Keen to Play in SA Online Casinos?
After a tempestuous battle against the prohibition of gambling that began with Cape Colony restrictions in 1673 and culminated in the 1965 Gambling Act that banned all forms of gambling except horse racing, South Africans at last won the right to play whichever games of chance they want to in 1994. This was the year in which the first democratic government came to power and legalised all forms of gambling.
The National Gambling Act of 1996 made provision for the regulation and standardisation of all gambling activities, to be replaced by another National Gambling Act in 2004, and then the National Gambling Amendment Act in 2008. Each of SA’s nine provinces has a gambling and racing board, under the aegis of the National Gambling Board, that licenses bookmakers and oversees the distribution of the country’s 40 gambling licences for land-based casinos and sports betting. With the global proliferation of online and mobile casino sites, many South African punters were quick to take advantage of the chance to play in SA online casinos in South African rand.
In fact, many eager casino games fans still attempt to play in SA online casinos in South African rand. There’s just one snag: the 2004 Act prohibited all online interactive gambling in South Africa, with the exception of horse racing, sports betting and the national lottery.
South Africa’s Online Gambling Wrangle
It’s not carved in stone that casino enthusiasts will never be able to play in SA online casinos in South African rand, but the legal situation is complex. The 2008 National Gambling Amendment Act was supposed to legalise and regulate interactive gambling online, but strong opposition from land-based casinos, national lotto operators and the horse racing industry has delayed its implementation.
A landmark case against Piggs Peak Online Casino, which Piggs Peak lost on appeal in 2011, has resulted in this delayed implementation of the Act becoming permanent, and the current position adopted by all of South Africa’s gambling and racing boards is that all online casinos are illegal, with both the casinos and any punters caught playing in them liable to prosecution.
However, the Gambling Review Commission has recommended that, given the fact that online gambling is here to stay, government should abandon prohibition and instead opt for holistic regulation of the entire industry. So the chance still exists that South African casino fans will be able to play in SA online casinos in South African rand at some point in the future.
Legal Online Gambling in South African Rand
Despite authorities’ insistence that all online casino gambling is illegal in South Africa, an online search still reveals sites that maintain South Africans are able to play there. However, with offenders facing a fine of R10-million or 10 years in jail, anyone attempting to play in SA online casinos in South African rand does so entirely at their own risk.
These risks include having no legal recourse in the event they are cheated by a site, so many South African online gamblers opt instead for the undisputed legal options of sports betting, horse racing or the national lottery.