Gambling licence in South Africa

South Africa, due to its developed legislation and economic stability, attracts gambling investors from all over the world. Gambling regulation in this country is strict but transparent, which creates a favourable environment for doing business in this industry. In this article we will look at the key aspects of obtaining a gambling licence in South Africa, explore the legal framework and discuss the business opportunities.

Legal framework

Gambling in South Africa is regulated at the national and provincial levels. The main piece of legislation is the National Gambling Act of 2004, which sets out the basic principles for the regulation and control of gambling activities in the country. The Act prohibits illegal gambling and sets out licensing requirements for operators.

Each of South Africa’s nine provinces has its own regulatory structure that issues licences and controls gambling activities in its region. This means that potential operators must apply for a licence in the province where they plan to operate.

Process for obtaining a licence

The process of obtaining a gambling licence involves several steps:

  1. Application: The operator must submit an application to the provincial gambling authority. The application must include a detailed business plan, evidence of financial stability and information on the management of the company.
  2. Due diligence: Regulators conduct thorough background checks on applicants to determine their financial history and reputation. This process includes co-operation with law enforcement agencies.
  3. Technical Inspection: Assesses whether the gaming equipment meets established safety and fairness standards.
  4. Issuance of the licence: Upon successful completion of all inspections and payment of the required fees, the licence is issued to the operator.

Business opportunities and risks

The gambling industry in South Africa continues to grow, driven by increased tourist traffic and a growing interest in online gambling. However, as with any business, there are risks associated with changes in legislation, economic fluctuations and competition.

Investors should carefully analyse the market and consider local gambling regulation to minimise risk and optimise potential returns.


Gambling licensing in South Africa is a complex but challenging process. Understanding the local regulation and business culture is key to successfully entering this industry. With strict but fair regulation, South Africa remains an attractive region for gambling investment.

Gambling License in South Africa

 Online gambling licence in South Africa

South Africa is gradually becoming one of the centres of online gambling development on the continent due to its advanced legislation and openness to new technologies. Despite certain restrictions, the online gambling market offers significant opportunities for local and foreign investors. This article will provide an overview of online gambling regulation in South Africa, describing the key aspects of obtaining a licence and the specifics of running this type of business.

Legal basis

The main piece of legislation regulating gambling in South Africa is the National Gambling Act 2004 and its amendments. It sets out a strict framework for all forms of gambling, including online gambling. It is important to note that at the time of writing, the law restricts online gambling offerings to sports betting only. Casino gambling and online poker remain outlawed, placing additional requirements on companies wishing to do business in this area.

Procedure for obtaining a licence

Obtaining an online gambling licence in South Africa requires strict adherence to legislation and interaction with local regulators:

  1. Application: Interested parties must submit an application to the appropriate provincial agency responsible for regulating gambling in the region. The application must include a complete business plan, ownership information, funding sources and gaming software.
  2. Compliance Audit: Applicants need to demonstrate that their operating systems and game content meet local safety and fairness standards.
  3. KYC and AML compliance: Companies should implement strict anti-money laundering and customer identity verification procedures.
  4. Payment of licence fees: Depending on the province and type of licence, applicants need to pay the appropriate fees.

Business opportunities and challenges

The market opportunity is huge given the popularity of online betting in South Africa, but legal restrictions on online casinos and poker limit the potential for the industry to fully develop. Investors and operators need to consider these restrictions when planning their operations.


At the moment, the online gambling market in South Africa is a complex field with high growth potential but also significant legislative barriers. Understanding and complying with local laws is key to successfully operating and growing a business in this area. Investors and entrepreneurs should carefully analyse legislative changes and market trends to make the best use of the opportunities presented by the Republic of South Africa.

 How to get a gambling licence in South Africa?

South Africa offers one of the most developed and regulated gambling markets on the African continent. A strict but well-defined legislative framework ensures transparency and security for operators and players alike. In this article, we will provide a detailed guide to obtaining a gambling licence in South Africa, highlighting the key steps and requirements for applicants.

Legislative framework

Gambling in South Africa is regulated by the National Gambling Act 2004 and its amendments. This Act sets national standards and delegates some of the powers to licence and regulate casinos, betting shops and other gambling establishments to provincial authorities.

Stages of obtaining a licence

1. Determining the type of licence

The first step in the process of obtaining a licence is to determine the type of gaming activity the company plans to undertake. In South Africa, the main types of licences are as follows:

  • Casino
  • Bookmaking activities (including online betting)
  • Bingo halls
  • Slot machines

Each type of licence has its own requirements and conditions.

2. Submitting an application

Once the type of licence has been selected, an application must be submitted to the Provincial Gambling Board in the region where you plan to operate. The application must include:

  • Detailed business plan
  • Information on financial sustainability
  • Information on managers and key employees
  • Evidence of reliability and transparency of operations

3. Compliance and checks

Once the application is submitted, the verification process begins, during which the regulator analyses the submitted documents and conducts integrity and transparency checks. This includes checks on the financial health of the company and the personal background of its key individuals.

4. Technical inspection

If the application relates to operations requiring the use of gaming equipment, a technical inspection is carried out. This is necessary to ensure that the equipment complies with safety and fair play standards.

5. Issuance of licence

Upon successful completion of all checks and approval of the application, the regulator issues the licence. The issuance of a licence is accompanied by the payment of a licence fee, the amount of which depends on the type and scale of the gaming activity.


Obtaining a gambling licence in South Africa is a complex process that requires careful preparation and strict adherence to legal requirements. Given the regulation of each province, it is important for potential operators to consult with local legal and financial experts to successfully complete the process. Understanding and respecting local legislation and culture is key to a successful gambling business in South Africa.

 How much does a gambling licence cost in South Africa?

Obtaining a gambling licence in South Africa represents a significant financial investment, including not only licence fees, but also the costs of documentation, legal services and compliance. In this article, we look at how much it costs to obtain and maintain a gambling licence in different provinces of South Africa, as well as the main factors affecting the overall cost.

Cost of the licence

The cost of a gambling licence in South Africa varies by licence type and region. In South Africa, provincial regulators set their own fees and licensing requirements, resulting in significant cost differences across the country. Below are the main types of licence and general cost data:

  1. Casinos: The most expensive licences, their cost can range from a few hundred thousand to a million rand depending on the scale of operations and location. This also includes the annual licence renewal fee, which can also be significant.
  2. Bookmaking: The cost of a licence for bookmakers and other types of betting (including online betting) is generally lower than for casinos, but can still run into hundreds of thousands of rands.
  3. Slot machines and bingo: Licences to operate slot machines and bingo halls cost less than casinos or betting shops, but require additional fees per device.

Included costs

In addition to licence fees directly, potential operators should consider the following costs:

  • Legal costs: Preparing and submitting a licence application requires legal support. The cost of legal services may vary depending on the complexity of the case.
  • Financial and audit services: An audit is required to prove financial stability and compliance.
  • One-off fees for integrity checks: Integrity and transparency checks can also entail significant costs.


The cost of obtaining and maintaining a gambling licence in South Africa varies significantly depending on the type of licence and province. Potential operators need to consider all aspects and potential costs associated with licensing in order to adequately plan their investment and manage their budget. Understanding and strictly adhering to regulatory requirements is key to successfully obtaining a licence and continuing to do business in this dynamic industry.

 How to obtain a gambling licence in South Africa?

In South Africa, gambling is a highly regulated activity, under the control of both national and provincial authorities. Gambling licensing in South Africa requires careful planning and strict adherence to legislation. This article provides a detailed guide on how to obtain a gambling licence in South Africa, highlighting the key steps and required documents.

Legislative framework

Gambling in South Africa is regulated under the National Gambling Act 2004 and additional provincial laws. The Act defines the various forms of gambling and licensing requirements. It is important to know that each of South Africa’s nine provinces has its own regulations and licensing requirements.

Stages of obtaining a licence

1. Determining the type of licence

The first step in the licensing process is to determine the type of licence you need for your business. There are different categories including casinos, betting shops, bingo halls and slot machines. Each type has different features and requirements.

2. Selection of a province

Depending on the location of your business, you will need to apply to the regulatory authority of the relevant province. Each province has its own gambling regulatory authority, which is responsible for issuing licences.

3. Preparation of documents

To apply for a licence, a number of documents must be prepared and submitted, including:

  • Business plan
  • Evidence of financial sustainability
  • Details of owners and managers
  • Legal documents of the company
  • A plan for complying with the rules of responsible play

4. Submitting an application

Once all the necessary documents have been prepared, the application is submitted to the chosen regulatory authority. This may be accompanied by the payment of the necessary fees for the review and processing of the application.

5. Checks and approvals

The regulator will carry out checks to assess the integrity of the applicant as well as the compliance of its business plan with legal requirements. This includes financial checks, background checks and technical systems compliance checks.

6. Issuance of licence

Upon successful completion of all checks and approval of the application, the licence is issued to the applicant. Once a licence is granted, the company must continue to comply with all regulatory requirements and maintain high standards of integrity and safety.


The process of obtaining a gambling licence in South Africa requires careful compliance with a multitude of legislative and regulatory requirements. Successfully obtaining and maintaining a licence requires not only an initial effort to apply for and pass inspections, but also an ongoing effort to comply with all regulatory standards. Nevertheless, with the right approach, it provides an excellent business opportunity in the lucrative and growing gambling industry.

 How long does it take to get a gambling licence in South Africa?

Obtaining a gambling licence in South Africa is a complex process that involves many steps, from application to legal checks and technical inspection. The time taken to obtain a licence can vary significantly depending on the type of licence, the accuracy of the documentation submitted and the efficiency of provincial regulators. In this article, we will review the main factors that affect the time it takes to obtain a licence and provide an overview of the timeline for the process.

Main factors affecting timing

  1. Licence type

There are different types of gambling licences in South Africa, including casinos, betting shops, slot machines and bingo. The complexity and requirements for each type of licence vary, which affects the overall processing times for applications.

  1. Quality of documentation preparation

Careful preparation and completeness of the documentation provided can significantly speed up the licensing process. Deficiencies or errors in documentation can lead to delays, as regulators often request additional information or clarifications.

  1. Regulatory procedures

Each of South Africa’s provinces has its own regulatory body with unique procedures and timeframes. This means that processing times may vary from region to region.

Approximate timeframe for obtaining a licence

Based on the overall data and analyses of provincial regulations, the following timelines can be estimated:

  • Application and initial assessment: Usually takes from a few weeks to one month. During this period, a preliminary review of the documents is carried out to ensure that they are complete and meet the requirements.
  • Due Diligence and Financial Assessment: This stage can take one to three months. It includes a detailed review of the applicant’s financial position, business history and reputation.
  • Technical inspection and conformity assessment: If the application includes operations requiring specialised gaming equipment, this process may take one to two months.
  • Final decision and licence issuance: After successful completion of all inspections, the regulator decides whether to issue a licence. This stage can take from a few weeks to a month.


In general, the process of obtaining a gambling licence in South Africa can take between three and six months, and in some cases longer, depending on a variety of factors including the type of licence, the region and the quality of the documents submitted. Potential operators are advised to start the process as early as possible and ensure that all documents and requirements are correctly and completely completed to minimise potential delays.

 Do you need a gambling licence for a raffle in South Africa?

Lotteries and raffles are often used in South Africa as a means of raising funds for charitable organisations or commercial enterprises. However, it is important to understand the legal requirements associated with such events to avoid legal offences and potential fines. In this article, we look at whether a lottery licence is required in South Africa and what legislation governs these activities.

Legislative regulation

In South Africa, gambling activities, including lotteries, are regulated at national and provincial levels. The main law regulating lotteries is the Lotteries Act of 1997. Under this Act, most forms of lotteries require a licence, with the exception of certain types of lotteries, which may be exempt from licensing if certain conditions are met.

Licensing requirements

  1. Commercial lotteries

A licence is mandatory for commercial lotteries aimed at generating revenue. Organisers must apply to the National Gambling Board or the relevant provincial authority for permission to conduct such events.

  1. Charity lotteries

Charities conducting lotteries to raise funds for charity are also subject to compulsory licensing. However, there are certain exemptions and simplified procedures for obtaining a licence.

  1. Small raffles and lotteries

Small-scale raffles, such as holding a raffle at a corporate event or private gathering, may not require a licence if they meet certain criteria:

  • Restrict access of participants (e.g. only company employees)
  • All proceeds go towards prizes, not used to make a profit or cover expenses
  • The total value of the prizes does not exceed the legal limit


Running a lottery in South Africa requires careful compliance with legislation and often a licence. It is the responsibility of the event organiser to ensure compliance. Before planning a lottery or raffle, it is important to consult legal counsel or contact the relevant regulatory authorities to clarify all necessary conditions and procedures. This approach will help to avoid legal violations and ensure a successful event.

 Who is the gambling regulator in South Africa?

Gambling in South Africa is subject to strict government control and regulation. This process is co-ordinated and implemented at two levels: national and provincial. In this article, we examine the structure of gambling regulation in South Africa, the key functions of national and provincial bodies and their interaction in the context of gambling governance.

National Gambling Council of South Africa

The main regulatory body for the gambling industry at a national level is the National Gambling Board of South Africa (NGB). This body is established under the National Gambling Act, 2004 and plays an important role in regulating, supervising and promoting responsible gambling behaviour throughout the country.

NGB Core Functions:

  • Licensing: The National Gambling Council does not issue licences directly, but sets standards and regulations for licensing that provincial regulators must follow.
  • Oversight and Control: The NGB oversees the enforcement of gambling legislation at the provincial level and coordinates the activities of local regulators.
  • Data collection and research: the Council collects statistics, conducts research and analyses the gambling market to inform government on current trends and the need for legislative change.
  • Standards development: Development and implementation of national standards for game safety and fair play.
  • Prevention of problem gambling behaviour: NGB actively works to prevent gambling addiction and promotes responsible gambling.

Provincial regulators

In addition to the national regulator, each of South Africa’s nine provinces has its own regulatory body, which is responsible for the licensing, control and supervision of gambling in its region. These bodies have broad powers to regulate all forms of gambling in the province, including casinos, betting shops, gaming machines and other gambling establishments.

Examples of provincial regulators:

Each of these bodies work in strict compliance with local laws and liaise with the National Gambling Board to ensure regulatory consistency and efficiency at all levels.


Gambling regulation in South Africa is characterised by a high level of organisation and a clear division of responsibility between national and provincial levels of government. The National Gambling Board and provincial regulators work together to form a multi-layered system of control that promotes integrity, safety and accountability in the gambling industry. This system not only protects the interests of players, but also promotes economic development and ensures compliance with legislation.

 What types of gambling licences exist in South Africa?

South Africa offers a variety of gambling opportunities, each requiring an appropriate licence regulated at both national and provincial levels. Knowing the types of licences, their requirements and purpose is critical for all market participants. In this article, we will look in detail at the different types of gambling licences in South Africa and explain which business models fall under each type.

Main types of gambling licences

  1. Casino licence

This type of licence is required for operations related to the operation of a land-based casino, which includes various gaming tables and slot machines. Casino licences are issued at the provincial level and require strict regulatory compliance, including ensuring financial stability, integrity of the owners and responsible gambling.

  1. Betting licence

A betting licence permits the acceptance of bets on sports and other events both in physical locations and online. This type of licence is also regulated at the provincial level and requires applicants to prove their ability to offer fair and transparent betting services.

  1. Bingo licence

Bingo licences are issued to operate bingo halls where regular bingo games are played. Includes both traditional bingo and electronic bingo. Applicants must demonstrate compliance with gaming and safety regulations.

  1. Licence to operate gaming machines

This licence allows the installation and operation of slot machines in permitted locations other than full casinos, such as bars or entertainment centres. Like other licences, it requires proof of fair play and appropriate security measures.

  1. Licence for interactive games

This type of licence covers the conduct and management of online casinos and requires operators to comply with special measures to ensure data protection and player safety. However, it is worth noting that South Africa is currently very restrictive in terms of offering online gambling within the country.


In each case, gambling licences in South Africa involve strict monitoring and regulation to ensure fair, transparent and responsible operations. Prospective operators should carefully review the requirements for each type of licence and seek professional assistance to ensure full compliance with all regulatory and legislative requirements. Obtaining a gambling licence in South Africa requires considerable effort and resources, but also provides opportunities to develop a successful and profitable business in the industry.

 What are the requirements for applicants for a gambling licence in South Africa?

South Africa has a highly regulated gambling industry that requires licence applicants to comply with certain standards and conditions. These requirements are designed to ensure transparency, integrity and accountability in gambling. In this article, we will look at the main requirements that apply to applicants for a gambling licence in South Africa.

General requirements

The requirements for applicants can vary depending on the type of licence and the province in which they are applying. However, there are general standards that apply throughout the country:

  1. Financial sustainability

Applicants must demonstrate sufficient financial strength to operate a gambling operation. This includes the ability to provide start-up funding and cover all costs associated with operations without jeopardising financial stability.

  1. Integrity

Applicants and key persons in their organisation must have an impeccable reputation and no convictions for economic crimes or crimes against public morals. This requirement is confirmed through integrity checks.

  1. Professional experience

Experience in gambling or complex project management is required to ensure that the gambling business is managed professionally and efficiently.

  1. Compliance with legislation

Applicants must demonstrate a willingness and ability to comply with all relevant laws and regulations, including data protection, financial monitoring and anti-money laundering laws.

  1. Technical infrastructure

It is necessary to have or be able to establish a technical infrastructure that meets all standards of security and gaming integrity. For online casinos, this also includes data protection and encryption systems.

  1. Responsible game

All gambling operators are required to implement responsible gambling programmes designed to minimise the risks of gambling addiction and ensure the protection of vulnerable citizens.

Additional requirements

Depending on the specifics of the licence, additional requirements may be imposed, such as specific technical standards for gaming systems, detailed site plans for gaming machines, or specific conditions for betting operations.


Obtaining a gambling licence in South Africa requires strict compliance with a host of requirements designed to ensure the safe and fair conduct of gambling. These measures are aimed at protecting both operators and players, as well as maintaining order and public confidence in the gambling industry. In order to successfully obtain and maintain a licence, companies need to pay attention not only to the initial preparation for application, but also to the ongoing compliance with all regulatory and legislative standards.

 What law regulates online gambling in South Africa?

In South Africa, the regulation of internet gambling is strictly controlled by the state. The online gambling market is highly regulated due to the desire to ensure a fair gaming environment, protect the interests of consumers and prevent illegal activities. The main law regulating online gambling in the country is the National Gambling Act of 2004.

Key provisions of the National Gambling Act 2004

The National Gambling Act 2004 sets out the framework for regulating all forms of gambling, including online gambling. Here are the key aspects of the Act relating to online gambling:

  1. Licensing of operators

The law requires all online gambling operators to obtain the appropriate licences from provincial regulators. These licences are only issued to companies that can prove their financial stability, honesty and reliability, as well as their ability to comply with the rules of responsible gaming.

  1. Ban on certain online gambling activities

It is important to note that South Africa prohibits certain types of online gambling, such as online casinos and poker. However, online sports betting and horse racing are allowed, which must also meet strict licensing requirements.

  1. Consumer protection

The law emphasises the need to protect the rights and interests of players. It requires operators to take measures to protect customers’ personal and financial data, and obliges them to inform players about the risks of gambling addiction and provide tools for self-regulation.

  1. Combating money laundering

Online gambling operators are required to comply with legislation aimed at preventing money laundering. This includes conducting thorough customer due diligence (KYC) and monitoring financial transactions.


The National Gambling Act 2004 provides a framework for the regulation and control of online gambling in South Africa. While the Act permits certain forms of online betting, it severely restricts other forms of internet gambling, emphasising the government’s priorities of consumer protection and the prevention of illegal activities. For businesses wishing to operate in the online gambling industry in South Africa, it is imperative that they not only fully comply with these legal requirements, but also keep up to date with changes in the regulatory environment to ensure long-term success.

 Required documents to apply for an online gambling licence in South Africa?

Obtaining an online gambling licence in South Africa requires the preparation and submission of a number of specific documents that will help regulators assess the applicant’s compliance. A complete and correctly completed application package is a key factor in successfully obtaining a licence. In this article, we will look at what documents need to be prepared to apply for an online gambling licence.

List of required documents

To obtain an online gambling licence, a company needs to prepare and submit the following documents:

  1. Application for licence

The application must include the full name of the company, registration addresses, contact details and the type of licence being applied for.

  1. Constituent documents

Copies of the company’s constituent documents (e.g. articles of association, certificate of incorporation) confirming the legality of the business and its structure.

  1. Business plan

A detailed business plan outlining the operating model of the business, expected markets, audiences, marketing and advertising strategies, and financial projections for the coming years.

  1. Evidence of financial sustainability

Bank statements, audited financial statements and other financial documents confirming the financial strength of the company.

  1. Documents on the company’s executives

Biographies of key executives, including information on professional experience and qualifications, and copies of identification documents (passport, driving licence).

  1. Safety certificates

Documentation that the software and gaming systems comply with international standards for safety and fair play.

  1. Responsible Gaming Policy

A document describing the measures the company takes to prevent gambling addiction, as well as its privacy and user data protection policies.

  1. Evidence of compliance with data protection legislation

Documents confirming the company’s compliance with legal requirements for the protection of clients’ personal data.

  1. Plans to combat money laundering

Description of internal rules and procedures aimed at preventing money laundering and terrorist financing.


Preparing to apply for an online gambling licence in South Africa requires considerable effort and attention to detail. A comprehensive approach to preparing the necessary documents will help ensure a smooth application process and increase the chances of successfully obtaining a licence. Companies seeking to enter the South African online gambling market should pay particular attention to the quality and completeness of the documents submitted.

 Features of a gambling licence document in South Africa

In South Africa, gambling licensing is monitored at national and provincial levels to ensure that strict standards of transparency, safety and responsible gambling are met. A gambling licence is an important document that certifies a company’s right to conduct gambling activities. In this article, we look at the key features of a gambling licence document in South Africa.

Peculiarities of the licence document

  1. Legal force

A gambling licence is a legal document issued by provincial regulatory authorities that certifies a company’s right to conduct a certain type of gambling in accordance with national legislation and provincial regulations.

  1. Validity period

The duration of the licence may vary depending on the type of gambling and the specific requirements of the regulator. Licences are usually issued for several years, after which a renewal procedure is required. The exact terms and conditions for renewal of the licence are specified in the document itself.

  1. Conditions and limitations

The licence document contains a detailed description of the conditions and restrictions imposed on the operator. This includes rules of behaviour in gambling activities, requirements for gaming equipment, audits, measures to prevent money laundering and obligations to protect the rights of players.

  1. Information on the licensee

The licence must contain the full name and address of the licensee company, details of the legal status of the company, and information on the key managers and owners.

  1. Types of authorised games

The document outlines the specific types of gambling that are permitted under the licence. This may include casino games, sports betting, lotteries, bingo and others.

  1. Financial conditions

The document contains information on licence fees, terms of payment and other financial obligations of the licensee. In addition, financial report and audit requirements may be specified.

  1. Measures of responsible play

The licence should include the operator’s obligations to implement responsible gaming programmes, such as measures to prevent gambling addiction and protect vulnerable groups.


A gambling licence in South Africa is a complex document that requires careful compliance with established legislative and regulatory standards. In order to successfully obtain and maintain a licence, companies need to strictly adhere to all conditions and restrictions spelled out in the licence and regularly confirm their compliance through various inspections and audits. Effective management of licence requirements contributes to a safe and fair gaming environment that protects both operators and players.

 Establishing a company for online gambling activities in South Africa

Setting up an online gambling company in South Africa requires a thorough understanding of local gambling laws and adherence to strict regulatory standards. The South African gambling market is highly regulated, protecting the interests of both players and operators. In this article, we look at the key steps and legal aspects of setting up a company to conduct online gambling in South Africa.

Steps to establish a company

  1. Market research and business plan development

The first step is to thoroughly research the South African gambling market, analysing potential audiences and competitors. Based on this analysis, a detailed business plan is developed, including marketing strategies, financial projections and operational modelling.

  1. Company registration

In order to operate legally in the online gambling industry, it is necessary to register a company in South Africa. This involves choosing the appropriate legal form (e.g. private company), registering with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and obtaining a tax identification number.

  1. Obtaining an online gambling licence

Under the National Gambling Act 2004 and other relevant regulations, a company must apply to the provincial regulatory authority for an online gambling licence. The application process includes submission of all required documents such as a business plan, evidence of financial stability, information on key persons in the company and measures to ensure fair play and protection of user data.

  1. Configuring the operating infrastructure

It is crucial for online gambling to establish a reliable and secure IT infrastructure. This includes selecting the right gaming software, ensuring compliance with data protection requirements and integrating payment systems that support both local and international financial transactions.

Legal aspects

  1. Compliance with legislation

Online gambling companies must strictly comply with South African legislation, including privacy laws, anti-money laundering regulations and gambling regulations. Violation of these requirements may result in fines, loss of licence or other legal consequences.

  1. Responsible game

An important aspect is the introduction of responsible gambling programmes that provide players with protection from gambling addiction, self-exclusion options and information on the risks of gambling.


Establishing a company for online gambling in South Africa requires not only financial investment, but also a thorough understanding of the legal environment and market conditions. Companies that take a careful approach to planning and compliance can successfully launch and grow their business in the South African gambling market while ensuring a high level of safety and fairness for all participants.

 History of gambling in South Africa

Gambling has a long and complex history in South Africa, from initial informal betting amongst the local population to the highly regulated industry we know it to be today. This article provides an overview of the development of gambling in South Africa, highlighting key moments and legislative changes that have shaped the current gambling environment.

Early years

Gambling was common among indigenous peoples in South Africa long before colonisation, taking the form of simple games of chance using dice and stones. With the arrival of European colonisers, more organised forms of betting, including horse racing and cards, were introduced to the region.

Development in the 20th century

At the beginning of the 20th century, gambling was largely illegal, with the exception of betting on horse racing, which was legalised. However, by the middle of the century, things began to change. In 1965, the Gambling Act was passed, which officially banned all forms of gambling except betting on horse racing. Despite this, illegal casinos continued to flourish, especially in the Bantustans, the autonomous territories reserved for major ethnic groups during apartheid.

Post-apartheid period

A fundamental change occurred after the end of apartheid in 1994. The new democratic government recognised the need to legalise and regulate gambling as a means of generating revenue and creating jobs. In 1996, the National Gambling Act was passed, which established a framework for the licensing and control of gambling. This Act allowed the first licensed casinos to open and established a system of provincial and national regulators.

Modern era

With the development of the internet and digital technology, recent decades have brought new challenges and opportunities for the gambling industry. In South Africa, online gambling is still under strict control, with limited forms of legal online gambling such as sports betting and horse racing. The government continues to explore ways to regulate the sector to ensure safety and fairness for players and prevent illegal activities.


The history of gambling in South Africa reflects the changing socio-political landscape of the country. From informal games to a highly regulated industry, gambling has come a long way in its development and transformation. Today’s licensing and regulatory system ensures that gambling contributes to the economy while protecting vulnerable groups and preventing criminal activity. In the face of new technological changes, South Africa continues to adapt to ensure the sustainability of this dynamic industry.

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