A Brief Guide to Online South African Casinos

South Africa may not be known for its online casino scene but this may well be set to change. It has the biggest market for online casino play in Africa with Kenya and Nigeria close behind. Although laws tightened considerably in 2012 it is still possible to play, with a new license scheme set to go live for online casino websites. So if you want to play slots or play live casino in South Africa you can.

With this in mind let’s explore South African online casinos in more depth.

Casino Play in South Africa a bit of History

With the exception of horse racing, gambling was banned for many years. In 1994 this was repealed with a licensing system coming into force in 1996. This was and still is operated by the National Gambling Board (NGB) who was able to issue licenses to nine South African provinces for physical casinos and online sports betting websites.

In 2008, a law was passed to legalise online play completely but it was never enacted. As things stand, it is currently illegal for anyone with a South African IP address to play in an online gaming site outside of South Africa.

Should a bank, individual or company start an online casino they can be fined heavily and imprisoned. As such, to tap the lucrative South African market firms set up outside of the country allowing players to enjoy all the games online casinos provide.

This has led to established online casino providers to target the South African market together with other more homegrown providers who base themselves offshore. This has resulted in South Africa being well served in terms of online casinos with players given an abundance of choice which tends to be of the best quality given the high level of competition.

Online Gaming Markets

South Africa is enjoying a boom in players both online and offline where it comes to play. Sportsbooks are particularly popular while casino play is growing as well despite the somewhat prohibitive laws where online casinos are concerned. Curiously, one of the largest casinos in the world is Grand West Casino & Entertainment World which can be found in Cape Town.

Good online casino providers are able to tap into demand from seasoned pros to beginner players trying online gaming for the first time. There are a lot of players that have money to spend, which is music to an online casino provider’s ears.

What Games Can be Found in a South African Online Casino

As online casinos are in a highly competitive market, they have to be able to offer a good range of games, mobile play, and live play. As such you should find:

  • Slots – Slots are hugely popular and good online casinos will offer plenty of bright, colourful choices and a great range of jackpots.
  • Baccarat – Read a James Bond novel and you’ll realise he played baccarat and not poker, and he rarely drove an Aston Martin but a Bentley. I digress, as the latter is not important. The fact is that baccarat is a staple of most good South African Casinos.
  • Poker – Poker is arguably the most famous card game in the world featuring in movies and delighting audiences for decades. It is one of the most suspenseful games in the world with the outcome often decided at the turn of the last card. Good operators will offer plenty of choices of poker styles and pots.
  • Blackjack – This fast and fun game features in most good online casinos and for good reason. It is brilliant. Again, there are several versions of the game on offer to suit all budgets.
  • Roulette – The famous game is well catered to as most South African casinos provide European and American versions of the game. Some even put in their own that has a little twist to keep things interesting.

Live Play

A fairly recent development is live play online casinos. Here, a real croupier deals cards or spins a live roulette wheel streamed to players in HD. This gives the games a real flavour and players like the fact that the random number generator (RNG) is no longer a factor in determining the outcome of a play.

It does take a little getting used to, but after a few games, many prefer it to online play that relies on the RNG.

It has been argued that jackpots are not as good with live play but this is something that is set to change as the format gets more established.

Final Thoughts

South Africa is well served by online casino providers. There is plenty of choice and games to suit all budgets and tastes. This is only set to improve as time goes by as the country brings in less restrictive online gaming laws.

Whether you are African-based or not, South Africa offers diverse and high-tech games no matter what kind of player you are.

Have fun.

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