South Africa comes as one of the top worldwide destinations to play at land based casinos, but what about South Africa online casinos? is it possible to play at a reputable venue despite current regulation? Of course you can! There are great SA casinos out there – but also many others we wouldn’t recommend – making it difficult to separate “the wheat from the chaff”. Research is mandatory before getting started at a new online casino in South Africa, specially if you are planning to play for real money.
Since 1965, most gambling forms are ilegal in this country, apart from betting on horses, which has been classified as a sporting activity. In 1994 land based casinos got their license and a board was created to regulate all gambling activities. A lot of progress was achieved, but then the National Gambling Act Revision of 2004 repealed many points from previous legislation, specially in regards to interactive gambling (online casinos).
Online gambling in South Africa remains technically “ilegal”, but nothing is stated in regards to offshore casinos. Truth is, that none of the bills are aimed towards players, but local operators. Moreover, no player has ever been prosecuted for playing at an online casino that operates offshore and accepts SA gamblers. So if you want to play online, you can do so – just make sure that your gambling destination is safe and reputable.
How to know if your chosen casino is good? There are some important points to check when choosing an online casino, that we will be reviewing here. If you prefer to skip the details, you can check this list with the best South Africa online casinos, approved by our team of experts:
Best South Africa Online Casinos for 2019
Limits: R150 – 35,000
Limits: R150 – 35,000
Limits: R20 – 71,800
Limits: R20 – 71,800
Limits: £/$/€ 20 – 10,000
Why Some South Africa Casinos Are Better Than Others
Like we mentioned in other sections of our website, processing is the most important factor to be checked when thinking about joining a new casino. Operators that are able to pay fast, are in business to stay. Specially in complicated gambling jurisdictions like South Africa, where many popular processors are unavailable for withdrawals.
Besides all the operational remarks we can make, playing at an online casino with fast payouts:
- Adds certainty that your money is safe.
- That the withdrawal is hassle free, and that improves your overall gaming experience.
- That the casino is strong enough to keep a good cash flow, working according to industry standards.
I believe that the biggest nightmare becomes real when you have to chase the casino management to receive your earnings. Many online casinos will happily receive your deposits and give you a runaround when you try to cash out. Delays, excuses, low limits, restricted withdrawal options and unfriendly bonus terms are regular shady practices.
Guidelines to Choose the best ZAR online casino
- Quick Payouts: You should be able to receive your earnings within 48hs, in local currency. Fast payouts show that the casino is financially stable and is not trying to hold your money.
- Fast Customer Support: a knowledgeable support team should be at your disposal 24/7 in case any problem arises.
- Many Games and Fair Bonuses: a solid game library is as important as good processing. Bonuses should be fair, without abusive terms aiming to retain player’s earnings. Wagering requirements should be between 25X – 30X B+D. Anything above that will be difficult to clear and will impact in your withdrawals.
- Reputable Licensing: it’s recommendable to check that the casino brand is regulated and licensed by trustworthy authorities. The site should follow industry standards and have positive feedback from gamblers around the world.
- Independent Auditors: such as eCOGRA are always welcome! They monitor gameplay fairness, safety and sometimes even mediate in disputes between casino operators and players.
- Reasonable Casino Payouts: reputable online casinos publish payout percentages on their website. Standard payout rates are between 95% and 98% and if its lower, you should just avoid that site.
South African Online Gambling Laws
Traditionally, South Africa banned most forms of gambling since 1965, except betting on horse racing. That didn’t stop land casinos from offering their services to local customers who were happy to have a place to gamble, close to their home. In the meantime, most citizens were left behind with no access to casinos due to physical distance.
In 1995 there were thousands of ilegal casinos in South Africa, catering to local players. The need for regulation brought the National Gambling Act of 1996, legalising all forms of gambling. A new system of licensed casinos and national lottery was created.
A new Gambling Act was issued in 2004, repealing previous gambling provisions. Much controversy was generated and efforts were made to bring gambling back to the table. That’s how the National Gambling Amendment Act was introduced in 2008, seeking to legalise interactive gambling, between others. Despite all the conflict, the bill never came to effect.
So as it stands, it is ilegal to locally offer online gambling services but nothing is stated in regards to offshore casinos. In the National Gambling Board website there’s a message informing that online gambling is ilegal in the country but we couldn’t find a single case where an individual was legally charged for playing at an online casino licensed abroad.
Trends and Efforts
As you can imagine, regulation didn’t stop players from gambling online. According to public reports, online gambling increased in recent years and at least 5% of the population gamble to the excess.
As it seems, the ban to online casinos didn’t help preventing people from gambling. Many argue that the real purpose of this ban is to protect land based casinos from a digital threat. The gambling community in South Africa is not happy and is pressing for an immediate change.
Government representatives repeated through the years that a fully regulated gambling market would be available to South Africans in the near future, but nothing really moved since then.
Software and Popular Games
The casino game library plays a crucial part in our gaming experience. The good news is that South Africans can enjoy a plethora of casino games from popular providers like NetEnt and Playtech, who guarantee a smooth performance and gameplay fairness. You will also find many South African online casinos powered by RTG, Betsoft and Rival. In the same way, due to the gambling situation in South Africa, other software companies like Microgaming and Play’n Go aren’t available to players located there.
Even with some missing stars, players will be able to choose between hundreds of online slots, videopoker, roulette, blackjack and live dealer. Progressive jackpots are also available.
All the casinos listed in this section offer some of the best games around. I was really surprised to find such variety! There are excellent software providers operating in South Africa, so you have many options to choose from. Personally, I would go for a NetEnt casino instead of a RTG powered brand. Why? Well, just try their games and you will see…
We live in the era of mobile devices, so any online casino that wants to succeed needs to be accessible from our phone or tablet. That’s also the case for South African casinos, which are available on Instant Play – browser based navigation. Android, iPhone, iPad, windows phones and blackberry are between the whitelisted devices where you can play on the go.
While its true that some games are missing – comparing to the desktop version – the fact that most of the brands listed here are multi-platform casinos, grant plenty of games to choose from.
Bonuses and Promotions
Reputable South Africa online casinos offer good bonuses with fair terms and conditions. You will find standard promotions that are also available to South Africans, like match bonuses with up to R32,500 in free cash and sometimes even free spins, like Yako and Yeti casinos. The free spins are usually non cashable, but they are a good way to try a new casino without risking real money. These spins are credited upon sign up, no deposit required.
As usual, please make sure to read the terms and conditions specifically in regards to wagering requirements. Anything above 30X B+D will be very difficult to clear, impacting in your chances to withdraw your casino earnings.
All in all, we can say that South Africans have great casino promotions to choose from, including some free offers and fat match bonuses that usually include more spins.
In terms of casino banking options, the situation in South Africa is quite unique. While most online casinos in South Africa accept most payment methods for deposits, like Skrill, Neteller, EcoPayz, entropay, Citadel, Bitcoin and EasyEFT, there are less options when it comes to withdrawals. Some South Africa online casinos accept Neteller and Skrill, while others work with VISA or EasyEFT / Bitcoin only.
There are huge differences in terms of processing, so please check the casino banking information or contact their finance team directly to avoid any misunderstandings. All the casinos listed here will let you deposit, withdraw and wager in ZAR, but withdrawal times vary significantly from one brand to the other.
We are happy to know that many casinos offer fast payouts, like VegasHero that processes your withdrawals instantly.
- Can I play in Rand (ZAR)?
All online casinos catering to South African players let you make your payments and withdrawals in your local currency and you will be able to wager in ZAR too.
- How do I deposit?
If you are located in South Africa, you will have many options to deposit. Usually, players prefer EasyEFT and e-wallets, depending on the sum. Please be aware that the casino will need to verify your withdrawal method if you are trying to use something different from what you used to deposit.
- How long it takes to get my winnings?
This can vary tremendously, according to the brand you choose. Some casinos will process your withdrawal instantly, while others may take up to 7 days. For the fastest payouts use e-wallets or Bitcoin.
- How do I get casino bonus?
Some casinos offer no deposit free spins, so in order to get them, you just need to sign up with the casino and claim the bonus. In case of match and reload bonuses, you need to make your first real money deposit and claim them. Remember that match bonuses are usually cashable (except cases of ridiculous wagering requirements) and no deposit offers will have more restrictions, like max cash out or even non cashable at all.
- Is it safe to play at South Africa online casinos?
As I mentioned previously: there are awesome online casinos available to South Africans. Really cool brands – that are legal – with excellent software and fast processing. Many casinos are licensed by trustworthy autorities – like the MGA or UKGC – just can’t get a SA license, because there’s none. Following some of the guidelines provided here will get you to a good port: a legal and reputable online casino where your money and your info is safe. Enjoy!