Gambling in South Africa: What You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

In our global digital environment, services transcend geography.

The same services are available across countries and continents. Whenever an industry enters a new market, it moulds itself to be best suited for its local customers. This is true for everything from social networks to online gambling. The result is a set of services that’s unique.

The online gambling ecosystem in Africa, especially South Africa, is diverse – after all, it has to cater to an incredibly diverse culture. Here are some things you can experience there that are different from whatever you’ll find in the rest of the world.
Downloadable software
In the early days of online gambling, online casino software had to be downloaded and installed. This was before Macromedia (later Adobe) Flash was a thing. As the internet became faster and the browsers better, browser-based software slowly replaced downloadable casino packages. Today, HTML5 and browser-based casinos are the norm.

Except for a few South African online gambling sites. Some of these, especially those with Realtime Gaming / SpinLogic software, still offer their players downloadable packages on desktop computers. And there are quite a few aimed at South African players.
Spina Zonke
Meaning “spin all” in Zulu, Spina Zonke is a term used by a major South African betting and gaming brand, Hollywoodbets. As we mentioned, South Africa has an incredibly diverse culture. Did you know, for example, that the country has 11 major (and some minor) official languages? The most widely used one is not English or Afrikaans but Zulu.

“Spina zonke” might become a regional term for slot machines, like “fruities” in the UK and “pokies” in New Zealand, adding a local twist to this universally beloved game.
Prepaid vouchers
Finally, one particular characteristic, not just in online gambling but across South Africa, is the extensive use of prepaid vouchers.

These vouchers allow people to pay for various things online without a bank card. Among others, they can use them to pay for electricity and other utilities, food, healthcare, and internet access, and they can use them to top up their casino accounts. And they do.
Prepaid vouchers are available in an amazing variety in South Africa, and they are widely used for making deposits to online casinos – some even for withdrawals. This is another aspect that makes the African gambling market different.

Every service reflects the particularities of the region where it operates. In the case of African online gambling, there are things you hardly see anywhere else: the wide use of prepaid vouchers, the presence of downloadable software packages for desktop computers, and the local terms used for gambling games. These make the local iGaming market unique.

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