The National Gambling Act of 1996 laid the groundwork for nationalized gambling, namely, bingo, land-based casinos and the World Lottery. This enabled players from throughout the country to buy lottery tickets, as well as play games such as hot bingo and slot machines.South Africa has blossomed into one of the most vibrant and progressive countries in the world, and is a recognized world leader in several gambling-related industries.
Despite these developments, South Africa's government is yet to announce any concrete plans to regulate online gambling. Lawmakers and insiders maintain that it will be some time before the South Africa government can announce any definitive move on regulating casinos in the country. The lack of clarity is frustrating investors and entrepreneurs alike who are waiting for the inevitable. For players looking to engage in offshore gambling there are no clear legal measures that will protect them and their money. South Africa's unique position of being a neutral country makes the enforcement of its own laws difficult.
One step that the South Africa government has taken to regulate online gambling is the implementation of a bonus policy for casinos. Bonus incentives are currently implemented in all South Africa casinos and these incentives aim to reward players for playing blackjack or online slots with real cash. Gamblers have the option to play for free and withdraw cash from their account; however, no other form of compensation is currently in place. As the South Africa government hopes that the implementation of bonuses in casinos will encourage players to engage in online gambling, they have also banned bonuses that require participants to gamble with real cash.
In spite of attempts by the South Africa government to control online gambling, illegal gambling is on the rise. Although the law does not explicitly make online gambling illegal, it does criminalize the provision of gambling services without proper license and authorisation.
Although there is currently no concrete evidence to indicate that there are high levels of crime related to online gambling in south Africa, anecdotal evidence indicates that there is some problem. Many of the stories that you read in the newspaper about people who have lost large amounts of money to unscrupulous dealers do not help reassure the public that online gambling is safe. This is probably a result of many factors: a lack of knowledge, exposure to inaccurate information, easy availability of gambling sites (given that the Internet is virtually free), and easy access to credit cards and payment systems that are often used to fund online casinos. However, these problems cannot be completely eliminated. By implementing effective casino regulation that controls the types of advertising that are given out, ensuring that casinos provide gaming advice to customers before they make their purchase, and making it difficult for South Africans to access credit cards through offshore gambling institutions, the risks of online gambling in south Africa can be managed to a greater degree than they currently are.