NGB clarifies that online gambling in South Africa remains illegal

18 Sep 2020

ngbThe South African National Gambling Board has issued a statement this week concerning the legality of online gambling. There have recently been some rumors and talks around online gambling, with some of them arguing that it is legal. The Board has decided to come forward and end the discussion by clarifying that, apart from sports betting, all forms of online gambling are prohibited.

As stated: “To eliminate any uncertainty in this regard, the NGB wishes to make it emphatically clear that the answer to whether online or interactive gambling is legal in South Africa, is a simple and unequivocal no with the exception of online sports betting.". Section 11 of the NGA, entitled 'Unauthorised interactive gaming unlawful', expressly states that “a person must not engage in or make available an interactive game except as authorised in terms of this Act or any other national law".

The National Gambling Amendment Act, 2008 (Act no. 10 of 2008 - “the Amendment Act”), which was passed by the National Assembly and assented to by the Presidency on 10 July 2008, has never come into operation. The National Gambling Act of 2004 remains the supreme national regulatory prescript for regulating the gambling industry in the Republic of South Africa, and in terms thereof, interactive gambling, as envisaged in the Amendment Act of 2008, remains prohibited. Operators offering or wishing to offer such gambling products and services to the South African public must be aware that they are committing an offence, and will be subject to criminal prosecution if detected.

Apparently leaving no room for debate, South African betting sites are still the only legitimate form of online gambling in the country.

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