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How Does Online Gambling Work In South Africa?

How Does Online Gambling Work In South Africa?

Est. Reading: 4 minutes
Online gambling is one of the most popular pastimes for whole hosts of players around the world. It generates huge amounts of revenue and as such has been subject to rules and regulations to make sure that it’s carried out in a safe manner. However, this does mean that some players don’t have access to online gambling because of it.

China is an example of a country that attempts to outlaw online gambling. South Africa approaches things in a slightly different manner though. We’ve taken a look at what you can and can’t do in online gambling South Africa.

Rules & Regulations

It might sound strange as online gambling is very popular in South Africa, but a lot of gambling options aren’t legal within the country. The only online gambling options that are totally legal within South Africa are sports betting and lotteries. It’s quite a strange choice as players do have the option to use brick and mortar casinos, they just can’t play at an online casino. There is regulation in place for both sports betting and lotteries online, but this regulator does not cover online casinos.

It’s still a bit of a grey area for South African players though. The reason for this is that the law within South Africa doesn’t tend to focus on people who play at these sites. It focuses on the people who run them. So, a site that’s located within South Africa would be targeted by law enforcement. However, a player who decides to play at an online casino is unlikely to be targeted. It means that players have to play at offshore online casinos if they want to play at an online casino within South Africa.

The main thing in relation to offshore sites is that they don’t have a regulatory license from South Africa. So, there’s no specific regulation in place to protect players from the region. This doesn’t mean that they don’t have any regulatory licenses at all though. There are a number of sites available to South African players which have a license from some top regulators. It allows for players in the country to play without having to worry about how trustworthy the site is.

What Can You Play?

Well, the first options that most people will take a look at are the legal options. Sports betting and lotteries are both available online in South Africa. They have full regulation in place, so there’s a lot of protection and security associated with them. It also means that there’s no risk in terms of illegal activities. So, you don’t have to worry about payment being seized when playing these games.

There is just a single national lottery in place in South Africa. Which is not a bad thing. It means that everyone in the country plays together and therefore the potential payout is much higher. Sports betting is different though. This covers a massive selection of different sports which means that fans of pretty much anything can bet on whatever they like. There are also lots of different markets for each sport, which again increases the options that are available.

Sports betting and lotteries are the most protected way to play in South Africa. This is because of the South African legislation that’s in place.

Of course, playing at an online casino is still an option here. There are a big range of different online casinos available, which have regulatory licenses from other jurisdictions. This includes big names such as the MGA and UKGC. The sites are located offshore, which means that they don’t come under the power of the South African government and therefore they cannot stop them offering the services to South African players.

What most players in South Africa tend to do is choose an online casino that’s got a good reputation. Either that or a big name online casino. There are a lot that offer services within South Africa, so there’s a lot of choice available. It means that players can easily find a site that’s both trustworthy and has a top quality regulator in place.

Of course, if you still don’t want to play at an online casino that’s not regulated by the South African government, then you can play at a brick and mortar casino. This is a slightly different experience though and isn’t available to everyone.

What’s Next?

As far back as 2008 there were amendments to the constitution that were aiming at legalising online gambling. However, for some reason these amendments were left unfinished. It means that unless they are completed online gamblers have to reside within the grey area that they currently play in. It is a bit of a negative issue as online gambling is obviously very popular, and it also means that there is the potential for players to be charged if the government decides to change their approach.

Despite all of this, it doesn’t mean that things will always be like this. For starters the amendment hasn’t been shot down. The owner of Norsk Casino said that these kind of regulations are going on in their country as well. For now it looks like they will go to a full regulated market like Sweden, better and safer. So, there is still the chance that it will end up being made official in the future. However, this would require some degree of pushing both from the people and the politicians. There are a lot of benefits behind making online gambling completely legal, mainly that players will have greater levels of protection. But, as is often the case, unless there is a benefit near the top of the change it is not likely to take place any time soon.


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