Published on
June 9, 2018

Natalia Duarte
June 9, 2018
Natalia is in charge of creating content for gambling-world. With over five years of experience in the iGaming industry, working on game development and design, she is responsible for evaluating the sites we recommend on the platform and writing the most detailed game guides you'll find in Portuguese. She is also a dedicated fan of casino games and is always learning something new about them. #ReliableOnlineCasino
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Legally approved content

The current laws governing the regulation of both online and offline casino gambling present a highly intricate subject. On a global scale, there is no governing body or institution capable of consolidating all these laws, as each country has its own methods of regulating and issuing gambling licenses. Frequently, these laws are exceedingly old, so old that they do not account for online gambling since it didn't even exist back then. And being laws, they may not always be explicit and readily comprehensible.

While some regions of the globe recognize the legitimacy of gambling as an intriguing means to attract investments and tourists, thus establishing authoritative bodies to regulate its operations and safeguard its users, other areas go to great lengths to keep such activities within the realm of illegality.

Not only is there global diversity, but different organizations within the same country can have varying approaches to gambling. The United States serves as a prominent example of how a single nation can be so heterogeneous when it comes to gaming legislation. There are states that prohibit any form of gambling, while others, like Nevada (home to Las Vegas), have turned betting and casinos into an international travel destination for thousands of people.

In South Africa, the legislation that prohibits casinos and other games of chance applies to the entire national territory, unlike in the United States where states have the autonomy to approve their own laws. In this article, our aim is to shed some light on this subject.

In the following sections, we provide a concise yet comprehensive overview of complex and delicate subjects that warrant attention. We acknowledge the murky legality surrounding online gambling for South African players, which can be perplexing. Therefore, our focus lies on the legal aspects pertaining to online casino games and various forms of internet-based betting accessible from South Africa. Additionally, we evaluate the foremost determinant in establishing whether an online casino is secure and trustworthy or not: licensing.

There are numerous gaming and betting websites that cater to South African players. It is crucial to have some understanding of South African legislation and the international organizations responsible for regulating these establishments before delving into online gambling. Thus, let's begin by examining the situation in South Africa. Subsequently, we will explore the licenses for online gambling in various global regions and the authorities that oversee the operations of online casinos. Concluding this article, we will address a range of frequently asked questions that players often encounter when it comes to placing bets online in South Africa.

Legislation and regulation of gambling in South Africa

Since 1946, physical casinos have been prohibited in South Africa under a decree added to the law of 1941 (Decree Law No. 3688/1941), which forbids sports betting and gambling on South African territory. Even after nearly 80 years since the law was established, South Africans continue to live under this same prohibition.

The law 3688/1941 could not foresee, at its time, the invention of the internet and the various ways of playing and betting completely online, through betting websites and online casinos. In this regard, we can assert that it is outdated and does not encompass the reality of online gaming. As we will see further below, there are already two bills being processed in the National Congress that aim to regulate the gambling environment in the South African territory.

The 1941 Law on gambling was established in a vastly different scenario from today's reality. Back then, the prohibition law on gambling served as a means to uphold the moral and social values promoted by the State. It forbids any form of establishments from offering games of chance, also known as games of luck (that is, games and bets whose outcome solely depends on luck). Within this framework, all casino games, lotteries, and all types of bets fall under its scope. Engaging in such activities is punishable by imprisonment ranging from three months to one year, in addition to a fine.

The prohibition scenario has remained largely unchanged over the past 70 years. The 1941 Law makes no mention of online gambling and betting, nor does it distinguish between gambling in physical establishments and online games of chance. The law prohibits establishments from offering gambling, inevitably encompassing the virtual world. The lack of differentiation in the legislation has contributed to the persistence of this prohibition over time, creating a complex and challenging environment for online gaming enthusiasts. Despite advancements in technology and the widespread popularity of online gambling, the legal framework has not yet adapted to the digital age. This outdated approach presents various challenges and raises questions about the effectiveness and fairness of the current prohibition. As society evolves and embraces digital transformation, it becomes increasingly important to review and update existing laws to ensure they reflect the needs and realities of the modern world.

However, despite the legislation remaining unchanged to this day, it is expected that in the coming years, casinos and online gambling will be regulated, at least in part, in South Africa. The only games of chance currently permitted in the country are lottery games from Caixa Econômica Federal, such as Mega Sena. Nonetheless, there is anticipation for the expansion of the gambling industry to include a wider range of options for South African players.

What is considered gambling in South Africa?

All games in South Africa that rely solely on luck (casino games), horse betting, and other sports betting are considered games of chance. Lottery games and bingo are also considered games of chance and, in this case, they also become illegal under Law 3688/1941. It is important to note that engaging in these activities can have legal consequences.

Both proposals to regulate gambling in South Africa, which we will discuss further below, also define games of chance as games in which the outcome of winning or losing depends solely on luck. While it is true that casino games and sports betting, e-sports betting, and even binary options are games of chance, they all also depend on some basic knowledge on the player's part, as we explain in our game guides.

In recent years, there has been a global movement recognizing poker as a legitimate sport, and this perception has also taken hold in South Africa. Alongside this shift, poker has come to be regarded as a game of strategy, much like chess. Consequently, poker can no longer be classified solely as a game of chance.

Proposals for the regulation of gambling.

Over the years, there have been numerous pressures from various economic sectors to legalize casino games in the South African territory. Presently, two bills are pending in the National Congress that aim to partially regulate gambling in the country. They advocate for the licensing of casino and betting companies, signaling a significant shift in the operation of online casinos in the upcoming years.

The purpose of Bill No. 186/2014 is to regulate, license, and legalize the status of casinos within South Africa's territory. This will enable both national and foreign private companies to provide their services legally in the country, subject to certain regulations. The bill encompasses the regularization of sports betting, bingo, and casino games. After being approved by the Senate, the bill will then proceed to the Chamber of Deputies before returning to the Senate for final approval.

In 2016, the debate on the legalization of gambling and casinos in South Africa gained momentum, leading to amendments to the 2014 bill. Numerous lawmakers voiced their support for the project, while the opposition also presented compelling arguments against the legalization of games of chance. However, throughout 2017, the issue failed to gain attention and remained stagnant. Since then, there have been no updates from the government that could spark expectations among players and gaming operators. Many believe that the notion of legalizing both casinos and betting simultaneously in a country with no prior legalization history is excessively ambitious.

If the proposed bill No. 186/2014 is approved, it establishes the legal framework for the licensing of gambling in South Africa. Consequently, foreign websites that currently accept South African players (we have assessed several of them here, at gambling-world) would have to comply with the measures imposed by South African legislation in order to continue operating legally in the country.

Furthermore, it would be possible to establish South African casino gaming companies, as well as physical gambling and betting establishments. Another legislation proposal, bearing striking resemblance but significantly older, the 442/1991, also underwent deliberations in Congress but failed to secure approval.

Online gambling games

Online gambling has gained popularity over the past two decades, and since then, the betting market has experienced exponential growth. While the legalization of casinos in South Africa is pending, South African players can, theoretically, continue placing bets on foreign online casinos and betting sites, just as they are doing now.

There are numerous companies specialized in creating casino games and platforms for a wide range of betting activities (check out our comprehensive guide on online gambling). Additionally, there are countless other companies providing an online casino environment, granting you access to these games. All of them have foreign origins, as gambling activities are currently prohibited in South Africa.

Online casinos can be licensed in various locations around the globe (check out our list of top regulatory bodies below). They encompass a wide range of specially tailored traditional casino games for online play, along with an extensive selection of betting options. The game catalogue is truly remarkable, surpassing even the grandest brick-and-mortar casinos. On the internet, you can discover:

Numerous foreign websites welcome South African players (almost all the casinos that our team has assessed and ranked on gambling-world accept them). However, in a few others, you might encounter entry restrictions preventing you from placing bets. Yes, you read that correctly. Due to our place of residence, certain websites may impose limitations on our registration.

When playing online at a foreign casino, you acknowledge and agree to abide by the terms set forth by the company. Furthermore, you explicitly consent to any potential legal disputes being settled in the jurisdiction where the casino is registered.

At gambling-world, our mission revolves around curating engaging content pertaining to online gambling. Our platform serves as a comprehensive resource, offering an array of game guides, fundamental insights into each online game, profit-enhancing strategies, exclusive bonuses that amplify your balance, impartial evaluations of top-notch casinos and betting sites, appraisals of games and game providers, in addition to reliable casino information and responsible gaming guidelines.

Allowed gambling games: lottery and bingo.

Bingo games were legalized in South Africa in 1993 by Law No. 8672/1993. The game of bingo was authorized in physical establishments as a means to raise funds for charitable organizations, primarily those that promote sports practices. Subsequently, in 1998, this activity was further regulated by another law, commonly referred to as the Pelé Law.

However, in 2004, the Pelé Law was repealed, and the game of bingo was once again prohibited. This ban applies to all institutions, regardless of their nature, and remains in effect to this day. As a direct consequence of the revocation of the bingo permission, all bingo halls, which were dedicated to the practice of bingo as a game of chance, were forced to close down. Nevertheless, it is known that certain organizations, such as sports clubs, still engage in bingo matches today, with the purpose of raising funds for noble causes. Although these matches are technically illegal, they do not appear to face any repression from the authorities.

However, lottery games are currently exclusively monopolized by Caixa Econômica Federal. It is not allowed for any other company or institution to conduct lottery games in South Africa. The most well-known and famous ones by Caixa are Mega Sena and Quina, which often accumulate millions of reais in huge prizes. Our team has also written about the main South African and foreign lotteries here at gambling-world.

Since 1991, scratch cards, also known as instant lotteries, have been sold in Caixa Federal lottery agencies. However, in 2016, by official decree of then-president Michel Temer, scratch cards were no longer included in Caixa's games. In 2017, the Federal Government approved the concession of instant lotteries to private companies, including this measure in the National Privatization Program. Both domestic and foreign companies will have the opportunity to participate in the bidding process.

Entities responsible for gambling activities.

Currently, the sole entity entrusted with the task of conducting and overseeing games of chance in South Africa is the Federal Savings Bank, which facilitates lottery games. Due to the lack of legalization for other forms of gambling, there is no regulation or scrutiny of their operations.

When it comes to online casinos and foreign gambling sites, their activity is regulated by the country where their license was issued. We will discuss the main regulatory bodies further below. In the case of online casinos and gambling sites without a license to operate games of chance on the internet, there is no oversight whatsoever, and that's why we do not consider them safe.

Legislation and regulation of gambling worldwide.

If you currently engage in online gambling or are considering it, it is imperative that you familiarize yourself with the fundamental principles surrounding the regulation and oversight of online gaming and betting. Gaining an understanding of these aspects will enable you to comprehend how they directly impact your participation in these activities.

The legislation regarding gambling and betting differs from one country to another, and sometimes even within the same country. It establishes regulatory bodies that aim to standardize and regulate the online casino activity. Currently, there are numerous organizations worldwide that license and regulate the operations of casinos and betting establishments. You can learn more about them further down the page.

There are four key aspects that we can emphasize regarding this subject, which are crucial to comprehending the impact of legal matters on your bets. It is essential to grasp the significance of these factors in order to fully grasp the implications that legal issues may have on your gambling activities. By understanding and considering these specific points, you can navigate the legal landscape and make informed decisions when it comes to your wagers. Familiarizing yourself with the legal framework that governs betting activities is imperative to ensure compliance and protect your interests. It is vital to stay informed and stay abreast of any changes or developments in the legal realm that may impact your betting experiences. By being proactive and staying informed, you can navigate the legal complexities and enjoy a safe and secure betting environment that is in line with the prevailing regulations.

Reliable gaming software

  1. The primary aim of regularization

    The fundamental principle governing gaming laws worldwide is straightforward, and it is this principle that emphasizes the significance of their regulation. Its primary objective is to safeguard users of online gambling sites and casinos. These regulatory bodies enable you to place bets and engage in recreational gameplay, ensuring that you will not be taken advantage of by the casino.

    Licensed gambling websites establish an essential code of conduct that must be respected by companies. Without this code, it could be argued that players would lose significantly more money, with greater ease. If a company fails to adhere to the rules or engages in deceptive and dishonest practices, their license can be revoked. This is precisely why licensed sites are consistently the safest and most preferable options for betting.

  2. Betting not outside

    If you were to place a bet in South Africa, the aforementioned laws would be in effect. As it is not possible to make bets here, South Africans can wager on online casinos and foreign betting sites. However, they must comply with the rules, terms, and conditions proposed by the company and the country in which the casino is licensed. For instance, if you wish to initiate a legal dispute with the casino, it would have to be done in the country where it is registered.

  3. The legislation and the illegality of gambling.

    Using an online casino or gambling site is seldom explicitly illegal. Laws and regulations that prohibit gambling activities worldwide generally target the companies operating the games, rather than the individuals using them. While casino games and online betting are restricted within South African territory, this does not prevent you from using foreign websites to place your bets.

  4. Licensed casinos versus unlicensed casinos.

    It may seem obvious, but it's worth emphasizing: licensed and regulated casinos are regarded as much safer than casinos operating without any form of license. Licenses are in place to provide legal protection to users, uphold a standard of service, and ensure fair gaming policies. To obtain a license, a company must adhere to and comply with a set of predetermined requirements set by the relevant jurisdiction. Rest assured that choosing a licensed casino ensures a secure and fair gambling experience, backed by legal safeguards and a commitment to user protection.

    In this regard, it is a common practice for online casinos to prominently display their license and approval numbers from regulatory bodies on their homepage. This serves as a means to provide players with reassurance that the company is trustworthy and reputable.

    It should be emphasized, nevertheless, that the accreditation of regulatory authorities can vary significantly, in the sense that some are more stringent than others. For instance, licenses from organizations that essentially accept any company as long as they can afford the license cannot be taken too seriously. It is important to note, however, that the level of validation provided by regulatory bodies can vary greatly, depending on the specific criteria they employ. It is crucial to consider that certain governing bodies may be more meticulous in their evaluations compared to others. For instance, licenses granted by agencies that simply accept any business willing to pay for the license should not be regarded with great importance.

    To ensure a website's credibility, it is crucial to comprehend the significance when a site claims to be licensed by a specific authority. Consequently, we delve into the specifics of each licensing entity further below, providing you with in-depth knowledge. These insights can aid you in selecting the most secure platforms while steering clear of potentially unscrupulous ones. Additionally, explore our guidelines on promoting responsible gaming.

Laws on online gaming worldwide.

  • South America

    Gaming and gambling laws in South America, contrary to the stance of its largest country, South Africa, are remarkably permissive. In Uruguay and Argentina, for instance, there are even physical casinos offering a wide array of games for betting. As a tourist, you can freely explore these countries and engage in casino gambling without encountering any obstacles.

  • North and Central America

    As we mentioned earlier, the regulations concerning online gambling differ greatly from one country to another. In the United States, for instance, each state has the authority to enact its own laws and determine whether or not to legalize casino gambling. Nevada, the home of the renowned Las Vegas, is one of the few states that host physical casinos and establishments offering sports betting, such as horse race wagering.

    In most parts of the nation, however, gambling is either completely prohibited or subject to highly restrictive laws, resulting in a limited operation. The majority of betting websites are unable to extend their services to American residents due to the country's prohibition and stringent regulations.

    In Canada, there is legislation that is governed by the central government, but each province has the authority to establish its own gambling regulations, resulting in significant diversity. Online betting in the Canadian territory, similar to South Africa, falls within a gray area - neither completely legal nor illegal.

  • Europa

    In Europe, the approaches to the legality of gambling vary widely. In certain countries, particularly in Eastern Europe, betting games are completely prohibited. However, in other nations, they are licensed and properly regulated to meet specific parameters. Several regulatory bodies exist across Europe, such as Malta, the Isle of Man, the United Kingdom, Spain, Gibraltar, and more.

    In the United Kingdom, for instance, the legislation is highly stringent, and not all enterprises can obtain legalization by the UK Gambling Commission, the regulatory body since 2005. There, all types of sports betting and casino games are duly regulated.

  • Asia

    Asia is a vast and varied continent, resulting in a lack of uniformity in its gambling laws. It is important to highlight that in several Muslim countries, gambling, even when conducted on foreign websites, is completely unlawful within their jurisdictions. Similarly, China vehemently opposes all forms of gambling, making both offline and online betting entirely illegal and punishable by imprisonment.

  • Africa

    Africa, a vast continent comprising of 54 nations, exhibits a diverse landscape when it comes to the legalization of physical casinos and online gambling. Much like other continents, there are African countries that embrace and regulate these activities, while others deem them entirely illegal. Leading the way in liberal policies is South Africa, where physical casinos and sports betting are overseen by the National Gaming Board.

  • Oceania

    In Australia, betting is limited to lottery games and sports betting. Other types of gambling, such as casino games, are not allowed. However, Australia falls into the same "gray zone" as South Africa, and its residents can wager on foreign online casinos. In New Zealand, there is also legislation that regulates gambling, and its residents can legally access foreign betting sites.

Laws, regulations, and licenses for online gambling

By familiarizing yourself with the principles of regulation and inspection of online gaming and betting, particularly in your area, you can safeguard yourself against any potential legal hurdles that may arise during your betting endeavors. Acquiring knowledge about the oversight and control of virtual gambling and wagering activities within your jurisdiction will emancipate you from any legal complications that might materialize while engaging in your preferred forms of entertainment.

While this article has been crafted after extensive research on the subject at hand, if you are in need of advice and legal information regarding the illegality of gambling and betting in South Africa, we strongly urge you to seek the counsel of a legal professional. Our content cannot be construed as legal advice, and therefore, we do not recommend relying on it to make decisions concerning legal issues or matters.

We have crafted this informative piece due to the lack of knowledge among the majority of South African players and bettors who regularly engage in gambling activities. It is crucial to have at least a basic understanding of how gambling games are regulated, especially since we partake in online casinos and foreign betting websites. By familiarizing ourselves with this topic, we can ensure a safer and more enjoyable gambling experience.

In this regard, it is imperative for us to have complete assurance that our time and money are being entrusted to reputable companies offering fair and trustworthy games. Given the existence of unscrupulous entities operating illegally in this field, our only recourse is to assess and identify the finest online casino options available. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to thoroughly scrutinize these establishments, ensuring their adherence to stringent regulations and ethical practices. By doing so, we can safeguard our investments while enjoying a secure and enjoyable gaming experience.

The online casino gaming industry is a relatively young sector, having a history of perhaps two decades. As a result, numerous jurisdictions and countries have yet to update their laws to encompass it, just like in South Africa. This circumstance creates an atmosphere of uncertainty, confusion, and even obscurity surrounding online casino gaming and betting. The varying laws from one place to another and the frequent lack of clarity or understanding regarding online casino games give rise to the lingering question of whether it is safe to partake in such activities.

As observed earlier, the landscape of online gaming inspection and regulation is undergoing transformative changes, gradually taking shape in select regions. However, there is still a considerable distance to be covered before achieving a global standardization. The journey ahead remains extensive and challenging.

In countries where online gambling is legal, it is possible to establish and obtain licenses for operating casino games. These licenses are granted by dedicated regulatory bodies that have the responsibility of overseeing and inspecting the activities. Below, you will find a list of the primary licensing authorities.

Different types of online gambling licenses.

To obtain a license, a website must comply with specific criteria. In this regard, every company, when registering in a particular location, must meet various requirements. It is essential for a website to adhere to certain guidelines in order to receive a license. These criteria serve as a measure of credibility and ensure that businesses operate in accordance with regulatory standards. Meeting these diverse criteria is a prerequisite for any company seeking registration in a specific jurisdiction.

Furthermore, online casinos and gambling sites may acquire various levels of licensing. For instance, a license could authorize the company to operate casino games but exclude sports betting.

There are various types of online gambling licenses that each licensing authority will determine. It would be impractical to provide an exhaustive list of all the licenses available. Therefore, let's take a look at the Malta Gaming Authority, one of the prominent licensors of online casinos, based in Malta. They offer a total of four different types of licenses:

  • Category 1 - License for online casino games and lottery games.
  • Class 2 - License for sports betting or fixed odds-based events.
  • Class 3 - License for interactive gaming portals, such as online poker networks.
  • Class 4 - License to maintain and handle gaming operators, for companies operating other licensed businesses.

Online gaming licensing authorities around the globe

The regulation of online gaming holds significant importance as it safeguards the interests of both you and all the players engaged in wagering money, with the primary aim of potentially gaining profits higher than their initial bets. There also exist dedicated individuals who engage in online betting as their sole profession, solely relying on these platforms to make a living.

Most people deposit money on websites without any knowledge of the rules that govern them. The purpose of this article is precisely to identify where you can safely bet your money, trusting that the games will be fair and unbiased. This is also the purpose of online gambling regulation and licensing. Licenses serve three main purposes:

  1. To ensure that gambling websites operate within the law.
  2. To ensure that betting websites engage in safe gambling practices.
  3. To ensure that users have a gaming environment that is fair and completely secure.

Online casinos and gambling websites must adhere to the laws of their licensing jurisdiction. Certain rules may also apply to keep underage individuals away from gambling and enforce responsible gaming practices. Like any other business, their advertisements, promotions, and game bonuses must be transparent and in no way misleading. Users should be given a fair chance to win and the assurance that they will receive their winnings within a specified timeframe if they are victorious.

Unfortunately, not all websites adhere to these criteria. While the regulation of gaming is expanding, it is impossible to prevent dishonest sites from operating. What we can do is provide South African players with sufficient information to make the right and informed choices about where to place their bets.

Regulation exists to safeguard and benefit players, which is why there are now numerous licensed websites where you can gamble securely. As users and players, we understand that legal aspects of online casinos that don't directly concern us may seem insignificant. However, many legal factors determine how casinos conduct their operations, and this ultimately impacts every single one of us.

In this regard, we advise you to exclusively engage with duly regulated and licensed websites. In our evaluations, we always make it clear what license the website in question holds and whether it is deemed secure. Below, familiarize yourself with the leading regulatory bodies worldwide that are responsible for issuing online gambling licenses. Should you wish to delve into further details about them, simply click on the links that will direct you to our comprehensive articles on each licensing authority!

UK Gambling Commission

The UK Gambling Commission, established in 2005, assumed the responsibilities of the Gaming Board. From 2007 onwards, it has been involved in the supervision, licensing, and inspection of gambling activities in the United Kingdom. Additionally, the UKGB is tasked with overseeing national lotteries. The regulation of sports betting, bingo, and casino games all falls under the purview of the UKGB, encompassing both online and offline gambling. This regulatory body issues online gaming licenses to companies operating within the United Kingdom.

Curacao eGaming

The Curaçao eGaming is accountable for the licensing and regulation of casinos operating from the diminutive island of Curaçao, situated in the Caribbean. Established in 1996, it stands as one of the most ancient regulatory bodies in existence.

The Isle of Man's Gambling Supervision Commission

The Gambling Supervision Commission of the Isle of Man oversees the licensing and regulation of gambling activities within the territory. This encompasses both physical and online casinos. The Isle of Man has been a pioneer in providing licensing, regulation, and inspection for online gaming, having been one of the first jurisdictions to do so. However, it is important to note that the GSC's history extends far beyond online gaming, as it was established in 1962 to regulate physical casinos.

The Gaming Authority of Malta

The small island of Malta, located near Italy, serves as the home to the Malta Gaming Authority. It has become a popular destination for numerous companies seeking online gaming licenses. Since 2000, the MGA has been responsible for issuing licenses and regulating the gambling landscape on the island. Many online casinos operating in South Africa are licensed by the MGA.

The Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner

Currently, the regulation of both physical and online casinos in Gibraltar necessitates a license that complies with the Gambling Act of 2005. The Gambling Commissioner assumes the role of overseeing and granting licenses for gambling operations.

Kansspel Commissie from Belgium

The organization in charge of regulating both offline and online gambling in Belgium since 1999 is known as the Belgium Gaming Commission or Kansspel Commissie. Their primary role is to ensure the legality and fairness of all gambling activities within the country. With a focus on player protection, the commission sets strict regulations and guidelines for operators to follow. These measures aim to prevent illegal gambling, promote responsible gaming practices, and safeguard the interests of consumers. By licensing and monitoring gambling establishments, the Belgium Gaming Commission plays a crucial role in maintaining a safe and transparent gambling environment for all.

The Romanian National Gambling Office

The National Office for Gambling in Romania is the regulatory authority responsible for authorizing and overseeing all forms of online and offline gambling within the country's borders. Their main objective is to ensure the legality and proper regulation of the various games of chance offered. By implementing strict guidelines and monitoring mechanisms, the Romania National Gambling Office aims to uphold the integrity of the gambling industry and protect the rights and interests of both operators and players alike. With their comprehensive oversight, they create a safe and fair gaming environment, fostering confidence and trust among participants.

The Amministrazione Autonoma Monopoli di Stato from Italy.

Since the time of the Roman Empire, in a land that has embraced games of chance, the sole authority to regulate and license gambling in Italy rests with the government. The Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM) is the governing body entrusted with the task of legalizing both offline and online gambling in Italy, as well as granting permission to foreign companies to provide their services to Italian citizens, albeit under certain conditions. Any other form of gambling offered by private enterprises is subject to penalties.

The Danish Gambling Authority

The Danish Gaming Authority, also known as DGA, ensures a secure and reliable gambling environment for Danish players while actively combating any illicit activities. It is their duty to regulate both online gambling platforms and physical casinos, guaranteeing fair play and protecting the rights of players. With a steadfast commitment to maintaining the integrity of the industry, the Danish Gaming Authority plays a pivotal role in promoting responsible gambling practices and upholding the highest standards of quality and safety.

The Spain General Directorate for Gambling Regulation

Since 2011, the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego has been responsible for the regulation, authorization, supervision, control, and licensing of gambling activities in Spain. This entity actively oversees and licenses various games of chance throughout the country, ensuring compliance with established regulations and providing a safe and fair environment for players. With a focus on maintaining integrity and promoting responsible gambling, the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego plays a vital role in the Spanish gambling industry.

The Alderney Gaming Control Commission.

Established in 2000, the Alderney Gaming Control Commission serves as the governing body for licensing and regulating gambling activities in Alderney, a petite island situated in the English Channel. With an impressive track record, the AGCC has granted licenses to numerous renowned online gambling operators.

Cyprus' National Betting Authority

Since 2011, the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego has been responsible for the regulation, authorization, supervision, control, and licensing of gambling activities in Spain. The role of this organization is to ensure the proper functioning and legality of the gambling industry within the country. With its extensive authority, the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego plays a vital role in maintaining fairness and protecting both consumers and operators. By implementing effective regulations and licensing procedures, they aim to create a safe and secure gambling environment for all participants.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica has always been a prime location for establishing online gambling and casino gaming companies. Some of the industry's major players are currently based in Costa Rica. Surprisingly, there is no formal licensing and regulatory system for gambling in the country. Astonishingly, there has never been, and currently isn't, a governing body overseeing these activities. Nonetheless, there is a substantial number of companies operating from Costa Rica. While some are reputable and prominent organizations, it is evident that there are also less reliable entities among them.

The Philippines' Cagayan Economic Zone Authority

The First Cagayan, the leading force behind the surge of online gambling in the region and Asia as a whole, operates under the jurisdiction and regulation of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), the official licensing and regulatory body of the Cagayan region in the northern part of the Philippines. CEZA issues licenses, overseeing the growth of online gambling activities in the area and the broader Asian market.

E-Gambling de Montenegro

Montenegro's E-Gambling Regulatory Authority is in charge of overseeing gambling activities in this Balkan peninsula country. Functioning as a regulatory body, it has the authority to issue licenses and monitor both online and offline gaming operations.

The Antiguan Online Gaming Association

Antigua and Barbuda, two islands in close proximity to Puerto Rico, form a stunning duo in the Caribbean. Since 1994, the Antigua Online Gaming Association has been granting licenses to casinos, including various websites catering to the American market. Over the years, the AOGA has refined and tightened their licensing process, ensuring utmost scrutiny and selectiveness. From inception to the present day, these licenses have become increasingly stringent and discerning, maintaining the highest standards of operation.

The Gaming Commission of Kahnawake

The establishment of the Kahnawake Gaming Commission dates back to 1999. Its primary objective lies in the regulation and licensing of a myriad of online casinos and gambling websites. Situated within the confines of the Mohawk Territory, an indigenous reservation adjacent to Montreal in Canada, the Commission assumes the crucial responsibility of overseeing and authorizing these platforms.


Common questions

South-Africa prohibits any types of gambling in its territory, excluding the federal lottery games offered by Caixa Federal. This implies that gambling companies, even if online, cannot be licensed here, resulting in the absence of a regulatory body that oversees and inspects this activity. However, foreign online casinos and betting websites take advantage of the lack of specificity in South African law, which does not explicitly prohibit online gaming, and most of them welcome South African players.

Technically, when you engage in online gambling at a foreign casino, you are not wagering within South Africa but rather in the jurisdiction where that company is licensed and operates. Hence, there are presently no penalties for players who bet online. We refer to South Africa as a "gray area," indicating that online gaming is not entirely prohibited and illegal, yet there is also a lack of any regulation regarding it.

In South African legislation, games of chance encompass all forms of betting where the outcome relies solely on luck. Lotteries, casino games, sports betting, scratch cards, bingo, and various other forms of betting fall under the category of games of chance.

Usually, online casinos and betting websites display their license number and the seal of the licensing body on their webpages. If you can't find this information on a site's homepage, you can try checking the "About" page. However, if the site provides absolutely no information about its license and the regulatory institution in charge of oversight, it cannot be deemed a secure site.

Multiple factors determine a secure and reliable casino. At gambling-world, we assess and rank websites based on various aspects that are important to South African players, such as safety, user experience, payment methods, offered bonuses, online reputation, customer support, among other factors.

By investigating and examining all of these elements, we are able to ascertain whether a website is secure or if it is dishonest. However, the fundamental factor in determining the trustworthiness of a casino is its licensing. Feel free to consult our evaluations of the websites at any time to gain further insight into our approach.

Only play on licensed websites.

In all of our articles, we consistently emphasize the importance of verifying the licensing status of the website you intend to place your bets on. Being licensed signifies the presence of an organization solely dedicated to overseeing its operations. The primary objective of such supervision is to ensure player protection, which is paramount. Always remember to check if the website holds a valid license before proceeding with your online gambling activities.

Now that you have gained a deeper understanding of the reasons behind the issuance of online gambling licenses worldwide and the responsible entities involved, we invite you to explore our comprehensive guides on each regulatory institution to expand your knowledge even further! Take this opportunity to delve into the intricate workings of these organizations and discover valuable insights about their roles and responsibilities in the online gaming industry.

Nelson Duarte
Nelson Duarte
(Brazilian Lawyer, 36 years of experience)
Read and approved: July 23rd.
Updated: July 23
Nelson Duarte is the legal consultant of The website's content has been reviewed and is in compliance with current Brazilian legislation.
The informative and educational content of this portal complies with Brazilian legislation.
Mr. Duarte
[email protected]