While most of the world moves forward with the inevitability of online gambling, with many countries and US states even embracing the potential tax revenues, South Africa is going the other route. South Africa has always had a zero tolerance approach to online gambling, with laws against online gambling existing almost as soon as the first person thought of opening an online casino. But those laws were ignored and mostly unenforced, as reports are pointing out that even 5 years ago, public confessions were often not followed up. All of that has recently changed with a huge and swift crackdown against online gambling
In a series of moves, multiple big winners have recently had their bank accounts seized by law enforcement and their winnings confiscated. New regulations placed on banks require them to report bank transfers of online activity linked to online casinos. The penalties against the banks are severe enough that the banks are forced to comply and have willingly or maybe reluctantly turned over evidence against their customers. The latest crackdown may be one of the reasons that many casinos that are available outside of South Africa have begun promoting the use of Bitcoins.
The campaign against online gambling in South Africa goes even further with recent legislation that holds companies such as internet cafes and even popular wi-fi destinations like a corner Starbucks responsible for online gambling which takes place within their businesses. The fine against the business for knowingly allowing online gambling is more than half a million dollars, which is sure to get the attention of any wi-fi providing business in South Africa.
The crackdown seems more aimed at tax revenues rather than moral objections. Online betting on horses and other limited activities is allowed within the country as long as both the gambler and the company are located within South Africa. Problems arise and laws are broken when the gambling takes place by a person located in South Africa accessing a website located and not licenses in South Africa.