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South Africa Revives Proposed Online Gaming Bill

South Africa

South African politician Geordin Hill-Lewis recently presented to the country's Parliament a revised version of an online gaming bill which, if approved, would legalize online gaming in the country.

A similar bill was presented to the South African Parliament in early 2014 with hopes of liberalizing the gaming laws and repealing the 2008 National Gambling Act, which restricts online wagering to sporting events.

There was early optimism the bill would pass as online gaming operators supported the the six percent gaming tax proposed in the text, plus government officials were keen to increase the State's revenues through by creating a new source of income.
However, according to eGaming Review, the bill was first stalled by a corruption scandal which led to the suspension of the country’s National Gambling Board (NGB) in October 2014.

Subsequently South Africa's Department and Trade Industry, which by no coincidence was also responsible for investigating the NGB corruption scandal, introduced proposals to eliminate all forms of gambling.

While the revived bill is largely the same as the bill first introduced one year ago, there is one significant change that could lead to the bill passing in the near future — it now proposes to limit the NGB's licensing responsibilities, allowing each of South Africa’s nine separate provinces to take more control.

Further optimism for the gaming bill to pass is growing as it came at a time when the country’s Casino Association of South Africa (CASA) called for immediate online regulation due to unlicensed sites continuing to threaten the land based industry, this according to eGamingReview.

Stay tuned to PokerNews for more developments in the South African gaming marketplace.

*Lead photo courtesy of fc08.deviantart.net.

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