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Online Casino Industrial Evolution in 2006?

Whatever happens in Britain or in South Africa, 2006 will probably be a time of great evolution in the online casino industry. Will South Africa legalize online casinos? It is a distinct possibility, according to several people in the know, and with a recent proposal submitted to the South African Ministry of Industry and Trade it could go from being a dream to a reality. But even so, there are those elsewhere who view with wariness the online casino industry gaining legitimacy in a country like South Africa. Why? Because if South Africa can do it, the U.S. can do it, and the U.S. Department of Justice isn’t exactly keen on legitimizing online gambling. For the moment, this is all speculation. But what if what everyone expects to happen actually does happen?

It isn’t likely that the United States will follow the lead of South Africa when it comes to online casino gambling, but other countries that aren’t currently fans of online gambling may look to Pretoria with some level of interest. One of the main reasons South Africa may legalize online casinos is to prevent the industry from falling into the hands of organized crime groups or other unsavory companies or characters who don’t have the best interests of customers at heart. The idea is if you tax and regulate the industry, helping it to grow rather than letting it grow on its own, it will be easier to control and be that much safer for those who have internet access in South Africa to sign on and play games.

Of course, the other example online casino executives could tout as being a valid model to follow is that of the United Kingdom, which has created a new gambling control commission which may, if taxes and licensing procedures are seen to be favorable, lead to a revolutionary change in that online casino groups currently prevented from basing their servers on U.K. soil would transplant their companies to the British Isles. Online gambling is permitted in the U.K., but companies cannot induce Britons to gamble nor can they base their operations on British soil itself.

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.