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The World Gambling List ZA is your one stop shop for everything to do with online gambling in South Africa, including an independent review, analysis, tips and news service. We aim to be your ears and eyes, whether you are at the GrandWest Casino in Cape Town or the Turffontein Racecourse in Johannesburg, or even learning about casino games or real money gambling sites. We will help you thrive when entering the online gambling world.
If you’re a beginner to an online casino game you have come to the right place. Our casino games and rules guides will have you winning in no time.
Finding online gambling sites with a suitable deposit method can be one of the most daunting things when starting out online gambling, but rest assured the World Gambling List has you covered. Our ZAR specific gambling guides are the best in the business.
There are thousands of gambling sites out there, and there are constantly new online casinos being added into the mix. We have our finger on the pulse and provide new gambling sites for South Africans weekly.
Online gambling in South Africa is a rapidly expanding area and sites often have great real money promotions.
The best online gambling sites in South Africa are based offshore, although the government has shown a willingness to regulate some forms of online casino games. These include live staples like blackjack, roulette and baccarat, with licensed betting operators now allowed to offer these real money games.
Despite these restrictions on real money gambling in South Africa, it is still possible to do all forms of gambling online in 2020. You just have to do it at online gambling sites based in places like the United Kingdom, Malta, Curacao and Gibraltar. These gambling sites cater extensively to the South African market and to the Rand, including ZAR friendly sign bonus offers and promo codes.
Despite the South African government not fully embracing online gambling, the country has a unique history in iGaming, with the world’s biggest iGaming software company founded by Durban entrepreneur Martin Moshal in 1994. Microgaming is a market leader in online slots and live games and is based in iGaming hotspot Isle of Man these days.
While most forms of online gambling are technically illegal in South Africa, the enforcement of the laws largely comes down the banks blocking payments. For a while it just lead to a boom in players using alternative payment methods to credit and debit cards, with services like Neteller, Skrill and ecoBanq common-place in South Africa. Many of the top South African gambling sites also accept various cryptocurrencies, but these companies are usually licensed in Curacao, rather than the more reputable brands in the UK and Malta.
As the iGaming industry in South Africa continues to grow and more regulation is brought in to manage it, we expect many of the leading online gambling sites to legally enter the market. We have already seen this, with brands like Betway, Sportingbet and now Betfred either in or in negotiations to enter the regulated sports betting scene.
At the moment, massive gambling companies like William Hill, 888Sport and Bet365 accept signups to their casinos, but do not allow South Africans to use their sports betting products.
The top gambling sites in South Africa is a bit of a loaded question, because many of the best International online casinos accept players from South Africa. They may not cater to this market specifically though, which can cost players in the long run, with things like currency conversion fees and no promotions being available some of the pitfalls of playing at a gambling site that accepts, rather than caters specifically to South Africa.
The World Gambling List South Africa has a strict policy when it comes to advertising online gambling sites, with the key point being that the online casinos we promote must accommodate ZAR currency and have banking methods that support customers in the Rainbow Nation.
The best gambling sites have upwards of 1000 real money games, with these slots and table games made up of titles from various iGaming developers. This means you might find casino giants like Playtech and NetEnt under the same URL, which means the depth of games has improved dramatically from when it used to be one software provider per operator.
On top of being able to access gambling sites via your computers, casino sites are accessible via smartphones, tablets and pretty much anything with an internet connection and browser. Obviously, the more modern your smartphone or device is, the better experience you will have at SA online gambling sites.
The best online gambling sites for South Africans are likely to change in the near future, with the government in the process of regulating all forms of online wagering. This means we are likely to see a big shake-up and only regulated gambling brands operating in South Africa in the coming years.
Mobile gambling has exploded in South Africa in recent years and now is comfortably the no.1 way people in this country gamble online. The top mobile gambling sites are based overseas but still feature downloadable apps, upwards of a 1000 real money slots, live dealer games and various other features.
You can also claim all the usual casino bonus codes, promotions, sign up offers and pretty much any other forms of gambling promotion you can think of via mobile. Online slots are a definite highlight of the top ZAR gambling sites, with these games the most played on mobile.
South Africans will also find many familiar banking options at mobile casino sites, although some payment types might not be available on smaller screens, through no fault of the gambling site, but rather it’s more likely the method does not support mobile.
While as a general rule you will find less games at mobile gambling sites, this is improving all the time, with all new games releases catering to smartphones and tablets. Gambling apps, as a general rule, are only available to Android users in South Africa, with iOS users not allowed to download real money casino apps from the App Store. Android gambling apps have a function where it allows you to download non-market apps.
The thrill of being at a casino can be replicated at the best live gambling sites in 2020. Read our guides to find our more about your favourite casino table games that are available in live dealer format.
South Africans have a plethora of live gambling sites available to them, including many regulated bookmakers, which also feature live dealer games. The best live gambling sites available to South Africans will fall into two categories: live games at bookmakers or offshore live casino sites.
The live gambling available at bookmakers is to the best of our knowledge all supplied by Evolution Gaming, which is a great live studio, that services most countries around the world. These live games are limited in comparison to what you will find at International online casinos, where it is common place for gambling sites to have upwards of 50 different providers.
Live gambling on the internet has not completely replicated the trill of playing real money games at land-based casinos, but it has gone pretty damn close. Plus live online gambling has several big advantages over their more seasons competitor: They can afford to have their return to player rate set higher, because they have lower overheads and the table limits suit all types of players, and won’t just cater to those spending thousands of rand.
Some of the live gambling games that you will find online include blackjack, roulette, baccarat and various formats of poker. These games will have many different variations of them online, and it always pays to check the rules before committing real money to
Online poker is one of the most popular forms of gambling in the world, with tournaments worth well into the millions of dollars hosted on a weekly basis. But major online poker companies such as Pokerstars and 888 Poker have withdrawn from South Africa, because of the laws surrounding online gambling in the country. This means second-tier poker sites such as BetOnline.ag and TigerGaming have become increasingly popular in ZA.
South Africans can buy lottery tickets in the government-backed draws or can bet on lottery draws from all over the world, via the top lotto gambling sites.
State-based lotto draws are the biggest form of gambling in South Africa and are run by ITHUBA Holdings, who have been the license holder since 2015. The National Lottery is regulated by the National Lottery Commission.
To buy lotto tickets in South Africa you must be at least 18 years of age and make your purchase in person. They are available to buy in approved retailers, some banks and handheld partners (think mobile). These online purchases are dependent on you having a bank account with ABSA, FNB, NedBank or StandardBank.
The other option to buy lottery tickets in the National Lottery is via their website, but you will need to create an account and have a current South African ID.
There are several different draws run by the National Lottery, with these include LOTTO, LOTTO PLUS 1, LOTTO PLUS 2, Powerball, Powerball PLUS, Daily Lotto and SPORTSTAKE 13. The most popular draws are the Powerball lottos, with these taking place on Tuesdays and Fridays at 9pm SAST.
Like most places in the world, lotto betting has shaken up the traditional lotteries structure in South Africa, with citizens legally able to bet on the outcome of various draws from around the world. This form of gambling is deemed to be betting and is allowed at sports gambling sites in South Africa.
Lotto betting allows you access to draws from places like the United States, Canada, Australia and all of the major European lotteries. The lotto betting operators insure your bets, meaning they take minimal risk on, but give you exactly the same payout as the the winner of the draw. There is some complicated maths behind the business model that makes lotto betting work, but we’ll go into that more in other articles.
Many of the top gambling sites in South Africa feature lotto betting, including popular betting brands like Sportingbet, HollywoodBets and Betway South Africa.
Sports betting in South Africa is the only government-sanctioned form of online wagering, with licences issued by the various gambling regulators in each province of the country. The biggest of the sports betting licensing bodies are the National Gambling Board and the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board, which are entrusted with looking after player safety and ensuring licensed online bookmakers follow all laws, including ensuring under-age gambling does not take place. South African sports betting sites are taxed by their state licensing body.
Sports gambling is extremely popular in South Africa and wagering online is definitely the preferred method. Online betting can be done at sports gambling sites that have a license from a gambling regulator in South Africa. There are upwards of 30 sports gambling operators in South Africa, but they are definitely not all at a high standard.
The popular sports that South Africans bet on in 2020 include rugby, cricket, football, basketball and horse racing, but really the odds up for grabs are endless and you can bet on pretty much whatever professional event or outcome that is happening. Heck, you can even bet on politics, or who will win the next season of Survivor South Africa.
There are very few restrictions on sports bet types in South Africa and you will often find 100s of markets on a single match or sporting events. These include ante-post bests or futures and of course head to head wagering types of many descriptions.
Rugby and football are dominant at South African sports gambling sites and you will often find promotions around these sports, and many others. Sport gambling promotions include things like sign up bonus offers, cash back offers and even reload bonuses. With the online gambling industry so competitive bonus offers are common-place as a way to lure new and existing customers.
We have guides on all the major upcoming sports events from around the world, including detailed information and tips for betting on the events.
When you sign up as a new member at online betting sites you will often be given a bonus offer to complement your first deposit. The World Gambling List is constantly sourcing the best new ZA betting bonuses for our readers. We will always promote licensed betting sites and their bonuses to our South African readers.
Years spent scouring the form guide has left the World Gambling List team as experts in thoroughbred racing. Read our guides and you will believe us. If you are looking for a South African horse racing bookmaker we have got you covered.
Horse racing gambling is a large part of the overall wagering industry in South Africa, with millions of rand wagered weekly on it. Horse racing has been gambled on since the early 1800s in South Africa, with the biggest race these days being the Durban July, held on the first Saturday in July each year.
The best horse racing betting sites in South Africa are licensed and you are legally able to bet with them. These include well-known brands like Hollywoodbets and Sportingbet. You will be able to wager on racing via several different methods including via your computers, smartphones (including apps), via telephone and retail wagering.
Tote betting is commonly done at regulated South African bookmakers, with the two main operators in this market being Phumulela Gaming and Gold Circle. The former is struggling in 2020, with the covid-19 pandemic taking its toll, and a high profile South African company and an English bookmaking giant appear to be the frontrunners to buy it out.
The National Horse Racing Authority, which is funded by the two big tote operators, is the governing body of horse racing in South Africa. They are in charge of things like scheduling, negotiating tv rights and other organisational matters.
In short South Africa sanctions sports betting but has banned forms of online gambling (which includes things such as online poker and casinos). While players have never been charged for gambling online, it is an ongoing battle between offshore casino operators and the South African government, with measures including payment blocking being employed to stop the flow of money to overseas companies. Gambling laws vary from country to country, or even state to state in some cases. Read our country guides explaining the ins and outs of the local industries.
The gambling industry is worth billions to the economy globally and makes a fascinating case study. Read our regularly updated articles about the business side of wagering, including the latest from New Zealand and Canada.