A stern stance has been taken by authorities in South Africa, around the issue of whether or not gaming is legal within the country. In response to the statement, the answer is a resounding and certain no. The only online betting that is allowed in South Africa is online sports betting. The National Gambling Board stipulated that no other interactive or online is legal, except sports betting. If any other form of online betting is happening, then it is done so illegally and carries a heavy penalty if discovered.
The NGB stressed that if any operators or venues offer these facilities, that they are doing so illegally and therefore, will have to face the law. Operators and patrons are warned that if they are found engaging in any of these activities, that they will be fined up to R10 million (£470,000), or minimum jail time of up to 10 years, with all the winnings and profits, therefore retained by the state. Any casino-type game that can be played on a handheld device, is available through a server, or can be played in a venue, such as a bar or a lounge, is regarded as an online or interactive game.
Gambling is legal at any land-based casino, in South Africa, which is licensed through a provincial gambling authority. If a casino does not have a displayed license, then chances are, they are not licensed and therefore, patrons are well-advised to leave such an establishment to avoid being implicated in any way.
The National Gambling Board reiterated that adherence to legislation and regulations, regarding the online and interactive gaming industry, are of utmost importance and that should any operators or players still be prepared to be daring and continue to participate in these activities, that the consequences will be severe, the NGB said.
Section 11 of 2008, National Gambling Act, known as the "unauthorized interactive gambling unlawful" clause, stipulates that an interactive game or online gambling is prohibited unless it is authorized by the Act of any other recognized law. Such a law needs to be written in the Government Gazette and be proclaimed by the President of the country, for it to be recognized as official law. The Amendment Act of 2004, will always be the undisputed regulation, overseeing the gambling industry, in South Africa, which prohibits interactive gambling at all times.