SA Pushes To Legalise All Gambling

Campaign to Legalise All Types Of Gambling in SA

Gambling in South Africa remains a controversial topic. But a Member of the Executive Council of Economic Development for the Eastern Cape, Mlungisi Mvoko, believes that all types of gambling should be legalised.

Mvoko has been very vocal about his views, saying that making gambling legal in all forms would only benefit the country, thanks to the increase in tax revenue this move would create. He has also said the liberalising the industry would create jobs for locals, among other opportunities.

15th Gaming Regulators Africa Forum

Mvoko made all this clear while addressing the 15th Gaming Regulators Africa seminar held at Port Elizabeth’s Boardwalk Hotel. This year’s meeting’s theme was the 4th Industrial Revolution and Its Impact on Gaming in Africa and focussed on shifts in the global economy and the effect of this on the gambling industry worldwide. Representatives from Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and other countries from the African continent all made an appearance.

Mvoko’s Views

Mvoko said that he fervently believed that, thanks to the infusion of new technologies the world is currently enjoying, an increase in revenue base for the Eastern Cape province could be created. He also compared the gaming industry to cryptocurrencies, saying that it could help the overall economy in the same way that Bitcoin has given many people a sustainable profit source.

He explained that the remarkable impact technology has had on the gambling industry should come as no surprise. He said that looking at the impact Bitcoin has had, revolutionising the online world for its users, is a good example of the pay-offs. 

He went on to say that, in a province where these industries are not just major creators but important contributors to the gross domestic product, the effects would be felt even more. Mvoko said that this is why it’s so important that the kind of alternative industry that legalised gambling represents get enhanced. He said that it would increase and diversify our economic base.

The SA Gambling Situation

Gambling is mostly legal in this country and was officially decriminalised in 1994 when the new democratic government came into power. Just 2 years later, however, the National Gambling Act established provisions for regulations in this sector, specifically for horse racing. It also created a system whereby prospective casinos would be required to apply for licenses.

On the other hand, online gambling is heavily controlled, and it is still illegal for South Africans to access an online casino from a South African IP. The only exception is for websites that are licensed by one of the provincial gambling boards.

Even then, it’s only sportsbooks that are considered for licenses. No other type of online gambling is allowed in South Africa, and this is where Mvoko’s thoughts on the matter come into play. He is, unfortunately, facing a formidable challenge. The anti-online betting attitude the decision-makers in South Africa have is largely due to the perceived potential for exploitation, especially to the country’s most vulnerable citizens.