The topic of online gambling in South Africa is one that is shrouded in mystery and uncertainty. South Africa is home to many fond gamblers, who partake in both gambling’s online and land based forms. It is estimated that one in ten South Africans gamble, with further estimations suggesting that gamblers in the nation spend on average R150 per month on the practice.
South Africa’s gambling culture is rich in history, and the country proudly plays host to an award winning online casino portal by the name of Springbok Casino, but ironically, the practice of online gambling in the country is in fact forbidden.
The National Gambling Act and all of its amendments haven’t done the best job in providing insights to what’s what in terms of legality when it comes to gambling, but one thing is outlined clearly, online gambling, in the forms of casino games, poker, and bingo are forbidden in the nation.
This may come as quite a surprise to plenty of online gamblers engaging in all of the fun, because of the number of options available. The Springbok Casino is just one of the many platforms offering online casinos in South Africa. Many users would most likely be further surprised by the severity of the repercussions for being caught while gambling online.
The punishment for engaging with “interactive gaming” online, a law that is targeted towards operators, the banks that oversee the transfer of winnings, and the players engaging in the practice is either 10 years imprisonment, or R10 million in fines.
The only legal form of online gambling in South Africa is through sports betting and horse racing betting on licensed betting sites. What may come to be very confusing for a lot of players who engage with these betting sites, is that they will most likely find a heap of casino games on these regulated and licensed platforms.
How then, does a bookmaker receive a license while offering a service that is supposedly illegal to offer, and partake in? This is where the major difference between online casino and betting games lies in South Africa. One of these practices is completely free of any legal issues, while the other could lead to punishment that could alter one’s life forever.
Betting games are not the same as online casinos, and that’s why licensed bookmakers offer them as part of their betting suites. Betting games can appear to have casino themes, but do not involve real money gambling, or RMG.
This means that when playing these games, players are involving themselves in pre match fixed odds betting. Punters can bet on the outcomes of a roulette spin for example, where the odds are fixed, and where punters have no control over the outcomes, just like a rugby match or horse racing event.
This distinction is extremely small considering the weight it could potentially carry to users who misconstrue this very fine detail. But this points to some more important information. The difference between online casino and betting games is the difference in life changing consequences and enjoying a couple games worry free.