Monday July 2, 2012 : SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL GAMBLING BOARD GETS A REVAMP
 
Coordination of nine provincial regulatory bodies essential, says chairwoman
 
Ensuring that nine provincial regulatory authorities hew to the same general legislative guidelines must be akin to herding cats, but that is what the South African National Gambling Board has set out to do with a revamped corporate identity and ambitious plans.
 
Launching the new logo this week, chairwoman Linda De Vries said the board wants to be seen as transparent, balanced and dynamic. She said the national board is tasked by government with oversight of matters relating to casinos, gambling, betting and wagering, and promotes uniform norms and standards in relation to gambling throughout South Africa.
 
De Vries acknowledged the coordination problems associated with having nine provincial regulatory boards, saying: “The NGB has noted that as a result of the lack of uniform norms and standards, the gambling sector in South Africa has found itself confronted by various challenges emanating from divergent regulatory approaches by the provincial licensing authorities.”
 
To combat this, she said, the national board had embarked on an initiative to draft comprehensive national norms and standards "…intended as a minimum code of general best practices and guidelines for the gambling industry and for the country," which should to be consulted and legislated accordingly.
 
In addition, the NGB will conduct a review of existing legalization in consultation with the nine provincial regulators, she said.
 
Gambling continues to be a popular pastime in South Africa, according to Board statistics, which reveal that between 2010 and 2011, the total gross gambling revenue from betting grew by 20 percent year on year, from R1.604 billion to R1.924 billion through the activities of some 400 totalisator outlets, telebet centres and almost 300 bookmakers.
 
In the same period, the legal bookmakers increased their market share to 37 percent from 33 percent in 2010, attributable to substantial growth in sports betting, which doubled its contribution to gross gambling revenue in recent years.