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   Monday, July 15 2024 
Online poker ban proposal is under discussion - South Africa

Online poker ban has been subject to heated debate between elected officials and the federal government in South Africa these days. Actually, the Department of Trade and Industry plans to ban online poker activity from the country, the purpose of which is being discussed with the National Gambling Policy Council. On the other side of the bench, Democratic Alliance, the local opposition party, strongly disagree with the ban proposal. As a reminder, this online poker ban is part of the South African government’s initiatives to regulate gambling industry in the region. Concerned by the Federal government’s initiatives are prohibition on dog racing and new forms of underground gambling activities, and a more serious regulation on electronic bingo machines and horse racing.

“This proposed bill on banning online poker is listed among the South Africa government’s wish to limit gambling in the country to those that are already offered there,” Trade and Industry deputy Zodwa Ntuli said in a interview. Fiercely opposing such proposal, Democratic Alliance argued that a stronger policy of regulation is a better solution to shield South Africans from the dangers of gambling. Additionally, there are other big points at issue. For now, online poker industry in South Africa is considered a gray market jurisdiction as there is no specific regulatory framework ruling the sector. Worse, the federal government only establishes broad policies while individual states or provinces grant operating licenses. Though sharing similar legislation framework as that of the United States, gambling issues in South Africa are largely dealt by provinces.

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