Comparing Online and Offline Casinos in South Africa

Online vs Offline

Even though internet casinos have been operating for nearly two decades, offline casinos continue to thrive. The fact is both live and internet casinos have their advantages. While where you play is a matter of personal preference, it's worth exploring the many benefits as well as the few drawbacks of both ways to play.

Game Selection

If you've spent any time exploring our country's live casinos, you've probably noticed that South Africa's gaming establishments vary widely in size. Entertainment complexes like Cape Town's Grandwest Casino have thousands of slot machines and 80 table games, which will satisfy even the most discerning player. While the nation's best casinos are certainly world class, they are hardly the norm. If you play at an older or smaller venue, you'll have to settle for a few table games and a couple dozens of slots. That means if you limit yourself to playing offline, the quality of your experience depends on where you live.

When you play on the internet, you'll typically have access to hundreds of unique titles. In fact, even boutique gambling sites can compete with the country's best live casinos when it comes to offering a large selection of titles. More importantly, you can enjoy games at a wider variety of stakes online. Plus, you'll never have to wait for an open seat since tables can be created instantly to meet demand. That's absolutely essential if you enjoy games like poker. Compare that to offline casinos, which only have so much physical space. Don't forget that you can easily access multiple casinos on your device without leaving your easy chair. In other words, the possibilities are endless.

Cost and Convenience

Unless you live across the street from a casino, gambling can take some planning. You'll need to find an opening in your schedule, deal with traffic, and spend money on gas before you even walk through the casino doors. If you live in a remote location, you might need to book overnight accommodations too. While it's worth paying for entertainment, how much are you willing to spend before playing your first hand? When you only plan on gambling for a few minutes, is it worth spending hours driving all the way to the casino and then home again? Will you end up betting more than you intended just to justify the trip? While there is no admission charge at most South African casinos, it's worth taking into account how much your time is worth to you. Remember that not all casinos are open around the clock. In addition, not all games are available at all times.

Internet gambling and convenience go hand in hand. Since today's games are compatible with PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones, you probably already have the necessary hardware to play. It only takes a couple minutes to sign up for an online casino account. If you've already registered, you can start playing in a matter of seconds. In fact, if you have a mobile phone with an internet connection, hundreds of fantastic casino games are rarely more than a few centimetres away. Since you don't have to waste time making your way to a casino, you'll be able to spend more time playing. It's also much easier to enjoy short playing sessions. Why not play a few hands of baccarat while you're waiting for your breakfast? With 24/7 access, online casinos and apps are read for you whenever and wherever you want to play.


While we've already brushed upon unexpected costs like fuel and accommodation, as well as your valuable time, playing online can be more affordable in other ways. You already know that internet gambling sites are entirely software-based and have the power to create games at any stakes, but do you realise that you can play for free? Just about every internet casino offers a free play mode. It's a great way to learn how to play, find a new favourite, test drive a strategy, or simply save your money.

If you try playing for free at a live venue, you run the risk of getting laughed at. While some venues do offer complimentary lessons and free tournaments on occasion, these are hardly the norm. For the most part, you should expect to pay if you want to play at South African casinos.

Jackpots and Payouts

Live casinos in South Africa do offer great jackpots, especially if you enjoy playing slot machines. It's possible to win brand new cars, international vacation packages, and millions of Rands when you take advantage of networked progressive jackpots. Yet you can find even bigger prizes on the internet. Since many gambling sites welcome players from across the globe, the jackpots are not only larger to begin with, but they also grow more rapidly. The widely popular Microgaming Mega Moolah slot machine once topped £13M, which is over 220M Rands. With potential prizes that have the power to change your life, it's easy to see why more players prefer online action.

Although hitting a jackpot is a longshot, you can find better overall payouts on the internet. That's because gambling sites have much lower overhead than their real-world counterparts. While live gaming venues need to rent or own impressive real estate and fill them with expensive games, the best online casino requires a few servers at most. Staffing, security, license, and maintenance costs are also much lower for online casino operators. Fortunately, online casinos pass the savings onto players in the form of better odds. That means you'll instantly benefit from slot machines that return more to players like you, blackjack variations with a lower house edge, and so much more.


The best live casinos in South Africa offer great entertainment even if you don't gamble. You'll find great nightlife, dining experiences, live performances musical acts, comedians, and theatre productions. The gaming floors aren't just vibrant, but they can be the perfect backdrop for a night out with your friend or partner. It's not hard to see why the ambiance alone can be a draw for many people.

Unfortunately, internet gambling has an undeserved reputation for being antisocial. While many people do play casino games alone, it's entirely possible to play with a friend. Why not invite your friends over and hook your laptop or mobile up to your televisions so you can play together? When you make use of live dealer games, you can stream a real casino table staffed by a gorgeous croupier to your screen. It's the ultimate way to bring authentic casino gaming directly to you. Yet even if you prefer playing alone, you don't have to be a shut in. It's easy to take in a little nature and play from the comfort of the beach or your favourite park.

Bonuses and Perks

South Africa's offline casinos do offer valuable loyalty programmes. While anyone is free to join, you need to be a frequent player to earn anything beyond food, drink, and accommodation discounts. Unfortunately, the perks available in our country pale in comparison to what's offered in Las Vegas. High rollers in the USA often earn free flights, hotel suites, and array of exclusive gifts for their loyalty. Still, we do recommend that South Africans sign up for any available rewards program, as it's certainly better than nothing.

If you want to be rewarded even before you demonstrate how loyal you are, you'll love what's available on the internet. Online casinos are famous for offering players huge bonuses just for signing up. As you probably know, there are hundreds of places to gamble on the internet. Casino marketing department are forced with a difficult task. They not only need to get noticed in a crowded field, but they must give you a compelling reason to sign up. Fortunately for you, nothing speaks louder than a pile of bank notes. Not only can you take advantage of welcome bonuses, but you can cash in on reload bonuses, generous promotions, and loyalty programmes that pay dividends whenever you play. If you're looking for a rewarding experience in the eyes of your wallet, playing online is the way to go.

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