Recommendations on Gambling Outlined to Parliament

In DTI, SA Gambling on August 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm

The gambling review commission has provided an overview of its report on the gambling industry in South Africa to the portfolio committee on trade and industry in Parliament.

The commission was set up at the end of 2009 to review the evolution of the local gambling industry since 1996.

The report was tabled in Parliament at the end of June 2011.

The commission was also asked to look at the social and economic impact of gambling in the country.

It was also mandated to assess the proliferation of gambling with specific reference to:

  • Legal and illegal gambling activities
  • Technological developments
  • Viability of roll-out of new activities
  • Expansion of already existing gambling activities

In addition, the commission was tasked with determining whether regulatory bodies were achieving legislative objectives in an effective manner.

It took nine months to complete its work.

The report makes a number of key recommendations on how to improve the gambling sector.

Some of the recommendations include:

  • Overarching policy on black economic empowerment to be developed-including proper monitoring mechanism
  • Introduce five-yearly licence review for casinos
  • Develop licensing guidelines for low-payout machines
  • Amend legislation to define sports pool more clearly
  • To professionalise grant making in terms of the national lottery
  • Not to legalise dog racing
  • To possibly consider regulation of bush racing as an activity
  • Further research into Fahfee, cards and dice
  • Propose licensing of poker tournament organisers
  • Rules for poker and rake to be regulated
  • To expand regulation beyond interactive gambling to include on-line betting, betting exchanges, on-line poker etc
  • Licensing framework for on-line gambling to be introduced
  • To develop national strategy for responsible gambling
  • Clearer delineation of roles of national and provincial government
  • New role for policy council-only to discuss policy
  • Parliament to have oversight role over national policy

In terms of the envisaged new roles for national and provincial government, the commission recommended the following:

  • Provincial role – licensing and regulation of land-based gambling activities
  • National role – licensing and regulation of lottery, sports pools, on-line gambling, national registers and CEMs

In essence, the proposed regulatory framework would have licensing and regulation the preserve of the national gambling board, the national lottery board, provincial gambling boards and local government.

Oversight and harmonisation would be the responsibility of Parliament and the national gambling policy council.

The trade and industry department would be solely responsible for the drawing up of policy.

The commission was also keen to improve the distribution of revenue generated by the national lottery.

It further proposed that the current sumptuary model as laid down by the Wiehahn commission should be continued. This seeks to accommodate existing demand for gambling while discouraging excessive involvement on the part of individuals in gambling activities.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

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