How the Country Economy Affects South African Gambling Companies

Of all the African nations, South Africa is one of the most prosperous, yet it suffers from some of the most varied histories. Despite this, SA, with its natural resources and gambling people, is poised to develop into a modern and successful society. But strangely enough, having a gambling population does not mean that the approach to gambling will be progressive. Interactive gambling is strictly prohibited in South Africa and citizens convicted of visiting online casinos can face incredibly harsh penalties. For example, visiting a virtual casino could result in a hefty fine. 

South African Law on Online Gambling

Internet gambling is prohibited in South Africa. All gambling activities that fall under the government’s definition of “interactive gaming” are considered illegal. This applies to all virtual versions of games such as:

  • poker;
  • casino;
  • slots;
  • bingo.

Only gaming establishments licensed by the South African government are allowed to operate online. All other online casinos operate offshore. Land-based gambling has been legal since 1994 and generates significant revenue for the government like sports betting. However, the national lottery is considered to be the most popular type of gambling. About 85% of the country’s active players buy tickets.

National Gambling Board Report

The document examines the entire gambling industry in South Africa and concludes that sports betting is the most popular type of gambling activity. This is influenced by its legalisation in contrast to online casinos. Thus, there are 266 bookmakers and 971 offices in the nine provinces of South Africa. At the same time, the number of land-based casinos in the country amounts to:

  • 38 establishments;
  • 907 gaming tables.

The difference is impressive. A huge number of bookmakers offer their residents a variety of bets on more than 30 different sports. Such a situation once caused some wrangling. For example, the South African Football Association lobbied for a share of the money from bets placed in South Africa, arguing that between 60% and 90% of all bets are placed on football. 

The Growing Popularity of the Gambling Industry

The gambling industry in South Africa is growing every year. This is evidenced by the interesting innovations in gambling aimed at introducing games into betting shops to fill the gap in online slots. Cryptocurrencies, particularly bitcoin, have been another factor in the rise in popularity. 

The growth trend will only gain momentum in the coming years. The young population is enthusiastic about online betting and the introduction of new technology. The majority of punters are now “young adults”. Overwhelmingly, they use mobile phones to place their bets.

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