South Africa Online Casino Guide

Gambling Industry Overview in South Africa

The following approaches will be presented

  • Gambling legislation in South Africa
  • Gambling authorities in South Africa
  • Online casinos in South Africa
  • and more

Flag of South AfricaCasino and gambling operations have always been quite a controversial matter. The suggestions of local politicians were very different, with traditionalists claiming the country should keep the heavy restrictions. Reformers, on the other hand, were willing to open up the South Africa’s market in order to help the country generate larger revenue.

These are some of the reason why South Africa has restricted online gambling in many of its forms. This leaves local players with the chance of looking for more innovative ways of getting access to online casinos that allow South African players to register.


For a long time gambling in South Africa has been put under heavy restrictions. All forms of gambling were banned by the country’s Gambling Act from 1965. The only exception was made for placing wagers on horse racing.

However, most local citizens were still willing to gamble, which resulted in the opening of several casinos in the autonomous homelands of Ciskei, Venda, Bophuthatswana and Transkei. Still, these casinos were considered as illegal under the country’s laws, no matter that their number had increased to more than 2,000 by 1995.

Relevant Legislation

Gambling Legislation in South AfricaThe gambling regime for the gambling operations was changed when the control over South Africa was taken by a new, democratic Government in 1994. It put its efforts into making a way for the casino licensing procedures allowed by the National Gambling Act of 1996.

Thanks to the latter, a total of 40 gambling licenses were granted across the country’s provinces in order to establish legal casinos, as well as a national lottery and some other forms of gambling. These gaming activities were put under the control and monitoring of the National Gambling Board.

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Then, a new National Gambling Act was implemented in the country’s gambling legislation in 2004. Four years later, in 2008, the National Gambling Amendment Act appeared. Both pieces of legislation were aimed at making the country’s gaming regime more up to date. The same applied to the online gambling sector. Most provinces in the country offer some web-based gambling solutions, but in 2014 online gaming activities were still illegal as a whole in the country.

So, in spite of the traditionally negative attitude towards gambling activities, the Government of South Africa took some measures to making the gambling legislation of the country more modern first by repealing a blanket ban on the gaming activities back in 1994. Then, the introduction of the comprehensive licensing system in correspondence to the National Gambling Act of 1996 came as the next step of the process.

Thanks to the National Gambling Act of 1996, the National Gambling Board was provided with the opportunity to start monitoring and regulating the gambling industry in the country. In addition, the nine local provinces of the countries were given the right to start granting licenses to both land-based casinos and web-based sportsbooks.

The next step towards liberalization of the system took place in 2004, with the implementation of the next National Gambling Act. As mentioned above, online casinos still remained illegal.

The gambling industry is constantly growing in South Africa. This is a reason to believe that further steps will be taken in order to guarantee successful development of the sector.

The body representative of gambling regulatory authorities within the continent of Africa is the Gaming Regulators Africa Forum. It is considered as the credible authority that is responsible both for the country’s regions and for the continent as well. The Forum is willing to maintain a controlled, safe and risk-free gambling market within South Africa, which is the reason why a strategy for all jurisdictions was developed in order for any illegal gambling activities and addiction problems to be avoided.

Online Gambling

Internet Gambling in South AfricaDespite South Africa took off the way of gambling and casino legalization, online gambling is still a part of the gaming industry that is yet to become more popular among local players.

A report made by the Gambling Review Commission in 2011 stated that online gambling in the country should be regulated in order to open the market to both local and foreign players. The Trade and Industry Minister Mr. Rob Davies has also made suggestions that urging online gambling regulations is absolutely necessary in order for the South African gambling market to become more up to date.

Currently, South African citizens are still able to place wagers and play in online casinos based overseas. However, such actions are technically illegal, as stated on the website of the National Gambling Board.

There is a gambling and racing board in each of the nine provinces of the country. In order for the online betting providers to offer their activities, they are required to be first licensed by one of these boards. The largest provider of web-based bookmaker licenses up to date is the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board, which has granted licenses to a total of 32 online bookmakers.

The residents of South Africa are allowed to use these online betting websites legally. Still, interactive gambling services and engaging in Internet-based were prohibited by the National Gambling Act of 2004. The ban also applies to all web-based operators that are licensed in any jurisdiction. Under the provisions of law, interactive gambling is related more specifically to games like poker, casinos and bingo. Online horse race betting, web-based sports betting and the bookmaking business is actually legal on the territory of the country, if the provider is granted the necessary licenses.

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