Online Gambling Legislation South Africa

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Gambling in South Africa is regulated by the National Gambling Act of 2004. The Act applies to all gambling activities and includes clauses that specifically prohibit online gambling. However, the Act makes provision for bookmakers to acquire licenses and thereby offer legal online sports betting services. The National Gambling Board is responsible for the oversight of the regulation in the gambling industry throughout the country and to preserve the integrity of South Africa as a responsible global citizen.

  1. Online Gambling Legislation South Africa News24
  2. Online Gambling Legislation South Africa Coronavirus
Online Gambling Legislation South Africa

Before we get started with our Gambling Laws in South Africa article we’d like to make you aware that gambling within the borders of South Africa is 100% legal. We’ll be focusing on some recent changes that are in reference to betting with overseas companies from within South Africa.


Gambling Laws in South Africa – The Changes

It’s not news that it’s illegal to gamble outside of South Africa as a South African, yet many punters continue to do so as they prefer the overseas experience. In the past the reserve bank would or should we say might, confiscate winnings that punters have withdrawn from overseas bookmakers. There were means around this but it looks like the DTI are clamping down with a new bill.

The National Gambling Amendment Bill was amended on the 20th July 2018 and has the following important changes you need to be aware of :

According to the draft bill, which is currently available on the Department of Trade and Industry’s website, some of the biggest changes include:

Gambling Laws in South Africa – Draft Bill

  • Re positioning the National Gambling Board to be a National Gambling Regulator;
  • Transferring the regulation of all bets on the national lottery, foreign lottery, lottery results and sports pools to a National Lotteries Commission.
  • Prohibiting dog racing and bets on dog racing in South Africa.
  • Strengthening the regulation of casinos, limited pay-out machines and bingo. This includes the regulation of electronic forms of bingo, and the maximum number of bingo licenses and machines that can be granted in South Africa.
  • Restrictions on gambling premises and locations of automated tellers – including ‘seperate’ and ‘hidden’ entrances for gambling areas located inside general public places such as shopping malls, arcades, complexes or centres.
  • Recognition of a self-regulating body in the horse racing industry;
  • Providing for broad-based black economic empowerment in the gambling industry. Notably this will apply to individuals applying for gambling licences.
  • Unlawful winnings will now be forfeited to the National Gambling Regulator.
  • Imposing gambling advertising restrictions.

Gambling Laws in South Africa – How does this affect you?

Well as a punter this won’t affect you as a punter too much unless you are taking part in illegal gambling activities in the first place. For example, it affects those betting overseas on casino or sports. Those who have been doing so will find that many banks will no longer even allow them to deposit money into overseas betting accounts, hence shutting down the ability of South Africans to bet overseas.

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Once again there are always ways around this but overall if you are not betting overseas then you should not be too concerned. Where this may have a interesting knock on effect is with local bookmakers themselves as it seems the DTI is pushing hard for more regulations, in what is already a rather heavily regulated industry.

We’ll be keeping a keen eye on the situation as it develops as this could just be the start of something bigger. In the meantime we recommend sticking with local betting firms, you can find out which ones we recommend here.

Further Reading :

Online Gambling Legislation South Africa News24

Has the change to the Gambling Laws in South Africa affected you? Let us know in the comments below.

Online Gambling Legislation South Africa Coronavirus

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