The year is 2021. 13 trips around the sun, and it is still illegal to engage with certain online gambling practices in South Africa. All the way back in 2008, the South African government signed a new framework into law, pledging that the state would look to regulate new forms of previously unregulated forms of gambling. This included online casino gambling. However still to this day, online casinos in South Africa remain for the most part illegal, along with the operators offering them.
The frustration comes from the fact that the government seems to be turning a blind eye to a bountiful industry teeming with tax income possibilities, which is also crying out for a regulatory board that is committed to protecting players. What’s worse, is that they acknowledged this industry more than a decade ago, and put in the groundwork, but still never saw anything come to fruition.
This means that online gambling in the forms of casino games, poker and bingo are forbidden in the country. The only form of legal gambling over the internet is through online betting while using registered bookmakers. While this is the case, you can still access, play and win on outlawed online casino portals, however if you are in fact eventually caught, the punishment really doesn’t fit the crime.
The punishment for engaging with the outlawed forms of online gambling is 10 years imprisonment, or a R10 million fine. These punishments are focussed towards all those involved, the operators that offer these services, the users that engage with them, the banks that oversee the payments, and even external third party advertisers of these certain portals.
There is, however, a way to engage with, and enjoy live casino type games within the reaches of the law. In South Africa, these types of games have been appropriately named betting games.
Betting games are bookmaker’s answer to online casinos. These games are elaborately themed, and have the same look and feel as online casinos, however they do not fall into the category of Real Money Gambling (RMG). What this means is that you are able to engage in these games and not break the law.
When it comes to RMG, users have control over when events start/begin. For example, you play online slots, you click a button that represents a lever, and the slot starts to spin. With betting games however, you as the user have no influence over when the game, or slot for example, will begin spinning. Therefore, it is an event that is not influenced by you, with fixed odds. It’s as good as a horse race or a rugby match in that you have no influence over the happening of the event/s.
What’s more is that all of the top bookmakers in South Africa offer these games in abundance, and have designated full gaming suites to all kinds of different casino related games. All you need to do is sign up with a bookmaker, head on over the Live Games/Bet Games tabs, and watch the fun unfold!