While it is illegal to gamble online in South Africa, licensed land-based casinos are extremely popular. According to the figures obtained by the South African National Gambling Board, gambling is the most aggressive revenue generator in South Africa. In 2018 it generated 30 billion Rands. The future of the gaming industry is looking very promising as it has been estimated that by 2021, the industry will generate around 25 billion Rands.


Placing a safe bet at brick and mortar casinos


South African gambling legislation has undergone a series of amendments since 1965, the year when the first Gambling Act was enacted. After several changes, South African gambling laws have created a safe and regulated gaming environment that can be enjoyed by players exclusively at brick and mortar casinos. South Africa’s luxury casino resorts catered primarily for poker and roulette players remain a very popular tourist attraction and a way of entertainment for the passionate locals. 


We say “yes” to traditional Gambling and “no” to gambling online – what’s the difference?


Despite its huge potential, online gambling in South Africa is illegal for all local stakeholders involved – the players and the providers of online casino entertainment. The penalties are extremely serious and range between heavy fines and imprisonment with up to 10 million Rands and/ or a 10-year prison sentence. 


Interestingly, since an offshore online casino establishment does not fall under the gambling jurisdiction of South Africa, passionate players are able to find creative ways to join online casinos remotely via VPNs and create a player account in those countries where online gambling is legal.  Thus, for example, https://www.casinobonusesindex.com/usa-casinos/ is a viable option for many players since it provides a comprehensive guide of the world’s most reputable online casinos, software developers and latest casino games. 


 South African government is embracing global trends


Sports betting is the only form of online betting that is actually allowed in South Africa – if it is done through registered and approved companies. It is hard to predict whether other forms of online gambling will become legal in the near future. Recent changes in South African gaming legislation have shown an adequate shift towards safe and responsible traditional gaming conditions, however, the government remains reluctant when it comes to opening opportunities for huge revenues to foreign online casinos. 


With the growth of online gambling globally, gambling legislation in such countries as the UK, the USA, and Canada has been revised to accommodate the demand. 

South Africa, on the other hand, has focused its efforts primarily on tightening up the regulations for land casinos. Discussing the situation around online casinos means opening a can of worms, which may not be ideal for some public figures. In the meantime, players continue to enjoy the perks of modern technology and getting access to their favourite games illegally, despite huge risks. 


Did you know? Tobey Maguire, the legendary Hollywood actor, was once fined $80,000 for playing in an illegal poker tournament. – Now, THAT’S a risk appetite!


Founder of Paisley.org.uk in 1998 and constantly strives to change peoples attitudes to the town, Brian is a self described Paisley Digital Champion who promotes Paisley via any means necessary. You can also follow me on X