The only form of online gambling that is legal in South Africa is sports betting. However, this is not to say that South Africans who have a weakness for the virtual gambling tables miss out on anything. The gambling scene in the country is opening up as more and more international gambling houses welcome the South African Rand players into their virtual gaming rooms.

It seemed like the gambling industry would face a drawback in 2012 when the Supreme Court ruled against Piggs Peak Casino, but Rand casinos were not deterred. There are actually some casinos that have continually leaned towards a more exclusive service for South African gamblers.

Playing in South African Rands

South African online casinos offer gameplay in either English or Afrikaner, or both, so language is not a barrier for players. These casinos also accept wagers in US Dollars or South African Rands (ZAR).

It is best to play in the local currency, Rand. A player gets to avoid the hassles of currency conversion, hence making payment and withdrawal of the cash winnings from the gaming site easier. Other benefits of playing using Rand are that players are able to figure out the worth of bonuses very fast, keep track of their winnings easily, and avoid the fees that electronic payment methods charge for currency conversion.

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Online Casinos Accepting Rands

The online casinos that accept players from South Africa accept the South African Rand. However, it is very advisable that a player ensures their jurisdiction has legalized online gambling before they sign up to play. It’s a good thing then that the Internet marketplace is so highly competitive, giving South African players a whole range of options to consider when selecting the online casino to play. These options include popular casinos, casinos with a good selection of games, no deposit casinos, among others.

Some specific factors that go into determining the best online casino a South African player can possibly risk their money at include having bona fide licensing, boasting outstanding reputation, offering great ZAR bonuses, platform stability, game variety and quality, reliability in depositing and withdrawal of funds, and excellent customer service (this means contacting them is instantaneous and their responsiveness is even faster).

It is very possible for a first-timer to be overwhelmed by the choices of ZAR casinos on the table. A majority of these casinos try to make it easy for the newcomers to begin their gaming experience by offering no deposit bonus codes. These let the players give the gaming experience a shot before committing their hard-earned cash in gamble. And though a R100 no-deposit bonus may not appear to be that much money, it’s still the perfect way of checking out the online casino risk-free.

The most exhilarating part of playing on somebody else’s money is that you just may hit one of those famously humongous ZAR progressive jackpots.

Mobile Casinos for SA Players

Local mobile casinos are lacking in the SA gambling marketplace. Any South African player who wishes to use their mobile device – smartphone or tablet – for gambling is forced to try the offshore casinos. This can cost you hefty fines or even imprisonment, but only in theory. The reality on the ground is that so far there has been no case of a player being prosecuted for gambling at an online casino via their mobile gadget.

More than half of the mobile market in SA is dominated by Vodacom while a third subscribes to MTN. Cell C subscribers constitute a mere less than 15%. At the start of 2013, mobile penetration in the country stood at a nominal 138%, but the actual figure for individual subscriptions is 66%. Almost half of these subscribers have smartphones and tablets, and the most popular mobile platforms are Android and Blackberry. iOS lags behind with only 5% market share.

Looking at these figures as a whole and the availability of large data package subscriptions at a minimum of R59 ($6.50), it is clear that South African players have the technical capability to gamble at offshore mobile casinos while the government implements its long-promised online gambling legalization plans.

Way Forward for South African Online Casinos

A major contributor to the success of land-based casinos has been South Africa’s good security situation, which allows most players to take to the casinos as a normal pastime. This is a huge contrast to the grayish online gambling scene – the physical gambling complexes are licensed, and they offer the full range of casino games alongside entertainment options like theaters, cinemas, comedy clubs, and fine dining.

Even as online gambling remains a no-go zone for the local gambling authority, the land based casino situation gives optimists enough reason to look forward to a future in which online casinos are fully regulated. With its huge potential for generating great amounts of the revenue, the online gambling industry certainly has a strong case for it.

Legal Casinos in South Africa

For players looking specifically for legal casinos in South Africa, they may be waiting for quite some time for South Africa to get onboard with regulated online casinos. The bottom line is that the amount of taxable revenue and money leaving the economy, going to the offshore casino operators will eventually be so great in most areas that governments like South Africa will have no choice but to regulate and legalize online casinos. While no one has been charged in SA for playing at these offshore online casinos, some still prefer to wait until the pastime is officially legalized within the country. However, if you are ready to play now, many online casinos welcome players from South Africa and even offer languages and currencies that are convenient for South African players. Legal casinos in SA technically don’t exist… yet.