Gambling and casinos in the Republic of South Africa

In RSA there are many casino complexes which are aimed for tourists. However, thanks to rich base, which includes high end hotels, luxurious restaurants and even meeting halls, they attract business guests as well.



History of casinos in RSA

Gambling was known to the citizens of the Republic of South Africa many centuries ago, however they weren’t always legal. The act introduced in 1965 forbade any form of gambling on the RSA’s territory. The only exception were horse races. In the 70s of the 20th century, casinos on the territories independent from RSA started to appear (Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei). When in 1994, new government started its administration, the situation of gambling in RPA changed. In 1996 new law, which legalized gambling and presupposed giving out 40 licences on the territory of the country was introduced. Before, there were as much as 2000 of them, however in the light of new law they were illegal.

Before introduction of new laws, which legalized gambling in RSA around 2000 casinos were active there, however after the law entered in forced, the number of casinos was cut down to 40 in the whole country.

When, where and what to play in casinos in RSA
On the whole territory of the Republic of South Africa there are currently few dozens of legal casinos. We will find them in each larger city in RSA. they are working independently or as a part of hotel and entertainment complexes. Casinos are opened whole week from afternoon to morning hours, during weekends longer, some of them even 24 hours a day. Players in the casinos offer will find among others different types of roulette, blackjack, poker, baccarat, punto banco and slot machines.

Cities in which land based casinos are found

  • Bethlehem
  • Brakpan
  • Caledon
  • Durban
  • East London
  • Empangeni
  • Johannesburg
  • Kapsztad
  • Kimberley
  • Klerksdorp
  • Langebaan
  • Mabopane
  • Mahikeng
  • Mossel Bay
  • Nelspruit
  • Pietermaritzburg
  • Polokwane
  • Port Edward
  • Port Elizabeth
  • Secunda
  • Sun City
  • Temba
  • Thaba Nchu
  • Thohoyandou
  • Upington
  • Vanderbijlpark
  • Welkom
  • Worcester


Internet casinos in RSA

Playing in Internet casinos in the Republic of South Africa is currently illegal, and although there were steps takes to change the law regarding casinos online, until now nothing has changed. However players who live on the territory of RSA may use the offer of overseas online casinos, although for such action one may be punished with a fine or even imprisonment. Overseas Internet casinos to which the citizens of RSA have access offer play in afrikaans and english languages, bets are accepted in rands and american dollars.

Legal regulations
National Gambling Act from 2004 forbids offering and using gambling online besides horse races and betting. It means that casinos online are illegal here, it does not matter from which country they have a licence. A change in this sphere was to come together with new law from 2008 which was to legalize casinos online, however until now it hasn’t happened. In the beginning of 2014 again, the topic of legalization of gambling online was raised.The Ministry of Trade and Industry - Rob Davies - assured that the government is working on changing existing law.

Currently online gambling on the territory of RSA is forbidden. Exception from that are horse races and sports bets. However the government is working on introduction of new laws which will legalise Internet casinos.


Mistaken win in Suncoast Casino

In 2006 an unfortunate situation in Casino Suncoast, in Durban took place. A lawyer, Jayshree Asalan, won almost 43 million rands ($4 million) while playing one of the slot machines. However the administration of casino refused to pay out his win, claiming that the highest possible win on the slot machine cannot be larger than 1 million rands. The fact that much larger amount of money was shown, was fault of the slot machine, which was defective and information about it was available on a sticker, on the side of the the slot machine. Because of that, the win was said to be voided and money was not paid out to Asalan.

The winner of WPT Alpha8 Johannesburg
In February 2014 in the capital of RPA, Johannesburg, World Poker Tour Alpha8 Johannesburg final took place. Unbeatable turned out to be a 25-year old player from USA, Daniel “Jungleman” Cates, who defeated other competitors and won $500 000.