Best Places to Play Pokies in South Africa
Despite routinely being overlooked by punters; South Africa is one of the best places to play pokies in the world. Gambling has always been a crucial part of the culture, and even strict regulations couldn’t erase this lucrative pastime. When the Gambling Act of 1965 banned casinos, South Africa’s gambling industry went underground. Over 2,000 illegal casinos popped up, and weren’t addressed by the government until gambling was legalized in 1996. Today South Africa is home to 59 licensed casinos, 8 horse tracks and 10 bingo halls.
This wide range of gaming establishments has created a truly vibrant casino industry. Out of all the forms of gambling in South Africa, none are more popular than pokies. Over a quarter of South African adults play pokies at least once every year, and this resounding demand has created a staggering amount of options. Aside from the 27,336 pokies machines inside casinos, an additional 50,000 limited payout machines are scattered throughout the country. This staggering amount of options makes South Africa a pokies lover’s paradise.
Even though gambling is available across South Africa, a few hubs have stolen the show. Out of the 42 cities that have legal gambling facilities, the highest concentration is in Cape Town. The only areas without casinos are the broad interior West of Bloemfontein and the Northern Coast above Cape Town. Every major city from Johannesburg to Cape Town boasts impressive selections of casinos, which puts first time visitors in a unique predicament.
With so many casinos to choose from, picking the best casino can be a daunting process. To showcase what’s available, we compiled a list of the best places to play pokies in South Africa. This country has some of the most breathtaking gaming facilities on the continent, so indulge in nothing but the best casinos!
Top Places to Play Pokies in South Africa
Casino #3: Sun City Casino Resort – Established in 1979, this sprawling complex is the oldest legal casino in South Africa. When casinos were banned in 1965, Bophuthatswana was considered an independent state. This classification allowed Sun City to flourish just outside the reach of the Apartheid government’s jurisdiction. This legendary defiance set the stage for a booming neighboring gaming industry, since South Africans flocked to Bophuthatswana to gamble. By the time Bophuthatswana became part of South Africa in 1994, casinos were already in the process of being legalized. This perfect timing allowed this rogue casino to continue operating with impunity.
On top of pioneering South African gambling, Sun City packs a shocking amount of amenities. Over 1,500 luxury suites are available inside four hotels and a vacation club. This wide selection of accommodations is complimented by two golf courses, a waterpark and game drives inside Pilanesberg National Game Park. These epic entertainment options can be enjoyed after indulging in the 33 table games and 852 pokies machines in the casino. The amount of entertainment options are endless, so bring the family on this epic excursion!
Casino #2: Monte Casino – This breathtaking venue provides an elegant touch to South Africa’s gaming industry. Nestled in the heart of Johannesburg, there’s no denying the beauty of its location. While the architecture is breathtaking, what lies inside is even more impressive. Visitors can choose between 15 movie cinemas and see exquisite birds inside the Bird Gardens. These animals are unique to South Africa, which provides an exclusive look at each species.
The casino is flanked by three hotels, which provides plenty of excuses to stay the night. From grand ballrooms to multiple theatres, the entertainment options are endless. Punters also get access to a robust 278,871 square foot game floor that’s absolutely packed with 70 table games and 1,860 pokies machines. There’s no better place to play pokies in Johannesburg, so don’t miss out on the action!
Casino #1: GrandWest Casino & Entertainment World – When it comes to pokies options, no other casino in South Africa can compete with this venue. In total, their 120,000 square foot gaming space is home to 2,562 gaming machines and 79 table games. Everything from Punto Banco to raise’em poker is available, which makes it one of the most enticing casino lineups in Africa. This lavish venue is the pride and joy of Cape Town, so make sure to incorporate it into your next trip.