Experts are predicting that the South African government may find that proposed laws to ban online gambling will be unenforceable.
The new National Gambling Bill goes before parliamentary committees for debate and according to IT attorney Reinhardt Buys, the new bill could run into unforeseen problems and is unlikely to eliminate Internet gambling.
This view seems to be backed by the South African Chamber of Business (SACOB) which said: “SACOB believes this provision will be very difficult to police. One only has to consider the high rate of pornographic material and spam that is distributed via the Internet and the difficulty in combating it to be aware that the monitoring of material accessed over the Internet is an extremely difficult task, and as yet no appropriate solutions have been found.”
Online gambling is not just regulated by the Gambling Act, as each of the country’s nine provinces also have their own gaming laws, while the Electronics Communications and Transactions (ECT) Act and the Reserve Bank Act touch on gaming by governing foreign exchange transactions.
The new Bill will ban Internet gambling and the advertising of online casinos. Not only the operation of an online casino, but also gambling at such a casino will be banned and criminalised.
A February 2003 survey by the National Gambling Board found that 0.6% of South Africans gamble online (roughly 250 000 people). Merrill Lynch estimates 2001 online gaming revenues to have exceeded $7.106 billion worldwide.
Binion’s Horseshoe To Re-open
The legendary Binion’s Horseshoe hotel-casino will reopen April 1 after the Nevada Gaming Commission voted unanimously to grant West Virginia-based MTR Gaming Group a gambling license.
The commission required MTR and seller Harrah’s Entertainment to put $3 million aside so gamblers could redeem any outstanding chips at the bitcoin dice downtown property and complete pre-opening cash statements and financial projections.
Harrah’s Entertainment will manage Binion’s Horseshoe on a day-to-day basis for a year and has the option of extending the agreement for up to an additional two years.
MTR would own Binion’s Horseshoe through a subsidiary called Speakeasy Gaming of Fremont Inc.
Ted Arneault, MTR’s president and chief executive officer, said after the specially-arranged meetings that the sale price was about $20 million.
MTR owns Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort in Chester, W.Va., and the Speedway Casino at the Ramada Inn in North Las Vegas.
Under the agreement, Harrah’s will retain the rights to the lucrative Horseshoe name and the World Series of Poker. The 35th annual poker tournament is scheduled to begin next month at Binion’s Horseshoe.
Harrah’s officials said it will hire about 900 people to work at Binion’s Horseshoe, with at least 70 percent of those being former employees. Senior management will consist of Harrah’s employees already working at the company’s Las Vegas hotel-casinos.
Nevada Gaming Commissioner Arthur Marshall said before the vote it was “important to get this thing done … and get downtown back into action.”