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Gambling Laws in South Africa

Land-based gambling in South Africa is legal under the National Gambling Act 2004 (Act 7 of 2004) and its amendments, the latest being the National Gambling Amendment Bill from 2018. However, Section 11 of this law prohibits online gambling in South Africa saying that a person must not engage in or make available an interactive game except as authorized in terms of this Act or any other national law. Interactive gambling in South Africa refers specifically to games such as casino, poker and bingo. Online sports betting and online horse race betting are legal in the country, provided that the person conducting such business holds the necessary provincial bookmaker's license, or is using a website with proper license. On 20 August 2010, as a result of the North Gauteng High Court judgement on the jurisdiction of online gambling transactions in the country, online gambling offered through servers located outside the country was also prohibited.    

The body responsible for regulation of all types of gambling activities in the country are the National Gambling Board of South Africa as well as the many Provincial Gaming Boards. The National Gambling Board is responsible for the oversight of the regulation in the gambling industry throughout the country while the provincial gaming boards are responsible for granting licenses to operators in the gaming industry. According to South African gambling laws, minors, under 18 years of age are prohibited to participate in gambling activities.

Is Online Gambling Legal in South Africa?

No, all forms of online gambling are illegal in South Africa, with exception of online betting and online horse race betting as well as the online lottery and bingo which do not enter the definition of interactive gambling games according to the South African laws.

Online Casinos in South Africa

There are plenty of casinos operating in all metropolitan areas in South Africa. Some of the most popular among them are the Tusk Rio Casino Resort, which is also the 5th largest casino in South Africa as well as the Tsogo Sun Montecasino, located in Johannesburg. As of June 2019, however, there are no online casinos in South Africa. Online gambling in the country is prohibited under the National Gambling Act 2004, so no South African online casino licenses are on the offer. Gambling on foreign internet casino sites is also illegal after the North Gauteng High Court judgement from 2010.

Online Poker in South Africa

Poker in South Africa can be played for cash in some of the land-based casinos operating in the country. Online poker sites in South Africa, however, are not legal, as of June 2019. Although there are no specific South African online poker laws, the general prohibition on gambling coming from the application of the National Gambling Act 2004 holds for this game too. Gambling on foreign online poker sites from the country is also illegal after the North Gauteng High Court judgement from 2010 .

Online lottery in South Africa

The South African National Lottery is run by ITHUBA Holdings, which received a 10 year licenses in 2015. The work of the lottery is regulated by the National Lottery Commission which was established back in 2000 with the purpose of supervising the lotto sector in the country. As lotto games do not fall within the prohibition for online gambling of the National Gambling Act 2004, online lottery in South Africa, is legal and highly popular. Games such as LOTTO, LOTTO PLUS 1, LOTTO PLUS 2, PowerBall, PowerBall PLUS and SPORTSTAKE 13 are all available for play through the South African National lottery website. Foreign online lotto sites are actively blocked from accessing the South African market.

Online bingo in South Africa

As it is the case with the casino and poker gambling sites, online bingo sites in South Africa are also not legal, as of June 2019. Although there are no specific South African online bingo laws, the general prohibition on online gambling in the country coming from the National Gambling Act 2004, holds for this game too.

Online sports betting in South Africa

Sports betting in South Africa is highly popular and legal under the National Gambling Act 2004. As licenses for sports betting are provided on provincial level, the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board (WCGRB) seems to be currently the largest provider of online bookmaker licenses. Their list of licensed providers includes some of the most popular online sportsbook sites in South Africa as well as on the African continent, such as the sites of Sportsbet, First bet, Betta Bet and Betway. Horse betting is also legal in the country. Until 1996 betting on horse races was the only legal form of gambling in South Africa. Currently betting on horse races is controlled by Saftote and operated by the Gold Circle in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, while in the remaining provinces is operated by Phumelela. Foreign internet sportsbook sites are actively blocked from accessing the South African market.

Online daily fantasy sports in South Africa

Online DFS sites in South Africa do not have an explicitly legal status. However, considering the legality of some online sports betting in the country, many interpret  internet Daily Fantasy Sports as not falling under the definition of interactive games, which is making them legal in the country.