South African Gambling at Online Casino Sites
Although there are no legal online casinos that operate from within South African borders, there are plenty of online casinos that operate from offshore locations and they are generally licensed either in Kahnawake, Malta, Alderney, Gibraltar, Antigua & Barbuda, the Isle of Man or in the UK.
You will also find that most South-African friendly online casinos are powered either by Realtime Gaming (RTG) software, by Microgaming or by Playtech. For many years now, South Africa has tried implementing a more relaxed approach towards online gambling, but it has achieved very little success in this area.
Online sportsbetting and horse racing is allowed in South Africa, but only when the gambler places a wager directly through a South African-licensed online sportsbook or through a South African licensed company. When it comes to online casinos, it’s a different story altogether. The courts in South Africa still maintain that gambling at a South African online casino is illegal.
In mid-August 2010, online casino gambling was made illegal after a new high court ruling in Johannesburg. Accessing an online casino via South African Internet service providers instantly became illegal, as did the act of processing a payment to or from an online casino. Advertising online gambling was also banned.
Less than one year later, in February 2011, the National Gaming Board (NGB) made it clear that the online gambling activities which are not permitted by the National Gambling Act of 2004 specifically relate to interactive/casino type gaming content whose outcomes are determined in cyberspace.
However, all wagers that are placed on sporting events, horse racing and other similar events, either via the internet, over the phone or by other similar means were perfectly legal. This licensing authority also made it clear that any unlicensed gambling operators who do focus their business towards the South African market could be turned away for a license when online casinos do eventually become legal.
If an operator is found guilty under the 2004 Act, they can be fined up to ZAR10 million (South African Rand) and a possible ten year jail sentence. The worst case scenario though is if jail time and the steep fine are both passed down. Parliament in South Africa made several attempts to try and make online casinos legal, the first such attempt in 2008 with the Interactive Gambling Bill and then again just two years later in 2010.
Some Great Links for South Africa Visitors
- South Africa Online Casino - Explicitly dedicated to those who live and reside in South Africa looking to play at online casino site. This South African online gambling guide only provides and reviews online casinos that offer players the opportunity to play in RAND currency. The guide is thorough and provides good information to SA players.
- Responsible Gambling South Africa - If you live and reside in SA and either have a gambling problem yourself or know of someone who does this gambling help center can be of service to you.