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Land-based Gambling in South Africa

18 January 2021 | News

Author: MOHIO Team

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Land-based Gambling in South Africa

Many leading gambling operators are increasingly turning their attention to the African continent as a profitable region in the gambling industry and are expanding their business focusing on this continent. At the moment, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, and Tanzania are among the leaders in land-based gambling and betting. The following article is intended to provide information on legislation, market trends, and the development of land-based gambling in Africa.

Land-based Gambling in South Africa


It’s a continent with a population of over 1.3 billion people, whose countries have successfully digitized, made a technological and digital leap in recent years. Now, these are not only countries with an agricultural focus, as it was previously believed. Besides, at the moment, about 80% of the population of the entire continent has a mobile connection and about 60% have access to the Internet. Countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, and Tanzania are fully prepared to implement land-based gambling/betting business at the level of their legislation. At the moment, these countries are developing an online direction, and this has potential. At the same time, the Internet, often, costs a lot of money, and not everyone has it. Due to the fact that countries are just creating, developing, and improving their laws and regulations for online gambling, operators and providers may face fairly frequent and dramatic changes in requirements, both technical and legal. In land-based gambling, there are practically no such situations, since it has already established itself and strengthened itself on the domestic market with all its regulations.


South Africa is the largest gaming market on the continent. South Africa has the second-largest GDP in all of Africa. The Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) index in South Africa is projected to reach ~ $2.5 billion by 2021.

The GGR for 2018 was $1.9 billion, according to a report by the South African National Gambling Council. In recent years, sports betting has shown the highest percentage of growth among all forms of gambling in the country. It accounted for 21.3% of gambling revenue in 2018, totaling $405 million.

According to some estimates, roughly half of all adults in South Africa bet on sports regularly, and most of them bet at least once a month.

As recent polls prove, about ~ 75% of the population has gambled at least once in their life. In the same poll, more than half of the respondents called gambling “an exciting pastime”. Typical favorites are soccer, rugby, golf, cricket, dogs, and horse racing.

But even with this positive news for the industry, it should be noted that the development of this industry is also impeded by a constant, fragmented, and completely diverse regional bureaucracy, which can dramatically differ from one region to another.

Most African countries have a regulatory body that oversees the gambling industry. However, the nine provinces of South Africa have their gambling councils that independently regulate and govern the laws and regulations of gambling specifically in their province.

A lot of gambling is illegal in the country, the only types of games that are legally appropriate and available to the masses are sports betting.

For a novice casino, the only way to enter the market is to obtain a special license. According to the current laws of South Africa, money won at online casinos is considered to be obtained illegally. Such financial transactions are monitored by banks, and players can be seriously penalized.

However, despite bans and preventive legislation, South Africans continue to gamble in both offshore and illegal online casinos or poker rooms.

Under the laws of September 2011, no online casino operator can legally offer gambling services within South Africa. However, there is still a wide selection of operators that continue to attract players from South Africa. Understanding this difference is critical because finding “safe online casinos” will always be a priority for South African players.

Despite all this, there was a lot of discussion about the improvement and future legalization of land and online gambling in all its forms within the country. So just watch the industry and even better - follow our news, because we will tell you all the concentrate of the most interesting and useful.

This is the first article in a series of gambling industry on the African continent. Later we will reveal countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Follow our blog and news on social networks and this website to keep abreast of the most interesting events and trends in the gambling industry all around the world.

Contact the MOHIO Sports chat to quickly receive products in demand among African players on transparent and favorable terms for you.

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