A recent statement from Ladbrokes clarified just how popular sports-betting is within South Africa.
The global sports betting giant Ladbrokes has recently spoken about its plans for South Africa’s growing sports betting industry. The General Manager of Ladbrokes in SA, Anli Kotze, has said that at present the value of the South African sports betting market is R660 million and is expected to grow to over R800 million by 2014.
At present the biggest challenge to the expansion of sports betting is the huge number of unlicensed internet gambling sites operating in the country. Ladbrokes believes that these sites are costing the government millions of Rands in lost taxes. In answer to this Kotze has urged the South African government to create an independent body which would promote sound practices in the South African sports betting industry and standardise the industry.
According to Kotze an industry association would help create “collaboration between licensed operators, regulators and our customers.” Kotze went on to say that she believes the government should block South African residents from all non-licensed gambling operators. Furthermore it was suggested that the government should fine or take legal action against citizens who play at non-licensed operators.
Gaming lawyer, Garron Whitesman, has said that there is a need to clarify South Africa’s online gambling laws especially since the Supreme Court ruled against Piggs Peak Casino last year. Whitesman has said that gambling services may not be offered legally online to South African residents, however, he went on to say that Parliament is “currently debating the creation of a licensing regime for these types of products and we are hopeful that this will come to fruition sooner rather than later.” However, in the meantime Whitesman says that only sports-betting with licensed bookmakers is legal.