The law governing gambling in South Africa has undergone a significant amount of reform recently. Throughout the last few years, many new laws have been enacted and put into effect. This entails the National Gambling Amendment Bill, which has been in effect since 2016 and also appears to apply a significant portion of the modifications that have been made to the gambling laws. We have already discussed how this impacts the various forms of online wagering that are available in South Africa; therefore, we will concentrate on the basic framework here and share all of the information that you need to understand about the licensing laws and regulations that currently exist in South Africa
Is it Legal to Bet Online in South Africa?
To comply with South African law, we have conducted an exhaustive investigation into online gambling. The outcomes haven’t been particularly positive for the supporters out there. The “relationships” between South Africa and gambling websites have always been contentious, but recently, those “relationships” have become increasingly tense. We have been following the development of the situation regarding internet gambling, and it would appear that official modifications aren’t too far off.
The government has imposed restrictions on and even outright prohibited online gambling. Gambling online is currently considered to be in legal limbo in South Africa, much like it is in other countries, and the industry is subject to stringent regulation. Nevertheless, it is not completely illegal because there are a large number of offshore gambling sites that are accessible to South African bettors and allow them to play from within the borders of the country. In addition, we feel it necessary to warn you that, based on the data that we have, in the not-too-distant future, all types of betting will be completely made illegal.
Gambling Operations Based on Land in South Africa
As we have all come to understand, land-based wagering enjoys a significant amount of popularity in South Africa. There are over 20 casinos, the majority of which are located in Cape Town, which is why many people consider it to be the wagering capital of the nation. In addition, you could participate in horseracing and place a wager at some of the most well-known sports betting parlors in the area.
Laws Governing Gambling in Different Regions of the Country and Their Variations
The territory that makes up South Africa is not administratively subdivided into regions, and there are no significant variations in the way the wagering law is enforced across the country’s various jurisdictions. South Africa is the country in Africa that has the largest amount of casinos, and as was mentioned earlier, this provides a significant boost to the national economy of the country.
Regarding Wagering Taxes, Am I Required to Report My Winnings and Pay Taxes on Them?
A straightforward illustration will serve as a basis for our discussion regarding the taxation of gambling. You are exempt from paying taxes if you are a player who goes to the casino or plays the lottery just for fun and does not win any money. Your prize money is not considered to be “profit-making” under South African law, so SARS will not come and take them from you. As is the case with income tax in Canada, this means that you have no tax liability whatsoever.
On the other hand, you should get ready for an encounter with SARS if you are a gambler and if this is your full-time job. You ought to make a declaration that you are turning a profit from wagering, and you’ll be subject to taxation based on the ‘job’ that you have. When it comes to wagering, the more money you make, the more money you have to pay out.
Lawful Wagering Age
Certain requirements must be met before a player can join an online casino. As was mentioned earlier, the protection of the younger players, particularly those who are still developing their skills, is the top concern of South African players. You have to be at least 18 years old, regardless of whether you gamble in person or play games online, to gamble lawfully in South Africa. If you are a younger person and you try to trick everyone, you could get into some trouble.
A significant portion of the online casinos that are accessible to residents of the country require players to provide proof of age along with other stringent procedures to ensure the safety of both the players and the online operator. However, it is important to note that the practice of wagering online is not governed in South Africa at this time. In addition, the majority of offshore casino sites would also ask to see your identification card and proof of address before allowing you to join, making it even more difficult to do so.
Because, according to the information that we have, it is highly likely that the government of South Africa will officially outlaw online gambling, we strongly recommend that you avoid visiting any offshore gambling or casino websites. There are typically processes in place to ensure that players who have had their access to a casino site restricted because they are located in a particular country will have their deposits returned to them. However, this is rarely the situation, so you ought to still exercise caution.
Legal Restrictions Regarding Publicity
Let’s talk a little bit about the advertising of gambling that goes on in South Africa. Those who have gambling licenses can advertise their sports betting promotions; however, they are obligated to do so by the regulations set forth. The adverts are not allowed to include any misleading information and cannot be targeted toward people under the age of 18. Adverts are required to include both the 18+ symbol and a slogan that promotes responsible gambling.
Before the companies can make their advertisement visible to the public, they are required to comply with the legislation of the provincial government and wait for approval. The National Lottery does have an advantage when it comes to advertising because it is not limited in any way, both in terms of the form and the content of advertisements that it may run, and because there are no regulations that are specifically applicable to the various provinces that make up South Africa.
Consequences for Participating in Illegal Gambling
To begin, the minimum age to access any kind of casino is 18. You must be at least that old to gamble. Do not make any attempt to cheat the system. Second, if you make a mistake, you will have to pay the consequences of that mistake. If you are found guilty of a violation of the Practical Law of South Africa, you are subject to the possibility of receiving a penalty of R10 million, ten years in prison, or both of these punishments. You run the risk of getting into trouble if you engage in illegal gambling or if you advertise such activities. The following are the punishments for crimes related to gambling:
- A ten million South African Rand fine
- 10 years spent behind bars
- Both the monetary penalty and the incarceration