The eGaming industry has witnessed exponential growth in the last year. While experts predicted a lower growth figure, a crucial turnaround for online casinos came in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Shocking as it may have been, recent growth stats stifled the odds against the initial forecast by economic experts. It is among the few enterprises that have survived the COVID-19 pandemic. Forecast for the South African online casino industry in 2021-2022 paints a picture of a fast-expanding sector amidst regulation challenges. While the National Gambling Board (NGB) and Casino Association of South Africa (CASA) have expressed concern over increasing illegal gambling entities, the industry looks set for even stiffer competition in the next two years. This post digs deeper into forecasts for the online casino sector. In the end, it should help punters, policymakers, and investors plan well.
Restriction on Interactive Gaming Stays Put
Unauthorized online gambling remains illegal in South Africa even in 2021-2022. Section 10 of the 2008 National Gambling Amendment Act remains ineffective because of pending presidential approval. It means the National Gambling Act of 2004 is still in force. The 2004 Act outlaws any interactive gaming, except sports betting. But despite such a huge setback, you can join the best South African online casinos reviewed by CasinoHEX.co.za.
Interactive Gaming is definitive for playing server-based casino games or accessing online casinos via smartphones. Since the Amendment Act was passed by parliament in 2008, the president is yet to publish it in the National Gazette. Publication of the 2008 Act, which can happen anytime in the future, will open the eGaming enterprise.
South Africa to Remain at the Helm of Africa’s eGaming Industry
While it is illegal to access online casino websites in South Africa, the sector remains vibrant. It begs the question, how are South Africans still able to play slots, table games, poker, and live casino games online? While the 2004 Gambling Act prohibits interactive gambling, it does not state punishments that the government may meet on perpetrators. It is a loophole that eGaming providers exploit to access South Africa’s gambling market.
In 2021-2022, South Africa will retain the top spot as the most lucrative Gambling country in Africa. The existence of legal frameworks in the sector, including IT infrastructure, make South Africa a preferred destination for gambling investors. While online casinos generate an estimated 5% of the country’s total gambling revenue, COVID-19 has exposed the need to open up the eGaming industry in 2021 and beyond.
Mobile Casinos to Dominate the Sector in 2021-2022
After a pandemic year that triggered a shutdown of land-based casinos in South Africa, online gaming platforms have taken over. With millions forced to work from home, online casinos have been on the receiving end. An increase in registrations means mobile gambling will explode in the next two years. In South Africa, smartphones and mobile apps have emerged as new gambling platforms. You could argue that South Africans will shift to mobile online casinos in record time. And as mobile casinos take over desktop platforms, punters want to play on-the-go. Together with high-speed internet connectivity, 2021 and 2022 will mark a new era in mobile gambling.
Gambling Laws, Fraud and Piracy to Dominate Online Gambling Debate
With South Africa’s gambling landscape set to expand in the next two years, it will also ignite debate about critical issues. For instance, the restrictions on online gambling will dominate discussions in government circles. While South Africa was the first African country to establish a gambling regulatory authority, the country lags in enacting laws that should open up the online gaming enterprise. Countries like Uganda and Kenya are way ahead of South Africa, both in revenue generation and expansion.
Moreover, fraud and piracy will become a hot topic in the next two years. However, an expanding eGaming enterprise comes with the risk of online fraud and piracy of gaming sites. Thus, the South African government will also need to establish laws that protect players against fraud. Piracy of gambling content is another area that will dominate debates about online casinos in South Africa.
As online gambling replaces land-based casinos, South Africa will review its gaming laws to make the sector more vibrant. For a punter, there will be lots of options from which to choose an ideal gaming platform. Presently, offshore gaming sites are the go-to platforms if you want to play casino games online. The South African government is likely to ease a stranglehold on interactive gaming to create jobs and generate more revenue. Also, check out the Vents Magazine question of the week.