The poker scene is vibrant in South Africa, and online poker is thriving. Perhaps you were unaware that poker professionals like Raymond Rahme and other well-known players hail from South Africa. And get this: South Africa hosted the second annual World Series of Poker (WSOP).
Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Pretoria are the cities that come to mind when you think of South Africa. Poker and other forms of gambling are probably not typically associated with the nation. And there’s probably a good explanation for it as well. Considering that it has been severely prohibited since the late 1600s, South Africa is hardly the world’s most gambling-friendly nation. The nation takes a strict position against online gambling, and the only type of online gambling that is permitted in the Rainbow Nation is sports betting.
Despite all the legal restrictions, there are a ton of devoted poker players in South Africa who are prepared lot go to any lengths to locate a top-notch poker site. If you belong to that group, you have come to the proper place.
Most recent South African poker news
South Africa was a poker hotspot in the seventh month of the year, especially in Johannesburg and Durban, unlike last month. A few poker tournaments were held at the Montecasino in Johannesburg, with the Splendido Poker Series being the biggest. This prestigious tournament’s satellites began on June 10, while the actual action took place from July 15 to July 24.
Montecasino teamed up with Shuffleup Poker, one of the largest poker tournament providers in Africa, to provide its players this Semi-Freeze Series, which boasts a prize pool of over $726,250. Moon Khan took home the $36,312 grand prize and the Main Event. The tournament offered a variety of buy-in levels, making it suitable for big rollers, casual players, and total newbies.
Between July 22 and July 31, the SunBet Poker Tour made a swing at the Sibaya Casino in Durban to conduct its multi-million rand event. Over the course of ten days, the players engaged in intense Texas Hold’em matches. In addition, participants might win points that helped them move up the leaderboard. With the most points, the top 10 players qualified for the famous World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.
Is South Africa a legal poker market?
There has always been gaming regulation in South Africa. That history began to change a number of years ago when lawmakers expressed an interest in progressively altering the rules to keep up with business and societal demands.
But it’s not quite that easy. South Africans are known for making things difficult and unclear, and this is also true of the regulations governing online poker and gaming.
It has become rather challenging for residents of South Africa to play poker online due to the country’s strict online poker legislation. If players are discovered to be playing online poker or other types of gambling, they may really face legal action.
All kinds of gambling were legally outlawed in South Africa in 1965 when the Gambling Act took effect, with horse racing being the lone exemption.
Despite this, there is a connection between the nation and poker play. But given that it’s viewed as unlawful behaviour there, how does this happen?
However, there have been some parts of South Africa that have managed to get around the rules. For instance, a few casinos started functioning in the nation’s bantustans—the ostensibly sovereign regions—in the late 1970s.
These settled in a few places, including Transkei and Bophuthatswana. Only native South Africans lived in such areas, hence the majority of the population couldn’t really access the casinos. But as time went on, the number of these illegal casinos increased, and by 1995, it was thought that there were over 2,000 of them operating in South Africa.
1994 saw a new democratic government take office, which brought about several changes. All types of gaming became allowed at that time.
However, circumstances improved in 1994 when the government removed a ban on all forms of gambling and added a licensing structure to the 1996 National Gambling Act. This act permitted the National Gambling Board to grant licenses to both brick-and-mortar and online sportsbooks in all nine provinces, enabling the establishment of a legal framework for the gambling sector.
The National Gambling Act of the nation went into effect in 1996, at which point a number of casinos with licenses were established. Horse racing (which remained legal) was redefined as a gambling activity rather than a sport, and a national lottery was also established. A decision was made to make a total of 40 gambling licenses accessible to potential South African operators at the same time as regulations were implemented to keep gambling as regulated as possible within the nation. Poker was among the new gambling options that were made available alongside the legal casinos and the national lottery.
The 1996 version of the National Gambling Act was repealed in 2004 when a new version of the law went into force. The National Gambling Amendment Act was then put into operation in 2008. Unfortunately, the first of these Acts made it unlawful for residents of South Africa to use online gambling services and forbade any operator from offering them. Online poker was consequently rendered illegal, along with online casinos and bingo. In reality, the Amendment Act of 2008 sought to legalize interactive internet gaming. However, a number of parties opposed its implementation, including land-based businesses and anti-money laundering organizations, therefore it was never put into effect along with it.
South Africa passed legislation in 2010 making it unlawful to visit interactive gambling websites with foreign servers. As a result, regardless of the location of the server, providing and using online gambling services is now prohibited in the nation. If arguments against the legislation prohibiting interactive gaming are heard by the supreme court, the National Gambling Amendment Act of 2008 might take effect at some point soon. However, poker is still now regarded as a prohibited activity in South Africa.
The National Gambling Board is the organization in charge of monitoring the rules governing the gambling sector in all of South Africa.
South Africans’ Banking Options
You can make payments using e-wallets, prepaid cards, and even cryptocurrency, at most SA poker sites in addition to the usual credit and debit cards. South Africans currently utilize the majority of these payment options, such as PayPal, for their regular shopping.
Although the majority of online poker sites accept credit and debit card deposits, there is always the chance that your bank will reject such transactions. You can try using your Visa or Mastercard if you’d like, but if it doesn’t work, you’ll need to consider your options.
The greatest alternative for deposits is to use a cryptocurrency for the transaction. Today, many of the popular poker sites, like PPPoker or PokerBros Clubs, accept transactions in crypto. It makes no difference if that is Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Ethereum, or any of the others. If the online poker room enables cryptocurrency transactions, you’ll be able to employ quick deposits and withdrawals without worrying about a centralized financial institution monitoring your every move. Regarding cryptocurrency, you won’t also be required to pay any additional fees on top of your deposits and withdrawals. So, if you want something quick and free, use cryptocurrency.
Another option is to try using an e-wallet for deposits and withdrawals, albeit this option may not always be available to South African citizens. However, if you do have a Neteller or Skrill wallet, for instance, you might try using it at your preferred online poker facility. You should just be aware that it could not support players from South Africa. Bank transfers may also be used, however, they function in a manner similar to that of credit and debit cards. Because they are expressly linked to a bank, if a transaction is discovered to be travelling to an online gambling site, it may be halted.
Therefore, you already know how to use these banking choices to make online payments. Additionally, some of the poker sites we recommend allow payments in South African Rands, so you won’t lose money due to exchange rates. Really cool, no?
The most played poker games in South Africa
Texas Hold’em is currently the most often played poker variation in South Africa. Rejoice, my fellow poker enthusiasts in South Africa, since every poker website out there now offers this variation. Even if Omaha or 5-Card Stud are your preferred poker variations, you may still find a few tables hosting these games at our suggested poker sites.
There are a few companies that offer the less popular poker variants 2-7 Triple Draw, Razz, and Chinese Poker if you like those games. However, it can take some time before all the tables are occupied.
South African mobile poker
Not that long ago, the only locations with poker rooms were upscale casino resorts located in major gambling hubs across the world. Since the advent of online gambling, it is now feasible to play real-money poker from the convenience of your own home. Additionally, you can play your preferred poker games whenever you want from anywhere in South Africa thanks to one of the most recent innovations: mobile poker.
You only need a reliable internet connection and a mobile device that is compatible to take advantage of all the advantages of mobile poker in South Africa. Speaking about interoperability, practically all poker websites have been designed to be accessed by both iOS and Android users. Although some companies have released dedicated poker apps, you can always access the instant play version and begin playing right away if you don’t want to download anything.