South Africa is currently reviewing the pros and cons to legalizing and regulating online gambling within the country. They have opened the discussion up to the public, and held one at the beginning of this month. A popular newspaper, Business Day, was able to attend so that they could report back on the goings on and inform those who were not able to attend about what happened. The main cons that were brought up were mainly prevention issues, like money laundering, illegal gambling and gambling while underage.
Right now there is quite a bit of gambling allowed, but not online in casino and poker sites. Utilizing offshore sites is also against the law. A review commission had been assembled to see what kind of possibility there is of legalizing online gambling, and what would need to be done in regards to setting up regulations and how to handle the taxes. The TIC has now taken over this task.
Joan Fubbs, the chairman of the committee, together with the MP of the Democratic Alliance, Geordin Hill-Lewis, have already brought up the fact that some types of online gambling were already in existence in the country, and ignoring this will only allow this market to be even more successful. Banning online gambling has been deemed impossible, and will only further deprive them of receiving any kind of benefit from what is already going on.
A member of the FIC, Pieter Smit, has addressed the issue of money laundering in an online gambling environment. These two terms have been linked for many years, but not everyone may understand just how this is possible. The basics are as follows: since all of the transactions take place over an internet connection rather than in person, it becomes much more difficult to trace. This is even more possible when gambling is not legalized and everything is going through unregulated offshore casino sites. If it were to be allowed, all transactions would be more closely monitored to ensure that illegal transactions are not taking place.
Most members of the NGB do not support legalizing online gambling, and if it does get legalized they are insistent upon restricting just how many licenses are issued and strict regulations on top of that. There would have to be numerous security measures put into place to help to eliminate the problem of online gambling, and services for those that feel they have a problem with gambling as well.