Question posted in the General Law category relating to Gauteng
Please can you advise if there is legal scope to operate a paid competition business in South Africa.
An example of the type of business we are exploring is HERE, this is one based in the UK.
The above business is in accordance with UK legislation, as confirmed HERE
Please can you provide links to any legislation which either confirms this business is possible or is not permitted. If there are some differences from the UK legislation to make it compliant, please highlight these.
Finally, if this is possible, please kindly outline the steps required to set the business up and whether it can be based from the UK (UK registered company) or if it must be SA based - if the latter, how do we do that?
Thanks for your help.
Information Requested by Lawyer
Hi there and thank you for your question,
I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.
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Do you mind if I take a moment to review your question? I will come back to you shortly!
Answer to the Question
Apologies for the delay. We had load shedding, it was Saturday afternoon, and I didn’t have access to my legislation at the office. I had to search the internet for sources.
In brief, my opinion is that you are NOT able to operate such a business in South Africa.
The legislation which you need to look at is the National Gambling Act (“the Act”).
I think that the game that you’ve pointed to constitutes gambling, as defined in section 5 of the Act, and is therefore covered by the Act. You should also take note that certain provinces (e.g. Western Cape) has it’s own Act which might apply.
Section 11 of the Act records that "...[a] person must not engage in or make available an interactive game except as authorised in terms of this Act or any other national law."
“The regulator licenses sports betting because it’s the only form of online gambling that’s legal in the country. There have been numerous attempts to legalize casino gaming over the years. But to date, the government still considers interactive gaming illegal.”
You can contact the National Gambling Board (https://www.ngb.org.za/) for more information and to register. Gambling licenses can be applied for in a province in the event that the province issues an RPA (Request for application).
There are also loads of articles that I can point you to which explains in detail –
In short, the Government has drafted a Bill which seeks to regulate and allow online betting and gambling, but they haven’t yet signed it into legislation.
I don’t see any way that you can operate such a business in South Africa.
What you should also realise that South Africans cannot gamble with international companies from within the Republic, so operating the company from the UK / Mauritius / etc won’t work.