Mbeki Signs South African Bil

21 July 2008

The National Gambling Amendment Bill, which was approved on May 9, 2008, has finally been signed by Thabo Mbeki, South Africa's president, but implementation has been delayed until further notice.

Wayne Lurie, a South African attorney specializing in commercial, Internet and Internet-gaming-related law, confirmed with IGamingNews Monday that Mr. Mbeki signed the bill on July 10.

Mr. Lurie explained, however, that commencement of the act, which establishes a legal and regulated online gambling scheme in South Africa, has been suspended until a date chosen by the president.

He linked the delay to a separate bill addressing the taxation of Internet gambling transactions that was introduced separately by South Africa's Treasury this summer. The bill is awaiting approval by Parliament.

"I suspect that this is because the associated gaming tax law is yet to be settled," he said. "I do not imagine though that there will be inordinate delay in that process."

Regulations on licensing and enforcement must also be written.

However, an official from the Department of Trade and Industry, which introduced the National Gambling Amendment Bill in December 2006, told IGN in June that they are currently being drafted.

IGN will follow up as more information becomes available.

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