The economy of South Africa has been recording an impressive growth in the recent years. As the most industrialized nation on the continent, the country has been going in the right direction for the past few decades largely thanks to favorable legislative changes aimed at strengthening various economic aspects.
Like the rest of the world, South Africa has been struggling in the recent months due to the pandemic as the nation GDP experienced the worst decline since the 1990s. While these unexpected obstacles will certainly leave a mark on the country’s economy, it’s a temporary crisis that the nation will likely bounce back from once things get back to normal.
Over the last few years, 2020 notwithstanding, South African economy has been on the constant uptick, with the gross domestic product per capita trending in the right direction year on year. Keeping up with modern trends in business, the country’s developing economy has reached the point where it can compete even with some of the world leaders in certain branches.
Rich in natural resources such as diamonds, gold, iron, and various other ores, mining companies are at the core of the country’s economy. South Africa is the largest producer of platinum in the world and the country is also quite famous for its coal deposits.
In the recent years, however, the country has been turning more and more to the manufacturing side of things, which is one of the reasons why South Africa managed to keep up the positive trend. With the mining sector gradually declining, manufacturing of cars, ships, and even weapons is starting to take a more prominent role in the country’s overall economy.
The country also has a well-developed financial and communications infrastructure which bolsters the local economy but also helps bring foreign investments that are crucial at this point, especially for the manufacturing sector.
Many countries around the world and especially in Europe are turning their attention to online gambling. Realizing the earning potential from the iGaming market, these countries are creating legal frameworks for licensing the gambling operators and taxing companies as well as players.
In South Africa, online gambling still remains somewhat of a gray area.
Strictly speaking, nearly all interactive gambling activities are illegal in the country according to the 2011 law currently in effect. However, the current regulation is directed primarily at the operators and not the players. The situation is similar to the one in New Zealand, where it’s illegal for someone to operate an online casino within the country but players are free to play at any number of offshore sites.
That’s why SA players have access to a number of quality casinos like those available in New Zealand. Operators are more than happy to accept the players coming from South Africa as they aren’t breaking any actual laws by doing so. With online gambling being quite popular in the country, this works well for the casinos. However, the country doesn’t get any benefits of the taxation or licensing and players are left to their own means in terms of finding safe and reputable sites to play with.
With South African economy suffering consequences caused by the pandemic and lockdowns, perhaps it is the high time for the government to look into the possibility of actually regulating the online gambling industry.
A good set of iGaming laws could help contribute a significant amount of money to the country’s budget while simultaneously creating a safer, better regulated environment. If done properly, this is something that a majority of SA players would likely support as well.
While the iGaming sector may seem like a drop in a bucket when compared to other major industries in the country, the 2011 law is simply ineffective and serves no purpose. While online gambling is technically prohibited, people continue to play on the internet with no restrictions and the only winner is the overseas companies raking in the profits.
Of course, drafting a viable iGaming act and then passing it through all the necessary channels takes time and effort.
There is no telling if and when the country will be ready to take the next step in this direction but it does feel like something should happen soon. It would benefit everyone and it would ensure that players from South Africa are given access only to the best operators around as it is usually the biggest and most trustworthy companies that have the time and resources to successfully complete the licensing process.
It’s not likely anything will happen in the following months as country has much more pressing issues to deal with at the moment. However, once the air has cleared a bit, perhaps a new and modern interactive gambling bill would be in order.