The Best Online Casinos in South Africa

Online Gaming in South Africa

The gambling legislation in South Africa went through an extreme roller coaster over the past few decades. At one point in time all sorts of gambling activities and services were banned with betting on horse racing being legal. As governments changed, so did the laws and regulations regarding gambling in specific. In 1994 when the Democrats came to power all gambling activities were legalized and in 1995 a licensing system was put in place with only one national lottery. Furthermore horse racing was put into the category of gambling as well.

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Casinos accepting players from South Africa

The National Gambling Board was established in 1996 and it had the responsibility of governing and controlling the gambling industry on the grounds of South Africa.  A decade ago the authorities tried to put a leash on illegal casinos and other type of gambling activities. They organized around 450 raids. However, the interest and the demand for gambling were so high that eventually new operators became part of the gambling market.

Online Gaming Rules and Regulations in South Africa

Despite the licensing system, South African casinos had no success in attracting their domestic players. International competition crushed them, especially casinos licensed in Curacao and Gibraltar. Not only were South African players confused by the rapidly changing laws, but the casino operators were put in a very disadvantageous position. They couldn’t rely on the current laws as they expected them to change. The National Gambling Act of 2004 made all online gambling activities illegal. Since then the government has held a strong grip on gambling with minor changes in regulations that allowed for sports betting and horse racing. In 2008 there was an attempt to finally legalize online gambling, but this amendment came across harsh critics. The Act was confronted and never came into force.

In 2010 the Board finally made all gambling activities illegal, even those provided by servers located outside of South Africa. Note that players residing in South Africa are still playing at online casinos operated overseas. Due to the lack of control and the lack of interest on the authorities’ behalf there seems to be no barrier. At least players have never felt the wrath of the government.

The Casino Market in South Africa

Only land based casinos are legal on the grounds of South Africa. The Acts that are currently in force restrict all sorts of online casino gambling activities. Most of the casinos are located in metropolitan areas, but the largest is the Tusk Rio Casino Resort. Another very popular land based casino is the Tsogo Sun Montecasino located in the Johannesburg area.

Despite the restrictions players can still enjoy in casino games, but it is illegal. If the government decides to organize a witch hunt for every individual person who plays online you may want to consider changing the way you have fun.

Online Casinos and Taxes in South Africa

According to the tax law in South Africa, gaming, or sports betting winnings are not subject to taxes, unless they’re the main source of income. In other words, if you’re a professional, say a poker player, you will have to pay your tax bill. However, because this is hardly ever the case, you’re not obliged to pay any taxes. Furthermore, consider its legal nature, if you report your winnings, both you and the operator will end up in trouble.

Why Is the South African Government Indecisive about Online Gaming?

The answer is pretty straightforward. South Africa has a flourishing land based gambling industry. It’s probably at its peak, providing 60,000 jobs to local residents, according to official government sources. It’s highly unlikely that the local operators could compete with big shot operators with billions in resources, which have access to skills, expertise and refined marketing strategies. This hot and cold approach to dealing with remote gaming has had an ambivalent outcome, if may call it an “outcome”.

Foreign online casinos are welcoming new players to join their communities, whereas the South African government is doing little to nothing about it. Why? Because they don’t have the mechanisms to deal with it. The online gaming lobby is a strong one, and it’s become a really shady situation.