, now Cape Town mayor, spearheaded the first attempt. Nevertheless, the proposed Remote Gambling Bill was rejected by the national assembly amidst criticisms claiming it would deprive families of sustenance and fuel white-collar crime.

The National Gambling Amendment Act, assented to by President Thabo Mbeki on July 10, 2008, was intended to regulate interactive gambling. Unfortunately, the act remains inoperative, leaving online gambling unregulated throughout South Africa, thereby compromising public safety and enabling the proliferation of criminal activities. Moreover, the lack of regulation is leading to the outflow of revenue and job opportunities to competing gambling jurisdictions.

In view of this, Macpherson emphasized the importance of rectifying the current situation.

Promising Future Prospects

The DA’s latest attempt to push for legislation that regulates online gambling signifies a renewed effort. Reports show that Macpherson is optimistic about garnering sufficient support for their revised Remote Gambling Bill this time around. Notably, provincial gambling councils have shifted their perspective on online gambling, acknowledging its potential to generate substantial revenue if appropriately legalized. In fact, certain provinces have started issuing licenses independently, capitalizing on the untapped market.

To advance the new legislation, public consultation is required, which would then be further examined by parliamentary portfolio committees upon referral by the Speaker of the National Assembly.

The updated Remote Gambling Bill has been published by the DA in September 2022, encouraging public feedback.

The Propositions Of The Remote Gambling Bill

The proposed Remote Gambling Bill aims to fill the existing legal void and address the challenges faced by the unimplemented Amendment Act.

In addition to comprehensive regulation, the Remote Gambling Bill proposes the establishment of:

– provincial authorities responsible for licensing oversight;

– objection procedures for licensing decisions;

– advertising regulations for online gambling entities;

– protection for minors and vulnerable individuals;

– compliance with the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA)

Passage of the Remote Gambling Bill would empower the government to clamp down on illicit gambling sites, ensuring they operate within the confines of the law and contribute their fair share of taxes to South Africa. Such a move could bolster tax revenues, foster job creation, and strengthen consumer protection measures within the thriving online gambling industry.

As the Remote Gambling Bill progresses through public consultations and parliamentary review, its proponents remain optimistic that South Africa will seize the opportunity to regulate online gambling, effectively harnessing its economic potential while safeguarding its citizens. Failure to do so risks further job losses and continued revenue depletion, ultimately affecting the nation’s economic stability.

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