South Africa has one of the strictest online gambling laws in the world. Ever since the country enacted its first Gambling Act in 1965, it has undergone several modifications such as the September 2011 law which verified that online gambling isn’t permitted within the country.
However, there are still many South Africans who enjoy betting online, since the gambling laws present are mainly geared towards the virtual casinos and not individual players.
Current legal policies on gambling:
Online gambling has remained to be a controversial matter in the country. Whereas some people want the market to open up so as to bring in more income, others still maintain a traditional outlook and favor the limitations currently in place.
Previously, there was a blanket restriction on all types of gambling, but this was repealed following the formation of the 1996 National Gambling Act. This institution was given mandate to start regulating the sector, and further delegated powers to South Africa’s 9 local provinces to give licenses to virtual betting sportsbooks.
In 2010, the country’s courts ruled that it was unlawful for online casinos found outside the borders to provide any gambling services to residents. Moreover, it’s illegal for anyone to gamble online using a South-African IP address. With the exception of a few licensed operators who are regulated, managed and levied by NGB, as well as the local provinces.
As for the penalties, any casino, banking institution or player caught facilitating online gambling outside the law faces a stiff fine of around 10 million Rand, including 10 years imprisonment or both sentences. Nevertheless, many native players are still finding innovative ways of accessing online casino games from countries that permit them to register. Since most providers operating in the country are actually based outside the nation’s borders, any likely penalties are rare since the laws don’t apply in their specific jurisdictions.
If caught making a profit from these external gambling sites, the South African government can only force you to transfer the proceeds to a common treasury-trust account. Currently, statistics show that there are about 3.5 million Rand stored in the account from foreign gambling platforms.
Betting alternatives in South Africa:
Despite the heavy restrictions on online gaming, there are still some few operators who attract South African players by the numbers. Before choosing any online gambling platform available in the country, check whether it’s fully licensed and controlled by its country of origin. The site should also have comprehensive security measures that offer protection for your financial details.
Moreover, a virtual casino that’s reviewed by other 3rd parties in the industry ensures that the platform adheres to minimum quality standards, which protect the players’ rights and fairness of gaming.
Nowadays, there are also online casinos that allow South African players to make deposits and withdrawals in their local Rand currency. Apart from making transactions, you’ll also be able to play online games using the local monetary unit. This way, you can avoid paying hefty conversion charges that you would have otherwise incurred if playing with another currency other than the Rand.
Additionally, if you are based in South Africa you can easily bypass the country’s restrictive laws on online gambling by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). It will mask your IP address so that authorities won’t be able to know whose betting on these foreign sites.
To summarize, while online gambling in South Africa is illegal, the government still permits sports-betting from companies that have been registered and approved by the province where they operate from.
However, as a South African player it’s still possible to access your favorite online casino games from other jurisdictions by using a VPN server. It will so that you can play from any online casino around the world where everyone is allowed to register. Nevertheless, you should always be careful when gambling on foreign online casinos available in South Africa, since the government may forfeit your proceeds to the treasury trust funds when caught.