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Online gambling's future in South Africa remains unsure

Plans by the South African gambling authorities to ask the Reserve Bank to institute a block on credit cards used in internet gambling transactions have been put on hold pending the outcome of a Supreme High Court appeal, reports the daily newspaper The Times. The issue is the latest development on a long running and apparently constantly shifting stance on internet gambling by the South African government.

For years the politicians have toyed with the idea of legalising online gambling and creating an attractive regulatory jurisdiction which could bring both income and jobs to the country, yet despite extensive research projects, overseas fact-finding missions and endless debate a cogent and final approach remains in political limbo.

Independent estimates suggest that the online gambling market in the southern African country is around Rands 500 million (about €51 million)

In the absence of specific law and national political policy on regulation, the nation's provincial gambling boards have enforced policies declaring internet gambling illegal, and these have been contested by Casino Enterprises, a land and online gambling company based in neighbouring Swaziland.

The company suffered a setback last year when the Pretoria High Court dismissed an argument that it was not subject to South Africa's online gambling ban as it operated outside the country.

Casino Enterprises launched an appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal, and this has apparently persuaded the authorities to hold fire pending the result, or a change of national political intentions.

A spokesman for the authorities, Ndanduleni Makhari, said plans to ban online gambling in the country included asking media houses and advertising agencies to pull ad material on online gambling, but this was on hold until the Casino Enterprises appeal is heard on August 23.

Source: InfoPowa News

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