When Will Online Gambling in South Africa Become Legal?

South Africa has a unique set of gambling laws. For decades, nearly all forms of gambling were completely illegal here. Today, there are legal options to make bets here, yet online gaming options remain limited. Many are now calling for online gambling in South Africa to become legal.

Today, we’re going to look at South Africa’s current set of laws on the land-based and online gambling industry. We’ll also look at why so many are pushing lawmakers to legalize internet gambling.

Evolution of South Africa’s Gambling Laws

The real history of gambling in South Africa dates back hundreds of years. Up until the 20th century, gambling was legal, yet heavily restricted. In 1965, the government cracked down on the industry and declared that all forms of gambling were completely illegal.

As you might expect, this ban created a huge black market for the gambling industry. Small, illegal casinos began opening around the country. By the early 1990s, the government realized they needed to make a change. Lawmakers passed the National Gaming Act in 1996, giving gambling companies a legal avenue to offer their services.

Under these new laws, companies could receive a license from the government to offer casino games, bingo games, and horse racing odds. In 2006, lawmakers here updated the country’s gambling laws. Regulation over the industry got stricter and online gambling in South Africa was deemed illegal.

Today, there are 40 land-based casinos in South Africa. They’re hugely popular with both tourists and locals. Let’s take a quick look at how much revenue this country’s gambling industry is bringing in.

Gambling Is One of South Africa’s Fastest-Growing Industries

For the past 20 years, the popularity of gambling has exploded in South Africa. The rise in legal land-based gambling options has breathed new life into the industry. Revenue earned from gambling in South Africa has never been higher here.

In 2018, the gambling industry here earned more than 30 billion rand ($2,091,000 USD). This money is only from legal gambling establishments. Most analysts feel that when adding the revenue from the unregulated online gambling industry, the figure goes up tremendously.

A recent report states that by 2021, this country’s gambling industry could be worth 35 billion rand. It would represent a massive increase over a very short period of time. Unfortunately, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) here is known to be heavily against gambling activities.

For obvious reasons, many are now calling for online gambling in South Africa to become fully legal. It’s clear that millions of people here enjoy wagering online, yet the government is missing out on millions of dollars without regulation. Is this likely to happen anytime soon?

Online Gambling in South Africa Should Be Legal, Says Analysts

Under their current gambling laws, online gambling in South Africa is illegal. Unlike some countries in Africa that choose to simply ignore this industry, lawmakers here have outright banned it. It doesn’t make much sense, considering the huge number of individuals that still choose to bet online here.

It’s well-known that many of the top online gambling sites in Europe currently accept players in South Africa.

The Casino Association of South Africa (CASA) states it is neither for nor against online gambling legalization. Officials in this company recognize that there’s an issue, yet they can’t agree on whether or not making online gambling legal will benefit the country. Themba Ngobese, CEO of CASA, recently commented on the effects of online gambling legalization to the media.

Ngobese feels that lawmakers need to decide on either pursuing legal action against illegal online gambling operators or opening up the industry.

“This will also ensure that consumers are protected and that online operators contribute positively to the economy, as the current land-based licensed casinos do,” he said.

The DTI agree with the first opinion. Heads of this group want to see the government ramp on restrictions on this industry that punish individuals caught gambling online.
South Africa is working on new ways to generate revenue. If online gambling in South Africa becomes legal, the government will likely earn millions of revenue from taxes every single month.
Do you think this country should make online gambling legal? Let us know in the comments section below!

Kevin Oldroyd

A longtime sports and gambling enthusiast, Kevin looks to present up-to-date and reliable information for readers. If he’s not writing, he’s probably watching MMA or playing blackjack.

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