Types Of Illegal Gambling In South Africa

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  1. Types Of Illegal Gambling In South Africa Right Now
  2. Types Of Illegal Gambling In South African

Types Of Illegal Gambling In South Africa Right Now

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Types Of Illegal Gambling In South African

The question of whether playing online casino games (poker, roulette, black jack, etc.) is legal in South Africa is one we often get asked, so we decided to give you the lowdown and clear the air, in our is online gambling illegal in South Africa article.

Is online gambling illegal in South Africa?

Well, the short answer is Yes and No! The National Gambling Board (NGB) is responsible for overseeing and regulating land-based gaming venues in South Africa. The legislation outlines the forms of permitted gambling, which includes land-based casinos, gaming machines in licensed premises and sports betting (phew…). All lotteries are governed separately by the Lotteries Act of 1997. So what this means is that the legislation does not permit online casino gambling in South Africa, but does allow other types of gambling related activities.

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For those that are looking to get involved in online casino’s we at BSB can’t really offer too much advise, but we can recommend that you go check outwww.southafricaonlinecasinos.co.za which is a site that has everything you need to know about Casino Betting in South Africa. They’ve also got some great reviews up of websites that South Africans can access as well as being aguide for those new to Casino Betting.

Anyway enough about that, let’s dive into the actual law.

The casino, undisputed king of gambling business in South Africa, is facing little rebels these days. The advancement of technology caused this, new types of gambling are emerging which are electronic bingo terminals, limited payout machines and sports betting outlets. South African National Lottery. The government of South Africa has yet to legalise online casinos, which means it is currently illegal to own and operate online casinos within South African borders, and is a prosecutable offence. Similarly, it’s illegal to gamble at domestic or offshore online casinos, although South African authorities have yet to prosecute anyone for.

  1. In 2011, there was an update made in the gambling laws of South Africa, which says that online gambling is illegal within the borders of the country. Even though there are certain online casinos that accept native South African players, from a legal point of view, we would not recommend opening an account.
  2. Illegal gambling often takes the form of otherwise legal games put on in illegal venues, which complicates the issue even further. Slot machine must be licensed. One of the most common types of illegal gambling involves games that may otherwise be legal in illegal venues that do not have permission from the state to operate.


In 2004, the NGB passed the National Gambling Act which banned online casino gambling within our borders. Online casino gambling via offshore servers was thereafter also prohibited in South Africa. At this point, many of the foreign online casinos stopped allowing South African customers from playing with them. Other online casinos have remained open to South Africans and continue to offer safe and reliable gaming to this incredibly lucrative market. The only case we know of where foreign online casino operators have been prosecuted for accepting business from South Africans, was in 2011, when the Supreme Court ruled against Piggs Peak Casino based in Swaziland.


So, the truth is that although online casino gambling remains illegal within South Africa, there are many operators outside of its borders which allow South Africans to play casino games online. Not only do these operators from foreign countries welcome South African players but many of them offer bonuses, rewards and special promotions in Rands. Some of these casinos even claim to be exclusive to South Africa and only accept ZAR. However, they are registered in countries such as Malta, Guernsey, Gibraltar, etc. where obtaining licenses is cheap and easy, and tax is minimal.

Types Of Illegal Gambling In South Africa



Some piece of mind for online casino gamblers is that South African players have little to be concerned about getting in hot water. The South African online gambling laws target the online casinos themselves and not individual players. The huge amount of tax revenue the government loses out on to these operators is their major headache – not putting gamblers behind bars. We’re not condoning punters going offshore and gambling in illegal activities here, just stating the current state of affairs.

National Gambing Board Laws


The NGB dictates that the responsibility rests with the gaming operators as well as the banks that process payments, to play by the rules – and not with you. It’s not entirely impossible, however, that your winnings are confiscated en route to their bank accounts and deposited in the Unlawful Winnings Trust, administered by the NGB. This is highly unlikely, but unfortunately there’s no possible recourse if it does happen to you. When we say confiscated we mean bye bye money, we’ve experienced it ourselves and it usually starts with a call from the bank informing you that the funds are being confiscated and why.

Land-based and online sports betting through a licensed bookmaker is legal and always has been. In actual fact, it’s the only above board option if you want to use an online platform to place any kind of wager. The legality of online sports betting supposedly rests on the fact that the internet serves only as the medium for betting; the actual outcome is decided in the real – not the virtual – world.


A 2011 Gambling Review Commission pushed for new online gambling regulations that could help open up the online casino market in South Africa. It suggested that if government were to draw up new legislation and enforce online gambling regulation controls, not only would it gain a firm hold of the market, but also generate a significant amount of revenue. Hopefully this comes to fruition soon and spurs development of a thriving and fiercely competitive online gaming market in South Africa.

So to summarise the question, is online gambling illegal in South Africa? Yes, online Casino Gambling is illegal BUT online Sports Betting is not illegal!

We don’t know yet how the government might licence, tax and oversee online casinos, but the new industry has the potential to generate Billions of Rands which could be used for the benefit of our country. We hope this article helped answer the age old question of Is online gambling illegal in South Africa?

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