The National Gambling Board in South Africa has released a definitive statement regarding ongoing discussions about whether or not gambling is a legal practice and where does the gray area lie.
“To eliminate any uncertainty in this regard, the NGB wishes to make it emphatically clear that the answer to whether online or interactive gambling is legal in South Africa, is a simple and unequivocal NO with the exception of online sports betting,” said a commission from the NGB.
In other words, the iGaming activity is still illegal, no matter what interpretation comes, in exception to sports betting. They kept their stand when they reminded that players and operators that partake in online gambling would be committing an offence and would be due to criminal prosecution if caught, so no participation whatsoever in this practice.
The NGB uses the latest approved National Gambling Act which passed in 2004 and was published by the Gazette which made interactive gaming unlawful and made it so a person must not engage or make available interactive games, only if it has been previously authorized.
In 2008 the presidency passed a National Gambling Amendment that was supposed to lift the previous act, but it was never published in the Gazette so it could not be used as a reference for taking any decisions regarding regulations of iGaming practices
“As the Amendment Act prescribes that it will only come into effect on a future date to be released by the President, by proclamation in the Gazette, and the president has never done so, the Amendment Act thus cannot be relied upon or referenced as being the law regarding the regulation of interactive gaming or online gambling,” said the NGB
“The National Gambling Act of 2004 remains the supreme national regulatory prescript for regulating the gambling industry in the Republic of South Africa, and in terms thereof, interactive gambling, as envisaged in the Amendment Act of 2008, remains prohibited”
So far, when it comes to the gambling industry in South Africa, it can only remain land-based and with establishments that allow the display of valid gambling licenses.