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South Africa – National Gambling Board warns operators offering online gambling

By - 16 September 2020

The National Gambling Board (NGB) has released a statement concerning the issue of the legality of online or interactive gambling stating that it wishes to make ’emphatically clear that the answer to whether online or interactive gambling is legal in South Africa, is a simple and unequivocal NO with the exception of online sports betting.’

‘Section 11 of the NGA, entitled “Unauthorised interactive gaming unlawful”, expressly states that “a person must not engage in or make available an interactive game except as authorised in terms of this Act or any other national law.”

‘The National Gambling Amendment Act, 2008 (Act no. 10 of 2008) (“the Amendment Act”), which was passed by the National Assembly and assented to by the Presidency on 10 July 2008, has never come into operation.’

The NGB has stated that operators offering or wishing to offer such gambling products and services to the South African public must be aware that they are committing an offence, and will be subject to criminal prosecution if detected.

Punters are equally cautioned to avoid participating in any activity that is illegal, as such participation is also a criminal offence. A conviction for committing an offence in terms of the NGA can attract a fine of up to R10m, or imprisonment up to ten years. Winnings derived from such activity will also be confiscated, and forfeited to the State.

The NGB added that it will ‘encourage compliance with national and provincial gambling legislation. However, for those that choose to wilfully persist in criminal conduct, the consequences will be severe.

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