The Republic of South Africa has a special place in the African gambling scene.
The nation has a rich gambling history that dates back to 1673, and until today, real money wagering continues to be the choice recreational activity for millions of South Africans. In fact, the nation ranks second in terms of countries with the highest population of gamblers in the African continent.
It would also be imprudent not to mention that one of the world’s largest and most successful gaming companies, Microgaming, has its roots in South Africa.
Needless to say, gambling is legal in South Africa and it is well regulated by The National Gambling Board. The country has a highly profitable legal casino industry that accounts for about 72% of its R30 billion gross gambling revenue. There are more than 35 land-based casinos which are located in several towns and cities across the nation. The capital, Cape Town, hosts five-state-of-the-art gambling parlours while Johannesburg has four.
South Africans also enjoy playing lottery games like Lotto and Powerball which are offered by the National Lottery. Sports betting is also incredibly popular among the locals, and there are several locally licensed online bookmakers that accept wagers from residents of the country. You can also find licensed bingo halls and horse racing tracks in various Provinces around the nation.
With regard to online casinos, the South African market is flooded with hundreds of legitimate gambling sites that target players from the country. Some, like Yebo Casino and Springbok are South-African focused but the majority are international brands like Casino.com and Genesis Casino. All these sites have bonuses for players in the country, and the vast majority do allow customers to deposit and wager in South African Rand (ZAR).
Read on to learn more about the country’s gambling history and casino regulation. You will also discover the best desktop and mobile sites for South African players in our exclusive list of the top casinos ZA.
As you already know, mobile gambling is becoming increasingly popular among online casino players all over the world. Players from South Africa are no exception.
Online gambling enthusiasts in the country enjoy playing real money games on their mobile devices, mainly because it is fast and convenient. Luckily for these punters, South Africa is a key market for the global online casino industry, and a majority of the sites that accept players from the country are optimized for mobile. This means that you can enjoy the same quality and seamless experience should you decide to play using your smartphone or tablet.
The majority of South African punters use Android devices to play real money online casino games on mobile. The most used smartphone brand is Samsung with a market share of 44%. Popular models include Samsung Galaxy J5 and the high-end Galaxy S10. Huawei devices like the P9 Lite are also pretty popular, while Apple is the third most used brand with a market share of 15.49%.
As of September 2018, the rate of smartphone penetration in the country was over 81.72%, meaning that about 46.9 million South Africans owned a smart device. The majority of the population (85.7%) is connected to 4G and LTE internet, which is fast enough for seamless gameplay. For the best gaming experience, we recommend that you use our guide to the top mobile casinos in SA. These sites do not only function perfectly on smartphones, but they also run promotions for mobile players. Also, they offer top notch security, a wide variety of payment methods for mobile, high-quality mobile-optimized games, and excellent customer support.
It is said that native South Africans had been gambling long before the first white settlement was established in 1652. In 1673, the Dutch declared all gambling activities illegal and this continued to be the case until the first Gambling Act was passed in 1965. The legislation banned all forms of wagering activities except horse racing. This is because betting on horse races was seen as a sporting activity. Late in the 1970s, casino-style gambling establishments started popping up in the independent areas of Bophuthatswana, Venda, Transkei, and Ciskei. These areas were known as homelands or Bantustans, and they were considered independent states by the Apartheid government. The legendary Sun City Casino opened in 1979 in Bophuthatswana.
All gambling activities became legal when the new democratic government took over in 1994. It is believed that more than 2000 unlicensed casinos were operating across the country by 1995. The year 1996 has a special place in South Africa’s legal gambling history. In the year, the country passed the National Gambling Act which paved the way for the creation of the National Gambling Board to regulate all real money gaming activities, including betting on horse racing and lotteries. The legislation further allowed each of the nine Provinces to issue casino licenses to operators. The proposed number of licences in the Act was 40.
The Lotteries Act passed in 1997, and the first members of the National Lotteries Board were appointed in the following year. The former President Thabo Mbeki launched the South African National Lottery in March 2000.
In 2004, the legislature overruled the National Gambling Act of 1996, replacing it with another Act that made it illegal for licensed operators to offer online casino gambling services. Four years later, the National Gambling Amendment Act of 2008 was introduced with the aim of legalizing online wagering. However, the Gauteng High Court went on to negate the Act in 2010 by declaring that offshore operators were not allowed to offer real money gambling services to South Africans. The last attempt to legalize the activity was in 2014 through the introduction of the Remote Bill, but there is no available information on the outcome of the proposition. Until today, the National Gambling Board maintains that it’s illegal for internet casinos to operate in the country, but online sports betting with a South African licensed bookmaker is legal.
As we move into the future, we can only hope that the Government will authorise online casinos since there’s huge potential for this market. It is believed that millions of South Africans place online wagers each week, and legalizing internet casinos could be highly beneficial to both the players and government.
There is no doubt that land-based casinos are legal in South Africa. Although gambling parlours were officially authorized in 1994, these establishments had been operating in the Bantustans long before then. However, it was the National Gambling Act of 1996 that made it possible for the government to protect players by regulating the operators.
The casino sector in the country is regulated by the National Gambling Board. However, each of the nine provinces has a racing and gambling board that vets and issues licenses to operators. So far, there are about 39 licensed casinos located in the various metropolitan areas around the country. Johannesburg and Cape Town boast the largest number of legal establishments.
The South African law allows brick-and-mortar casinos to offer a wide variety of games including slot machines, poker, craps, roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and 21 to name a few. The only requirement is that you have to be at least 18 years to visit the casinos and play these games. The largest land-based casino in the country is the Rio Hotel Casino Convention Resort, which opened in May 2002. The ultra-modern establishment, which is ranked sixth largest in the world and largest in Africa in terms of square area, offers about 274 slot machines and 11 tables. The Peermont-owned facility has seven other sister casinos across the country.
Another land-mark casino in the country is the GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World in Cape Town, where you can find more than 2563 slots, 10 poker tables, and 79 table games. You can also experience world-class gambling services at several other luxury facilities like Time Square Casino in Menlyn, Montecasino and Carnival City Casino in Johannesburg, and Suncoast Casino in Durban. In addition to the casinos, South Africans also have access to other forms of gambling like bingo, lotteries, and betting on horse racing.
When it comes to online gambling, the law explicitly states that it is illegal to offer real money games to the citizens of South Africa through the internet. However, bookmakers can apply for permits to offer online sports betting from the Provincial Licensing Authorities. Nevertheless, the gambling community in South Africa continues to partake in various online wagering activities at international gambling sites licensed in other jurisdictions. The government has no control over these operators since they are licensed outside the country, but players risk having their winnings confiscated by the Gambling Board whenever they play at these sites.
South Africans enjoy playing a wide variety of casino games on their computers and mobile devices. The most cherished games include slot machines and poker. Table games like Roulette, Craps, Blackjack, Baccarat, and 21 are also pretty popular. All these games can be found at the leading South African casinos. Apart from casino-style gambling, South Africans also enjoy sports betting and horse racing. The most popular sports for punters in the country are football, rugby, and cricket. Bingo and lotto are also played by a huge percentage of the population. In fact, about 80% of the adult population in South Africa admits to playing the National Lottery games regularly. These include Powerball and Lotto.
Yes. Land-based casinos are legal in South Africa and the industry is regulated by the National Gambling Board. The country’s gambling law, however, does not allow locally licensed operators to run internet casinos.
The legal age to gamble in South Africa is 18 years, according to the country’s Gambling Act. The age requirement applies to all forms of wagering activities, whether on-the-ground or online. These include casino gaming, sports betting, betting on horse races, bingo, and lotteries.
Each of South Africa’s nine Provinces has at least one licensed land-based casino. You can find casinos in various towns and cities like Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Bloemfontein, Klerksdrop, and Kimberley.
Yes. The current gambling law in South Africa does not allow licensees to offer online casino services to the citizens, but the law does not apply to offshore companies. This means that you can gamble at internet casinos licensed in other jurisdictions without legal consequences.
No. At the moment there are no locally licensed online casinos in the country. However, there are several South African focussed online casinos like Punt Casino, Yebo Casino, Silversands Casino, and Springbok Casino.
Yes. There are loads of incentives for South African players who want to gamble on the internet. Examples of promos that are available to punters from the country include no deposit sign-up bonuses, match deposit welcome offers, free spins, mobile bonuses, cashbacks, and reload bonuses.
Yes. All the casinos we feature do allow players to deposit, play and withdraw in the South African Rand.
All the leading online casinos in SA provide players with a variety of safe, reliable, and convenient payment methods for easy and secure banking. Depending on the brand, you can credit your account using various methods like:
The majority of casinos recommended by us will process your withdrawal request within 48 hours. After this, you can receive your winnings on the same day if you’re withdrawing to your crypto or e-wallet. Other methods like Bank Transfers may take longer.
Yes. The leading online casinos in South Africa offer a wide variety of games, including progressive jackpots. Browse through the game lobbies of our recommended casino to find popular jackpot titles like Microgaming’s Mega Moolah, Divine Fortune and Hall of Gods by Net Entertainment, Aztec’s Millions by Real Time gaming, and the Age of Gods by Playtech.
Yes. All the casinos we feature are mobile friendly, and they are designed to run smoothly on various mobile devices. You can sign up and start playing the available games right from the browser of your Android, Windows, Blackberry, or iOS device. Some even offer downloadable apps that you can install to your mobile device for the ultimate gaming experience.
We do not only recommend the top casinos, but we also point you to sites that have exclusive bonuses and promotions for South African players. Read our reviews to find out where you can get the best no-deposit bonuses, welcome offers, reload promos, cashbacks, free spins, bonuses without wagering requirements, and loyalty programs.
Being one of the largest markets for the global online gambling industry, it is only natural for South Africa to attract scores of international operators. Just try to search online casinos in South Africa on the internet and you will be amazed by the results.
However, this does not mean that all these sites offer quality services or a safe environment for real money gambling. As such, we always advise our readers to be extremely cautious when choosing an online casino. This simply means that you should take your time to evaluate the available options to see if they meet all your needs as a player. Nevertheless, we know that this is no easy task, and it would take days on end to get this done.
For this reason, we have a dedicated team of online casino experts who are afraid to go all out and do all the work for you. They test and review hundreds of real money gambling sites and only recommend the ones that meet the highest standards. We can guarantee that all the sites in our list of the best online casinos in South Africa excel in all aspects with regard to:
You can trust our online casino experts to analyze and tell you the truth about the quality of security offered by various gambling sites. In our safety and security reviews, we aim at answering various questions such as the technology used to secure the casino website and whether the operator is PCI compliant.
All the sites we recommend offer a vast selection of high-quality, instant-play games that can be played from any device, including smartphones and tablets. Some of the games that you can play at the top South African online casinos include classic and video slot machines, progressive jackpots, virtual table games like Baccarat, Roulette, Blackjack, and Craps, and several live dealer games.
If you’re an avid internet casino player then you know that software is critical in online gambling. This is why we only recommend sites that are powered by reputable and experienced software providers like Net Entertainment, Playtech, Microgaming, Betsoft, Real Time Gaming (RTG), IGT, and Evolution. These providers do not only publish high-quality games, but they are also publicly audited for fairness.
We present to you only the best gambling sites that support South African friendly payment methods for easy banking. Examples of popular casino banking methods for players in South Africa include Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards, Skrill, EasyEFT, Entropay, Skrill, Neteller, and ecoPayz. Besides supporting a wide variety of convenient payment methods, these sites also allow players to deposit and play using the Rand.
All sites featured on our website have a good reputation when it comes to honesty and fairness. They are licensed and heavily regulated in jurisdictions like Curacao, Gibraltar, Malta, Antigua and Barbuda, and the UK, and the authorities in these countries are pretty serious about player protection. This means that they do not rig their games and they also pay without hesitating. They are also audited by independent firms like TST, GLI, iTech Labs, and eCOGRA.
Customer support is a critical service in online gambling. Our expert casino reviewers know this, and they take various aspects of customer care into account when rating the top operators. You can rest assured that we only partner with the brands that offer timely and comprehensive support to players. Fast Payouts What’s better than beating the house in your favorite game? The answer is, receiving your winnings on time. In our reviews, we go all out to find the brands that pay out within the shortest time. We also consider other factors like processing fees.