South Africa drafts first online gambling bill

southafrica111South African government officials published the countries first online gambling bill  draft. Initial reactions to the proposed bill have been positive, as tax levy’s on igaming verticals may be kept to as low as 6% of gross gaming revenues.  The draft bill  is currently being studied by government stakeholders, and is likely to be amended.

The draft bill sets to put in place the agenda for the legalisation of online gambling in South Africa, While it is believed there will be no swift legalization of internet gaming in South Africa, the introduction of the draft bill is a step forward.  The bill is now available to the public for review and comment for 30 days.

 highlights of the draft legislation include:

  • Internet gaming providers would require a “remote gambling license” in order to offer internet gaming.  Remote gambling licenses applications would be submitted to the provincial licensing authorities and issued by the National Gambling Board.
  • Remote gambling operators will be required to keep “some part of the remote gambling equipment” within the province where the application was made.
  • Remote gambling would be permitted on, but is not limited to, (i) virtual gambling games; (ii) person-to-person gambling; (iii) equal chance gambling; and (iv) casino games, bingo and sports betting.
  • Players outside of South Africa would be permitted to play on a licensed South African remote gambling operator’s site once registered as a player.
  • Each province will be responsible for imposing the tax rate on remote gambling operators however, of the tax revenue the distribution will be 70% to the provincial revenue fund and 30% to the national revenue fund.
  • Remote gambling operators will not be permitted to extend credit to players for the purpose of engaging in remote gambling.

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