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South Africa’s increased gambling regulations mocked by opposition

Ghaleb Cachalia
Recent moves to strengthen South Africa’s gambling prohibition have inspired the nation’s opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, to release a mocking statement this week.

Ghaleb Cachalia (pictured), the shadow Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, claimed the Government had hatched a plan to “ban the internet to stop online gambling.”

Last month the South African Government moved to revise Section 54 and provide regulators with a green light to enforce new punishments on online betting operators and punters.

The move to update the nation’s online gambling regulations was met with derision.

Cachalia said last week that online gambling is “a thriving industry with a growing number of fans” and believes that instead of alienating that market and forcing them to illegal offshore bookmakers, that any revision of gambling laws should provide protections for them.

While the South African Government does not need the support of the Democratic Alliance, it didn’t stop Cachalia having his fun, criticising opposition MP Robert Haydn Davies, who was leading the charge to amend Section 54.

“Overall, Minister Davies’s broad policy direction, and his decisions over the last 12 months, are damaging to the South African economy, deterring to investment and, ultimately, are costing jobs,” he said.

“Increasingly, the minister’s policy disposition is towards greater state control, greater punitive measures, wider ministerial powers, and heightened mistrust and antagonism of the business community.

“This amendment bill is no exception.”

South Africa’s two major parties are clearly split on legalised gambling. The country may not see an open betting market while the ANC is in control.