Is it Legal to Play at Minimum Deposit Casinos in South Africa?

South Africa has a long history of restrictive gambling laws, dating back to 1673. Gambling in all forms, with the notable exception of horse racing, was banned in South Africa in 1965. The 1994 government lifted some of these restrictions, and the national lottery was born as well as the National Gambling Board a few years later.

Recently there has been some speculation around whether online casino gaming is legal in South Africa. Online sports betting is currently allowed, as long as you place your bets through a bookmaker that is licensed to take bets in South Africa. Although you can find excellent land-based casinos in South Africa that are licensed and regulated and completely legal, online casino legislation is less clear cut and has been murky for some time.

The National Gambling Amendment Act of 2008 sought to lift the restrictions on online gambling and pave the way for regulation to commence, but this act has never come into effect. This is what has caused some of the confusion around whether online casino gaming is actually legal. In the midst of the Covid restrictions which have taken their toll on the land-based casino industry in the country, operators like Sun International have been campaigning to complete the work to allow the National Gambling Amendment Act to take effect and for government to pass the legislation that will allow online casinos to be regulated and to operate legally in South Africa.

Many South African players are already playing at regulated online casinos that are based outside the country. The Sun International Group would like to create an online version of its well-established land-based casino to create its own share of the online market. This is why they have been lobbying for the legalisation and regulation of the online casino industry, which would bring it in line with the current laws around online sports betting.

As it stands, The National Gambling Board stated in September 2020 that online casinos in South Africa are not legal, and both players and operators could face penalties if online gambling activities are detected. Despite this, there are many casino sites and casino-sportsbook hybrids that are based offshore that will not turn away players from South Africa, and casinos still accept deposits in ZAR.

Amid the impact that Covid restrictions have had on both the country and the entertainment industry in South Africa, it seems that it is simply a matter of time before the government can be convinced of the benefits of the regulated online gaming industry. Considering the industry’s massive growth around the world, hopefully, South Africa will soon be part of the trend, legally and safely.

In the meantime, it helps to know how to choose the right casino for you, so we have created a short guide to choosing a safe, reputable online gaming site.

What is a minimum deposit casino?

Online casinos generally have limits when it comes to how little or how much you can deposit in any single transaction. We have categorised the South African casinos we review according to the lowest deposit they will accept. This gives players more information and a basis of comparison in order to help them choose a casino that suits their budget. A minimum deposit casino in the purest sense is a South African casino that will accept a low deposit, to give more players access to its casino games without forcing them to make larger deposits than they would like.

How do you choose a good online casino?

If you want to take the plunge and play online casino games with South African Rand, then it is very important to choose a safe, reputable casino site. While welcome bonuses are often very tempting, there are several important boxes to tick before you give your details to an online casino. We investigate all of these factors in detail when we review web-based casinos in every minimum deposit category.

Security and Licencing

The first point to check is whether the casino holds a valid gambling licence. If it has a licence, it means the casino is subject to checks and regulations in order to keep its licence. The casino also needs to provide a secure platform to conduct online payments. Online casino reviews are a valuable resource to help you to find out what security measures the casino has in place to protect both your banking transactions and the privacy of your personal data.

A variety of top casino games

Once you have found a secure site, your experience will be much more rewarding if the casino has a wide variety of casino games from multiple software providers. This will give you a richness and depth in your gaming choices that are not found as readily at casinos that have a single supplier. Choosing a casino with respected software providers means you will get access to games that function perfectly on mobile or desktop, with high-quality sounds and graphics and bug-free gameplay.

Most modern casinos will offer you a Live Casino section, where you can play table games with a real dealer in an online setting. Your internet connection needs to be good to enjoy this, as the games work through high-definition live streaming. Some of the best online casinos will have a full sportsbook too, so you can play slot games, Live Table games like blackjack and roulette as well as placing bets on your favourite sports games, all in one secure betting site.

A selection of reputable payment options

The best casinos will offer you multiple deposit options so you have a choice in what method to use to fund your casino account. If you are not comfortable with using your credit or debit cards directly, choosing a casino that offers you several casino payment options is a must. Most good casinos will offer you a variety of web wallets, prepaid cards, bank transfer methods or cryptocurrency options. There is an ever-widening pool of casinos that accept cryptocurrency, so if you are looking for more anonymity in your online gaming transactions, then playing with Bitcoin, Ethereum or any other cryptocurrency is one of your best bets.


Despite the confusion, the often contradictory news stories and the widespread availability of online casinos that accept South African players and currency, it is still not legal to play at online casinos in South Africa. There is an ongoing groundswell of lobbying and pressure from South African land-based casinos like Sun International and Tsogo Sun to encourage the government to finalise legislation that will enable online casinos to be licenced and regulated within the country. This has not yet come to pass, although much of the work to get the bill created has already been done. There are huge potential benefits to the country to be part of such a massive money-making industry, but the debate on the social impact is still ongoing. In the meantime, if you are going to play at online casinos that are based outside the country, it is always best to choose a reputable, regulated casino. Please note, because online gambling is still illegal, you could face penalties and the confiscation of your winnings.