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African Gambling Law

by: World Casino Directory staff
Sunday Apr 20th, 2014

This article is not extensive and is intended only as a general guideline to the casino and gambling laws that govern this location.

Africa Gambling Laws

Gambling is much prevalent in Africa. It is gaining increasing attention and popularity. About 30 countries possess casinos and gaming machines. Out of them South Africa has the maximum number of casinos. There are more than 40 casinos in South Africa and approximately 38000 slots. Egypt comes close with more than 20 casinos.

There are other countries that are quite popular for gambling in the beautiful continent of Africa. They are Botswana, Cameron, Ghana, Morocco, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Uganda among others. World famous casinos and international groups are gaining firm foothold in various countries of Africa. The Raineau group is one such international group of gaming and resorts and has three operations running successfully in Egypt.

Let us have a look at the recent developments in the gambling laws in South Africa.

The Casino Association Casa embodies South Africa's licensed casino and gaming industry and the people involved in this entire activity. In a limited time of eight years, the new industry has been responsible for generating more than R12-billion in new investment in all nine provinces, adding over R36-billion to GDP in terms of economic multipliers.

New Gambling Legislation

There has been formulation and enactment of the new National Gambling Act in 2004. The new National Gambling Act was gazette on 12 August 2004 and came into operation on 1 November 2004. On 13 September 2004 the Department of Trade and Industry, in terms of the Act, published the National Gambling Regulations for comment. The regulations were formally promulgated on 15 November 2004.

The Objective of the Act

The objective of the Act is “to provide for the co-ordination of concurrent national and provincial legislative competence over matters relating to casinos, racing, gambling and wagering, and to provide for the continued regulation of those matters; for that purpose to establish certain uniform norms and standards applicable to national and provincial regulation and licensing of certain gambling activities; to provide for the creation of additional uniform norms and standards applicable throughout the Republic; to retain the National Gambling Board; to establish the National Gambling Policy Council; to repeal the National Gambling Act, 1996; and to provide for matters incidental thereto.”

The Act provides for:
• The protection of minors
• Restrictions on granting credit to gamblers
• Self-exclusion from gambling activity by individuals
• Restrictions on advertising and the promotion of gambling activities and the granting of promotional discounts
• The enforceability of gambling debts.

New Regulations have been formulated in terms of the Act, and they dealt with:
• Excluded persons
• Minimum requirements for advertising material and responsible gambling messages
• The extension of credit
• Standards for gambling premises
• The registration and certification of machines and devices.

The National Gambling Bill's basically worked in two ways
• It revised the National Gambling Act, 1996 (Act 33 of 1996)
• It introduced revised systems for regulating and monitoring the gambling industry

Registration and monitoring



The National Gambling Bill has provision for the registration and certification of gambling machines and devices, and for the establishment of a national central electronic monitoring system. The National Gambling Bill also has provisions for the licensing of people employed in the gambling industry.

National Gambling Policy deals with the distribution of casino licenses. It empowers the Minister to establish maximum numbers of licenses at regular intervals, with the help of factors that balance market forces, black economic empowerment, and the consequences of over-stimulation of gambling.

The National Gambling Policy also discusses the provisions designed to regulate expansion of the gambling industry and other aspects of gambling. This includes the prohibitions on illegal gambling, gambling over the internet, and enforcing debt incurred by a minor or excluded person.

Licensing Norms and Standards

Part D of the Act specifies licensing norms and standards. These are augmented in Part E, which provides for the consideration of economic and social development issues (including black economic empowerment and combating the incidence of addictive and compulsive gambling), and competition issues.

Bill intended to shield compulsive gamblers from temptation and therefore it mentions the following prohibitions:
o The prohibition on gambling on credit [sec. 13(1)(a) and (b)];
o The prohibition on the installation of automated cash dispensers in premises licensed for gambling [sec. 13(1)(d) and 17(2)];
o Provisions for the preparation of a national register of excluded persons and the associated obligation on license holders to take reasonable measures to prevent an excluded person from gambling [sec. 14];
o The prohibition on 24-hour opening of premises licensed for gambling [sec. 17(3)]; and
o The requirement that gambling license holders post notices warning of the dangers of compulsive and addictive gambling [sec. 17(4)] and make available information on treatment of problem gambling [sec. 14(10)(a)(ii)].

South African Casino Gambling Act 1996

The National Gambling Act of 1996 recognized the maturity of each individual citizen in South African and respected their decision and freedom of choice and eliminated widespread illegal gambling and its harmful consequences. After the adoption of the Act, the implementation brought in a lot of regulatory authorities, a structure of provisions that made the industry a highly regulated economic sector in the country and the establishment of casinos which was considered as some of the best managed ones in the world.

A World Class Industry

Such highly organized and well operated casinos opened the door for significant job creation and new revenue in the form of taxes and levies. It also gave a tremendous boost to tourism and other infrastructure. Such maintenance also addressed problems related to gambling effectively.

This initiative has developed a comprehensive government/private sector program that is recognized worldwide as being a leader in its field and has been implemented also in other international jurisdictions.

The Revision of the Act

This act was revised in 2004 and thus came the new National Gambling Act of 2004. As a consequence of the new regulatory environment in the country, casinos are subject to tight controls in terms of player protection, the exclusion of minors, probity standards and other compliance measures, including industry’s substantial funding of the National Responsible Gambling Program.


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