The best online casinos in 2020
Unlike some other countries across the globe, casino players in South Africa are spoilt for choice when they want to choose an online casino at which they wish to play at. There are countless options all over the globe, and many of them are open to SA players.
South Africa itself has also created many online gambling sites, designed primarily to appeal to the SA market. Such internet casinos usually have the most beneficial deals and promotions, and unique aspect that will most please the people from the land of the springbok.
What do I need to know?
This website – DCIA stand for Dad’s Casinos in Africa… not ‘Distributed Casino Platform & Association’ as someone would guess 😊 is designed to welcome you into the world of online casinos in South Africa, and what you – as a player – should expert. We have sifted through all your options, including the tastiest deals, the most entertaining games and the most esteemed levels of customer service. All this has been done by people who really know their business – industry experts who have been part of the online casino realm for at a couple of decades at least.
Before we jump in and list what we think are the best online casinos for players in South Africa (Europa Casino is one of the best), we are going to go through our review criteria. We evaluate each casino we encounter in a number of ways, and only sites that perform well in every available category can expect to get a thumbs up from our people! We want you to have as decent experience as you possibly can.
How we evaluate casinos
Safety and security
We now need to take our online security very seriously indeed. Almost daily now we hear of some huge corporation getting their fingers burned because a hacker has breached their security protocols. If an online hacker obtains your online details, your bank account information and your all-important passwords, then you could be in for a great deal of trouble!
When you play at an online casino you want to know that the information you pass over – for example your name, address, contact telephone numbers and banking information – is going to be protected. ALL online casino sites should use encryption and security certifications when dealing with traffic that arrives to and is sent out by their site. If they don’t, then that online casino will not get our recommendation!
Not every online casino experience is a matter of plain sailing. Sometimes things can go wrong in a way that you weren’t expecting them too – perhaps you won a nice jackpot on a slot and the money hasn’t appeared in your account, or you’ve made a withdrawal and you’ve still waiting for the money to boost your bank balance.
When you do get stuck you need help, and the more help an online casino can provide, the better. Some online casinos think they can get away with simply giving an email address and nothing more, but we of are the opinion that at the very minimum a site should offer live chat 24/7 too. Even better, when it comes to support, is the provision of a manned telephone line.
Brilliant banking options
When it comes to getting money into and out of your account, most typically you are going to be using a debit or credit card, or your banking details. However, if you are fearful of handing over your most important banking details to an online casino, then that casino should provide plenty of alternatives, including a range of eWallets and alternative financial services providers.
As for currencies, it certainly goes without saying that any online casino that we recommend should allow you to manage your account in South African Rands (ZAR). What’s the point in using a South African-facing online casino if it doesn’t accept your country’s own currency? We might be generous and given a casino a thumbs up if it doesn’t allow the use of ZAR but does accept USD, GBP and EUR, but casinos that accept ZAR will always win our approval the most.
Secure deposits and swift withdrawals
If you prefer to do more at an online casino then play the freebie games, then you are going to want to gamble with your own money. The majority of online casinos process deposits instantly, but do they process them security? The last thing you want is to transfer money to your online casino deposit account and then find that it never gets there!
As we mentioned, all online casinos act swiftly when it comes to taking your money, but most of them are not so speedy when it comes to paying it out! In truth, paying out money should just be as easy as taking in money, so why does it take some online casinos so long?
They love your money because while they have it, they can earn interest off of it! We think this is a little cheeky, so we prefer online casinos that take as little time as possible in getting your money back to you. If a casino takes ten days to process a pay-out, then we think that it really needs to buck its ideas up.
Most people head to an online casino with a specific need in mind. Maybe it is because they want to taste the latest online video slots. Maybe it is because they want to spend an hour to two at the live casino. Or maybe it is because they want to play a specific version of video poker that always seems to pay out more than it takes in.
Whatever your need of an online casino, it helps if you can find what you are looking to do as quickly as possible. If the site is covered in ads and rotating banners that are nothing more than distractions, then in our review it will definitely lose a mark or two.
Our rule is ‘the less clicks the better’ when it comes to using your online casino to get to where you want to be. If you end up in an endless loop, then that’s absolutely no good to nobody.
Top class games selection
If you are accustomed to online casinos, then no doubt you have your favourite games, and your favourite styles of games. What you don’t want to have to do is sign up with one online casino for your favourite slots game, then sign up with another online casino for your favourite blackjack game and sign up with yet another online casino for your favourite video poker game, and so on.
It’s best if you can play all the titles that you want to play in one place, and that’s what we like to see too. The more providers a casino uses, and the more games available (up to a certain limit) the better is what we feel.
Of course, if you have never played at an online casino before, then you have a whole heap of goodness to discover!
We are very careful when it comes to choosing which are the best online casinos in South Africa when it comes to bonuses. Many people see a bonus along the lines of ‘Grab a R50,000 bonus free’ and their eyes light up, however, we are a little more experienced than that. Huge bonuses usually have fiendishly tight wagering requirements that means by the time you have jumped through all the hoops that you are required to jump through, the likelihood of you having anything left whatsoever is virtually zero.
Therefore, we evaluate bonuses not for how generous they seem to be, but for how fair they actually are. Using all of our experience, we can sit down and study the terms and conditions of any bonus to see whether it is designed to treat players fairly, or to treat players like idiots.
A welcome bonus is the number one enticement that any online casino In South Africa has in its arsenal in order to bring new players within its virtual doors. We think it important that any welcome bonus is evaluated properly, and that is what we do.
Gifts not only for the new boys
Too many casinos, in our opinion, offer a chunky welcome bonus as a carrot on a stick for newbies, and then forget all about their regular players. We think that this is the wrong approach, and on so many levels. Loyalty should count for a lot in online casino land, and we tend to appreciate online casinos that keep their regular players happy as much as they do their new ones.
We also give priority in our ratings to online casinos that offer generous loyalty schemes and VIP programmes. We often find that many VIP schemes cater to high rollers and big spenders only. We prefer online casinos that think of people with smaller accounts but who are still regular players. Everyone should have the chance of a little VIP treatment, not just the people who seems to have money to burn!
A site that looks nice on any device
Go back about five years and casinos were only really bothered about their desktop sites. Any casino with that same opinion now would soon be dead and buried due to a lack of customers! Did you know that most of us are much more likely to access the internet and all that world wide web goodness with a smartphone or tablet these days, as opposed to a desktop PC or a laptop?
Happily, most sites should now provide a mobile-optimised version for mobile-optimised players, and if they don’t then there is something seriously wrong. The advancement in HTML5 means that sites that look good on desktop can easily be configured to look good on mobile too. Any site that fails in this regard need to take a long, hard look at itself and the programmers it is employing!
In truth, it has not been all plain sailing. The Apple App store and Google Play have blown hot and cold for years over whether they allow gambling apps or not. Still, the advent of HTML5 should mean that all sites have the chance to look as good on mobile as they do on desktop.
The customer is king
The internet is full of opinions these days, and some of them are actually worth listening to. When it comes to online casinos, we most definitely listen! It’s no good simply listening to what online casinos say, as obviously they are going to praise themselves to the skies, so we listen to what their customers say as well.
There are plenty of places where opinions about online casinos are shared, and we are experienced enough to be able to work out which are genuine gripes, and which are simply bad-mouthing for the sake of bad-mouthing. We factor in the views of genuine casino uses when we are coming up with our opinions about any site that we are taking a look at.
Online gambling in South Africa … a little bit of history
Internet casinos have been around since the late 1990s, but they have not always been available to people in South Africa. Gambling in the country has always been frowned upon, and in 1965 the South African government banned all forms of gambling except on horse racing outright.
In 1994 a new regime legalised gambling in full for the first time. This meant that land-based betting shops and casinos were free to open, as well as a national lottery. Due to the rise in online gambling, new legislation came into force in 2004 that outlawed gambling online, namely casino play, bingo and poker. Sports betting online was exempt from this ruling. Efforts were made in 2010 to legalise online casino play, but these efforts fell on stony ground.
As of the time of this article online gambling in South Africa at online casinos remains technically illegal, as all gambling activities are overseen by the National Gambling Board which only permits land-based gambling at casino, betting shops and race tracks.
The legal situation
First and foremost, there are no online casinos in South Africa. Any company that hosts and offers online gambling services in South Africa would swiftly fall foul of the law and be closed down. Gambling licences are issued by the National Gambling Board, but not to web-based casinos.
Having said that, the legal big-wigs in South Africa have not, as yet, stretched as far as prosecuting players for playing at online casinos that are based beyond the borders of South Africa and have licensing from non-South African jurisdictions. As such casinos operate beyond the reaches of South African law-enforcing agencies, there is little that such agencies can do to prevent them from operating.
You are therefore largely free to play at online casinos that accept South African players without feel of prosecution!
… you might it hard to get money into your online casino account. That’s because the NGB puts pressure on financial service providers in South Africa (such as banks) not to deal with online casinos, even if they are overseas.
As the saying goes though, where there’s a will, there’s a way. There are many ways in which you can get money into your online casino account, as follows:
Visa and MasterCard
If you have a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card, then you may be able to use that to get money into and out of your casino account, but success is not always guaranteed.
If you have problems with Visa and MasterCard then you can always apply for Entropay, which is a virtual credit card but one that only works online. You do not physically receive a credit card, but all your transactions can be done via an online portal, just as it would if you were paying for goods and services online using Visa or MasterCard.
This is probably the easiest and ‘most likely to be successful’ payment means for online casino players in South Africa. EFT stands for ‘electronic funds transfer’ and via EasyEFT you should be able to transfer money from your bank account into your casino account. You are likely to have to pay some fees, though.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies
If you want complete anonymity when it comes to your financial dealings with an online casino then Bitcoin is your best bet. Don’t worry if you don’t understand anything about how cryptocurrencies actually work (very few people do), all you need to know is that you can buy Bitcoins using your own money, and then use them to fund your online casino gambling account.
Ewallets are another excellent way of getting money into your online casino account. As these operate outside of banks, they can act as a ‘buffer’ between the online casino and your bank. You transfer money into your eWallet account from your bank account, and then money from your bank account into your online casino account.
Popular eWallets that are commonly used at South African casinos include Skrill, Neteller and ecoPayz. Most eWallet transactions come fee-free but check that you can use an eWallet when making a deposit in order to acquire a welcome bonus, as some casinos will not allow you to do so.
So … which actually are the best internet casinos in South Africa in 2020?
Okay, we feel you have been patient enough. We’ve explained all the many criteria we use to evaluate the casinos that we find, and how we separate the rough deals from the smooth slots. Here is a rundown of what we feel are the best online casinos available to players in South Africa.
 Springbok Casino
The springbok (a type of antelope) is synonymous with South Africa. The national rugby team are known as the Springboks, and no doubt the Springbok Casino is hoping to become synonymous with ZAR casinos.
As well as sparkling bonuses and outstanding levels of support, the Springbok has a very good array of games. It doesn’t enjoy the same number of titles of many of the biggest worldwide casinos on the net, but with all its software from RealTime Gaming, you’re sure to find a slots or casino game that you really take the look of.
Springbok Casino also has an amazing array of payment options, which is always good news when it comes to online casinos in South Africa. The site accepts MasterCard, Visa, EasyEFT, Skrill, Neteller, ecoPayz and Secure Instant Debit.
The site is licensed by the Curaçao Gaming Control Board. We have no hesitation in placing the Springbok Casino at the number one position in this rating.
 Yebo Casino
The Yebo (‘Yebo’ is a way of saying ‘yes’ in South Africa) Casino styles itself as the best online casino in South Africa, and while we do not agree with this one hundred percent we’re still happy to give it a very high place on the bill when it comes to ranking online casinos in South Africa.
The site is very African-friendly, as it also accepts players from Namibia, Kenya, Angola and Botswana. It always offers a friendly welcome in terms of welcome bonuses and other promotions. We’ve had a look at the bonus T&Cs and can confirm that Yebo Casino is an online casino in South Africa that likes to play fair and square.
Like many online casinos in the country, Yebo Casino exclusively uses RealTime Gaming (RTG) software. RTG has never really hit the same heights as leading gambling providers such as NetEnt and Microgaming, but they still are responsible for many great slots and online casino games.
Just like the Springbok online casino, the Yebo Casino is licensed by the Curaçao Gaming Control Board.
 Punt Casino
So, the question you should be asking is, should you take a punt at the Punt Casino? This is another online casino which styles itself as the best casino in South Africa but again, we are going to be the judge of that!
As you work down the list of online casinos in South Africa, you will notice a common theme develop! First, virtually all online casinos in South Africa have all of their software provided solely by RealTime Gaming, and secondly nearly every online casino available to players in South Africa has its licensing from the Curaçao Gaming Control Board. Punt Casino is no exception to this rule.
So, you may ask, if most casinos have the same games, then how do people evaluate which is the best? Well, as we have already hopefully explained already in this article, there is more to online wagering than games! Payment options, customer experiences and the help that’s available are all important factors as well.
We feel that Punt Casino ticks all the necessary boxes when it comes to decent online casino, which is why it appears in third position upon our list.
When online gambling first began to grow popular in South Africa, it was only a matter of time before some noticed that you could put the words ‘Africa’ and ‘Casino’ together to form the name of a suitable online casino brand. Well, AfriCasino is here, having arrived on the internet in 2016.
Before you get too jaded with these ‘same old same old’ mini casino reviews, we are happy to inform you that the games here come from multiple software providers, including NextGen Gaming, ELK Studios, 1X2 Gaming, GameScale and Lightining Box. Licensing is the same as ever though, from the Curaçao Gaming Control Board.
Although AfriCasino has a larger number of games than the other sites we have listed so far, we cannot let it into our top three for a few reasons. Firstly the bonuses are not as fair and square as other deals that we have seen.
This is just a very minor quibble, though. AfriCasino has just the right number of payment options, levels of customer support and other player-friendly options for us to give it a majorly thumbs up.
 Thunderbolt Casino
Thunderbolt is a fantastic-looking online casino from the get-go. Like all online casinos available to players in South Africa it considers itself ‘the best casino experience ever’ and is licensed by (you’ve guessed it!) the Curaçao Gaming Control Board.
As you may also have guessed, the Thunderbolt sources all its software from one software provider, and that provider is (of course) RealTime Gaming.
The site has all the best payment options, including Visa and MasterCard, Skrill, ecoPayz, EasyEFT, Neteller, SID and even Bitcoin. It also has a decent range of bonuses and other promotions, which should excite be enough to excite you, even if it is just a little bit.
It’s perhaps the looks of the Thunderbolt Casino that should excite you the most, though. A lot of thought has gone into this site’s visual appeal and it is all the better for it.
 White Lotus Casino
When it comes to online casinos your first thought perhaps will not be about flowers (unless of course you are thinking of the NetEnt online video slot with that name), so you may think that White Lotus is an odd name for a casino. Well, we like to think about ‘White Lotus’ in terms of being unique, rather than odd.
One thing that does make White Lotus a little unique when it comes to online casinos in South Africa is the fact that it holds slots tournaments. These are leaderboard-style games where players pay to obtain a certain amount of spins on an online slot, and then those players who win the most at the end of a qualifying period are awarded a special prize.
Other than that, everything else is pretty much how you would expect. One thing though – a white lotus is a symbol of political and religious ideology. As to what that has to do with online casinos, your guess is as good as ours!
If you want to be sure of selecting an online casino in South Africa that accepts the South African Rand, then you’ll probably do not better that selecting a casino that’s named after it! The international currency code for the Rand is ZAR, and here we have the ZarCasino.
If you ask all the important questions about the ZarCasino, you’ll get many stock answers. Yes, like (it seems) every other online casino available for players in South Africa, ZarCasino is licensed by the Curaçao Gaming Control Board, and like every other online casino available for players in South Africa, there are very few software providers, although here for once the software is not from RealTime Gaming. The three software companies used here are Genii, Nucleus Gaming and Saucify. None of those three names could be described as ‘biggies’ in the online casino world, but the games that they provide are decent enough.
One thing that might entertain you here is the site’s ‘About Us’ page. Check it out at ZarCasino compares itself so some of South Africa’s most famous natural features. Talk about getting ideas above your station!
… and in conclusion
We hope we’ve aided you in your quest to find out which is the best online casino in South Africa. We also hope that we have given you plenty of ideas of how to find your best options, and what you need to look out for when you are making your own mind up. Remember to look for decent and fair bonus offers, the casinos that have the best array of games and the most payment options, and where help is always at hand in case you get stuck.
Most importantly of all, remember to gamble responsibly. Never gamble with money that you cannot afford to lose and if you feel you are spending too much time gambling, then make sure that you tell somebody.