DTI Provides Responses on National Gambling Bill

Department of Trade and Industry

The setting up of the envisaged National Gambling Regulator (NGR) with the proposed governance structure will improve efficiency.

The trade and industry department declared this while briefing parliament on responses to stakeholder comments on the National Gambling Amendment Bill.

The bill was tabled in parliament in August 2018.

It aims to amend the National Gambling Act of 2004, so as to:

•    amend and delete certain definitions;
•    transfer the regulation of bets on national lottery, foreign lottery, lottery results and sports pools to the National Lotteries Commission;
•    prohibit dog racing and bets on dog racing;
•    strengthen the regulation of casinos, limited pay-out machines and bingo;
•    provide for the procedure for the forfeiture of unlawful winnings to the National Gambling Regulator;
•    provide for the regulation of the horseracing industry;
•    provide for broad-based black economic empowerment in the gambling industry;
•    provide for the repositioning of the National Gambling Board as a National Gambling Regulator;
•    enhance the powers and duties of the gambling inspector;
•    provide for certain new offences;
•    provide for transitional arrangements; and
•    provide for matters connected therewith.

Hearings on the proposed legislation were held at the end of October 2018.

The department also emphasized that the bill does not introduce any new policy position to those contained in the National Gambling Policy.

The department clarified that the “underlying objective of gambling regulation in SA is punter protection and regulation of gambling and not revenue collection”.

In terms of the NGR to be a public entity and not a board, the department indicated that there is “overwhelming evidence across South Africa that shows that Boards are problematic and adds significant costs to the fiscus and impact negatively on service delivery”.

The department also confirmed that the prohibition of online gambling will remain.

Meanwhile, the department also recently briefed the trade and industry committee on issues raised by stakeholders on certain clauses of the Copyright Amendment Bill.

Comment on specific clauses was called for in October 2018.

Some of the clauses included amending the existing definition of ‘collecting society’ (clause 1); adding the rights of distribution and rental (clause 4, section 6) in order for the Copyright Act to provide for rights of distribution and authorising rental; empowering collecting societies further (clause 25, Section 22C), by allowing the right to request information and to clarify what collecting societies may negotiate on behalf of members and to clarify section 28 (clause 28) to avoid unintended consequences and will apply where work was not made with the authorisation of the copyright owner.

Some of the responses include that the introduction of “collective management organization” will be in line with treaty language but the term itself is no different from “collecting society”, fines/penalties are intended to result in industry compliance, usage reports are necessary to prevent authors and performers from not receiving their due and collecting societies to receive report.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

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