Accountancy firm PWC has stated that the South African government is unlikely to open and regulate its online gambling market, due to continued governmental stalling on the issue and concerns regarding gambling addiction.
Nikki Foster Gambling Industry Leader for PWC South Africa, commented that South Africa’s government had been working to introduce online gambling regulations for the past decade, however the issue has failed to gain traction within political organisations.
Foster pointed to hesitations/concerns by the government regarding the online gambling industry and South African public policy
“There is hesitation from government,” she said. “In the last month, [trade and industry] has said it doesn’t support online gambling and it doesn’t believe it creates jobs and it could add to gambling addiction problems. Based on these messages, I don’t see anything happening for quite a period of time.”
On Thursday in Johannesburg, PWC published its African Gambling Report “Gambling Outlook: 2014 — 2018”. The company estimates that the South African gambling market was worth RAN 21.8 billion (£1.2 billion) in 2013, expecting it to grow to RAN 29.5 billion (£1.65 billion) by 2018, representing a compound annual growth rate of 3.9%.
Casino gambling made up the bulk of the industry’s revenues in 2013 — RAN 16,5bn – 76%, of the total. South Africa has 37 licensed casinos. Sports betting is a distant second at RAN 2,8bn (13%), followed by limited pay-out machines (R1,7bn, or 8%) and bingo (RAN 732m – 3%).
PWC concluded that it did not expect online gambling to form any key agenda for the South African government in 2015.