Gambling in South Africa has been heavily restricted since 1673, with South Africa's Gambling Act of 1965 officially banning all forms of gambling except betting on horse racing which existed as a sporting activity.
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What are the Benefits of Gambling? A poor person with no income can love money. Sadly many generations of devout people have been misled into thinking that gambling itself is a sin. On the other hand gambling has been the ruin of many a man — there is no doubt about that. Your Brain on Poverty: Why Poor People Seem to Make Bad Decisions. And why their 'bad' decisions might be more rational than you'd think. I make a lot of poor financial decisions. None of them.
In the late 1970s casinos started operating in the bantustans (the nominally independent areas called homelands) of Bophuthatswana, Ciskei, Transkei and Venda. Only native South Africans lived there and most citizens couldn't access those gaming establishments. By 1995 an estimated 2000 illegal casinos were believed to be operating within the country. In 1994, when the new democratic government came to power, all forms of gambling were legalised. In 1996 the National Gambling Act instituted a system of licensed casinos and a single national lottery. Horse racing was also proclaimed gambling activity.
The National Gambling Act of 1996 made provisions for the regulation of gambling activities and promotion of uniform norms and standards in relation to gambling throughout the country. It gave definitions to different gambling notions, described how the 40 gambling licenses should be distributed among the provinces and provided information on liability. It also established the National Gambling Board, an organisation responsible for the supervision and regulation of the gambling industry. This change in legislation saw the establishment of legal casinos, a national lottery and other forms of gaming.
In 2004, another National Gambling Act repealed the Act of 1996. And in 2008 The National Gambling Amendment Act was introduced.
- 2Types of gambling
- 3Online gambling
Prevalence and value
According to the 2006 study the most popular forms of gambling in South Africa were the National Lottery (96.9% participation), slot machines (27.7% participation), scratchcards (22.7% participation), charity jackpot competitions (11.6% participation) and horse racing betting (11.5% participation). 8.3% of respondents said they have never gambled and a further 5.5% characterised themselves as occasional game players with no regular forms of gambling.
In the 2006/2007 financial year licensed gross gambling revenue as monitored by the National Gambling Board totalled R13.52 billion, from R11.4 billion the previous year. 86.2 percent of that revenue was derived in casinos. In the same period the Board reported a total of 455 raids on and closures of presumed illegal gambling operations.
South Africa’s gambling revenues are projected to rise to R30 billion in 2019, according to a new report. The South African gambling industry – including casinos, sports betting, the National Lottery, limited payout machines and bingo – achieved gross gambling revenue of R26.3bn in 2016.
Types of gambling
South African National Lottery
The South African National Lottery was established in 2000 and has been in continuous operation since, apart from a suspension between April 2007 and October 2007. In its last year of operation transaction values totalled R3.972 billion, with an average of five million transactions per week, making it the most popular form of gambling in South Africa. South Africa known as one of the largest countries participate in UK49s lottery draw operated by Ladbrokes Coral.
Gambling revenue from the National Lottery is projected to increase to R2.33 billion in 2019.
Casinos operate in all metropolitan areas in South Africa. With the largest being the Rio Casino Resort, which is also the largest casino in Africa and the fifth-largest casino in the world. Tsogo Sun Montecasino, also located in Johannesburg, is another of South Africa's largest casinos.
On-track betting on horse races was the only legal form of gambling in South African until 1996. Due to its complexity and the difficulty of attracting new players it did not effectively compete with the newly introduced National Lottery and casino games.
Betting on horse races is controlled by Saftote and operated by Gold Circle in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape and by Phumelela in the remainder of the country.
Licensed gambling sites
Each of South Africa's nine provinces has a gambling and racing board. To offer online betting bookies must be licensed by one of these boards. Currently the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board (WCGRB) is largest provider of online bookmaker licenses. South Africa residents can use these online betting sites legally. For bets involving horse racing 6% is deducted from winning to cover VAT. As of May 2012, no additional tax is charged to recreational bettors, and recreational gambling winnings are not considered income for income tax purposes.
Online gaming laws
The National Gambling Act 2004 prohibited both offering interactive gambling services and engaging in interactive games (games on the Internet). This rule applies to all online operators, licensed in any jurisdiction. It's however important to note interactive gambling relates specifically to games such as casino, poker and bingo. Online sports betting, online horse race betting and the business of bookmaking is lawful in South Africa, provided that the person conducting such business holds the necessary provincial bookmaker's licence(s), or is using a website with proper licence(s).
The National Gambling Amendment Act of 2008 that was published in July 2008 was meant to be an attempt to legalise interactive gambling in the country and make provisions for the regulation of this market. The Amendment Act was actively confronted by the interested parties (land-based gambling houses and anti-money laundering authorities). For this reason, the Act hasn't come into power yet.
On 20 August 2010 even online gambling offered through servers located outside the country was banned in South Africa. This was the result of the North Gauteng High Court judgement on the jurisdiction of online gambling transactions in the country. Consequently, both offering gambling services online and gambling online became illegal. The only exceptions are province licensed horse racing and online sports betting. Casino sites, individuals, internet service providers and banks that process payments for online gamblers are subject to a fine of R 10 million or 10 years of imprisonment, or both. Mass media channels that transmit or facilitate advertisement of online gambling services (TV and radio, newspapers and magazines, outdoor advertising agencies) are also to be held liable.
The South African Department of Trade and Industry also suggested to consider penny auctions a type of online gambling and illegalise them. The National Gambling Amendment Act of 2008 may come into force after an appeal to a high court ruling against 'interactive gambling' is heard.
- ^Stephen P. Rule; Terezinha Da Silva; Chris Sibanyoni (2000). The Social Impact of Gambling in South Africa. HSRC Press. p. 8. ISBN0-7969-1971-2.
- ^National Gambling Act, 1996 [No. 33 of 1996] – G 17307
- ^'Problem Gambling Prevalence Study 2006'(PDF). National Responsible Gambling Programme. Archived from the original(PDF) on 9 October 2006. Retrieved 22 September 2008.
- ^'National gambling statistics for the financial year ending 31 March 2007'. National Gambling Board. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 22 September 2008.
- ^'Illegal Gambling statistics for the financial year ending 31 March 2006'. National Gambling Board. Archived from the original on 6 August 2007. Retrieved 22 September 2008.
- ^'How much is the South African gambling market worth?'. www.bettinggods.com. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
- ^'Speech by Thibedi Majake (CEO of the National Gambling Board) at the 2006 national convention of Racing South Africa'. Racing South Africa. Retrieved 22 September 2008.[dead link]
- ^'Sport: Horse racing in South Africa'. SouthAfrica.info. Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 22 September 2008.
- ^WCGRB Licensed Betting Sites
- ^Legal South Africa Betting Sites
- ^'Online Gambling Remains Unlawful in South Africa'. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- ^Online Gambling Banned in Africa
- ^Online Gambling in SA: Is It Legal?
The first step to becoming a professional gambler is learning enough about probability to get an edge when betting. Casinos stay in business because they have a mathematical edge over most players. Your goal as a professional gambler is to only bet when you have anedge.
But how do you know if you have an edge or not?
You have to be able to do the math.
Luckily, it’s not hard.
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Probability is just a mathematical way of looking at how likely certain events are. A probability of an event occurring is always a number between 0 and 1. If an event has a probability of 0, itwill never happen. If it has a probability of 1, then it will always happen.
Here’s an example:
You flip a coin. You want to know the probability that it will land on heads.
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You determine that by dividing the number of ways you can achieve the result you’re solving for by all possible results. When flipping a coin, you only have one way of getting heads. You alsohave two possible results—heads or tails. So your probability of getting heads is 0.5.
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That probability can be expressed as a fraction or a percentage, too. 0.5 is the same thing as ½, and it’s also the same thing as 50%.
When you bet on a particular event, you can compare the probability of winning that bet with how much you risk versus how much you stand to win in order to determine the expected value of thatwager. For most casino games, your expected value on each bet is negative—the casino has an edge over you.
Here’s an example:
You bet on a single number at the roulette table. The probability that you’ll win that bet is 1/38. If you do win, you get paid off at 35 to 1 odds.
One other way to express a probability is in odds format. That’s a comparison of how many ways you can fail versus how many ways you can succeed. Since a roulette wheel has 38 numbers, youhave 37 ways to lose and only 1 way to win. That means your odds of winning are 37 to 1.
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If you got paid off at 37 to 1, you’d have an edge of 0, and so would the house. If you could get paid off at 38 to 1, you’d have an edge over the casino. But you only get paid off at 35 to1, so the house has an edge over you.
In all those cases, your probability of winning is low, but if you get paid off enough money, even a low probability bet gives you an edge over the house.
Suppose you play 38 spins of the wheel. You’re betting $1 on every spin. If you get results that mimic the mathematical probability, you’ll lose $37 and win $35. You lost $1 on 37 spins, and youwon $35 on one spin. That means your expectation is -$2 over 38 bets.
You can divide that expectation by the number of bets to get an amount you expect to lose on average per bet. In this case, your expected loss per bet is $0.0526. You can express that as apercentage if you like, and in this case, that percentage is 5.26%.
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Your goal as a professional gambler is to only place wagers where you have an edge. Since your statistical results over a large number of trials should near the mathematical expectation, you canexpect a profit if you play long enough.
That’s the math that works for the casino, and that math can work for you as well.