South African Cabinet Approves National Gambling Policy

The South African Cabinet has approved the National Gambling Policy. The policy regarding casinos has been approved by Jeff Radebe, the Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation.

National Gambling Regulator to be Formed

After the Cabinet meeting took place on Thursday, Minister Radebe explained to the press that the National Gambling Policy has been accepted, and that it addresses the issues that had arisen regarding the effectiveness of the earlier National Gambling Act of 2004.

Radebe explained: "The policy proposes amendments to the regulatory structural framework of the gambling boards and strengthens the control mechanisms to minimise the abuse of gambling."

He noted that the National Gambling Policy concerns casinos, horseracing betting, limited payout machines, and bingo. The current National Gambling Board will be replaced with a National Gambling Regulator. The new National Gambling Regulator will operate under the auspices of the Department of Trade and Industry, and will directly report to this body.

In May 2015, the government had posted its proposed National Gambling Policy in the Government Gazette. The public was invited by the Department of Trade and Industry via a notice published in the Gazette, to comment on the proposed legislation. Those who wished to do so had 45 days in which to air their views. After this time, the comments would be taken into account before finalising the National Gambling Policy.

About the National Gambling Board

The National Gambling Board has reported directly to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, just as the proposed National Gambling Regulator will do. The NGB has been helping to uphold the National Gambling Act 2004 since the National Gambling Act of 1966 was repealed. The NGB’s vision has been "To position South Africa as the pre-eminent jurisdiction with an exemplary and effectively regulated gambling industry." In the Board’s mission statement it was noted that the NGB’s goals were to carry out the laws in the National Gambling Act 2004, and to effectively ensure and uphold gambling regulation and compliance.

While the National Gambling Board has upheld its mission statement, once the decision to make changes to the Gambling Act of 2004 came into being, it was decided that the new laws would best be served with a new board, hence the National Gambling Regulator.