How Large is the Gambling Industry in South Africa

Gambling industry is one of the biggest earning centres for South Africa. As we speak of gambling in South Africa, casino comes on top followed by online sports betting. These two make up for most of the gambling games going on in South Africa.

Gambling Empire

While the gambling industry of South Africa continues to grow from a revenue point of view, experts suggest that it will continue to grow further. Gross gambling revenues (GGR) of South Africa (from all forms of gambling) rose to 11.2% in the year 2015, to R26 billion. This booming business is expected to grow to R34.8 billion by the year 2020. Experts say it will grow by a 6% compound annual increase.

Also, there is an unprecedented rise in the number of gambling apps that accept real money offered by bookmakers like Betway or Sportingbet, which are often used by players residing in South Africa. As a standard feature, you can download these gambling apps either from the Google Play Store or the App Store and sometimes even directly from the providers themselves. Just like in real casinos, games like Poker, Roulette, Blackjack or different casino slots are the most popular ones that can be played on mobile gambling apps. Generally, before you download any of these apps you should get some information about the apps’ bonus systems since they often differentiate from each other.

The Real King of South African Gambling – Casino

Casino alone makes up 72% of the revenue collected from gambling in South Africa! Without a doubt, it is the indisputable King of Gambling in South Africa. Currently, about 40 casinos are being operated throughout South Africa. South Africans enjoy hosting the world’s 5th largest casino which is also Africa’s largest casino, named ‘Rio Casino Resort’.

Little Rebels

The casino, undisputed king of gambling business in South Africa, is facing little rebels these days. The advancement of technology caused this, new types of gambling are emerging which are electronic bingo terminals, limited payout machines and sports betting outlets.

South African National Lottery

According to another survey of the year 2006, the South African National Lottery took first place by people’s vote. But this type of gambling was terminated by the government long ago. This particular type of gambling also used to generate vast amounts of revenue. During its last year of operation, it made R3.972 billion in total revenue!

Second Ace of South African Gambling

The second biggest earner in the gambling business of South Africa is Online/Offline sports betting. This particular type of gambling made a fortune for South Africa, as Sports betting earning rose by 51.9% in 2015 to R2.4 billion alone! 5X times the total of R478 million they earned in the year 2011. Horse racing was made more and more complicated by the government for the local folks; thus, Sports betting also overtook horse racing in 2015.

Regulatory Changes to Make Gambling Great Again

Some harsh changes were made in South African gambling regulatory rules. To better control the gambling industry, they had to pass the ‘National Gambling Amendment Bill’. The new online gambling games like slot machines, bingo, etc. posed a significant threat to the revenue collected by South Africa. To counter such the new gambling amendment bill offered, a chance to legalize interactive gambling in the country and make provisions for the regulation of this market. The offline gambling business opposed it, so the bill hasn’t come to power yet.

Controlling Revenue from Gambling

During 2010, Online gambling was made illegal throughout the country of South Africa. Even those online games which had servers outside South Africa were banned in the country. Only licensed horse racing and online sports betting were legal and earned tremendous revenue for the state.

1 in every 10 South African is a Gambler

Even though South Africa is not listed in worlds top gambling countries of the world, South Africa certainly does love to gamble, as 1 in every 10 South African is a gambler. Every gambler spends an average of more than R150 every month on gambling. The main reason behind south Africa not being on the top 10 list is the salary earned by the South Africans. On average, a person earns less than R20,000 a month. If they were to spend more on gambling, they have to first earn more.

South Africa has a very healthy gambling industry with responsible gamblers, even though there are still some problems with illegal casinos, illegal online gambling and underground betting. If we talk about the national lottery, it is still the most popular form of gambling in South Africa while Powerball is the fastest-growing one. South Africa’s gambling industry is not as famous as the USA’s, but it is still pretty big compared to other countries.


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