History of Online Gambling in South Africa

(STL.News) Online gambling offers many benefits compared to playing in land-based gaming facilities.  These platforms are accessible around the clock, and you can play from any location.  Whether you are taking a work break or lying in bed in your pajamas, your favorite games will only be a couple of clicks away.

According to reports, the current value of the worldwide online gambling market is $59 billion.  The experts estimate the value will increase to $92.9 billion by 2023.  As a part of the global industry, the South African gambling market is set for an exciting future, too.  Check the details about SA’s online gaming history.

The First Mention of Online Gambling in SA

It was in the 1990s when the internet became widely available to users around the world.  That is when online gambling’s popularity started growing in South Africa.  It aligned with the political changes and a new democratic government.

The authorities passed laws that allow states to regulate gambling facilities, and the country adopted the National Gambling Act in 1996.  From then on, the act was adjusted on several occasions, with the last one being in 2008.  The laws indicate that the states can determine if they will allow online gaming on their territories.

Players from SA can access thousands of internet casinos and play there legally.  The majority is headquartered abroad, although there are several domestic ones.  You can see the list of the best minimum deposit casinos in South Africa to discover platforms offering tempting bonuses and other perks for new and loyal players.

The Most Popular Casino Games

If you’ve ever been to Durban, you know why it is among the top cities to visit in South Africa.  Online gaming fans will appreciate knowing that’s where Microgaming does most of its software development.

Microgaming is an online gaming industry pioneer and its leader for more than two decades.  The company designs top-quality games and casino software for players from around the world.

As for SA players, here are their favorite online gaming options.


Slots are the number one game in online and offline casinos. Their simplicity attracts beginners, while veterans appreciate the large prizes to win by playing progressive slots.  This feature offers a joint jackpot reward pool for everyone playing a particular machine on the same network.  Thanks to that, the rewards offered are often multi-million sums that can make you rich quickly.

Another reason why slot machines are popular is the variety of features and themes offered. You can enjoy fantasy, history, licensed, and other genres. Users can pick from simple slot machines with three reels to complex ones with five reels and features like free spins and multipliers.


Roulette has never been as popular as today.  Players enjoy different strategies to apply, and not many things can compare to the excitement of watching the ball landing in the desired pocket.

In South Africa, players can enjoy both European and American roulette variations.  The former features a single, and the latter a double-zero layout.

Poker and Other Card Games

Texas hold’em poker is the most played variant these days, but Omaha is another common variation in South Africa.  You can play poker against the dealer and even participate in tournaments by joining Pokerstars and similar platforms.

Online casinos also offer blackjack, baccarat, and other card games.  Blackjack is attractive for newbies since it offers a low house edge and a simple concept.

The Prognosis for the Future of South African Online Casino Industry

It takes no skill to determine the future of the SA online gaming industry is bright.  Here are some assessments on what might happen in the next several years:

  • An increased number of platforms will become accessible to South African players.  That includes additional SA-based operators focused on users from this country.
  • New players will give a shot to internet gaming every day.  That means an increased number of regular visitors, which indicates online gambling websites will boost their profits.
  • The emergence of new games to keep up with worldwide trends. That includes 3D and VR casino games, such as roulette and blackjack.  The objective is to offer a better user experience and make online gambling resemble land-based facilities as much as possible.
  • Improved cross-platform support. Although most websites are already mobile-friendly, we expect an increased number of dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android.  That way, players can enjoy favorite games from any location.
  • South Africa might become a leader in casino software development.  The country already has Microgaming, but other companies may position themselves highly as reputable industry developers.

The history of South African online gambling isn’t much different from the rest of the world. It became popular in the 1990s with the internet being accessible to a common user, and the number of players increased ever since.  The industry is adjusting to the latest trends and offers new games and playing methods to improve user experience.  Online gambling is already the favorite entertainment activity for thousands throughout South Africa, which guarantees the industry has an exciting future!