Gambling has a distinct place in the South African culture for quite a while now. Recent studies have shown that more than 80% of the South African adult population have indulged in some form of gambling. Contributing to this high percentage of players is the availability of online casinos and now, mobile casinos. The slightly confusing laws related to gambling in the country have also been directly responsible for the rise in the number of South African players at online casinos.
It has been strictly regulated since 1673. The first official gambling legislation in South Africa was the Gambling Act of 1965. It legalized only horse race betting; all other forms of gambling were banned. This led to the emergence of illegal land-based casinos in Ciskei, Transkei, Bophuthatswana, and Venda. As a result, there were more than 2000 illegal casinos in the country by the early-1990s. This led to the legalization of almost forms of gambling by 1994 and the passing of the National Gambling Act in 1996.
The National Gambling Act enabled the establishment of licensed casinos and also a national lottery. Changes were made in a modified version of the Act in 2004: different forms of land-based gambling and also online gambling and other forms of gambling like sports betting were legalized. Another set of changes were proposed in 2008 to further regulate gambling, but this law did not make online gambling a criminal activity, it merely increased the level of difficulty for operators looking for a gambling license.
An updated version of gambling legislation was passed in 2011. This law did not allow for legalization of all possible new forms of gambling, including online casinos. The catch, however, is that the laws are directed at the online casino operators and not the players. In recent times, things have been further complicated, with a few operators being granted the license to offer online casino gambling to South African players. As a result you will find quite a few online casinos that are targeted at South African players, and the ones that are most popular are the casinos run by overseas operators.
There are a significant number of online casinos available for South African players to play at. We list for you here the top online casinos for South African players.
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Online gambling is very popular among players from South Africa and across the world because of the many advantages it offers compared to the traditional land-based casinos and other land-based gambling forms like poker, bingo, and sports betting in general – horse race betting, greyhound racing, and many more. In this section we list out the top advantages that online gambling offers.
Online gambling is considered the most convenient form of gambling. You do not have to put even a foot outside the door; you are able to play your favourite games directly from the comfort of your home. That means you automatically cut out on a lot of overheads – additional expenditure involved in traveling to a casino or any other gambling joint, cost incurred on food and drink and also stay (if you are traveling outside your location), external dependencies like the weather, and more.
Another major advantage that online gambling offers is ease of play. You can play any game that you want and not have to wait for your turn, unlike at land-based casinos. All you have to do is sign up or log in, ensure your account is funded, choose your game, place your wagers, and start playing.
There is another big advantage when it comes to ease of play. Online gambling almost always gives you the luxury of trying out a game in free play mode – i.e. you play the game without spending any money. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the game and its nuances, get comfortable with the online gambling environment, and also work out your play strategy. The only games that you do not get for real money play are usually the live dealer games, and that too because there is cost incurred by the casino in running those games.
One of the best benefits that online gambling offers you is the choice of games. Regardless of the software provider powering the casino or poker room or any other online gambling site, you get a superb range of games to choose from. If you are at an online casino you get a whole variety of games to pick from. There are slots – they usually make up the bulk of the games and come with fantastic features to help you pick up wins, card and table games like blackjack, roulette, craps, and table poker, specialty games like bingo, Keno, and scratch cards, and also massive progressive jackpots.
Online casinos encourage you to play for real money, where you wager your money to play the games of your choice and the good part is you get to keep whatever you win. As an incentive casinos offer fabulous bonuses and promotions. These bonuses can effectively maximize your bankroll and give you more money to play with. You get to keep your winnings provided you fulfil the terms and conditions attached to each bonus.
Online casinos offer a range of betting options that enable you play with minimum wagers per hand. The bets can go as low as 0.01 and also as high as 10.00. There are also casinos that have amazing high wagers for high rollers to use. So you can play regardless of your style of play and your betting choices – you will do well as a regular player as well as a high roller.
All online gambling websites offer players a completely secure gaming environment. Security has always been a big concern among players because of the remote nature of gaming that happens at online casinos and other gaming sites. Casinos recognize this concern and use sophisticated digital security technology, including 128-bit secure socket layer (SSL) encryption, to protect your money and also any personal data you are required to provide at the time of signing up or making a withdrawal request.
Also, all payments are carried out using dependable and well-known payment providers. The South African casinos that we list also accept payments with locally popular methods like EFT and SiD.
Fair Gaming While an online gambling outfit, be it a casino or a poker room, always has an edge over the player – the house edge – the games available at every recognized casino are completely fair. These casinos use a random number generator (RNG) that is tested and certified for fair play by recognized third party auditors and testing agencies. The casinos also get their payout percentages audited regularly to ensure fair play.
If you are a South African player new to online gambling you will definitely have questions about the different aspects of playing online. We have put together a list of the top Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that you see relating to online gambling.
AOfficially, online gambling was not legal in South Africa. Regulations dating back to 1965 made only horse race betting legal, leading to the mushrooming of illegal land-based casinos. However, it is safer to say that this is now a grey area; there are operators getting licenses to set up online casinos for South African players. Gambling laws against online casino gambling target the operators and not the players. You can sign up with any of the casinos on our list but you will have to take the final call pertaining to playing at them for real money on the basis of the legality aspect.
AAs a South African player looking to gamble online you get literally all the games that you want. If you are at a poker room you will get a range of good poker games including Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, and many others. If you are at an online casino the choice is massive – you get a superb selection of slots, blackjack, roulette, video poker, and many more games. Some casinos also offer live dealer games and progressive jackpots.
AThere are a large number of casinos nowadays accepting South African players. There are many of them that allow you to make payments in the local currency, the South African Rand (ZAR), though there are also casinos that accept payments in US Dollars. All the casinos on our list accept payments in Rand.
AOnline gambling is completely fair and safe. Casinos and other gambling websites use 128-bit SSL encryption and nowadays the HTTPS protocol to guarantee complete protection for your funds and personal information that you give them. The RNGs are audited and certified for fair gaming.
AAs a South African player you do not have to try too hard to play at a top-class online casino. All the casinos that we list on our website are proven to be among the best available for South African players. Each of them has been rigorously tested for the games and bonuses and also other parameters like payments, security, customer support, and more.