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Video gaming market in South Africa. Image: Supplied

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Video gaming market in South Africa

South Africa may be best known as the cradle of humankind, for its rich reserves of metal and minerals and breathtaking scenery.

24-08-23 13:04
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Video gaming market in South Africa. Image: Supplied

South Africa may be best known as the cradle of humankind, for its rich reserves of metal and minerals and breathtaking scenery. On the other side of the fence is an emerging technology market which already makes South Africa the largest information and communications technology in Sub Sahara Africa.

But it still may surprise you to learn that South Africa has the fifth-largest online games market in the world. And this market is set to expand exponentially as the falling cost of smartphones makes games even more accessible

Right now, with the right phone, South Africans can fire up their mobile device and get stuck into a video game. With more South Africans connecting online and more video games available across a whole range of genres, it’s no wonder the market is set to expand. 

To put that into some sort of context, let’s begin in the here and now and check out what the future holds in our easy-to-follow guide. 

  • The Video Games market is projected to reach $641.80m this year
  • An annual growth rate of 7.43%, is predicted, so by 2027 the market 

will be worth $854.90m

  • The number of gamers is expected to reach 18.8m by 2027.

But who are these gamers, what is their demographic? It’s probably no surprise that regular gamers are more likely to be in their teens and twenties. But as smartphones are still relatively costly, the vast majority of gamers come from affluent backgrounds.

Furthermore, they tend to be well educated: it’s estimated that as many as 25% have a university degree, but there are plenty of older players that also enjoy video games too.

These observations are reflected in the type of video game that South African players are enjoying. Let’s take a look:

  • 48% play Action games (e.g. fighting or platform)
  • 46% play Sports games
  • 38% prefer action and adventure games (e.g. Assassins Creed or Gods of War)

At the lower end of the scale, 17% enjoy role-playing games (RPG) and an assortment of multiplayer games drop down until we hit 7% for ‘other’. 2% didn’t know what genre of game they were playing… 

However, there is another category that has its own separate identity. While it’s technically ‘video gaming’, casino gaming is a whole different story when it comes to revenue. Casino gaming has boomed in popularity across the globe since the transition online. Now, players in legal countries can access some of the fastest paying casinos available and the top casino games all online. This is similar in South Africa where casino stats are somewhat jaw-dropping: 

  • The online casino gaming market in South Africa is worth almost $740 million now (2023) 
  • An annual growth rate of 8.20%, is predicted so by 2027 the market will be worth almost $1010 million by 2007
  • The number of casino gamers is expected to reach 3.5 m by 2027.

Let’s put that alongside the video gamers to compare the results.

  • In 2027 18.8 million video gamers will generate $854.90m
  • In the same year 3.5 million casino gamers, five times less, will generate over £150 million more.

Before we move on, the phrase ‘casino gaming’ needs a bit of clarity too. What sort of games make up the predicated forecast of $1010 million by 2027?

Sports betting accounts for just under 50% of this figure, the National Lottery over 10% and everything else makes up the remaining 40%. But what are these?

Most popular Casino Games


One of the most popular online casino games in South Africa is slots. And if you shop around you can explore a whole bunch to enjoy for free.

Free spins, free deposits, welcome bonuses, so you can test the water before getting more involved. There are hundreds of variations on the theme, so take your time, take advantage of the special offers before committing. 

Traditional Casino Games

Other popular games are the more traditional casino games, essentially, digital versions of a real-life experience. In this respect, in South Africa, craps are particularly popular as are roulette, blackjack and baccara.

Sports Betting

Certainly, these types of games enjoy a following, but sports betting remains the most played sub-genres of casino gaming. Unsurprisingly, the most popular is football, followed by rugby and cricket, but who would have thought that golf would come in at fourth!? 

Either way, sports betting and online casinos in South Africa are legal, as long as they have an approved license. Of course, not all do. 

When it comes to these sorts of games or any game that involves a monetary transaction, you will need to be diligent. But we’re also confident that, as the video/online games market increases grows (and grows) security improvements will naturally follow. 


For now, we recommend the use of digital wallets such as PayPal rather than using your bank to transfer/receive monies. But don’t let that put you off, the video gaming market in South Africa is in remarkable shape with a very bright future ahead.

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