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, however, 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 traveled outside of the legal borders of South African in order 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.
The South African Gambling Act of 1965 ruled gambling as illegal. Gambling, such as horseracing, was legal. The reason for this is because horseracing is considered a sport. In the 1970s, there were a number of illegal casinos created, with the number rising until there were about 2,000 illegal casinos 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.
In 2004, the 1996 Act was repealed, and the National Gambling Act of 2004 came into effect. While land-based gambling was still allowed, online gambling was no longer considered legal. Again, sportsbetting, even if it was done online, was still considered legal. While online gambling is illegal, the emphasis and main responsibility seems to lie with the gambling operators and the financial institutions. To date, no individuals have been prosecuted for playing at online casinos.
In 2008, there was an attempt to legalise and regulate the online gambling market in South Africa, however, since there was strong opposition, the Act has not yet been accepted as law. In 2010, the North Gauteng High Court issued a ruling that gambling transactions though both local and offshore operators is illegal. While both players and operators are fully aware of this law, there are still many casino choices open to South African players.
Those who choose to play at online casinos should make sure that the casinos are safe and secure, and have a good reputation. Although the online casinos will not be licensed in South Africa, it is important to choose a casino that is fully licensed in a recognised gaming jurisdiction.
Many of the online casinos that still offer their sites to South African players will offer players the chance of playing in South African Rands (ZAR), and thereby avoiding exchange rate fees. Many casinos also offer a special Welcome Bonus or free money offer to those who are located in South Africa. In addition to this, players should keep an eye open for an online casino with 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.