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South Africa Might Legalize Online Casino Sites

It is known that online casino sites and online gambling are against the law in South Africa. But what if all that were about to change? There has been talk recently of legalizing online casinos in this country. Currently, the national lottery, casinos and bingo are bigger forms of gambling. But the online casino could very well be the next outlet/venue for gambling for the South African population.

Mandisi Mpahlwa is the key to legalizing online gambling. As the Minister of Trade and Industry, it is his decision to accept and implement the recommendations of the online gambling board. In a report last month, the online gambling board recommended that online casino sites and Internet gaming be a legal part of the law. If online gambling becomes legal, online casino portals will be available to all those who have Internet access, and will help prompt those who don’t to acquire it.

Legalizing online casino sites will address particular issues that come with the territory. For instance, how local gamblers will have legal protection, how ‘criminal influence and exploitation’ will be prevented in the industry and how an interactive gambling industry in South Africa will be promoted are some of the issues to be discussed. The online casino industry could bring a great deal of money into the country. South African online gambling operators stand to earn large sums of money – US $3billion/year in 2001 which grew to more than $8.2 billion/year in 2004, according to research firm Christiansen Capital Advisors. The market is expected to triple to almost $25 billion/year by 2010. These are impressive numbers for online casinos operators. All will simply have to wait and see what Mpahlwa will decide.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.