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SOUTH AFRICAN GAMBLING HEARINGS COMMENCE
Monday, October 31, 2011 : Industry representatives put their case to parliamentarians
The public consultation phase of the South African government's Department of Trade and Industry study on the recently presented Gambling Review Commission's report kicked off this week in Cape Town, with industry representatives from both land and online interests in attendance.
The Commission was appointed in 2009 by the trade and industry minister to investigate the appropriateness of gambling policy and regulations, and the proliferation of gambling opportunities both on lnd and over the internet.
This week's hearing focused mainly on horse racing, bingo and online betting, according to reports in the newspaper Business Day. Horse racing industry parties bemoaned the decline in stakes and race meetings over the past thirteen years, a plight not uncommon in international horse racing.
"In aggregate, as the cost of ownership is greater than the total stakes available, owners make a net contribution to the sport of horse racing in SA," the Racing Association said in a written submission.
"With stakes remaining flat and costs increasing, the burden on thoroughbred racehorse owners becomes more onerous each year. Owners currently fund the sport by over R570 million.
"Owners are under more financial strain now than they have ever been in the past. If the current system continues, owners will be forced out of the sport."
The Association proposed that because bookies make good profits from betting on the horses, they should make a contribution to subsidise the industry. The bookmaking representatives were quick to oppose this idea, insisting the industry was funded by betting patrons.
The proposed withholding tax of 15 percent on all gambling winnings of R25 000 or above was also a "major threat" to the industry, the Racing Association said.
The Association feels that it is being "penalised" under current tax law by its losses being ring-fenced. One of the turf club companies proposed a government grant to assist the industry.
Business Day reports that a major issue for bookies was the Commission's recommendation that person-to-person betting exchanges be brought into the regulatory framework. Neither of these parties would be licensed and determined as fit and proper beforehand — as is the case with bookmakers — placing punters at risk, they claimed.
"Person-to-person exchanges by their very nature can be expected to bring about a proliferation of unlicensed persons endeavouring to make their living by acting as bookmakers," the associations for KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape said in their submission.
Addressing the question of legalising and regulating online gambling, Betfair welcomed the recommendation that online gambling be regulated rather than prohibited and called for uniform legislation throughout the country to safeguard players.
The Bingo Association criticised the Commission’s recommendation for electronic bingo operations to be banned, claiming this was just giving in to the demands of the casino industry.
The Commission’s report suggests that the bingo industry requires more regulation because bingo halls have been allowed to "proliferate" across the country, a claim that the Association said was an exaggeration, and urged the government to reject.
Further hearings are planned before the report goes to Parliament.
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Gambling News :
Wanajump Launches -
#Wanajump Spanish online and land gambling operator Grupo R. Franco appears to be emulating the William Hill group, announcing this week that it is to begin a start-up accelerator program for innovative entrepreneurs, which it has titled Wanajump.
Coral Launches player proposition betting product -
Digital Sports Tech, a business-to-business software provider of sports betting solutions, has signed a deal with UK online and land sports betting operator Coral to provide an innovative player proposition betting product.
Oshi online casino now accepts fiat currencies -
The Oshi online casino, which started just a year ago as a Bitcoin-denominated operation, has described its expanded activity in a statement this week, noting that in addition to Bitcoin it now accepts fiat currencies and has added new game providers to its roster of suppliers.
New Standards for UK Online Gambling -
Online gambling service and technology providers, along with operators and testing agencies will be studying the new gambling software and technical standards proposal published by the UK Gambling Commission following a public consultation.
Pennsylvania Gambling Bill 1887 returned with additions -
The interaction between the Pennsylvanian House and the state Senate has become increasingly like watching a game of ping pong as the two political establishments wrestle with online gambling legalization and court-ordered tax fixes in the dying days of the current political season.
Mybet Earnings Struggle -
The statement this week reveals that Mybet continued to be hampered by negative trends from historic quarters, making its original performance estimate "unrealistic".
Tom Horn Awarded Malta Gaming License -
Online gambling software provider Tom Horn Gaming has been awarded a Malta Gaming Authority license that permits the company to host and manage Malta-based gaming operators.
Calvin Ayre invests in new Antigua Business Center -
Ayre joined with government officials this week in a ground-breaking ceremony for a five-story centre on Antigua which will be home for the venture. The "green" building will be solar powered and provide employee-friendly services like catering, a gym and child care.
Attack of the Zombies Slot -
Online gambling games developer Genesis Gaming has unveiled its latest game, with a theme based on a horror story of the undead, exploiting the current trend....and just in time for Halloween.
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