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TRADE AND INDUSTRY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
23 September 2003
NATIONAL GAMBLING BILL: VOTING
Chairperson: Dr R Davies (ANC)
Documents handed out:
TRADE AND INDUSTRY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
DTI: Proposed Amendments to the National Gambling Bill, 23 September
DTI: Suggested amendments to clause 26 of National Gambling Bill
National Gambling Bill [B48-2003]
National Gambling Bill [B48B-2003]
The Committee deliberated on the proposed amendments that resulted from the submissions made during the public hearings. The redrafting of clauses was discussed and further redrafting was done in conjunction with representatives of the Department of Trade and Industry. A motion of desirability was passed at the end of the meeting.
The Chair said the purpose of the meeting was to see how the Bill might be amended. Since Limited Payout Machines (LPMs) had turned out to be the most contentious issue, he suggested that the meeting first deal with other issues. He asked Ms Astrid Ludin, Deputy Director-General of Consumer and Corporate Regulation of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), to take the meeting through the proposed amendments pursuant to submissions made to the Committee.
Ms Ludin presented the amendments chapter by chapter, starting with the changes to the definitions in Chapter 1.
Mr C Lowe (DA) referred to the amendments proposed for Section 12 and 13 of the Bill (Chapter 2) and said he was concerned that the Committee might be over-legislating regarding inducements and advertisements. Clarity was required about what was allowed.
Ms M Ntuli (ANC) wanted to know the criteria for someone being excluded from using a casino (in terms of Section 14).
Ms Ludin replied that the Bill must prescribe how this would be done - people would for instance show their IDs and then casino personnel would check the names against a National Gambling Board register.
Mr D Lockey (ANC) referred to the placement of automatic teller machines (ATMs) in terms of Section 17. He wanted to know if the DTI was leaving a backdoor open, because it seemed the department was saying the ATM issue would be taken care of via licensing.
Ms Ludin replied that the location of ATMs was not left to license conditions. Provincial legislators had to consider the social impact when licenses were renewed.
The Chair then asked the meeting to consider the issue of LPMs (Section 26), reminding the Committee that the Minister of Trade and Industry indicated the previous day that he did not support prohibition.
Prof B Turok (ANC) suggested that Section 26 could go further than in its present form. It could specify the environments and/or circumstances in which LPMs would be allowed.
The Chair agreed that the regulatory route in Section 26 should be made tougher. It should contain provisions for the Minister to allow the rollout in phases, as well as for proper socio-economic impact assessments and input from local communities on whether they wanted LPMs in their areas. Provinces should be able to minimise the number or LPMs in their region if they wished.
Ms Ludin said she had some possible redrafting proposals in this regard (see attached document).
The Chair commented that the DTI's redraft did not capture the phased approach. It needed to be made clear that the Minister was able to decide the different phases and set a ceiling on each.
Mr Lockey (ANC) suggested that there should be a provision to roll back LPMs if studies in a particular location showed an adverse socio-economic impact. Referring to Section 66, he said police officials and inspectors of provincial gambling boards should have the same powers. The only solution for illegal gambling was to empower the police to confiscate and destroy illegal machines.
Mr J Strydom, Legal Advisor for the DTI, said the Bill needed to give the same powers to Gambling Board Inspectors as those bestowed upon the Police by the Criminal Procedure Act section 81.
Mr Ludin reminded the meeting that the Bill was creating a framework. The primary responsibility for illegal gambling was with the provinces.
The Parties then voted on the Bill. It was unanimously approved with amendments and put forward for NCOP consideration.
The meeting was adjourned.
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