Dean Macpherson was elected to Parliament in 2014 at the age of 29 after growing frustrated with the economic path South Africa was taking. Since then, he has fought issues relating to the crisis in manufacturing, growing incentives for industrialisation and fighting adverse legislation which seeks to undermine the economy. Dean believes in opening up markets for the competition which leads to inclusive growth, especially in digital spaces while scaling back on unnecessary government regulations.
Dean, you are an adamant believer in cutting back on unnecessary regulation government regulations, can you give us an example of gambling legislations that you would cut back on?
Dean: I think the obvious one has to be the backward stance taken by the DTI and Cabinet with respect to online gaming. Its a no brainer that South Africa is losing out on revenue as well as not being able to offer the protection consumers are given in the formal gaming sector.
If government were to cut back on certain regulations in the gaming sector, do you think licensed operators would still operate ethically?
Dean: Government can not be the only person ensuring operators operate ethically. I believe that industry stakeholders have a big part to play in ensuring ethical standards are complied. Deregulating industries does not and should not mean a decrease in adherence to the law.
You will be delivering the opening address at the BiG Africa Summit titled, Key Factors Driving New Legislation in Gaming, can you give us a few hints as to what these factors are?
With the appointment of a new Deputy Director General for Consumer Regulation in the DTI, whom I have a lot of respect for, I believe the time is right to resolve outstanding issues in Gambling Legislation once and for all. This will be the main focus of my address.
What are some of the biggest challenges facing the gambling sector in terms of legislation and regulation at the moment?
Dean: If we are to remain competitive amongst international countries we really need to get with the times. We are being overtaken not only by Eastern European countries but now in Africa. As we all know with the boom in connectivity in African counties, it is only a matter of time before we are completely left behind. Alternatively, we can adopt the approach to be the leading provider of gaming technology and services in the the continent.
You will also be speaking on the panel discussion titled: Insights Into Africa’s Regulations: A Full African Report of the Gaming Sector, what legislations will you be sharing with the panel of regulators? And what do you look forward to learning about from the regulators on the panel?
Dean: Gaming is something that is continually evolving and so I am looking forward to hearing about new trends and what other African countries are doing to attract investment in this sector as well as at the same time provide the required protections consumers need in a market such as this.
What do you look forward to by being a part of the 6th Annual BiG Africa Supershow?
Dean: Last year was the first time I attended and really enjoyed the frank discussions that took place as well as the opportunity to meet some of the faces behind the industry. This year I am excited to see how far we can progress towards building a sector that is truly innovative as well as offering a model that other countries can look to in terms of regulation and consumer protection.