South Africa gambling industry guide

South African Gambling Industry is still small but is growing fast
20th Jun, 2020
Alfredo Villalobos

South Africa has seen a recent improvement in its online gambling market since 2018 despite the weak economy, the severe online gambling laws, and the growing competition from illegal online casinos. Currently, the licensed market is becoming more competitive with the continued roll-out of LPMs (limited payout machines), EBTs (electronic bingo terminals), and legal bookmarking. Additionally, Sports betting and bingo continue to be highly popular amongst South African players. 

According to a gambling outlook posted on that pretends to show the development and growth rate of the gambling industry in South Africa from 2019 to 2023, there was a 6,7% gross gambling revenue (GGR) increase in 2018. Also, there was a 24% increase in the Bingo revenue in 2018 and cumulative 76& over the past four years. Finally, there was a 33.7% increase in GGR per LPM since 2014.

On we can find relevant information regarding the South Africa gambling industry which is composed of casino gambling, Limited payout machines, sports betting, and the national lottery. 

Casino gambling is, to the date, the dominant gambling type in the South African market. Casinos provided 64% of total gross gambling revenue in 2018, despite the competition with the illegal market, there is an expected 2.0% GGR growth per year on casino gambling. The expected GGR for casinos goes around the R20.4 billion (1,144,819,680.00 US dollars) for 2023.

In the case of limited payout machines (also known as slots), these are also becoming popular in South Africa currently they contribute with R2,697 million to the GGR. LPMs are expected to have a 10.4% growth in the next couple of years. 

Sports betting has always been the fastest-growing category of the South African market, in 2018 this market had a 20.7 increase in GGR. Sports betting (and horse racing) continue to be hugely popular in South Africa and legal sports betting has almost quadrupled since 2014. The expected growth for this market is at 12.6% annually, increasing its revenue from R3.9 billion to R11.1 billion in 2023.

Finally, the national lottery revenue had an increasing by 1.3% in 2018. As with casinos, the national lottery also faces competition from both legal and illegal gambling lottery operators. Despite this, the national lottery expectation growth sets at an annual 2.0% reaching R3,33 billion in 2023.

South Africa gambling laws

South Africa Gambling laws are still very strict when it comes to online casinosSouth Africa is composed of nine provinces, each of these provinces has a gambling and racing board. If an operator wants to offer online betting bookies, it must be licensed by one of these boards. Currently, the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board (WCGRB) is the largest provider of online bookmarker licenses in the South African territories. Residents from South Africa can access and use these online betting sites legally.

Despite online horse race betting and online sports betting is legal in South Africa, online casinos, online poker, and online bingo are considered an illegal activity according to The National Gambling Act of 2014 which prohibited both offering the interactive services and engaging in interactive games.

The National Gambling Amendment Act of 2018, was an attempt to legalize interactive gambling and make provisions for the regulations of the online gambling market. Due to the confrontation by the interest of land-based gambling houses and the anti-money laundering authorities, this Act has not come into power yet.

The current situation with the legalization of online gambling in South Africa remains as its illegal to offer it and engage it but it is not legal to participate in them, this means that the laws will only punish (in most of the cases) online gambling operators rather than the players that have an account in the casino.

More detailed information about South African gambling laws can be founded at

South Africa online casinos

Despite the legal conditions regarding online gambling in South Africa, there are still several online casinos (mostly licensed by the government of Curacao) that target South African players, there are even some casinos like Springbok casino that only accepts South African Rands as payment options.

South African online casinos are overall great options for every kind of player, especially if you consider that most of these casinos offer no deposit and free bonuses for new players in addition to their welcome bonus offers.

If you are interested in finding the best and top tier South African casinos, you should visit, there you will find the most complete reviews regarding these casinos, and also, you can be sure that those casinos are safe places for you and your money as personally reviews the casino and confirms their fairness and trustworthiness. Additionally, you will also find information about every online casino bonus that is eligible for players that reside in the South African territories.

If you want our recommendation, you should start by checking out these three online casinos: Springbok Casino, Zar Casino, and Yebo Casino.

Responsible gambling in South Africa

The South African Responsible Gambling Foundation (SARGF) is an entity designed to provide free and confidential treatment and counseling to problem gamblers and their family members. This organization is also in charge of researching and monitoring every condition that could be gambling-related.

Nowadays with all the illegal gambling operators, the SARGF must be even more active than before as many bored citizens are turning their heads to online gambling sites to compensate for the fact that landline casinos are closed. This represents a (possible) mass gambling addiction epidemic if measures are not taken in time. 

Online gambling taxes in South Africa

Whenever you win a big prize, regardless of where you won it (lottery, poker, a casino, etc.) there will be always a question in your mind after the celebration of your great luck: do I have to tax it?

In most countries the answer will be an absolute yes, however, South African taxes works a little different, this represents a lot of confusion, especially for players that don’t know how taxes work related to online gambling, even if it seems difficult to understand, the reality is that South African taxes are very simple to comprehend.

According to on an article that goes by the following title Are you required to pay tax on Gambling and Lottery winnings in South Africa? You can divide gambling-related activities into two blocks: lottery and gambling. 

According to the information, any prize money that a person wins from the national lottery in South Africa will be considered as capital and will not be taxed. However, the article encourages you to still declare that money to the South African Revenue Services (SARS).

However, online gambling differs a little bit from this perspective. Online gambling is considered as a "recreational activity" and the winnings obtained by such activities are treated the same ways as the winnings from the lottery (they are considered capital money) and these winnings are not subject to any capital gains tax or any tax in general, but it should still be declared to the SARS.

On the other hand, if someone wishes to play these games professionally, its intention towards these "recreational activities" become more like a "making a regular profit" kind of situation, so the winnings generated by these activities are no longer considered capital and will be bounded to pay taxes to the South African government.

20th Jun, 2020
Alfredo Villalobos