online betting in South Africa

Here’s OnlineBettingSA’s betting market report: The Rise of Online Betting in South Africa

by Content Partners

South Africa has banned all forms of gambling right since 1673. Only horse racing was allowed and identified as a sporting activity. However, in 1994, a new government came into power and legalized all forms of gambling. 

By 1995, the country had roughly 2000 illegal casinos operating. Meanwhile, the national gambling act was introduced in 1996, and it obliges all casinos in the country to be licensed and regulated. The act also promoted the implementation of uniform standards for all casinos in the country. 

The act was amended in 2008, and it became illegal for unapproved online betting sites to operate in the country, according to the act. This led to prohibiting South African players from using unregistered betting sites.

However, the implementation of the amendment act was delayed for a few years due to some issues. Meanwhile, many South African players continued using unlicensed online betting sites. Eventually, the South African government released the National Gambling Amendment Act in 2011. The government seeks to regulate online gambling further and clarify the licensing process. 

Today, online betting sites are legal in the country. However, only licensed operators are allowed to run betting sites. The National Gambling Board regulates and licenses online betting sites.

The Rise of Online Betting in South Africa 

Over the past decade, the South African betting sector has been experiencing significant growth. This results from people gaining access to the internet and mobile devices. According to a report by PwC, the South African online gambling market was worth R2.3 billion ($156 million) in 2019, and the market is likely to reach R3.3 billion ($223 million) by 2023.

online betting in SA

One of the factors driving the growth of online betting in South Africa is the convenience it offers. Online casinos have made it easier for punters to bet wherever they are via their mobile or computer. Likewise, it has broken the distance barrier and helps maintain privacy, which many punters greatly value. 

Despite the growth of online betting in South Africa, there are still concerns about problem gambling and illegal betting sites. The government has swung into action by regulating and licensing online betting operators. However, some players still choose to use sites not approved in the country.

Regulations and Licensing

The National Gambling Board regulates and licenses online casinos in South Africa. The body is responsible for enforcing the National Gambling Act. They also ensure that all online casinos and betting sites operate legally and responsibly.

To obtain a National Gambling Board license, you must comply with some regulations and requirements. These include:

  • Age verification: it is unlawful for online casinos to create an account for players under the authorized age. Online casinos must verify customers’ ages to ensure they are over 18. 
  • Responsible gambling measures: Operators must have responsible gambling measures in place. These measures include self-exclusion programs, deposit limits, and gameplay time limits.
  • Data protection: Online casinos must comply with data protection regulations. You must ensure that you keep all players’ information confidential and secure.
  • Fair gaming: You must use certified random number generators to ensure that all games are unbiased.
  • Anti-money laundering: casino sites must have tools to prevent terrorist financing. These tools include customer identification and verification procedures.
  • Licensing fees: Online casinos must pay licensing fees to the National Gambling Board to operate in South Africa.

Furthermore, online casinos also have to comply with advertising regulations. Ensure you read more about online betting rules because failure to comply can result in fines, penalties, and the revocation of a casino’s license.

The Future of Online Betting

The future of online betting in South Africa looks bright, owing to the advent of the internet and mobile devices. Here are some possible trends and developments that could shape the future of online betting in South Africa:

  • Increased regulation: We may see more regulations and licensing requirements as the government seeks to curb illegal gambling sites. This could make it more difficult for unlicensed sites to operate in the country. It may also provide players with a safer and more secure online betting environment.
  • Mobile betting: There may be an increase in mobile application and betting site usage. This is due to many gamblers preferring to bet on their mobile devices. Mobile betting also makes it easier for players to place bets on the go. 
  • Cryptocurrency: The use of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, as a payment method for online betting, is increasing worldwide. In South Africa, more online casinos may start accepting cryptocurrency payments. This could provide a convenient and secure way for players to deposit funds and withdraw winnings.
  • Technological advancements: South African casinos may adopt more innovative features due to technological advances. This could include live streaming of sporting events and personalized betting recommendations based on player data and preferences.


Casinos in South Africa have come a long way, even before the introduction of the internet. Mobile betting has also made it easier for players to access online casinos. The regulations and licensing of online casinos help to protect players. Punters are advised only to use licensed and regulated online casinos to ensure their safety and security.

Furthermore, some changes may occur in online casinos in South Africa. The future of online betting in the country is likely to be shaped by technological advancements. 

This article is the first of five pieces. To further expand your knowledge/ read more about online betting in South Africa, look up OnlineBettingSA on Google to know more. Happy winning! 

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