South Africa is one of the most attractive regions for gambling operators. But now online gambling in the country is severely restricted, and it was some time ago and was generally banned.
Under a strict ban, gambling fell in 1992. The only relief for the industry is dated 1994, when the new South African government passed changes to gambling legislation, legalizing gambling. money in land-based casinos, as well as sports betting and horse racing on the Internet. The changes did not take effect until 1996.
Nevertheless, South Africans can now play freely on foreign websites of online casinos, even if this is considered illegal. Many online institutions, despite bans, continue to accept players from South Africa, giving them the opportunity to play in the South African ranks (R).
The discussion of legislative amendments at the level of the South African government is underway. Online casinos are expected to be legalized soon. It has recently been reported that the government of the Republic of South Africa has agreed to license 10 for online casinos. This would be an important step for the development of the industry in the region. However, at the moment, these licenses are still not implemented.
Slotegrator, which has extensive experience as a supplier and consultant in the online gaming market, conducted an online survey of the most visited gaming sites in South Africa. On this basis, experts rated the 10 most popular South African online casinos.
Gambling in South Africa has been permitted since 1994. All forms of gambling are legalized, with the exception of the online sector. Only sports betting and horse betting are allowed online. There are more than 40 casinos operating in South Africa. Most casinos are located in Johannesburg, Gauteng province. There are large 4 casinos, all of which contain more than 180 tables for card games, plus 5,200 slot machines and video poker.
GrandWest Casino & Entertainment World’s largest casino is located in Cape Town. There are 79 tables for card games, 10 poker tables, plus 2500 slots and video poker.
Gambling revenue in South Africa remains about the same and is measured in billions of South African Rand. For the fiscal year 2015-2016, the gross proceeds from legal gambling activities amounted to ZAR 26.3 billion, or USD 1.86. The total revenue from legal gambling activities in South Africa was ZAR 26.3 billion, or USD 1.86. The casino has the highest turnover – 70.5% of gross revenue.
At the same time, most players participate in the national lottery – 78.9%. Only 10.6% play in the casino. Three-quarters of the population has already played gambling. More than half of the residents consider casinos or gambling as a useful way of organizing leisure time.
History of gambling in South Africa
Gaming activity in South Africa was prohibited until 1994. The law, called the South African Gambling Law, passed in 1965, prohibited all forms of gambling, except racing horses. They have been recognized as a sport.
Illegal casinos began to develop since the late 1970s. They worked in the Bantutansvan, Siskey, Transkei, Venda bantustans.
Bantustans – a special phenomenon in the history of South Africa. They look a bit like the reserves of the United States, but have their own characteristics. It is the territory that was used as a reserve for the indigenous black population of South Africa. Some Bantustans gained their independence, which made it possible to create 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. However, according to 1995, there were around 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 Gaming Law, which was published in 1996, approved a state casino and lottery license system. Horse racing has once again been recognized as a form of play.
Gambling Legislation in South Africa
The age limit for the South African player is 18 years. Minors are not allowed to play in gambling establishments.
The laws that define the legal framework for gambling in South Africa:
- National Gambling Act of 1996;
- National Gambling Act 2004 – supplementing the previous one;
- National Gambling Amendment Act 2008, which determines the position of the online gambling company.
- The National Gambling Act 1996 clearly specifies how casino licences are to be distributed among the country’s provinces.
The total number of licences is made up of 40 pieces. They are distributed as follows:
- Western Cape Province (Central – Cape Town) – licences 5;
- Northern Cape Province (Kimberley) – 3;
- Eastern Cape Province (Bisho) – 5;
- KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg) – 5;
- Free State (Bloemfontein) – 4;
- North West Province (Mafeking) – licences 5;
- Gauteng (Johannesburg) – 6;
- Mpumalanga (Nelspruit) – 4;
- Limpopo or Northern Province (Polokwane) – Licences 3.
According to the same law, no entity (organization or person) is entitled to hold more than one casino licence across the country or more than one licence in a separate province.
The National Gaming Act defines:
- gambling terminology;
- what is considered a wager;
- how the National Gambling Board operates.
Gambling regulators in South Africa
National Gambling Board – South Africa’s gambling regulator. The functions of the regulator include:
Determining the rules of operation of the gambling business;
- conducting investigations;
- collecting statistics;
- responsible for the proper management 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.
Casino Association of South Africa
Another player in the gambling sector in South Africa is the Casino Association of South Africa (CASA). The association was founded in 2003. Main tasks of the organization:
- uniting casino operators and shareholders;
- to provide more information about the casino to the public;
- to achieve greater understanding and transparency in the gambling business.
The organization includes almost all casinos in the country. Government representatives themselves hold 37% of the shares of various land-based casinos. The members of the association provide more than 100,000 tasks.
Online gambling legislation in South Africa
The National Gambling Amendment Act of 2008, which has not yet been finalized, recognizes that the online gambling business in South Africa is partially legal. Just as illegal as the organization of and participation in online gambling is the organization of and participation in online gambling. In part – because not all types of online gambling are prohibited.
The law prohibits “interactive games”:
- casino games;
- online sports betting;
- betting on horse racing online;
- and general bookmaking business. Naturally, the organizer of the BC should have a government license.
Any subject, whether it is the organizer of a website or the bank conducting transactions on the Internet, is liable to a fine of R 10 million (USD 709 thousand) and/or 10 years imprisonment.
However, the law does not provide for punishment of individual players. As a result, players can play in the casino, whose servers are located abroad.
Types of Gambling in South Africa
National Gambling Board performs the following game classification on its behalf:
- casino – table games and slot machines;
- rates on horse racing and sports, which are offered in bookmakers and sweepstakes;
- betting machines and limited payout machines (LPMs);
- Traditional Bingo and through Electronic Bingo Terminals (EBT).
South African casinos offer a wide range of card games, which are unique not only to the European continent but also to the South African continent.
For example, in Cape Town the very popular game is klawerjas (klawerjas) – an old Dutch game with a bribe, it is still popular in the Netherlands. The aim is to collect the optimum number of bribes.
The game Kaluka (Kalookie) – a kind of rummy. The goal is to compose certain combinations.
Thuni (Thuni or Thunee) is a typical South African game. Basically, it is popular among Asians. The rules of the game also require you to score a certain number of points.
Most popular games in South Africa:
- cribbage is an English card game;
- canasta (canasta) – a kind of rhammi;
- samba (samba) – a variant of the channel;
- skat (skat) – a game of bribes from Germany;
- cats and mice (wickedness and malice) – a form of competitive tapeworm;
- shithead – the game for the loss of all cards.
Revenues from gambling activities in South Africa
For the fiscal year 2015-2016, gross revenues from legal gambling amounted to ZAR 26.3 billion or USD 1.86 billion.
The largest revenue is provided 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 Payment Machines) – 9.0% or USD 167 million; in fourth place bingo – 3.6% of gross revenue 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 the fiscal year 2015-2016;
- second place is occupied by the Western Cape Province – 15.6% or USD 291 million;
- third place is taken by KwaZulu-Natal – 18.5% or USD 344 million.
Gauteng produces the highest gross revenues in casinos, gambling and bingo. The highest revenue in the LPM sector is received by the Western Cape Province – 30%.
The number of slot machines in casinos based in 2015 in South Africa was 23,415. Slot machine revenues – million USD 969
The number of tables in 2015 in all casinos across the country consisted of 932 coins. Their income is USD 237 million.
Taxation of gambling in South Africa
Deductions from the country’s budget are also estimated in millions of dollars. By 2015, the South African authorities have received millions of dollars 262 from the gambling company. This represents 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.
- Gaming tax – is collected from licensees by provincial authorities. Its value is based on the gross income of 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.
Online gambling in South Africa
Despite South Africa’s ban on online gambling, all players can use international casino services themselves. Players can invest in local currency, which simplifies the service. But there is a nuance: from October, the authorities can confiscate the winnings of online players from 4, 2016. The Ministry of Trade and Industry has published a new amendment to the National Gambling Amendment Bill, according to which the court has the right to confiscate and withhold players’ winnings.
Thus, you can play online – but not the fact that you can get your winnings, because even transactions within the country are prohibited.
Online Slots in South African Casinos
South African casinos offer five-reel video slots that are popular on online sites:
- Gold Rally;
- Safary Heat;
- Everybody’s jackpot;
- Hulk Jackpot;
- Silver bullet;
- Halloween Fortune.
Demographics of Gambling in South Africa
According to the 2016 National Gambling Board, 15.3% of the total population is constantly gambling.
For five years, the number of players in the casino, bingo, betting and LPM sectors has been decreasing slightly. But the purchase of tickets for the state lottery has 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 is recognized in unlicensed institutions and online casinos. It should be noted that in recent 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 started gambling – 19.8% in 2015-2016. The number of players, whose age is from the 25’s, is increasing.