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Complete Guide to Casino Gambling for South Africans



Gambling in South Africa was technically prohibited for centuries since late 1600s. However, this does not mean gaming hasn’t long been part of the nation’s culture. By the time gambling was legalized for regulation in the 1990s, there were thousands of unlicensed casinos running throughout the country, so many that it was difficult to enforce. Today, South Africans can enjoy many forms of legal gambling as they do in other places in the world.

Our complete guide includes everything a South African gambling fan should know about gaming in their country, including:

  • Online casino legality, so you never find yourself on the wrong side of the law
  • The ins and outs of government regulation
  • An explanation of security in online casinos
  • What you’ll find at international casino sites.

Legal Gambling in South Africa

Legal Gambling

While gambling has long been a popular pastime for South Africans, for centuries it had to be conducted conspicuously as it was prohibited by the government. During apartheid and before, all forms of gambling were illegal except for betting on horse racing. Casinos began to emerge in the Bantustans (land set aside for native inhabitants) and became one of the most important sources of income for those that lived there. When apartheid ended in 1994 and the Democratic Party took power, gambling was legalized and a national lottery and casino certification system was instituted.

Today, there are SA land-based casinos operating in every major metropolitan area in South Africa, and over 40 total. While online gambling is currently limited to sports betting, the National Gambling Board (NGB) wrote in their 2014 annual report that further legalization and regulation of online gambling is a strong possibility for the near future. Good news for fans of popular casino games like keno, slots, video poker, poker, blackjack, baccarat and roulette.

What were the first gambling laws enacted?

The first ban on gambling came from the Dutch at Cape Colony in in 1673. Since then, gambling in South Africa remained extremely restricted and the 1965 South Africa Gambling Act officially prohibited all forms of betting except that on horse racing.

What laws apply to modern-day gambling in South Africa?

The National Gambling Act of 1996 established standards for the legal enjoyment of slot machines, casino games, lotteries, and other types of gambling. Operators for these forms of gaming must first register and be licensed by their respective province’s gambling board. After a high court decision in 2010, participating in or providing online gambling (even on sites located outside the republic) was banned.

Notably though, online sports betting is legal. Just like casinos, online bookies must be licensed by the gambling and racing board in their province. There have been recent initiatives in Parliament to extend legal online gaming to all the standard casino games that players in other countries enjoy.

Who regulates the South African gaming industry?

Gaming in South Africa is supervised and regulated by the National Gambling Board. Established in 1996, the NGB’s regulation is congruent with that of the highest international standards of compliance for casinos and gambling. Along with nine other African nations, South Africa is part of the Gaming Regulators Africa Forum (GRAF) which combats illegal and unlicensed gambling operations in the southern half of Africa.

South African Player Information

Player Information

While lottos, slot machines, casinos, and sports betting are all legalized, regulated, and able to be enjoyed by South Africans at their leisure, gambling online is a far grayer area. Online betting (on horse racing and sports) is legal when using a bookmaker licensed by the South African government. However, online gambling based in South Africa (casino games and all other types of online wagering) is prohibited.

Enforcement of these laws is spotty, however, and many claim that government punishment is aimed more at operators as opposed to individual players. There is always an inherent risk in gambling on the Internet (and doing anything related to money), and players should make smart consumer decisions about what online casino to trust if they choose to do so. Fortunately, there have been recent pushes in Parliament to legalize online gambling.

How many South Africans gamble regularly?

A 2009 NGB report estimated that 29% of South African citizens regularly participated in lotto games. Scratch cards and casino games were both estimated at 6% participation and horse/sports betting at 3%. In a country of 53 million people, these participation numbers contribute about 1% of the nation’s GDP.

Are South Africans allowed to play on international online casinos?

While within the country’s borders, South Africans are prohibited from gambling with international companies. Players may come across international sites that cater to South African players by accepting the rand, however this does not make these sites legal and choosing to gamble is at the risk of the player.

Can I legally deposit and withdraw money to online casinos?

Not legally, as online gambling in all forms is currently not permitted in South Africa. Players, banks, internet providers, and online casino operators are all subject to large fines and jail time if caught and penalized. Depositing and withdrawing at online sportsbooks is perfectly legal.

Do I have to pay taxes on my gaming winnings?

Yes and no. South Africans betting on sports do not have to pay any sort of income tax on their winnings. However, winnings from horse racing wagers have a 6% Value-Added Tax (VAT) deducted. And because again, online gambling is currently a punishable offense in South Africa, it would probably not be wise to report winnings coming from other forms of online gaming.

Do online casinos offer play in ZAR?

Many sites trying to bring in South African players will honor ZAR. Even if a particular online casino does not explicitly accept rand, it can always be converted into an accepted currency (subject to fees). Playing on casinos that accept South African rand lets you deposit, withdraw, and view your transaction history all in your home currency. All South African Internet sportsbooks will also accept their home currency.

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Frederick Nuetei Nortey known professionally as Frederick Nortey is a Ghanaian Celebrity Blogger and publicist.He founded an entertainment website and blog that primarily publishes news about Ghanaian Celebrities.


People & Lifestyle

“From the chamber of parliament in Accra to the football field here in Tamale” – Haruna Iddrisu



Member of Parliament for Tamale South Constituency, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu has shown that he knows how to play football aside being a parliamentarian. 

Our team managed to gather photos of the parliamentarian who was seated on the pitch with other players waiting for the game to kickoff. Haruna Iddrisu wrote on his Facebook page: “Aduna – The political sport man – Haruna Iddrisu From the chamber of parliament in Accra to the football field here in Tamale. Quintessential Leader of the NDC caucus”. 

This is what majority of the MP’s have to do in their constituencies and not wait for elections to draw near before. Please checkout the photos here: 


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People & Lifestyle

“I haven’t stated that NPP has majority in parliament. I haven’t stated that” – Alban Baghin (Speaker of Parliament)



Rt Honourable Speaker, Alban Baghin has stated that he hasn’t declared the New Patriotic Party in parliament together with the independent MP of Fomena as the majority group in the 8th parliament of Ghana. 

Earlier today, it was alleged that the declaration was made to the house during their first sitting on January 15, 2021 to determine which group is the majority. Since both groups had the same number 137, it was obvious that the independent Fomena MP decides which side becomes the majority. 

In a new video sighted by, the Rt Honourable Speaker, Alban Baghin disclosed that he didn’t say that. In his words he said, “l haven’t stated that NPP has majority in parliament. I haven’t stated that”. Please watch the video below: 


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