Gambling away good sense By Peter Collins, IOL July 31, 2018 at 3:44 pm It used to be possible to claim that from 1995 onwards South Africa had some of the best gambling legislation in the world, and that the regulation of casinos in the Western Cape was the best in the world from the point of view of the public interest. Until 2013, when I retired as executive director of the SA National Responsible Gambling Programme, I was able to argue this frequently and convincingly in speaking at international conferences, in acting as a consultant to governments and to gambling businesses in other countries, particularly the UK, as well as in diverse academic publications. The argument was simple: good gambling legislation requires striking a balance between consumer enjoyment and consumer protection and, especially relevant in South Africa, largely suppressing illegal gambling. South Africa was exceptionally successful in all three areas – until recently. Now it all threatens to unravel, especially in the Western Cape.