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South African Mobile Gambling
3/1/10 - The publication ITWeb reports that mobile gambling has significant potential in South Africa despite the still evolving legal regime applying to online gambling.
Cellphones are widely used and mobile technology is well advanced in the country, where it is estimated that there are up to 500 000 online gamblers.
Peter Collins, executive director of the National Responsible Gambling Programme in SA, says the industry is thought to be worth at least R800 million (around GBP 70 million) a year. And he says the sector will grow as an increasing number of cellphones support gambling applications.
The government has been wrestling with online gambling regulation and licensing for years (see previous InfoPowa reports) despite extensive research initiatives, political debates and visits to successful overseas licensing jurisdictions. This has resulted in blurred legality lines until definitive laws are passed, hopefully later this year.
In the meantime, and because the legality question is so open to interpretation, foreign companies justify offering their services on the grounds that their servers are not in South Africa and therefore not subject to its laws or advertising restrictions.
A case testing this argument has been ongoing since 2006 and is currently on appeal before the Supreme Court, but the liklihood appears to be that the issue will be resolved by legislators before the judiciary makes a finding.
Until then the government's official position is that online gambling is illegal, although it is not vigorously policed. “It is not something that anyone is going to waste police time on,” Collins told ITWeb.
Arthur Goldstuck, md of World Wide Worx, anticipates five million more people will come online in the next five years in South Africa, and two million of these will use the Internet through cellphones. Research by his company has shown there are currently five million Internet users in SA.
Goldstuck told ITWeb that new users will initially be inexperienced, and not the target market of online casinos. However, “the following five years is when it gets scary” and there will be a need for "checks and balances" to be in place to regulate the sector.
Putting these measures in place is one of the issues facing the Department of Trade and Industry. Nomfundo Maseti, chief director of policy and legislation at the department, is aware that there is a need for precautions against underage and problem gambling, the involvement of organised crime and money laundering, and arrangements are in hand to address all of these problem areas.
If the national government decides to license and regulate online gaming in the country, as is expected, the National Gambling Board will only issue 10 licences. Gambling operators will be required to prove they have a physical presence in SA and their financial transactions will have to be located within South African borders.
Victor Chandler and Ladbrokes have both announced an interest in establishing a presence in the market.
ITWeb reports that according to National Gambling Board numbers, about 7 percent of all gambling revenue globally is spent on the Internet. In South Africa, the overall gaming industry is worth about R16 billion (about GBP 1,43 billion) in revenue.
Danske Spil Bingo Moves to Microgaming -
The national lottery of Denmark, Danske Spil, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network. Danske Spil, the Danish national lottery, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network following a change to its licence conditions.
Quickfire live on Strendus -
Quickfire powered by Microgaming is extending its reach in the LatAm region with the signing of Strendus. Strendus is the online division of Logrand Entertainment Group. The group comprises several companies that operate gaming and entertainment establishments in Mexico, running 14 land-based casinos in total.
Quickfire content live on BetatHome -
Online gaming and sports betting company bet-at-home was founded in 1999. Today the company has 4.8 million registered customers around the world, offering sports betting, casino, live casino, Vegas games, poker and virtual sports.
Microgaming has donated £30,000 between four charities -
Gift of Giving provides Microgamingís customers the opportunity to vote for one of several charities in their region. In lieu of Christmas gifts, £30,000 is split equally between four global regions: Isle of Man, UK and Europe, Africa, and Rest of the World.
Entertainment Betting Odds: 90th Academy Awards -
The Shape of Water leads Sundayís 90th Academy Awards (8 PM ET, ABC) with 13 Oscar nominations, but when it comes to Best Picture, this highly-acclaimed film is a +140 second-favorite behind Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at Ė115.
Fair Play Bets and QuickFire in Deal -
Fair Play Bets enjoys an unrivalled reputation for an outstanding player experience, with secure deposits and withdrawals, surprising casino bonuses and committed customer support. Fair Play Bets is licensed in UK, Malta and Curacao.
Cavaliers Aim to Take Down Wizards on 2/22/18 -
The Cleveland Cavaliers have looked like a different team since making their moves at the trade deadline. The Washington Wizards are up next for the Cavaliers, who will be at home after the All-Star break.
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