Advertising Still Divides South African Legislature

1 April 2008

South Africa's National Gambling Amendment Bill was amended last week by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to allow licensed online gambling operators to advertise in the country. But the National Assembly (NA), which must give final approval to the amendment, is still insisting on a blanket advertising ban, according to a government insider.

A source with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) -- the department that drafted the bill -- told IGN in an e-mail today that the Portfolio Committee of the NA and the NCOP are not on the same page regarding the issue of advertising.

"This issue will therefore be debated further, possibly, until a compromise solution is found," the source said. "We are, however, hoping that this matter will be resolved at a political level pretty soon, as they seem to be uninterested in legal/constitutional arguments."

As IGN has previously reported, if the NA rejects the amendments, the bill will be sent to a special mediation committee comprising members of both the NA and NCOP.

If no agreement can be reached on the bill, it dies.

The DTI source said he would update IGN in due course.

Emily Swoboda is the senior staff writer at IGamingNews. She lives in St. Louis, Mo.