South Africa is one of the most attractive regions for gambling operators. But now online gambling in the country is severely limited, and some time ago and in general was banned.
Top 5 popular online casinos in South Africa
Under a strict ban, gambling fell into 1992. The only relief for the industry is dated 1994, when the new government of South Africa adopted changes to gambling legislation, legalizing gambling in land-based casinos, as well as sports betting and betting on horse racing on the Internet. The amendments came into force only in 1996.
Nevertheless, today South Africans can freely play on foreign websites of online casinos, despite the fact that it is considered illegal. Many online institutions, despite the prohibitions, continue to accept players from South Africa, offering them the opportunity to play in South African ranks (R).
Discussion of legislative amendments at the level of the government of South Africa is ongoing. It is expected that soon online casinos still will be legalized. It was recently reported that the government of the Republic of South Africa agreed to grant 10 licenses for online casinos. This would be a significant step for the development of the industry in the region. However, at the moment these licenses are still not implemented.
The company Slotegrator, which has extensive experience as a supplier and consultant in the online gambling market, conducted an online survey of the most visited gambling sites from South Africa. Based on this, the experts made a rating of the 10 most popular South African online casinos.
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Gambling business in South Africa is allowed since 1994. All forms of gambling are legalized, except for the online sector. Only sports betting and betting on horse racing are allowed online. More than 40 casinos work in South Africa. The most casino is in Johannesburg, Gauteng province. There are 4 large casinos, which all together contain more than 180 tables for card games, more than 5,200 slot machines and video poker.
The most famous brands of South African casinos:
- Tsogo Sun holds 14 licenses;
- Sun International – 13 licenses;
- Peermont Global – 8 licenses;
- London Clubs International – 1 license;
- Desert Palace Casino;
- Leithlo Resort.
Revenues from gambling in South Africa remain roughly the same and are measured in billions of South African rand. For fiscal 2015-2016 gross income from legal gambling business amounted to ZAR 26.3 billion or USD 1.86 billion. The largest revenue is brought by the casino – 70.5% of gross income.
At the same time, most of the players take part in the national lottery – 78.9%. Only 10.6% play in the casino. Three quarters of the population have ever taken part in any gambling. More than half of residents consider casinos or gambling quite a worthy way of organizing leisure.
Brief description of South Africa
South Africa is the Republic of South Africa, a parliamentary republic in southern Africa. This is the most developed country in the continent and the only African state in the G20 (the “Big Twenty”).
The country recognizes 11 state languages, it has a lot of white, Asian and black people. The first to colonize the Dutch in 1652. South Africa has a rich past – in the 19th century Anglo-Boer wars were fought for diamonds and gold, in the 20th century there was a long apartheid. All this left an imprint on the conditions for the development of business, economy, and society.
The currency is the South African rand, denoted by ZAR or R. The rate in December 2016 is USD 0.0709 for ZAR 1 or ZAR 14.1 for USD 1.
The country mainly exports diamonds, gold, platinum, machinery and equipment. Import – oil and products. South Africa ranks 39th in the ranking of countries where it is convenient to conduct business.
History of gambling in South Africa
The gambling business in South Africa was banned until 1994. The law, called the South Africa’s Gambling Act, adopted in 1965, banned all forms of gambling, except for horse races. They were recognized as a sport.
Illegal casinos began to develop since the late 1970s. They worked in bantustans Boputatsvan, Siskey, Transkei, Venda.
Bantustans – a special phenomenon in the history of South Africa. They are somewhat similar to reservations in the US, but have their own characteristics. This is the territory that was used as a reservation for the indigenous black population of South Africa. Some bantustans gained independence, and this made it possible to organize a gambling business. For example, in Bophuthatswane built a city-casino Sun City.
Only ethnic South Africans could live in bantustans, and most citizens could not legally enter these institutions. Nevertheless, by 1995 there were about 2000 casinos in the country.
When apartheid ended in 1994, and a democratic government came to power, all forms of gambling were resolved. The National Gambling Act, which was issued in 1996, approved a casino licensing system and a state lottery. Horse racing was again recognized as a form of gambling.
Legislation of gambling in South Africa
The age limit for the player South Africa is 18 years. Minors do not have the right to play in gambling establishments.
There are three acts defining the legal framework for gambling in South Africa:
- National Gambling Act of 1996;
- National Gambling Act 2004 – complementing the previous one;
- National Gambling Amendment Act 2008, which determines the position of the online gambling business.
The National Gambling Act of 1996 clearly specifies how casino licenses should be distributed between the provinces of the country. The total number of licenses is 40 pieces. They are distributed as follows:
- Western-Cape province (center – Cape Town) – 5 licenses;
- North-Cape province (Kimberley) – 3;
- East-Cape Province (Bisho) – 5;
- KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg) – 5;
- Free State (Bloemfontein) – 4;
- North-Western Province (Mafeking) – 5 licenses;
- Gauteng (Johannesburg) – 6;
- Mpumalanga (Nelspruit) – 4;
- Limpopo or Northern Province (Polokwane) – 3 licenses.
According to the same act, no entity (organization or person) has the right to hold more than 16 casino licenses across the country or more than 2 licenses in a separate province.
The National Gambling Act defines:
- the terminology of gambling;
- what is considered a gamble;
- mechanism of operation of the National Gambling Board.
Regulators of gambling in South Africa
National Gambling Board – the state regulator of gambling in South Africa. The duties of the regulator include:
- determine the rules by which the gambling business operates;
- carry out investigations;
- collect statistics;
- responsible for the proper handling of gambling.
The South African Bureau of Standards is responsible for the standardization, testing, analysis, calibration and certification of gaming machines, electronic monitoring systems and other casino equipment.
South African Casino Association
There is another player in the gambling business of South Africa – the Casino Association of South Africa (CASA). The association was founded in 2003. Key tasks of the organization:
- unite casino operators and shareholders;
- provide more information about the casino to the public;
- to achieve greater understanding and transparency of gambling business.
The organization unites almost all casinos of the country. Representatives of the government itself hold 37% of the shares of various land-based casinos. Members of the association provide more than 100,000 jobs.
Legislation of gambling online in South Africa
The National Gambling Amendment Act of 2008, which until now has not been finalized, recognizes the online gambling business in South Africa is partially illegal. Equally illegal as the organization of online gambling, and participation in them. Partly – because not all types of online gambling are banned.
The law prohibits so-called “interactive games”:
- casino games;
- sports betting online;
- betting on horse racing online;
- and in general the business of bookmakers. Naturally, the organizer of the BC should have a license from the government.
Any subject, whether the organizer of a website or the bank conducting transactions for gambling on the Internet, is punished with a fine of R 10 million (USD 709 thousand) and / or 10 years of prison term.
However, the law does not provide for punishment for individual players. From this it follows that the players can play in the casino, whose servers are placed abroad.
Types of gambling in South Africa
National Gambling Board conducts the following classification of gambling for its account:
- casino – board games and slots;
- rates on horse racing and sports, which are offered in bookmakers and sweepstakes;
- machines with limited bets and prizes -Limited Payout Machines (LPM);
- Bingo-traditional and through electronic terminals (Electronic Bingo Terminals, EBT).
South African casinos offer a wide range of card games, peculiar not only for the European, but also for the South African continent.
- For example, in Cape Town very popular game is klawerjas (klawerjas) – an old Dutch game with a bribe, it is still popular in the Netherlands. The goal is to collect the optimal number of bribes.
- The game Kaluka (kalookie) – a kind of rummy. The goal is to dial certain combinations.
- Thuni (Thuni or Thunee) is a game typical of South Africa. Basically, it is popular with Asians. The rules of the game also require you to score a certain number of points.
More games that are popular in South Africa:
- cribbage is an English card game;
- canasta (canasta) – a species of rhammi;
- samba (samba) – a variant of the canal;
- skat (skat) – a game of bribes from Germany;
- cats and mice (spite and Malice) – a form of competitive tapeworm;
- shithead (shithead) – the game for the loss of all cards.
Revenues from gambling business in South Africa
For fiscal 2015-2016 gross income from legal gambling business amounted to ZAR 26.3 billion or USD 1.86 billion.
- The largest revenue is brought by the casino – 70.5% of gross revenue or USD 1.3 billion;
- after them there are rates – 16.9% or USD 315 million;
- then LPM (Limited Payout Machines, machines with limited payments) – 9.0% or USD 167 million;
- on the fourth place bingo – 3.6% of gross income or USD 66 million.
The provinces bring different gross revenues from gambling:
- The gambling industry in Gauteng province earns the most – 40% or USD 745 million in fiscal 2015-2016;
- the second place is occupied by the Western-Cape province -15.6% or USD 291 million;
- the third place is taken by KwaZulu-Natal – 18.5% or USD 344 million.
Gauteng produces the highest gross income in casinos, stakes and bingo. The highest income in the LPM sector is received by the Western-Cape province – 30%.
The number of slot machines in South Africa’s land-based casinos in 2015 was 23,415. Revenues from slots – USD 969 million
The number of tables in 2015 in all casinos in the country was 932 pieces. The income from them is USD 237 million.
Taxation of gambling in South Africa
The deductions to the country’s budget are also estimated in millions of dollars. In 2015, South African authorities received $ 262 million from the gambling business. This makes up 28% of the gross income of gambling establishments.
- Tax deductions include three types of payments:
- Corporate tax is collected from corporations. Its value is based on the company’s income;
- gambling tax – is collected from the license holders by the provincial authorities. The value is calculated according to the gross revenue of the licensees;
- value added tax – is calculated on the basis of the value added at each stage of production and exchange of goods and services. It is also charged to the casino, not to the players.
Gambling business online in South Africa
Despite the fact that gambling online in South Africa is banned, all players themselves are able to use the services of international casinos. Players can invest in local currency, which simplifies the service. But there is one nuance: from October 4, 2016, authorities can confiscate the winnings of online players. The Department of Trade and Industry published a new amendment to the National Gambling Amendment Bill, according to which, the court has the right to confiscate and detain the players’ winnings.
Thus, you can play online – but not the fact that you can get your winnings, because even transactions inside the country are prohibited.
Ban online casino
Casino games online, bingo and unlicensed lotteries were outlawed in 2010, when the Gauteng province court banned the online casino Swaziland Based Pigg Peak. The precedent was created, and since then all the domestic online casinos have been completely banned.
Only three types of online gambling are legal:
Everything else is included in the so-called “gray market”. It remains to be seen whether the government will continue to consider the legalization of the online business or not.
Bill Remote Gambling Bill
For some time, the bill Remote Gambling Bill, which can legalize gambling online in South Africa, was discussed.
The bill Remote Gambling Bill considered:
- licensing issues;
- the amount of rewards and prizes;
- responsibility of the provinces and the National Board;
- standards for online casino equipment;
- issues of protecting the rights of players.
Act, for example, prescribed the following limits:
- forbade playing minors;
- forbade lending to players;
- limited the limits of advertising and promotions online casino.
In May 2016 the project Remote Gambling Bill was rejected.
Representatives of the Department of Trade and Industry, which also deals with the entertainment industry, believe that the bill draws insufficient attention to the social problems associated with online gambling.
When the bill was considered on May 27, 2016, a member of the National Liberation Party Shaik Emam (Shaik Emam) argued for refusing to accept the bill:
“The careers of ordinary people are destroyed because they allow white collars to cover their losses at their expense.”
These are the general sentiments in the government. In fact, there is a fairly strong lobby of land-based casinos who do not like the fact that websites take more and more participants from them. Opponents of the bill are observed, for example, for online business in Europe: websites were selected by almost 20% of visitors to offline casinos.
The supporter of the bill and representative of the Democratic Alliance, Geordin Hill-Lewis (Geordin Hill-Lewis) consider this a mistake:
“Industry regulation is the best way to protect the public. The 2008 National Gambling Amendment Act has not been accepted so far. Because of this, online gambling suffers from confusion. ”
Supporters of legalization of online business lead and such argument: the government loses millions rands, not legalizing a web-casino. The Association of Casinos of South Africa (Casino Association of SA) cites such figures:
“The country loses about ZAR 110 million (USD 7.8 million) at illegal online casinos. At the same time, the aggressive policy of online casinos makes land institutions lose money. The gain in profits slowed to 0.6%. ”
At the moment, the issue with online business remains unresolved. ”
Best online casino for South Africa
Below is a list of online casinos where the interface allows South Africans to play with all the amenities:
- Springbook casino;
- Casino Las Vegas;
- Slots Magic;
- White Lotus Casino.
Online slot machines in South African casinos
South African casinos offer popular five-reel video slots common in online venues:
Demographics of gambling in South Africa
According to the National Gambling Board in 2016, 15.3% of the total population is constantly gambling.
For five years there was a slight decrease in the number of players in the casino, bingo, betting and LPM sector. But the purchase of tickets to the state lottery increased.
For example, in April 2015, the following statistics were observed:
- 78.9% of players buy state lottery tickets;
- 11.2% play scratch-cards;
- 10.6% – in the casino;
- 7.1% – private lotteries;
- 6.2% – horse racing and sports betting;
- 0,4% – bingo;
- 0,3% – LPM;
- 17.5% are engaged in illegal gambling.
Illegal gambling games are recognized in unlicensed institutions and online casinos. It should be noted that over the past few years the number of participants in illegal gambling has decreased. In November 2012, 41% of players played illegally. Now in 2015-2016 – only 17.5%.
Gambling is recognized only 9.9% of the total number of players. More blacks began to play -19.8% in 2015-2016. The number of players, whose age is from 25 years, is increasing.
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- 2.1 Brief description of South Africa
- 2.2 History of gambling in South Africa
- 2.3 Legislation of gambling in South Africa
- 2.4 Regulators of gambling in South Africa
- 2.5 South African Casino Association
- 2.6 Legislation of gambling online in South Africa
- 2.7 Types of gambling in South Africa
- 2.8 Revenues from gambling business in South Africa
- 2.9 Taxation of gambling in South Africa
- 2.10 Gambling business online in South Africa
- 2.11 Bill Remote Gambling Bill
- 2.12 Demographics of gambling in South Africa
- 2.13 Online casino Australia
- 2.14 Best online casino Australia has on offer