Online Gaming Back on the Table in South Africa

South Africa lawmaker Geordin Hill-Lewis (l.), a longtime advocate for more online gaming, just introduced another bill that would expand virtual games, including poker and casino games. The opposition Democratic Party MP is behind a string of similar bills; so far, all have failed.

Online gaming is once again on the table in South Africa. Democratic Party MP Geordin Hill-Lewis has introduced the latest in a line of bills to legalize the activity. Hill-Lewis’s latest legislation would expand online gaming beyond sports betting to include online poker, bingo and casino games.

He is going up against the African National Congress, which commands a significant majority in parliament and opposes the expansion.

Hill-Lewis is a member of the South African Parliament representing the Democratic Alliance (DA), who have been the official opposition at national level since the 1999 general election.

According to, the latest Remote Gambling Bill is “largely identical to Lewis’ previous efforts,” and like previous versions, “is expected to die from neglect” due to strong opposition.

Last month, South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry asserted there is “no intention on the part of the government to propose the legislation of online gambling.” And Themba Ngobese, CEO of the Casino Association of South Africa, blames illegal online games for a decline in revenues at South African casinos. Growth slowed from 10 percent in the 2012-13 fiscal year to just 0.6 percent in 2013-14.

Presently, South Africa only allows sports betting online.