Online gambling is a tricky subject to broach for South African players. There are many different regulations in place, all of which stop players from enjoying online gambling to its fullest. However, it’s still incredibly popular and millions of wagers are placed every week in South Africa. So, what exactly are the laws surrounding online gambling and how do players get around it?
Online Gambling Laws
The laws within the country are relatively simple to follow. The only fully legal online gambling that is allowed is sports betting. Even though brick and mortar casinos are allowed in the country, online casinos are not permitted. The only truly regulated websites are sports betting sites and sites that sell lottery tickets by the South African gambling authority.
Regarding online casinos, some specific laws are in place that reflect on how they are allowed to operate. The main one is that within South Africa, they are illegal. This means that any online casino that operates from within the country is breaking the law. While it’s technically not legal for South African players to engage with offshore online casinos, this particular law isn’t carried out very often. It means that players won’t be punished if they choose to play at one of the many offshore online casinos available. There are a lot of big-name sites that currently operate offshore for South African players.
This means that even though the South African authority does not regulate them, they still have regulatory licenses from some of the market’s top regulators. Doing this means that players still have a degree of trust in the site they’re playing at without missing out on what online casinos have to offer.
What is Available?
As already mentioned, the options available for South African players that are covered by South African gambling laws are sports betting and the national lottery. The South African gambling authority entirely regulates both of these. It means that both choices are easy to carry out and there is no risk concerning illegal activity.
The lottery doesn’t have a huge amount of choice on offer; players can either have a go on the lottery or choose not to. Sports betting does tend to have a broader range of choice on offer, though. Players can place bets on several different sports, with everything from football to golf offered. Each sport will also have its leagues included as well. Then, on top of that, there will be individual matches inside each league and finally, each match will have a selection of different markets.
This ensures that players can enjoy thousands of different betting choices when choosing to place a bet on sporting events. Because it’s fully regulated, it is probably the most secure way for players to bet online in South Africa.
However, this doesn’t mean that online casinos are out of the equation. Online casinos still have a significant presence for South African players. There are a lot of different big-name casino operators that accept South African players. These will tend to be offshore casino sites, which means that they don’t operate within the country. It ensures that the South African Government is unable to stop these sites from running in the area.
Most South African players will choose an online casino that has a big name within the industry. There are plenty of different big-name casino operators that are available with South Africa, so it ensures that players can quickly get access to a site that has a trustworthy name and is well regulated by a highly regarded regulator.
This makes sure that South African players have access to a massive amount of different online casino games. Everything from video slots to table games can be enjoyed. It means that South African players won’t miss out and can rest easy knowing that whatever online casino games they want to play, they’ll easily find well regulated and high-quality games.
In the Future
The future of online gambling in South Africa is a tricky area to cover. There was an amendment placed in 2008 that was aiming to legalize online gambling completely. However, despite it being accepted positively, it was never officially ratified. This means that the legislation that it would have covered has never truly been able to be used. This leaves online gamblers and online gambling companies in limbo. While the law has not been used to prosecute players who choose to play at online casinos, the law regarding online casinos being based in South Africa is still very much affected. It ensures that players can play, even if they don’t get the full experience they want.
What it means for the future is difficult to tell. The amendment is still in place, so it’s possible that it could be officially ratified. This would allow online casinos to operate within South Africa and become fully regulated. This would give players access to a lot more choice and create more trustworthy offerings. At the moment, it’s hard to tell if this will take place, but it’s a possibility and if it does come into effect, it will improve the experience for players all over the country.