The National Gambling Amendment Bill will go a long way in strengthening South Africa’s regulatory environment of the gambling industry, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.
The bill, which repositions the National Gambling Board to become the National Gambling Regulator (NGR) — which was adopted by the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry — will be debated in the National Assembly.
“The National Gambling Regulator is established as a public entity with a Chief Executive Officer and a Deputy Chief Executive Officer. The NGR will function without a Board,” said Davies on Sunday.
Gambling is a concurrent competence of provincial and national government. Davies said the bill will strengthen national norms and standards, policy and legislative coherence and cooperative government elements.
He said this will address the issue of a quorum that has been a challenge of the National Gambling Policy Council (NGPC).
“The Council is an important forum provided for in the Gambling Act, where the Minister and Members of the Executive Council (MECs) set the policy context on gambling in the Republic. The quorum has been a challenge that affected decisions taken by the Council.
“The Bill proposes that in the second meeting of the Council, a decision is taken by the majority of the members present in the meeting if the first meeting was not quorate. Furthermore, the national and provincial government are also obliged to consult the Council whenever there are policy and legislative amendments to ensure that policy coordination is achieved,” said the Minister.
The bill also proposes to enhance the powers and duties of the National Gambling Regulator on the inspectorate function in collaboration with provinces.
“This means that punters will have additional protection as the NGR can conduct inspections in provinces in collaboration with provinces and in instances where provinces cannot accompany the NGR, the entity can do so on its own. The inspectors will investigate illegal gambling activities in South Africa and take necessary action against those illegal activities in collaboration with relevant institutions.”
The bill extends the operation of the National Central Electronic Monitoring System to all other modes of gambling.
The Bill was introduced to Parliament in August 2018 and had many proposed amendments. The proposals will be addressed at a later stage.
The current Bill focuses on technical amendments to strengthen the governance of the NGR, to ensure the cooperative government in setting the national policy on gambling and other amendments that include the procedure for the forfeiture of unlawful winnings linked to the mandate of the NGR.