South African Online Gambling Law

Since before South Africa became a republic, gambling in most forms was banned. While the laws have changed significantly, it is certainly not a free-for-all, yet, gambling in and of itself is no longer illegal. Gambling in land-based establishments in South Africa is legal and regulated. For many years, South Africans travelled outside of the legal borders of South Africa to go to a casino. With the changes in the gambling law, this is no longer necessary. Online gambling in South Africa is still illegal at this time.

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Sa's Gambling Act of 1965

The South African Gambling Act of 1965 ruled gambling as illegal. Gambling, such as horseracing, was legal. The reason for this is that horseracing is considered a sport. In the 1970s, many illegal casinos were created, and the number just rose until about 2,000 illegal casinos were counted in the mid-90s. Along with the change from a conservative government to a democratic one, the gambling laws were updated in 1994. At that time, gambling was legalised. In 1996, South Africa introduced a national lottery and regulated and licensed casinos.

Changes to The Gambling Act in 2004

In 2004, the 1996 Act was repealed, and the National Gambling Act of 2004 came into action. While land-based gambling was still allowed, online gambling was no longer considered legal. Again, sports betting, even if it was done online, was still deemed legal. While online gambling is illegal, the emphasis and major responsibility seem to lie with the gambling operators and the financial institutions. To date, no individuals have been prosecuted for playing at online casinos.

Gambling Law Today

In 2008, there was an attempt to legalise and regulate the online gambling market in South Africa, yet, since there was strong opposition, the Act has not yet been accepted as law. In 2010, the North Gauteng High Court ruled that gambling transactions through local and offshore operators stand illegal. While both players and operators are fully aware of this law, South African players still have many casinos available to play at.

Players who decide to play in online casinos should be confident that the casinos are safe and secure and have a good reputation. Even though online casinos will not be licensed in South Africa, players must choose a casino fully licensed in a recognised gaming jurisdiction.

Many online casinos that still offer their sites to South African players will offer them a chance to play in South African Rands (ZAR), thereby avoiding exchange rate fees. Many casinos also offer a special Welcome Bonus or free money offer to players located in South Africa. In addition, players should keep an eye open for an online casino with a top-notch Customer Support team. Customer Support is available 24 hours a day, with many support teams offering a South African toll-free telephone number.

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Meet Marcell Abrahams - the man who turned his passion for sports betting and casino gaming into a thriving career in the online casino industry. From a young age, Marcell... continue reading
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