How Popular Is Gambling In South Africa?

Sunday, January 14, 2024, 10:00 PM

Celebrated for its breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural diversity, South Africa is also a major player in the African gambling scene. Current statistics show that around 10% of South Africans regularly engage in different forms of gambling. Most of these gamblers enjoy the National Lottery, but there’s a growing number of people also getting into casino gaming and sports betting.

This article looks at the popularity of gambling activities in South Africa, ranging from land-based casinos to the rise of online gaming platforms.


The Rise of Gambling in South Africa

South Africa boasts a vibrant gambling history, powered by games of chance like lotteries, card games, and classic table games. Advancements in technology have also helped many South African players taste the thrill of live casino games on leading sites like the Betway casino.

During the 2021/2022 financial year, the South African Gambling market accumulated R3443 billion in revenue. The value represented a 48% increase from the previous year, showing that the country’s gambling industry is on an upward trajectory. A huge part of the revenue came from online gambling sites like Betway online casino South Africa, although there are still several land-based casinos spread across the country.

Land-based Casinos in South Africa

Land-based casinos have been a key pillar of the gambling culture in South Africa for decades. These opulent establishments offer an impressive range of games from slot machines to strategic card games. These establishments are not only gambling hubs, but entertainment centers with fine dining options, live performances, and world-class accommodations.

Currently, South Africa has 38 land-based casinos, mostly owned by leading gambling companies. These legal casinos are attracting a huge number of gamblers, gradually recovering from the 2020/2021 slump. The casinos are also attracting tourists from other countries in the region and across the world.

Land-based gambling has been legal in the country since 1994, with slots being the most popular games in these establishments. Research shows that 76% of their total revenue comes from slots, thanks to their low cost and huge potential to win.

The Rise of Online Gambling

While a huge number of players choose land-based casinos, online gambling platforms have quickly become fan favorites since their introduction. During the early years, online gambling was just a niche market in South Africa. However, the 2020/2021 slump transformed the market, with over 90% of the gambling revenue coming from online platforms.  

Compared to traditional gambling, online casinos deliver a broad range of games, more fun, and convenience. Fortunately, South Africans have plenty of safe and licensed online casino platforms to choose from. These platforms are also accessible through mobile devices, which is why more South Africans are joining the online bandwagon.


South Africa’s gambling landscape is a reflection of the country’s rich history and cultural diversity, perfectly bringing together commerce and entertainment. However, land-based operators in the country are starting to experience stiff competition from online gambling platforms that deliver a more convenient and interactive experience. Nonetheless, land-based casinos will continue to be profitable as they are still a major attraction for locals and tourists.

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