Online Gaming in South Africa

In November 2018, South Africa’s parliamentary committee on Trade and Industry announced that it had adopted the National Gambling Amendment Act 2018.

Online betting for sports and horse racing is legal in South Africa when conducted through a South African licensed company or a licensed South African bookmaker. South Africa's courts have consistently ruled that online casino gaming is not allowed in South Africa. Local government has proposed severe measures be taken against global gambling companies that offer services in the country without a local gambling operating license or that offer other online products, including casino or poker services. In addition, local residents could face the confiscation of any winnings from such unauthorized websites.

On 20 August 2010, a high court in Johannesburg passed a judgment banning online casino gambling in South Africa. The processing of payments by financial institutions and online gambling advertising was deemed illegal, as was accessing online casino sites through South African internet service providers.

In February 2011, the National Gambling Board (NGB) clarified that online gambling activities restricted by the National Gambling Act of 2004 referred to interactive or casino-type gambling games whose outcomes are determined in cyberspace. Bets placed within the racing and sports betting industry using the internet, telephone or similar mediums were allowed.

Unlicensed online operators who currently target the South African market risk being rendered ineligible for licensing once the activity is legalized. Anyone found guilty and liable under the Act can be fined R10 million, sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment, or both.

For years, South Africa has been trying to liberalize its rules regarding online gaming, but with little success.

In 2008, with the draft Interactive Gambling Bill, and again in 2010, efforts were made to legalize online casinos in South Africa's parliament. Both of those efforts failed. Efforts to create a licensing regime for online casinos started anew in 2014, but proposed legislation was met with delays has yet to pass.

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