South African Online Gambling Legality

South African residents are still fairly restricted by the government when it comes to most forms of online gambling, but land based gambling activities such as horse racing and casinos are not restricted in any way and South Africans can legally gamble at numerous venues such as these. Lotteries and one or two other forms of land-based gambling activities are also permitted. On this page you can learn about the basic legality of online gambling including a brief history and also about what we think the future of online gambling in South Africa might hold.

There’s also a small FAQ section answering some of the main questions and you can also learn about some of today’s best fully licensed online casinos that currently accept real cash wagers from South African players.

Table of Contents

Section Description
History In this section you can learn about the brief history of gambling in South Africa, with particular attention paid towards the history of ‘online’ gambling and you can also discover when the main types of legislation were passed, which brings you right up to the current online gambling laws in South Africa.
Legality In this section you can find out more about the legality of online casino gambling as it stands in South Africa today and where it leaves you as a player. Don’t forget that South African players are not breaking any laws when playing in the real money mode at any of our featured SA online casinos.
FAQ In this useful FAQ section you can find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that directly pertain to the current online gambling laws in South Africa. It’s always helpful to have a piece of mind before you sign up to a new online casino for the very first time which is why you should take a few minutes to check out all of these sections.
Future Here we will be taking a look at where we think the future of online casino gambling in South Africa is possibly heading. This is based purely on what we know so far and none of what we predict is therefore set in stone or will definitely happen.
Best Licensed Casinos In this section you can learn about today’s best fully licensed South African online casinos which you can enjoy playing at right now. All of these trustworthy online casinos are controlled by foreign operators and they are licensed by authorities that are based in one of several major licensing jurisdictions around the world.

South African Online Gambling History

The first online casinos started popping up in the mid-1990s and it was around this time when the new National Gambling Act of 1996 was passed after a new Democratic government took office and legalised many forms of gambling. However, it was less than a decade later when in 2004 a more restrictive stance was taken by the standing government and the legislation that passed in 1996 was amended, forming the new National Gambling Act.

Then in 2010 the government made it so online gambling sites that that operate from outside of South African borders and aim their business towards South African players were banned, although very little action was ever actually take against any these operators because they fall outside of South African jurisdiction.

Still to this day many of these same foreign controlled online casinos and other similar sites are the only places that South Africa players have access to. It also looks as though nothing will change any time soon despite there being many calls for change and for a fully regulated online gambling market to be made available to South Africans. There are still no home-grown gambling sites available or any proper kind of legislation in place.

Legality of South African Gambling

In South Africa today the two main pieces of legislation that are currently in place and are the basis of the online gambling environment in the country are still the National Gambling Act of 2004 and also the National Gambling Amendment Act of 2008. These two pieces of legislation were passed to become more relevant to all forms of gambling today, but there’s still no proper framework in place. For example while foreign operators are still not allowed to aim their business towards South African players, there’s nothing to actually stop them from doing so and players cannot be prosecuted when gambling in the real money at these websites.

The waters are still a bit murky when it comes to the current legality of online casino gambling laws in South Africa and due to this confusion many people view the current laws as still being open to interpretation. For example the laws states that a person must not engage in or make available an interactive game except as authorised in terms of this Act or any other national law, but it also states that online betting is legal with a licensed South African bookmaker.

South African Online Gambling Legal FAQ

Future of Online Gambling in SA

While it doesn’t looking like the online gambling laws in South Africa are going to change any time soon, this doesn’t mean to say that changes to the law will not be made. If the government can figure out a way to emulate other major markets around the world and how those authorities operate such as the framework that’s in place in the UK, then and only then will we see any real changes. In the current climate it’s still unclear whether the future is bright for online casino gambling in South Africa. It would be great for the country if the government could come up with a much better-regulated online gambling environment, but only time will tell if things will improve.

Best Fully Licensed SA Online Casinos

The best fully licensed online casinos in South Africa are NOT licensed within the country’s own borders. They tend to be licensed either in the UK (by the UK Gambling Commission), in Kahnawake (by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission), in Gibraltar (by the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority), in Malta (by the Malta Gaming Authority) or in one of several other major licensing jurisdictions and some of the very best online casinos that we can recommend playing at include sites such as Casino .com, Punt Casino, Yebo Casino, Thunderbolt Casino and Springbok Casino.

These are the most trusted SA online casinos out there today. They offer complete player protection and the licensing authorities that have issued these casinos with gambling licenses can provide you with the necessary legal backing that you are entitled to as a player should you ever encounter a serious issue when playing at any of these recommend sites – something which is never likely to happen.

Where to play?

Brand Name Highlights Bonus
Casino.com Top Pick! As our recommended Top Pick this gambling brand Casino .com seems to prevail time and time again both among our experts and the industry alike as a top online casino brand. This not only applies to players from South Africa but across the globe. 100% Match Bonus up to R4,000, plus 200 Free Spins
Yebo Casino One of the longest operating online gambling brands Yebo Casino focuses exclusively on servicing the South African market. Players from SA will find the most convenient banking options dedicated to South Africans along with great games and friendly support. Match bonuses of up to R12,000 free at Yebo
Punt Casino Another one of our personal favourites! Punt Casino is operated by the same group who operates Yebo. This Realtime Gaming powered online casino features an exciting array of slots, blackjack, video poker and other game variations that will surely satisfy the most discerning player. Get up to R10,000 Free at Punt Casino