South Africa’s relationship with gambling has always been complicated when it comes to the law, but no one can deny that South African citizens themselves are avid lovers of games of chance. Slots, in particular, are a favourite of many a gaming enthusiast in the country. Table games such as roulette, baccarat, and blackjack are quite popular in the halls of land-based South African gambling establishments as well.
Offshore remote casinos also see quite a lot of traction from South African gamblers, despite the fact that online gaming is technically illegal in the country. This only serves to highlight South Africa’s potential in the iGaming market. Fortunately, it seems that things might change for the better in the near future, as a bill that aims to properly regulate the South African iGaming sector has been revealed to be in the works.
Casino Sites in South Africa
At the time of writing, there is no shortage of offshore casinos that accept South African gaming devotees with open arms. In fact, there are enough South Africa-friendly remote casinos that picking just one can be quite difficult. To assist you in your search, we have compiled a list that showcases the best casinos for South African gamblers that offer no deposit casino bonuses.
Best Casino Bonuses in South Africa
The vast majority of online casinos have taken to showering both new users and existing customers with enticing promotional offers. This can make starting out at a given casino all the more fun, and there are plenty of bonus promotions South Africans can look forward to once they venture into the international iGaming sphere.
One of the best and most popular casino promotion types is the so-called deposit bonus. Also known as match bonuses, these offers essentially grant you no deposit bonus funds based on the amount of money you deposit into your casino account.
Free spins also make for excellent casino promotional perks. They are some of the most straightforward bonuses available, since whenever you take advantage of such a bonus, you are granted free games to play on a given slot.
There are also promotions that simply reward you with a cash bonus, while some casinos also offer cashback, which is a partial refund.
We also need to emphasise once again that casino promotions as a whole are not exclusive to new players. Plenty of gambling websites have VIP bonuses for loyal clients, and referral promotions are popular as well.
As great as promotions can be, there are some things players need to keep in mind before they settle on a specific bonus. Most promotions are accompanied by various conditions, like minimum deposit requirements and maximum bet sizes, for instance. Rollover requirements are quite common too, and other peculiarities include the exclusion of certain banking methods, restricting free spins to specific games, and more. All of these will vary from casino to casino, so always remember to read the terms and conditions of a gaming website’s bonuses thoroughly.
Casino Regulation in South Africa
To say that South Africa’s gambling sector has gone through a lot would be an understatement. Historically, there have been many ups and downs when it comes to the laws surrounding games of chance in South Africa, and gambling within the country as a whole used to be illegal not too long ago. Although we cannot deny that things have improved significantly in the past few decades, the legal situation of online gaming in the country remains complicated.
The Gambling Act of 1965 is one of the most significant moments in South Africa’s gambling history, seeing as the law in question rendered almost all forms of gambling illegal within the country, with the exception of horse racing. This, however, did not stop South Africans from partaking in the hobby. The period between the mid-60s and the mid-90s saw the establishment of hundreds of small-scale illegal gambling venues, and gaming enthusiasts were more than eager to take advantage of any opportunity to gamble they could find. Thus formed a substantial gambling sector that would remain untapped by the country at large for quite some time.
Seeking to remedy the situation, the South African government passed the Gambling Act in 1996. With this, games of chance, sports betting, and lotteries were declared to be legal, and the National Gambling Board was established to oversee the operation of land-based gambling establishments within the country.
The online iGaming sphere was still in its infancy at the time, which would explain the fact that the Gambling Act did not address remote gambling. This was remedied by the National Gambling Act of 2004, which officially prohibited almost all forms of interactive gambling. This excluded sports betting, and sportsbooks are still permitted to operate in South Africa so long as they have obtained a licence to do so.
Overview of the Current Gambling Regulations in South Africa
As established, sports betting is the only type of online gambling permitted within South Africa currently. Other forms of gambling are restricted to brick-and-mortar venues, and all 9 of South Africa’s provinces have the authority to issue gambling licences. The introduction of official licensing has lowered the number of total gambling venues in South Africa, but the legitimate establishments that do operate now offer a far greater gaming experience than what South Africans had access to prior to the 1996 legislation.
All in all, the land-based gambling sector is thriving in South Africa, but remote gaming remains at a stalemate when it comes to games of chance. Numerous attempts have been made to officially legalise interactive gambling, including the National Gambling Amendment Act of 2008 and 2014’s Remote Bill, but none have come to pass thus far.
South Africans are prohibited from engaging in remote gaming activities, and online casinos are not allowed to operate within the country or, in the case of offshore casinos, offer their services to South Africans. As a result, gaming enthusiasts have no access to online gaming venues that are licensed by an official South African regulatory body.
The good news is that although South African residents could, technically, face legal consequences for gaming online, the law is not enforced. Offshore gaming websites also welcome South Africans without facing prosecution.
The only issue South African lovers of games of chance have faced in recent years is financial institutions blocking transactions from online casinos, but even this can be circumvented via the usage of VPNs, digital wallets, cryptocurrencies, and the like.
What is more, 2022 saw yet another proposal of a bill that would legalise online gaming. If passed, the new legislation will allow for the issuing of official remote gambling licences to both domestic and offshore remote casinos, and it will ensure that all gambling operations are in line with the country’s Financial Intelligence Centre Act.
Are South Africans excluded from the promotions offered at remote casinos?
This depends on your casino and the bonus itself. In general, a casino that welcomes players from South Africa will not exclude them from the website’s bonuses, but there are always exceptions. Moreover, certain casinos will, on occasion, offer promotions that are exclusive to players for a specific region. As always, examine the terms and conditions of the casino in question, and check the specific requirements and terms of the bonus you wish to take advantage of to make sure that you are eligible.
Is online gambling legal in South Africa?
At the time of writing, playing games of chance on the web is deemed illegal according to South African law. Moreover, remote casinos that operate internationally are prohibited from accepting South African gamblers. As established, however, casino players have not been charged for gaming online, and many offshore casinos continue to accept South African clients.
What types of casino games are available on remote gambling websites?
In general, slots tend to be the most popular games of chance, so you can almost always expect to find them within the game menus of a remote gambling website. There are also casinos that offer table games, such as blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and other classic game types. Last but not least, live dealer solutions have become quite sought after in recent years, and plenty of casinos, therefore, offer game lobbies that are hosted by professional croupiers.
What deposit and withdrawal methods can I use in casinos that accept South Africans?
Nowadays, the average online casino offers a wide range of banking solutions to its users. You can typically pick between bank cards, bank transfers, digital wallets, prepaid vouchers, and cryptocurrencies. Given the current circumstances surrounding the legality of remote gambling in South Africa, cryptocurrencies are considered to be the safest and most convenient banking method.
Can I play online casino games on my smartphone?
Yes, most South Africa-friendly casinos are compatible with smartphone devices. Typically, you will be able to play on the go by simply opening the casino’s mobile website on your browser. Certain casinos also offer a dedicated smartphone application that is available on Google Play or the App Store. Regardless of which option you go for, the vast majority of modern casino games are optimised for smartphones.