As stated in the NGA , ‘‘casino’’ means premises where gambling games are played, or are available to be played,

but does not include premises in which:


a)      only bingo and no other gambling game is played or available to be played;


b)      only limited pay-out machines are available to be played;


c)      limited pay-out machines are available to be played and bingo, but no other gambling game is played or available to be played; or


d)        only social gambling is conducted in terms of a temporary license or provincial law.


The formal casino industry in South Africa evolved in the mid-1990s and was arbitrarily chosen. In 1994, a total of nine (9) casinos existed and were all located in the previous TBVC (Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei) states. Most of these were built in the 1980s, the first being Sun City which opened in December 1979. In the period prior to the passing of the National Gambling Act of 1996, namely 1994 to 1996, not much happened in terms of casino infrastructure investment. However, during 1997 to 2002, the industry entered a period of rapid development and, by the turn of the century, there were 17 casinos operating from permanent venues, with a further 5 casinos still operating from temporary infrastructure (NGB report, February 2003). In 2002 a further 6 casinos were established and best available records of that time indicate cumulative total capital investment in the casino industry

of R11.5 billion. Over the subsequent period up to 2010 a further eight (8) new casinos were established and substantial investment in upgrading and refurbishment was made in existing casinos, leading to cumulative total capital investment of R19.5 billion by 2010. An additional casino was opened in Gauteng which began operating on 1 April 2017.


The casino industry is by far the largest and most prominent component of the South African gambling industry. By all accounts, it is considered world-class in global context. The industry comprises of seven (7) management companies namely Sun International, Tsogo Sun Holdings/Hosken Consolidated Investments, Peermont Global, London Clubs International, Northern Cape Casino Consultants, Billion Group and African Pioneer Gaming (Pty) Ltd. By the end of the financial year FY2020/21, as at 31 March 2021, a total number of 38 casinos (out of a maximum of 41 licenses) were operational in South Africa. This follows the closure of Naledi casino in the Free State owned by Sun International following the covid-19 pandemic. The controlling shareholders in terms of operational casinos are Sun International (12 casinos), Tsogo Sun Holdings/Hosken Consolidated Investments (14 casinos), Peermont Resorts (8 casinos), London Clubs International (1 casino), Northern Cape Casino Consultants (1 casino), Billion Group (1 casino) and African Pioneer Gaming (1 casino). The total number of operational slots,tables and gambling positions as at 31 March 2021 are illustrated on the table below.


Until the advent of the Covid-19 global pandemic, the casino sector had been the largest contributor of GGR accounting for 60.5% of the total GGR generated by all gambling modes in FY2018/19. However, the growth rate of GGR generated by this sector was low compared to the other modes, and its share in total generated GGR was declining from 84.4% in FY2009/10 to 60.5% in FY2018/19. With the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, casino GGR fell to R9.1 billion, a 50.5% decline from FY2019/20 which was R18.4 billion and accounting for 39.2% of total GGR as at 31 March 2021, becoming second to betting in terms of contribution to total GGR. Consequently, taxes collected from the sector also declined in FY2020/21 to R867 million from R1.9 billion in the previous year.


Quarter 1

Quarter 2

Quarter 3

Quarter 4

1 Apr – 30 Jun 2020

1 Jul – 30 Sep 2020

1 Oct – 31 Dec 2020

1 Jan – 31 Mar 2021

Number of operational casinos





Number of operational slots (casinos)

11 474




Number of operational tables (casinos)





Number of operational gambling positions (casinos)

16 374




Gambling helpline:
0800 006 008