Legislative Changes for South African Casinos
New South African Laws Affecting Land Based Casinos
In South Africa, land-based gambling is still a hugely lucrative business. It’s not surprising then, that that the proposed Western Cape Nineteenth Gambling and Racing Amendment Bill of 2018 is causing concern for local operators. If enacted, the bill would permit the moving of existing casinos to other areas. There are also proposals to make casino licenses available in Cape Town’s eastern region, including Table Bay, Strand, and Somerset West.
From an operator’s perspective, the bill is good for some and bad for others. Established casinos like Grand West stand to lose out on a large chunk of profits and drastically reduced foot traffic. This will directly influence surrounding businesses, including restaurants, hotels and entertainment centers. The closure of a major casino in Worcester would also lead to large-scale job losses and affect surrounding businesses in a similar way.
On the other hand, the relocation and development of new casinos in new regions could lead to the transferal of skills, brand new employment opportunities and the chance for entire areas to become social and entertainment hubs.
What This Mean’s for Casino Goers
For the average casino goer, the proposed amendment would be beneficial in the long run. The initial relocation of establishments might be disruptive in the beginning, until a new norm is established. While some areas might mourn the loss of their local casino, others would welcome the arrival of new and improved gambling establishments.
At the end of the day, the bill aims to create a stronger and more robust gambling industry. However, this could all just be a last-ditch effort to hold on to gamblers before the digital world takes over, and the multitude of benefits of playing online become more attractive than anything a land-based venue could offer.
As it stands, online casino-style gambling is technically not legal. Proposals to amend this law were tabled in 2010 but were met with stiff opposition from land-based operators. However, the laws target local operators, not players, so anyone who wants to gamble online at the casino not operated from within South Africa’s borders can do so. There are a vast number of offshore online casinos that legally welcome players in South Africa, and we’re happy to recommend the best of them here at African Betting Guide.
Is Online Gambling the Future?
Some would argue that the legalization and regulation of localized online gambling would be a major boost for the economy without disrupting land-based operations. If we look at European countries where Internet-based casinos have been in operation for years, land-based establishments still operate and pull in a different type of clientele to those that play on their computer or mobile phone.
Interestingly, despite not yet legalizing local online casinos, South Africa has somewhat acknowledged the need for digital betting facilities and has taken sports betting online. The Western Cape is one of the largest providers of online betting licenses on the continent, and considering the success of this; it’s almost surprising that online casino legislation has been stifled. Top betting sites in South Africa welcome thousands of bettors each day without affecting the numbers for land-based betting shops. In fact, the two even work hand-in-hand, as vouchers can be bought in-store and used online at bet mobile South Africa sites.
A Cooperative System
What we have seen overseas is that instead of shrinking the market, online betting and mobile gambling actually increases the market, tapping into a whole new generation of enthusiastic gamblers. After all, playing casino games on your phone or computer is far easier, more convenient and less time consuming than driving to your nearest land-based casino. Plus you can join in the fun 24/7.
The world has gone digital and gambling is following the same trend, regardless of whether SA’s online regulations change or not. If local operators are allowed to open their own casinos they will reap the rewards, but if not, players can rest assured that they can find everything they need legally at the top betting sites in South Africa, or at offshore casinos operated from outside of the borders.
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