South Africa has had a long history of betting and gambling related activities that go back to the 15th century. The betting industry retains its widespread popularity to this very day, with much of it focused on soccer, cricket, horseracing and rugby. Betting on the outcome of soccer games is a particularly favored pastime for the under-45 set, mainly due to the introduction of “Soccer 6”, which offers remarkably high returns. Numerous changes and additions to the South African online betting scene are expected in the coming years however, and it would appear that sport betting activities would continue to be a prominent part of the South African social fabric for a long time to come.
Legalities of Betting Online In South Africa
While the Gambling Act of 1965 definitively banned all forms of land based betting in the country until 1996, there have been no clear-cut laws with regard to online gambling up until 2008. In May of that year, Parliament passed what was called the National Gambling Amendment Bill, which sought to regulate the online betting industry in South Africa, and effectively legalized online gambling with certain restrictions. With this law, the government aims to clearly define what does and does not fall under the legal coverage of online betting.
There are a number of rules and restrictions that govern players as well as South African online betting sites. South African players will only be allowed to wager at betting sites licensed by the government for example, and they will have to show proof of legal age. An online betting site that wishes to service South African players on the other hand will have to apply for the proper licenses and pay the appropriate taxes.
Current Online Betting Trends In South Africa
The recent move by the government to allow betting online will no doubt affect gambling trends in the country. Not that it needs any help of course; online betting has managed to garner widespread popularity in the country even before it was officially legalized, and many players then simply took advantage of the absence of any clear cut laws. Now that the lines have been clearly defined, South Africa online gambling is expected to attract even more players.
Among the most popular games in the online betting websites are sports betting, online poker, blackjack and slots. A large portion of the South African online gambling market is comprised of players in the 30- to 45-year-old age group, although signs point towards a downward shift in the trend, with younger and younger players opting to do their gambling online.
South African Betting History
Certain forms of betting and/or gambling were actually banned or otherwise restricted in the country as far back as 1673. However, it would be almost 300 years later when the government would take a heavy-handed approach to curtailing the activities of gamblers, with the passing of the Gambling Act of 1965.
In 2000, the local betting scene was rocked by a scandal involving charges of game fixing by certain key players working in conjunction with Indian bookmakers.