South African president, Thabo Mbeki, has signed the National Gambling Amendment Bill. The bill allows for legalized online gambling. It is not yet clear when operators can start accepting bets officially however. The Bill was finalized in May of 2008 with no rush from the president to implement it, meanwhile casinos from across the globe waited poised to bring in new players from South Africa, some even making sister sites just for the South African players.
The Bill, known as the NGAB, establishes regulatory and licensing system to circumvent the socioeconomic effects that can be a problem with an unregulated gambling industry. The new bill seeks to protect the underage and underprivileged especially from the draw of gambling as a means to fix financial woes. It was created to amend the 2004 Gambling Act so that online gaming could be included. It was very important for the government to set the gambling aside from ties and implications of crime and troubles by defining rules and requirements. players will be required to sign up with an online gaming site and submit an affidavit proving they are at least eighteen years of age. There are also rules for the registration of players, groups whom are allowed to be excluded, and fair treatment after registered with gaming sites.
Also included are resolution procedures between casinos and players as well as registration, taxation and advertising. There will also be electronic monitoring of addictive behaviors by gamblers to help make sure gambling is not becoming a bigger issue than a blessing money wise. While many governments have rushed headlong into gaming decisions based on the anticipation of revenue to fund the government, South Africa took their time making sure every possible problem was covered before finalizing the bill. Provisions are in place to prevent money laundering, underage gambling, addiction and tough regulatory and licensing schemes. Hopefully it will be enough to protect the citizens of South Africa.