African Gaming: The Rich History of Casinos On the Continent

African Gaming: The Rich History of Casinos On the Continent
African Gaming: The Rich History of Casinos On the Continent

Gambling in Africa has a long history dating back thousands of years BC. It, however, was not until the late XX century before big land-based casinos started to open on the continent. The following guide will tell you more about the development of the casino industry and casino venues available to the players

History and Legislation

People have gambled in Africa at least since 3 000 BC and even earlier. Archaeologists have found evidence that Ancient Egyptians played games of chance using dice. Other early civilizations on the continent also had certain forms of gambling.

After the Arab expansion into Africa, games of chance were fully banned in the affected territories due to Muslim tradition and law. This is true for many countries of Northern Africa, even nowadays.

One of the first regions where gambling and casinos were officially regulated was South Africa. The 1673 law heavily restricted the sphere leaving little room for the industry to develop. The 1965 Gambling Act made the restrictions even more severe, with only horse racing left in the legal field.

Despite strict regulations, lots of half-legal venues started to open in the homelands. There were up to 2 000 venues of different sizes by the end of the XX century, according to estimates.

The liberalization of the gambling sphere of South Africa came in 1994 when the industry was fully legalized. Then followed a 1996 National Gambling Act that aimed to regulate the sphere and introduced casino licenses. It was now possible to establish and operate a legal gambling business in South Africa, provided the company received an appropriate license. The Gambling Act was updated in 2004 and then was replaced by the National Gambling Amendment Act in 2008.

Land-Based Casinos in South Africa

There are currently 40+ casino venues in the country legally offering their services to the players. You can find a place to play real-money games in Cape, North West Province, Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu, and Gauteng.

The history of South African casinos is closely bonded with Sun International Group and its owner Sol Kelner. The company was the first one to establish a legal casino venue in the country. It was Mmabatho Sun, which opened its doors to visitors in 1977.

There are several top casinos on the list of 40+ venues that are worth your attention more than others. This includes:

  • Sun City – a legendary casino situated in the North West Province. The venue was established by the Sun International Group in 1979. Sun City features hundreds of slot machines and more than 40 tables to play with a dealer. It also has the best accommodations and entertainment facilities for the visitors.
  • Rio Casino – a land-based gambling hall inspired by Rio Carnival. This 24/7 casino offers players 12 table games and more than 270 top-notch slot machines. Rio Casino has been around since 2002 and provides the best gambling services to players.
  • Time Square Casino – a new gambling venue in Gauteng opened in 2017. This high-profile casino with a modern design offers players 2 000+ slots and over 60 table games. It appeals to gamblers with exclusive Sun Prive gaming rooms, the best accommodations, and Sun Arena shows.

Online Casinos

South Africans like to gamble, and many of them play online. You can access any game in minutes without having to visit a land-based venue. Choose a website at BestCasinoPlay, create an account, and start gambling. Lots of casinos allow you to use ZAR to fund your account and play real-money games.

Conclusion on African Casino History

People played games of chance in Africa thousands of years ago, but at a certain point, gambling was banned in many countries due to religious or other reasons. The liberalization came at the end of the XX century, with South Africa at the forefront of changes. Today, there are 40+ casinos in the country, including the legendary Sun City.

  • About the Author

Olivia Evans is the author of dozens of top-quality gambling-related articles. She is a real expert in the niche with years of experience and research. Olivia likes to play at a casino, which helps her understand the readers’ interests and needs.