Wednesday, November 29, 2006
South African court confirms online gambling ban

The Pretoria High Court made a ruling on 28 November that confirmed the ban in South Africa on online gambling.

In particular, it ruled that it was forbidden for websites licensed by the the jurisdiction of Swaziland to advertise their services to South African residents and to take bets from them. The betting takes place in South Africa, ruled the court, and not on the computer servers in Swaziland, as claimed by Casino Enterprises of Swaziland.

This last aspect of the ruling, that the game takes place at the consumers' jurisdiction is generally accepted and confirmed by the recent gambling ruling of the World Trade Organisation.

The court also recognised that gambling can be dangerous for individuals and that they have to be protected by way of controls. In addition, gambling can be a great source of revenue for the state, which can improve the standard of living - according to the court.

Online gamblers in South Africa could be fined R10-million (US$ 1,4M) or jailed for 10 years, and enforcement authorities warned punters, organisations, banks and Internet providers which advertise or facilitate online gambling that they would be prosecuted. They said to monitor Internet gambling for illegal gambling.