South African Casinos Experiencing Change

As with any liberal-leaning country, South Africa has its fair share of casinos. Today we look at South African Casinos experiencing change, check it out…

People in all countries across the world enjoy the lavish style and sumptuous excess offered by various casino destinations. Glitz, glamour and the chance to win huge sums of money are pretty big drivers of visitor numbers. There is a battle occurring in the makeup of the South African gambling industry, however. Where once casinos were primarily land-based, now there are an increasingly large number of internet- based start-ups looming on the sidelines that are threatening the established dominance of the old guard.

South Africa has a wide variety of casinos located all across the country. From the glamorous yet quaint Boardwalk Casino in Summerstrand; a colonial themed play palace that hosts hundreds of slots and tens of tables; to the Suncoast Casino in Durban; a flashier, yet still idyllic casino located right on the shore; South Africa is brimming with casinos, though all is not as one might expect.

Many casinos in South Africa are based on the fringes of urban areas, a far cry from the inner city glamour that permeates other gambling destinations such as Macau, Monte Carlo and Las Vegas. They are primarily located in out of town resorts; such as the Sun City Hotel Casino and Jungle Casino that form a part of the Sun City resort; or in the country’s rural hinterland. Why these locations? Not to tar the country with the same brush, but inner city areas in South Africa are not known for their safety, wealth or low levels of crime. As such casinos have uprooted from the cities to calmer climes. There is another reason for the sprawling, palatial out of town resorts, however; some pretty enormous funds.

Since independence, there has been a legal conflict between the established land-based casinos and the new industry taking the world by storm- online gaming sites. Consistently, online sites have been deprived the chance to operate in the country; even foreign online gambling sites are illegal to visit. It’s obvious that this move towards illegalisation has been down to the fear of the deals, sales and offers presented by online providers; these are things land based casinos rarely offer, save the occasional, overdone chance to ‘win this car’! It’s quite obvious, then, that lobbying by land-based casinos is behind this rather unorthodox law- why else would the country seek to restrict the market in such a way- and as such have benefitted hugely from their near-monopolised grip over the entire gambling sector (save sports betting). Sites like Sun City are the result.

However, one would think that in a country bursting with energy, entrepreneurship and prospects for growth, the laws against curtailing online gaming would not have to exist. Perhaps a change is needed to finally give South Africans the choice they need.

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