The DTIC or Department of Trade, Industry and Competition has kept the online wannabe gamblers waiting for the past decade. The lack of a regulatory gambling framework resulted in massive revenue and tax losses for the economy according to SunBet GM Nitesh Matai.
SunBet is the online betting arm of the Sun International hotel and resort chain in South Africa. Matai recently shared that the online gambling industry in South Africa is worth around R8 billion including i-gaming and esports. The annual growth rate in general between 2020 and 2027 is expected to be around 11.5%. Driven by the increasing use of mobile devices and internet penetration. At the media webinar, it was the view of many that the absence of a regulatory framework results in missed employment and economic opportunities, both could meaningfully contribute to the economy of the country.
Lack of Regulations Cost South Africa
The hard cost due to the lack of a regulatory framework is that the country loses out on tax revenues of money leaving the country. Plus, the winnings don’t circulate in the South African economy. While the fact remains that there are as many casinos online as there are players eager to enjoy online entertainment.
The consumer in South Africa is left at the mercy of operators, some are illegal and there are serious risks associated with illegal gambling online. In many countries online gambling is restricted or banned, the UK, however, legalized gambling online. A regulated environment would eliminate the risks now faced by online punters via consumer protection possible by rolling out licenses to operators that qualify internationally and locally.
Illegal Online Gambling Site Dangers
The list of illegal gambling sites dangers South Africans face at unregulated websites includes no identification or age verification. No protection against illegal software, no data safeguarding to prevent identity theft and no guarantee that games are fair or RNG. No help or assistance should operators hesitate or decide against payouts to winners.
The negativity also stretches to legal land-based operators, since illegal establishments prevent them from generating the revenue they should and reduces the profits made by licensed and regulated operators.
Millions Wasted Promises Remain Empty
Millions of rands have been spent and countless hours wasted on consulting in trying to convince the government to review and publish new online regulations. Many promises followed and so did disappointments, and every now and then there are rumours that an announcement is to be made by the government. But absolutely nothing comes from it, while the National Gambling Board is still not able to respond to questions regarding the legalization of online gambling.