Betfair Exits South Africa

Betfair, the top UK gambling company has announced its exit from the South African online gambling market.
This decision has been taken due to last September’s Supreme Court of Appeal ruling that online gambling is illegal in South Africa and failure to abide would result in fines.

With such a judgment, the South African government made its stand on online gambling very clear and has even prohibited all forms of advertising when it comes to online gambling games.

Swaziland-based Casino Enterprises, operator of Piggs Peak Casino, Piggs Peak Poker, Piggs Peak Bingo and Volcanic Gold Casino had appealed against the ruling but the appeal was rejected by the Bloemfontein Supreme Court of Appeal. The company had to therefore terminate their entire gambling game activities in connection with South Africa.

Tom Tuxworth, Betfair’s Public affairs manager, said that following the Court’s decision, Betfair will therefore prohibit access to its South African players by blocking the country’s IP. Their South African players have till the 14th of February 2012 to cash out their balance.

As per Tom Tuxworth, this was a wise move especially in light of the vain and costly efforts made by Casino Enterprises to contest the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Tuxworth says that they had finally come to the end of this after a careful planning as such a discontinuation needed some prior testing and a smooth communication process with their South African players.

Betfair has in the interim been applying for a sportsbook licence in the Western Cape. Sports’ betting is legal in SA under current regulations. So it seems that South Africans are not quite rid of Betfair yet as they will be able to participate in Sports betting if Betfair obtain a license which seems highly likely.

Written by John Freeman for Gambling Games.