South Africa currently hangs in limbo on its online gambling policy. While online gambling is currently an illegal practice in the African country, many residents, much like in the United States, still engage in online gambling activity. Read more.
It’s just way too bad that South Africa couldn’t get a framework together in time for the World Cup. Just thinking about the millions of dollars that will be wagered on the event, a majority of which that will leaving the country’s borders, it must make the government cringe.
But, South Africa has an excellent opportunity construct a new framework on the regulation of online gambling in the country. A framework that will allow for a Commission to both govern and issue licenses to gaming operators looking to offer their services to South Africans. Additionally, the South African government also has an excellent opportunity to generate revenue through the regulation of online gambling, if they do it right.
There have been talks about only allowing gaming operators who can prove their physical presence in the country and to be able to show that their financial transactions would have to be located within the country’s borders.
That’s not a bad idea, not great, but I can see where they are going with that. Requiring a gaming operator to have a physical presence in the country itself would mean the creation of jobs for the South African citizens. The biggest question will be how are these gaming operations going to be regulated. It would be wise for the South African government to draw upon other successful gaming commissions before tackling that issue. There’s a misconception that anyone can just jump into the industry and regulate it correctly. I’m not sure that’s true. It’s a growing and deceivingly complex industry, while there’s money to be made, there’s certainly the need for a strong regulatory framework to ensure that everything is stat quo for both the operators and more importantly the players.
When you look at successful gaming commissions, like Kahnawake, one thing stands out, and that’s consistency and fairness. One thing is certain, time is of the essence, the longer the South African government waits to implement its stance on the issue, the longer they miss out on revenue. While they do have stiff penalties in place for illegal online gambling, realistically speaking, it’s doubtful they will actually be able to enforce them, much like the situation in the United States. To that end, to avoid the stalemate currently going on in the US regulation debate the South African government needs to put their cards on the table and deal already. In the meantime, punters will be having a field day betting on the World Cup, which by the way, Ghana is my bet to win.