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Friday, August 1, 2008
PC games

The National Gambling Amendment Act, 2008 was passed on 10th July 2008 and published in the Government Gazette on the 14th. Its aim is to amend the National Gambling Act to provide for the licensing and regulation of so-called “interactive gambling activities’.

Essentially such activities relate to electronic communication via the internet. An interactive game is defined as “a gambling game played or available to be played through the mechanism of an electronic agent accessed over the Internet other than a game that can be accessed for play only in licensed premises, and only if the licensee of any such premises is authorised to make such game available for play.”
The amendment was enabled by s5(5) of the transitional provisions in the Schedule to the National Gambling Act, which provides that within two years after the effective date of the Act, the Minister, after considering the report of the committee and any recommendations of the National Gambling Board or the Council, must introduce legislation in parliament to regulate interactive gambling within South Africa.
In terms of the law a person may not engage in, facilitate or make available an interactive game other than in terms of the Act whereby a licence has been issued. The Act, as amended:
• provides for the licensing of interactive gambling activities — including eligibility for interactive gambling licences, the jurisdiction of the National Gambling Board to license and regulate interactive gambling activities, the licensing procedure to be followed by the Board, its responsibilities as regards interactive gambling, and the nature and duration of interactive gambling licences;
• imposes extensive obligations on interactive gambling providers — including extensive specifications and standards, requirements regarding the identification of players and the protection of minors and problem gamblers, disclosure requirements, player registration requirements, the extension of credit for the purposes of interactive gambling and various other matters;
• imposes standards for gambling websites;
• regulates the advertising of interactive gambling activities;
• regulates the payment of prizes and the remittance of profits and winnings, including the remittance of proceeds to foreign nationals and external companies;
• allows for tax in respect of interactive gambling activities to be imposed in terms of appropriate legislation; and
• sets out dispute resolution and complaints procedures.

The amendments will commence on a date to be fixed by the President by proclamation in the Gazette. Thereafter, the Minister of Trade and Industry will prescribe various regulations and an invitation to apply for interactive gambling licences.  Based on information prepared by Wendy Rahamim, Director, and Tebogo Mthiyane, Associate, Werksmans Attorneys

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:21.7 1st August, 2008
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