Home LEGISLATION Gaming in SOUTH AFRICA

Gaming in SOUTH AFRICA

  • Capital City: Pretoria is the administrative Capital, Cape Town is the legislative Capital and Bloemfontein is the Judicial Capital
  • Area: 1.220.000km2
  • Population: 56.720.000 as per 2017 census
  • Largest cities: Johannesburg

Current gambling regulations

Gaming in SA is regulated by the National Gambling Board. The National Gambling Board is responsible for the oversight of the regulation in the gambling industry throughout the country and to preserve the integrity of South Africa as a responsible global country. The NGB’s strategic intent is to sustain and grow its regulatory capability to position South Africa as the pre-eminent jurisdiction with an exemplary and effectively regulated gambling industry.

The services and products of the NGB are stated in the Act as follows:

  • Oversight of gambling in the Republic of South Africa by:
  1. Evaluating the issuing of national licences by the PLAs;
  2. Evaluating the compliance monitoring of licensees by PLAs;
  3. Conducting oversight evaluation of the performance of provincial licensing authorities so as to ensure that the national norms and standards established by the Act are applied uniformly and consistently throughout the Republic; and
  4. Research and monitoring of market conduct and market share.
  • Assist PLAs to ensure that the unlicensed gambling activities are detected.
  • The NGB must also establish and maintain a national registry of every gambling machine or gambling device manufactured within or imported in to the Republic, as well as maintaining all other legislator prescribed registers;
  • Assign a permanent and unique registration number for each machine or device; and
  • The NGB must investigate the circumstances of the gambling activity that relates to any unlawful winnings that the NGB had held in trust and either delivers the winnings to the person who won them or apply to the High Court for an order to declare the winnings to be forfeited to the State.

Video gaming in South Africa tops R1.7 billion and according to a report by Serious About Games (SAG) South Africa’s game development industry increased its revenue from R. 29.7 million in 2014 to R.100 million in 2016.

p>Data from the National Gambling Board (NGB) revealed that it generated 30 billion rand in 2018 — just from the 40 licensed and operating brick-and-mortar casinos in the country.

The growth of gaming in South Africa is because of the rise of mobile gaming via smartphones which has meant that many more South Africans can afford to play. Schools and higher education institutions are increasingly offering competitive online gaming activities, referred to as “eSports”, which are watched by spectators. This too is driving the popularity of online gaming. The gaming industry already holds key market positions in capturing and entertaining a wider consumer audience than most traditional media companies.

2017 was considered a landmark in the history of the video gaming industry in South Africa, with revenues reaching US$109 billion1, representing a notable growth in the industry of almost 56 per cent in the past five years. This demonstrates how video game companies have forged new ways of engaging and entertaining consumers while simultaneously creating improved business models to suit the ever-changing digital age.

Video gaming in South Africa is one of the largest markets in Africa.[1] The gaming market is overtaking the market in movies and music in the country. Whilst the American market for video games has declined, it is increasing in South Africa thanks to companies such as Game 4U.  Although the gaming community in Cape Town is big, the uncontested giant in South African gaming is Johannesburg, with Gauteng in its entirety housing more gamers than the rest of the country.

In South Africa the video game retailers such as Game 4U work hand in hand with video game distributors like Megarom Interactive to ensure the latest video games are in stores by their respective release dates and at competitive prices, the distributors provide a recommended retail price (RRP) to the retailers and they either set the same selling price or cheaper if they are willing to cut certain percentages of their profit in order to have the cheapest prices as Game 4U does.

Below are the top Video gaming development companies in South Africa

  1. Celestial Games 
Celestial Games is an independent video game development company based in JohannesburgSouth Africa that started in 1994. They published two PC titles then closed their doors in 2001. In 2010, they reopened the company to work on a HD version of their most successful title, Toxic Bunny.
  1. Free Lives (Pty) Ltd 
Free Lives is an independent South African video game developer based in Cape Town. Founded in April 2012 and lead by creative director Evan Greenwood, Free Lives is best known for creating the video game Broforce and has also developed the comedy game Genital Jousting and the virtual reality game Gorn. Free Lives is primarily published through the American publisher Devolver Digital.
  1. Luma Arcade 
Luma Arcade was a video game developer with origins in South Africa. Luma Arcade was a developer of video games from 2006 to 2013. Initially a division of Luma Studios, a South African animation services provider, Luma Arcade was later spun out as an independent company with staff in San Francisco, Johannesburg, and Portland before being acquired in a private sale in 2013 to an undisclosed buyer.