South African online casino Piggs Peak has shut down their operations for good after losing a long running court battle with the South African National Gaming Board. At least 50 employees are expected to lose their jobs as a result of the closing.

Where’s the Action Taking Place?

Piggs Peak had been battling South African authorities over technical issues regarding their operation for years. Casino owners claim that the gaming action they provide takes place on their servers which are located in Swaziland, where online gaming is legal. (Swaziland is a small, landlocked country that is surrounded by South Africa on all sides.)

The Gaming Board has long maintained that the gambling actually takes place on the user’s computers, most of which are located in South Africa where online gambling is illegal. In October of this year a South African Court sided ruled against Piggs Peak, essentially forcing the casino to shut down permanently. The company relied on South Africans for around 90% of its business.

The Bigger Picture
The issues brought up in this case hit home for affiliates, webmasters and iGaming companies across the world and makes the case for keeping a broad range of customers. Piggs Peak was so reliant on South African gamers that losing them was more than the company could take. Online poker sites like Full Tilt and Poker Stars were able to withstand, more or less, the loss of the American market because they served a worldwide audience. (Though the loss of American players still had a serious impact on them.)

This case also reaffirms the need for affiliate marketers to keep abreast of legal issue and be prepared to react to them with a strategic plan. Last summer, Bodog pulled out of the American market entirely in anticipation of legal actions like the kind that hit the online poker business. Company officials said that the action allowed them to focus operations on countries where gaming is legal and gaming laws are less ambiguous.

Are you drawing gamers from a worldwide audience, or focusing on a specific region? Let us know in our online gambling laws and regulations forum.

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