Gambling License in South Africa

Gambling License in South Africa

Table of Contents

South Africa has great potential in the gambling sphere. For now, online gaming like casinos, bingo, lotteries, etc. is illegal. At the same time, SA allows the launch of online bookmaking platforms and issues relevant licenses. 

To get an online gambling license in South Africa applicants should pass a detailed investigation to prove that their platform fulfills the local laws. Also, they must pay a fee for applying for the license, but its amount is not so big — about 750€ for one document.

Obtaining a South African online gambling license gives operators an opportunity to work legally in the jurisdiction where people enjoy making bets.

Online Gambling Laws in South Africa

The history of the gradual legalization of  gambling in SA started in the 90’s. During this period special commissions were organized to track the building of the gaming sphere in other jurisdictions, as well as the updating of gambling legislation in their country. As a result in 1996, the first national gambling act appeared. The document legalized the bookmaking business with several restrictions. Among others, the act set a strict limit of licenses, which could be issued in each SA part.

In 2004 the new National Gambling Act was created. The main provisions of the law do not differ from its predecessor, however, the new document does not limit the number of issued licenses.

How to get a gambling license in South Africa in 2022? Everyone who wants to register a gambling business here must apply for it to the National Gambling Board. This organization is responsible for issuing licenses, controlling the industry, and correcting local gambling legislation if needed. Also, every SA region has its own gambling regulator. Operators can get a state or provincial license, the first one covers the whole country, and the second allows the business to run only in a certain region. It’s possible to submit the application online or personally in the NGB or provincial commission’s offices. 

The license-obtaining period is about 3 months and the cost of the legalizing depends on the region. 

How to get a Gambling License in South Africa?

Here are several steps you need to take to get a gambling license SA:

  1. To prepare all required documentation
  2. To apply for the regional or state sportsbook licenses. Pay attention to the fact that in SA, not only operators should have a license, but also software distributors, manufacturers, and even key employees.
  3. To pay licensing fees
  4. To go through the investigation, which will prove that the platform fulfills local laws

Licensing Requirement

The SA government is trying to keep gambling under strict control. Even a small violation of rules can become a reason for refusal to issue a license or deprivation of it. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that your platform meets all the requirements before submitting an application for the gaming license SA.

Here is the list with the main requirements:

  • You must prove your qualification and financial position. Also, it’s needed to provide data about your platform, company, staff, etc.
  • It’s necessary to restrict the access to your website to the players under 18 
  • You have the right to use only legal, licensed software
  • You must pay all mandatory fees and taxes
  • You should follow SA gambling legislation unquestioningly

Violation of the rules threatens to loss of a license, fine or even jail time.

Required Documents

To submit a gambling license application in South Africa, the bookmaker needs to collect the following documents:

  • Company Entity Disclosure form, company organization structure data
  • Application for getting a license
  • Proof of applicant’s qualification 
  • The proof of funds 
  • All required licenses (for the website, software distributors, key employee, manufacture, etc.)

The list of required documents will differ from region to region, but the most common ones have been presented above.

How much does a Gambling License cost in South Africa?

The cost of getting and prolonging the gambling license in South Africa depends on the province where you ask for legalization. Anyway, let’s review the numbers from the Western Cape region. Those costs are average in the SA. 

Licensing forPayment for a new licenseAnnual licensing feeYearly investigation fee
Manufacturer/Distributor796$319$1595$
Operator15951$319$7975$
Totalizator Premises796$31$79$
Bookmaker796$159$638$
Bookmaker Premises796$32$79$
National manufacturer6999$
Key employee31$8$31$

Our specialists can help you to calculate how much a bookmaking license in SA will cost in your unique case.

Taxes

Should holders of a South African gambling license pay taxes? Yes, of course. In the table below we’ll present all types of taxes in the betting industry of SA.

TaxPercent
Value added tax5-10%
Corporate tax (Fixed percentage of the profit of the company holding the gambling license in SA)29%
Winnings tax (Paid by license holders to the provincial council where the document is issued)15%

Timely payment of taxes is a guarantee of the absence of problems and the preservation of a gambling license of South Africa.

Duration

The usual term for issuing a license is about 3 months. Of course, a definite time depends on the province and on the scale of the required investigation. 

To approve the decision, the NGB publishes information about the operator in one of the popular media. A copy of the request is also sent to the provincial authorities. If 21 days have passed since the date of publication, and there were no objections from the public against the applicant, a permit for online bookmaking activities is issued.

After issuing the license, the regulator has the right to impose certain restrictions on the operator. For example, limit the hours of work of the sportsbook platform.

Advantages and disadvantages

To sum up all the above, let’s group the pros and cons of obtaining a SA bookmaking license.

Advantages:

  • The best thing is how much a gambling license costs in South Africa. It is an absolutely funny amount if compared with the cost of licensing in other jurisdictions.
  • Bookmaking is VERY popular among South Africans. Presumably, about 50% of adults in SA are regularly making bets!
  • Transparent tax system helps operators to avoid unexpected charges.
  • The SA government pays close attention to the gambling industry, which has a positive impact on the local economy. It gives us hope that not only bookmaking, but also internet casinos will become legal in the country soon.

Disadvantages:

  • To run a business, you must get several licenses.
  • Regional license covers only one province, working in other parts of SA is illegal.
  • All forms of online gaming are banned in SA for now. If you want to legalize your gambling company there, you have only one option – a sportsbook platform.

It’s not easy to collect all the required info and documentation to apply for the SA license. If you don’t want to spend time (and nerves), feel free to write to us. Our specialists will consult you and help to apply for the license in the shortest period. 

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