South Africa Strikes Again

Clients are warned by banks in South Africa that online gambling is illegal

A gloomy beginning of the week for South African punters who wish to use their credit cards for gambling purposes – namely, their banks have started warning them that buying lottery tickets overseas, or gambling online using their credit cards, is illegal, adding that accounts will be monitored for such transactions.

Reportedly, the banks received an advisory opinion of the Financial Surveillance Department of the Reserve Bank of South Africa that such actions would represent a misuse of credit and debit cards. In addition, here’s what the Exchange Control circulars stated:

“Residents may not participate in lotteries organized abroad or participate in any online gambling activities, as such participation contravenes the Lotteries Act 57/1997 and the National Gambling Act 7/2004 as amended by the National Gambling Amendment Act 10/2008.

“Residents may not use their credit or debit cards in the Republic to facilitate payments for the purchase of foreign lottery tickets and online gambling.

“Accordingly, authorized dealers must decline requests to purchase foreign exchange for such purposes in all instances.

“In addition, all issuers of American Express, Diners Club, Mastercard and Visa cards, may not accept debits against SA resident cardholder’s accounts in respect of the payment for the purchase of foreign lottery tickets or online gambling activities.”

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