South Africa rejects online gambling (again), Clickabet launches sports betting

south-africa-online-gambling-clickabetSouth Africa’s politicians have soundly rejected the latest legislative attempt to expand the country’s online gambling options.

For a couple years now, Geordin Hill-Lewis, an MP with the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party, has been trying to convince his fellow parliamentarians of the wisdom of opening up South Africa’s online sports betting market by authorizing other verticals like poker and casino games.

Earlier this month, the National Assembly’s Trade and Industry Committee delivered a report rejecting Hill-Lewis’ latest version of his Remote Gambling Bill. On Thursday, the National Assembly debated whether or not to accept or reject the committee’s findings.

News24 quoted Hill-Lewis making his by now familiar arguments, which found some support from Inkatha Freedom Party MP Jan Esterhuizen, who pointed out that the country’s ban on other verticals and threats of harsh punishments for transgressors had failed to halt thousands of international online gambling sites from serving the needs of South African gamblers.

In the end, the National Assembly voted to accept the committee’s report, cruelly dashing Hill-Lewis’ hopes yet again. Oh well, see you next year, Geordin.

Meanwhile, just in time for Euro 2016, South Africa’s list of approved online sports betting operators grew larger this month via the launch of Clickabet, which is licensed by the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board.

The site is majority owned by CEO Craig Venter, who until last summer was CEO of telecom and electronics firm Altech. Neil Walters, who used to run casino operator Sun International’s online betting site Sunbet, has been hired as Clickabet’s general manager.

Clickabet’s technology is supplied by Bettech Gaming, the Cape Town-based turnkey provider that powers other African betting sites, including Playabets, the online sportsbook of Van der Vyver Racing in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province.