The South African gambling market continues to exceed expectations. In recent years, it has already enjoyed multiple successes, and more achievements are expected to occur in the years to come.
In this post, we’ll be talking about all things related to the gaming sector in South Africa. We’ll be focusing on factors like the increasing popularity of casino games, annual revenues, legislation and everything else in between. For more information, please keep reading.
An Overview of the Gambling Industry in South Africa
Along with other countries like Nigeria, South Africa stands as one of the fastest growing markets, with a truly impressive growth rate. It has maintained a high level of integrity and compliance to the National Gambling Board (NGB) and is expected to grow further. Along with the National Gambling Board, the gambling industry is managed and operated by nine further provincial boards.
Evidently, the market is very well-regulated. Players can currently participate in several legal forms of gambling, including casino games, bingo, limited payout machines, horse racing and sports betting.
If we look at the past decade, the gambling industry in South Africa has grown sufficiently. Back in 2011, it not only managed to achieve R17 billion in gross gambling revenues, but also provided employed more than 60,000 people.
In a 2006 survey, the results revealed that the National Lottery was favoured by many players. Although the lottery was banned by the government a while ago, it still generated huge amounts of revenue. If we look at its last year of operation, it succeeded in hitting the R3.972 billion mark in annual revenue.
Fast forward to 2015, gross gambling revenues experienced an 11.2% increase, resulting into R26 billion. Experts who are constantly assessing the situation expect the South African market maintain it’s momentum, as they are expecting it to experience a growth rate of R34.8 billion by the end of this year.
Sports Betting is on the Rise
We can’t talk figures and statistics of the South African gambling market without giving the sports industry a worthy mention. By 2015, revenues of the sports betting industry increased by 51.9%, resulting into an R2.4 billion in revenues. If we compare the results to the year 2011, that’s 5x the total amount since the total revenue stood at R478 million.
South African market is also continued to gain more momentum with a huge number of gambling apps like Sportingbet and Betway. Since you can easily download them from the App store or Google Play store, and even from the sports provider, South African players became even more interested in this type of gambling.
For the most part, South African players play responsibly. However, the country still experiences illicit activity and more and more illegal casinos . In this regard, online gambling remains illegal throughout South Africa. In this regard, stricter rules were imposed by South African gambling authorities.
To be able to contain the situation, venues and providers had to pass the National Gambling Amendment Bill. However, if we look at online gambling games like slot machines, bingo, table games etc., all of these posed a threat to the revenues generated in the country. In this regard, the gambling amended bill was useful to legalize interactive gaming in South Africa and to make further regulations of the market. However, land-based venues have opposed the bill, so it hasn’t been implement yet.
As for the online gambling situation as a whole, unfortunately, it is currently not yet legalized or regulated in South Africa. Players can only place online bets through licensed bookmakers in South Africa for sports events and horse racing. If you are caught gambling online, your winnings are instantly confiscated, before they reach your bank account. More importantly, you can face criminal charges that can impact the rest of your life.