The original European settlers in South Africa brought their puritan ethics with them and outlawed gambling throughout the region. That all changed when a more open South African government took control in 1994. Today, in addition to the national lottery, there are multiple South African land-based casinos located around the country which give gamers many options from which to choose.
The majority of South Africa’s early European settlers followed a form of strict Protestantism. They were very stern in their view of how life should be lived and denied themselves many leniencies and indulgences.
Among one of the first forms of entertainment that these early settlers outlawed was gambling. Playing games for money, in any form, was viewed as “giving into the devil” and was not, they believed, to be tolerated.
From 1673 the ruling colonials heavily restricted gambling throughout South Africa. The laws against gambling for money were enshrined in the South African legal code in the 1965 Gambling Act.
The Bantustands – Homelands – were exempt from the Gambling Act’s stringencies. Therefore, many of them, including Venda, Transkel, Ciskei and Bophuthatswana, opened casinos in the 1970s. Since only native South Africans lived in these homelands, they were the only ones, for the most part, who could enjoy this type of gaming entertainment.
The demand for legalized gambling within South Africa, however, was high. When the new Democratic South African government took over in 1994, one of its first acts involved legalising casino gambling.
Gambling in Today’s South Africa
In addition to the estimated 2000 “homeland” casinos, the country now boasts South African land-based casinos scattered throughout rural and populated areas. A National Lottery also operates, allowing players to purchase lottery products in stores, kiosks and other retail venues around the country.
Regulation and promotion of gambling activities in South Africa is supervised by the National Gambling Board. This Board is responsible for the regulation and supervision of the South African gambling industry including horse racing, casino gaming and the National Lottery.
The Gambling Act has been modified several times over the years. Today the National Gambling Amendment Act is the national gambling law. The Amendment Act aims to create an environment in which SA players can enjoy top-quality casino entertainment in an atmosphere of safety and security.
South African Casinos
South African players can find high-end casinos in regions from Capetown to Johannesburg. Many smaller cities and rural areas in-between also have casinos. Some of the most popular land based casinos in South Africa include:
Tusk Rio Casino
One of the most expansive South African land-based casinos is the Tusk Rio Casino, located in the Tusk Rio Resort in Meiringspark, Klerksdorp. The casino is situated approximately 2.5 hours driving time southwest of Johannesburg. It offers an expansive gambling venue where new gamers and old players will enjoy Vegas-type casino entertainment.
The Tusk Rio Casino was designed to bring the excitement of a Brazilian street carnival to the South African gaming floor. The casino features dozens of gaming options with classic casino games of roulette, blackjack, baccarat and poker alongside hundreds of slot machines.
Tusk Rio slots are powered by the Aristocrat game designer. Aristocrat develops top-rated slots to provide gamers with slots entertainment that meets their individual interests and fantasies. Some of the Tusk Rio slots include the Wild Panda slots, Mayan chief, Electrifying Riches, Fortune King, Indian Dreaming, Extreme Riches, Extreme Dragon and Chili Jackpot.
Tusk Rio’s slots room is open 24/7 while classic casino games are available every day from 12:00pm and onward.
Sun City Casino
The Sun City casino, located in Sun City in northwest South Africa, opened in 1979. Since that time it has evolved from a small, homelands casino into an opulent casino venue. Today it features high-tech gaming machines and hundreds of table, card, lottery and slots games.
Sun City Casino entertains visitors from around the world and accepts all major currencies (though a passport is required for foreign currency exchanges). The casino specializes in progressive jackpots where players are invited to compete against one another for a game’s jackpot prize. Gaming options are available for both high-stakes players and low-bettors with betting denominations ranging from 1c to R100.
Bonuses are delivered via the Sun MVG card – cardholders enjoy a wide range of benefits including access to the Salon Privé (private gaming room) and VIP gaming. Tables open daily at 11:00am and stay open till the early hours of the morning. Gamers can enjoy their casino games on weekdays, weekends, and public holidays.
Some of the most in-demand Sun City Casino games include R50 minimum Blackjack (up to a R5000 maximum), Punto Banco with a maximum win of R10,000, and American Roulette where gamers can place bets of up to R500.
The casino invites all players to dine at the Harlequin’s Cocktail Bar which features live music and entertainment.
Bethlehem Frontier Inn and Casino
The Bethlehem Frontier Inn and Casino is located in the Free State just north of Lesotho. The Frontier Inn and Casino is a charming, boutique casino resort with comfortable accommodations, dynamic gambling activities, lively entertainment and great service.
The casino features a frontier–theme to give the feel of an old-time gambling salon. The gaming floor offers table games with dozens of slot machines surrounding the tables. This gives players the opportunity to mix up their gambling activities and enjoy slots action in-between the classic games.
The casino features Arisocrat gaming machines. Some of the most popular Frontier Inn slots include the history-themed Queen of the Nile, Geisha, Pompeii, Choy Sun Doa, Double Nutty Jackpot, Butterfly Kiss and the Double Jackpot slot machine.
MonteCasino is situated near Witkoppen, just 30 minutes north of central Johannesburg. The MonteCasino complex is a full entertainment center with movie theatres, restaurants, hotel accommodations and more.
Gamers are invited to play their favorite casino games at the MonteCasino including any of the traditional casino games plus 21st century gaming machines. There are almost 2000 Slot machines at MonteCasino. Denominations range from 2 cents to R100, ensuring that game options are available for high stakes players as well as for budget gamers. There are traditional three-reel slot machines plus state-of-the-art five-reel Slots with multiple denominations, multi-line and multi-coin machines.
Players can choose from over 100 progressive jackpots to compete for the progressive jackpot prize.
South African gamers have their choice of dozens of South African land-based casinos for any gaming requirement or preference.