The rise of iGaming in South Africa means that punters can play games, win jackpots and place wagers all while sitting in their comfy living room.
Back in December 2015, South African professional services firm PwC released a report titled: “Taking the Odds: Gambling outlook for 2015 – 2019 (South Africa – Nigeria – Kenya)”. In this report, it was estimated that gambling revenues in South Africa, across all sectors except the National Lottery, would grow from R23.9 billion in 2014 to R30.3 billion in 2019.
At the time, Gambling Industry Leader for PwC South Africa Pietro Calicchio stated: “Overall, the South African gambling industry continues to remain a vibrant and exciting sector.” Alas, he also mentioned that the industry was facing challenges such as a stalling economic climate and regulation edits.
That said, there was one huge sector of the South African gambling industry that PwC did not include in their report: online gambling. Otherwise known as iGaming, the online casino industry has continued to flourish throughout South Africa over the last few years. This is largely due to the fact many more people have access to the internet and have come to trust online services.
While previous generations of casino players would head out to land-based casinos to place bets on horse races or play table games, we can now do this from the comfort of our homes. The fact you can play games, win jackpots and place wagers all while sitting in your comfy living room is arguably the biggest reason why online casinos have become incredibly popular not only in South Africa but around the world.
Not long after the PwC report was published, many online casino operators began launching websites in South Africa, all attempting to access this previously untapped market. Of course, for an online casino to be successful in South Africa, they had to offer customised services. This is most evident at sites like https://southafricaonlinecasinos.co.za/ where all of the best South African casinos including casino.com, Slots Heaven and Sloty are reviewed and ranked.
This is not only to ensure that South African gamblers are always using reputable sites, but they make it clear that every iGaming site they mention is tailored specifically towards South African players. This includes region-specific language, culture and lifestyle features as well as Rand currency support and a wide variety of payment methods. Since online gambling is still a relatively new phenomenon in South Africa it is crucial that all those involved, from the casinos to the players, work together to create a positive experience.
So, taking online gambling into account, how accurate was the PwC’s forecasting?
Unfortunately, there are no recent statistics regarding the South African gambling industry that specifically outlines or even include online gambling. By the end of 2017, gross gambling revenue in South Africa totalled R27 billion according to a National Gambling Board report published on www.casasa.org.za. However, links to online gambling were shaky at best.
Around the same time the NGB released that report, they did issue another entitled “Socio-Economic Impact of Gambling In South Africa 2017”. In this report, it was clear that plenty of South Africans were visiting online casinos due to their accessibility, with some even stating that they preferred playing online. Ultimately, it was revealed that gambling was an “important activity” among South Africans with one-third of adults participating in 2017, with “online gambling [showing] a strong upward trend”. That for us, and for fellow South African online casino enthusiasts, is surely fantastic news.