Thousands of South Africans enjoy online casino gaming or placing bets on their favourite teams via desktop or mobile. Many still ask just how legal it is to participate in online gambling however the problem is that there is no easy or direct answer and for now it is both yes and no.
National Gambling Board
The National Gambling Board states that online gambling is only illegal when bets are placed at bookmakers not licensed in South Africa. The NGB warns individuals that online gambling at casinos or bookmakers that are not regulated and licensed in South Africa will result in all winnings being confiscated by banks before the money could reach individual bank accounts. At the same time, the person gambling at casinos that are not SA regulated could also face criminal charges.
Most players simply utilise other payment options such as PayPal, Neteller, EcoPayz or Skrill. This is due to many credit and debit card providers refusing to allow casino transactions. The law states that banks will stop payments to bank accounts so using other payment methods enables players to enjoy playing online or place bets on international sports.
Yet the NGB states in its section titled “new forms of gambling” that it is making efforts to keep up with the advancement in the gambling industry. One that is surpassed by the fast pace of technological advancements with regards to several gambling modes that are perceived as online gambling and currently illegal in the country. and then adds in brackets (Except for online betting)
Gambling Act of 2004
The National Gambling Act of 2004 was passed by the National Gambling Board. It bans all types of online casino gambling within the border of South Africa. That resulted in many international sites offering casino services to South African citizens exiting the South African market. Several continue to accept players from the country and offer excellent welcome bonuses as well as several excellent promotions. Most of the online operators that do accept SA players are registered in Malta, Guernsey or Gibraltar.
Online Sportsbetting in South Africa
According to the NGB, both online and land-based sports betting is legal at licensed bookmakers. Online sports betting is seen as a medium online that facilitates betting activities. This could mean there are no restrictions on online sports betting. However, playing games at online casinos is a different case altogether, and banks are ordered not to credit individuals accounts with winnings. Yet, most have found a way around it and still enjoys the wide range of both sports betting options and casino games.
The South African National Gambling Board recently announced a 5-year action plan, whether online gambling is part of the plan are not certain, yet it might be. Until then millions of South Africans continue to enjoy casino entertainment via alternative payment options and benefit from massive bonuses as well as generous loyalty benefits.