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South African gambling businesses overview

Nov 14, 2018
South African gambling businesses overview

The gambling industry in South Africa may not be as prominent as the one in Malta, or Las Vegas, but is still significant. From horse betting to online casinos, South Africans enjoy betting and winning. Especially so considering that the money you win while gambling is not subject to any tax.

The issues gambling businesses face

The situation with gambling business, however, is not ideal. There is a great obstacle to gambling. It is the government.

It is true that all governments are somewhat critical of legalized gambling. Many lawmakers believe that it is bad for the population and makes them poorer.

In South Africa, the legal structure of the gambling industry used to be rather benevolent to the average player. The winnings you make while gambling are not taxed, and land-based casinos are legal under certain regulations.

Even though online gambling was forbidden under the law, the government was lenient towards the players. Now, with a new Gambling Amendment Bill, this situation is about to change, with online casinos players being heavily penalized.

South African online casinos

Online gambling is quite popular in South Africa despite it technically being illegal. South African casinos operate with a license in another country. Curacao, for instance, is a common place to find a South African casino.

Despite this fact, they cater to South African players specifically. The websites are registered on SA-based domains, and these platforms accept South African Rands as a viable currency.

The main appeal of such establishments is the ability to experience casino games online. It is cheaper than to make a trip to a land-based casino, and the possibilities that the new animations make are endless.

South African land-based casinos

Land-based casinos have always been the staple of the gambling industry. Starting from the early 19th century and forward, casinos have been spreading all across the world.

A classic casino offers different types of entertainment for different people. You can play games of chance with low bets and low payouts, or test your skill in table games with croupier and the green cloth on the table.

Whether you like slots or blackjack, you’re sure to find something that suits you at most casinos.

Now, South African casinos may not be as prominent in size and popularity as Las Vegas casinos are, but they are essential to many tourists. Here are the biggest ones.

Sun City casino

Sun City is a trademark casino of Johannesburg. It offers 24/7 gambling with bets ranging from 1c to R100.

Apart from classic casino features, Sun City is an entertainment hub. Here you can visit a water park, a thematic part or ever go on a safari.

The Boardwalk casino

Situated in Port Elizabeth, The Boardwalk is also more than just a casino. Apart from a floor for regular players and a VIP lounge for most valued guests, The Boardwalk offers many other treats to their guests.

A full-on spa day, shopping, bars and restaurants or a simple walk along the marvelous fountains is sure to let you relax after a long day of gambling.

Horserace betting

Horse racing has a rich history in South Africa. Its roots date back to the end of 18th century. Right now it is still completely legal, even though the business will face harsher regulations is the new amendments are passed.

Horse racing gathers thousands of people on the tracks who place their bets on the winner. There are few horseracing tracks in SA. Here are some of the most popular horseracing ones:

  • Arlington Race Course
  • Fairview Race Course
  • Vaal Race Course
  • Turffontein Race Course
  • Clairwood Turf Club
  • Scottsville Race Course
  • Flamingo Park Race Course
  • Durbanville Race Course

National Lottery

As in many other countries, the lottery in South Africa is nationalized. The lottery is run by a third party company, but it is licensed and sanctioned by the government. Essentially, it is a monopoly and buying lottery tickets of another country is illegal.

It is not easy to win in a lottery, as the odds are against you. It is a good way for the government to fill the budget, but a terrible way for a person to make a fortune. However, if you do win, the money is huge and is not taxable.

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