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History of Gambling in South Africa

Online Gambling History

In 1673, Dutch settlers in the Cape banned gambling. The resurgence of gambling in South Africa began in Kimberley in 1867 with the discovery of diamonds and in the Witwatersrand in 1886 with the discovery of gold. The latter marked a turning point in South African economic history, as the Transvaal became the world's top gold producer, supplying 50% of the world's gold in the 1920s.

In 1965, the Gambling Act made all forms of betting illegal except for horse racing. In the 1970s, casinos operated in the Bantustan homelands of Bophuthatswana, Ciskei, Transkei, Venda, and Swaziland. Illegal betting was overseen by various street gangs, and by 1995, an estimated 2000 illegal casinos were operating in South Africa, signifying a crucial point in the country's gambling history due to the government's loss of tax revenue.

With the advent of the new government in 1994, some forms of real money gaming were legalized in 1996. The National Gambling Act of 1996 allowed licensed casinos to operate and established a national lottery. Horse racing remained a legal activity. In 2004, this Act was repealed, and the new Act of 2004 made online casino gaming illegal.

In 2008, a new Amendment Act was introduced to attempt to legalize online betting. In 2010, the Gauteng High Court ruled that international vendors couldn't offer their services to South Africans. Despite this ban, many online casinos still offer South Africans gambling facilities in ZA rands. South African law enforcement lacks the resources to combat illegal gaming. However, with the processing of the 2014 Remote Bill, the legalization and regulation of online casinos in South Africa may be the next chapter in the online gambling history of South Africa.

South Africa now boasts about 40 licensed casinos spread across nine provinces, as well as horse racing and the national Lotto lottery.

Now that you're familiar with the history of South African gambling, the great news is that South Africans can now gamble online for real money and all you need is:

  • Access to the Internet using a mobile phone or an iPad for easy access to online casino betting
  • Easy banking methods available such as credit cards, electronic wallets, or mobile payment methods.

Games that can be played at an online casino

Online gambling history in SA will show you, the player, numerous examples of the variety of games that suit each particular player in 2023. The most popular of all online games are slots, which include classic, video, and progressive games. These are followed by blackjack, roulette, and baccarat, and several other exciting games such as poker and craps.

The best attraction for playing online games

The history of gambling online in South Africa shows that one of the great attractions is the offer of a bonus. Online bonuses attract new online players, as well as servicing existing players, and these bonuses are earned through playing real money online casino games.

Online sports betting is also legal in RSA. With each of the nine provinces having its own regulatory body, each bookie has to get his own license. In 2023 there is no tax on sports wagers, unlike that in horse racing wagers where the tax on winnings is 6%. The most popular sports for betting are soccer, cricket, and rugby, where teams compete on international levels. Bonuses are also offered.

The top land-based casinos in RSA

The Carousel Casino located north of Pretoria, in the previous Bophuthatswana, is one of the oldest casinos, and has recently been upgraded and refurbished.

The Sun International Casino in the North West province is located in the Sun City Hotel, and is the land-based casino which dominates the local gaming industry.

The largest is the Grand West Casino and Entertainment World located in Cape Town.

Many thousands of jobs have been created in this industry, all contributing to the R16,268 billion gaming revenue in 2014.

Games Available at Online Casinos

The history of online gambling in South Africa offers players a wide range of games in 2023, catering to various preferences. The most popular online games include an assortment of slots, featuring classic, video, and progressive varieties. Following slots, players can enjoy classics like blackjack, roulette, and baccarat, along with other exciting options such as poker and craps.

The Irresistible Appeal of Online Gaming

The history of online gambling in South Africa reveals that one of its main draws is the allure of bonuses. These online bonuses not only entice new players but also reward existing ones, earned through playing real money online casino games. If you want to see more historical photos and learn about the history, click here.

Legal Online Sports Betting in RSA

Online sports betting is fully permissible in South Africa. With each of the nine provinces having its regulatory body, every bookie must obtain their license. An interesting facet of sports betting in 2023 is the absence of taxes on sports wagers, which stands in contrast to horse racing bets, where a 6% tax is levied on winnings. Soccer, cricket, and rugby reign supreme as the most popular sports for betting, offering international-level competitions and enticing bonuses.

Top Land-Based Casinos in RSA

South Africa boasts a selection of prestigious land-based casinos, each with its unique charm. The Carousel Casino, situated to the north of Pretoria in the former Bophuthatswana, stands as one of the oldest casinos, having recently undergone an extensive upgrade and refurbishment.

The Sun International Casino, located in the North West province within the Sun City Hotel, is a dominant force in the local gaming industry.

The largest of these establishments is the Grand West Casino and Entertainment World in Cape Town, a true epicenter of entertainment and excitement.

The thriving casino industry has played a pivotal role in creating numerous employment opportunities, contributing significantly to the impressive R16.268 billion in gaming revenue recorded in 2014.