Online gambling is again up for debate following the tabling this week of private member bill PMB3-2015 seeking to legalise the pastime, which is in general anathema to the ruling African National Congress party.
Taking up the cudgels once again, the opposition Democratic Party MP, Geordin Hill-Lewis introduced the bill, which is little different from measures that he has previously authored and unsuccessfully proposed.
Hill-Lewis is the shadow minister for trade and industry, and his latest proposal would see an expansion of online gambling from the presently limited sports betting to online poker and casino regulated and licensed activity.
The shadow minister’s opposite number on the government benches, Rob Davies, has previously noted the government’s opposition to expanded internet gambling and, given the ANC’s large majority in parliament, it seems unlikely that PMB3-2015 will achieve much traction.
In addition to political opposition, Hill-Lewis’ bill will be attacked by the land gambling industry. The vociferous trade body Casino Association of South Africa has repeatedly warned against the expansion of remote gambling, blaming illegal activity in the genre for drops in land gambling revenues, and tying that to the politically sensitive areas of reduced tax revenues and impaired service delivery (see previous reports).