African smartphone use up

Even as South Africa continues to make it difficult for its citizens to gamble at a casino online, Africa is emerging as the next great area for the expansion of online casinos and online gaming.  There are several pertinent reasons that this is so.

Winnie Mandela Laid to Rest

During the deepest years of Apartheid, when even a mild protest against the regime was a serious gamble, not in the innocuous way that we like to play online casino games, but in a frightening real world way, Winnie and Nelson Mandela were the symbols of the struggle for freedom for the millions of oppressed South Africans.

This past week, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was laid to rest in a state funeral in Orlando Stadium in Soweto attended by tens of thousands and watched on television by tens of millions around the world.

Asian and African markets grow

The history of gambling tells us that people have gambling for millennia.  At first, they gambled on foot races, horse races, camel races, boxing, and many other sporting pursuits.  Jump ahead millennia and we find that people have found games to bet on.  Some are actual sporting contests whilst others are self-contained games provided by what became known as casinos.  Finally, jump ahead a century and we find casino games being offered at online casinos.

Casino Equipment Costs

One of the unsung aspects of the gaming industry, both online and at land based casinos, is how do all those casino games get there?  We just take for granted that at an online casino there is no waiting and at land based casinos there are banks of slots games plus tables for all of the classic table games.  Where do they all come from?

A recent report on the next five years of casino gaming included South Africa as one of the African nations that will experience large scale growth in their land based casino industry and that many companies that supply casino gaming equipment will look to compete for South African business.  The niche that is involved here is formally known as the Global Casino Gaming Equipment Consumption Market.

SA to tax cryptocurrencies

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is the tax authority in the country.  It issued a “reminder” to all South Africans that they have to report all cryptocurrency transactions as part of their annual tax filing.  Cryptocurrencies are not considered legal tender in South Africa but that hasn’t stopped the tax authority from requiring taxpayers to report their use of such currencies in online transactions. 

Cryptocurrencies exist only digitally so the new provision makes online transactions in such currencies as bitcoin subject to taxation.  This will have an effect on all manner of internet commerce in South Africa including the increasing use of bitcoins in online casino gaming.

Sun International

A perfect case in point regarding the vicissitudes of the casino business has recently taken place as Sun International, which runs almost half of the land based casinos in South Africa, has begun to downscale its operations in the wake of disappointing returns on investment.  Some of the down trend for Sun International properties may be traced to the increasing popularity of online games, but most of the fall-off in business has to do with the company over-extending itself around the world.

Sun International plans on closing two casinos in the South American country of Columbia—the Sun Nao Casino and the Fish River Sun Casino.  It will close two casinos in Panama, the former Trump Ocean Club and the International VIP Business Casino.  It will also close an International VIP Business Club Casino in South Africa.

Glamping in SA

You love the great outdoors but hate the thought of squeezing into a two-man tent.  Going without a comfy mattress or finding out the hard way that you don’t have piping hot cappuccino, latte or macchiato available on-demand, like you may at a swanky casino resort, may be a bridge too far for you and your BFF.

Let’s face it, back ache, moer coffee, warm wine and frigid early mornings far outweigh the benefits of a gorgeous sunrise or sunset in a wild uninhabited space.  Fortunately glamping has changed all that.  You can now enjoy all the creature comforts of home in spectacular natural surroundings where eagles soar overhead and dung beetles do really good damage limitation!

Poker in SA

Poker has long been one of the most popular casino games both at land based casinos and at online casinos.  Many casinos have a dedicated poker room with as few as one table on up to ten or so tables.  South African casinos add poker tables often; today there are over fifty poker tables spread across the country.

Ball Tampering Scandal

Of course, there is a world of difference between casino online games and cricket.  Possibly the single biggest difference is that online casinos cannot cheat at their games. 

The scandal engulfing the world of cricket has made online gaming seem to be at least one redoubt that game enthusiasts can play without concerning themselves about the honesty of the games themselves.

Online Casino Demographics

Whether you play at an online casino or at a land based casino, the casino proprietors would like to know more about you.  At an online casino, it’s relatively easy to learn about the players because every action a player takes is recorded and connected to that player’s account.  Online casinos do this in order to avoid misunderstandings or disagreements between the casino and a player.

It’s much harder to figure out who, what, where, when, and how about players at land based casinos.

SA casino tourism

In a long awaited action to implement the Yamoussoukro Declaration which, in 1988, committed 44 African nations to open up the skies for freer air travel within the continent, the African Union established the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).  The purpose of SAATM is to dramatically lower air travel costs within Africa as a whole and within individual countries as well.  Amongst the many business segments thought to benefit greatly are urban tourism and playing casino games at land based casinos.

SA cell phone use increases

As the South African economy experienced a recession in the first three quarters of 2017, one sector rose by some 21%: the smartphone sector.  There are several lessons to be learnt from this anomalous behavior in a country that was in the economic doldrums most of the year.  The first lesson we can learn is that the economy was in less a financial malaise than a political depression.  When President Jacob Zuma resigned and was replaced by the newly elected Cyril Ramaphosa, the South African economy began to become rejuvenated virtually overnight.  South Africans showed that they still had enough money to buy an expensive “toy”.  And the online casino market will surely boom with the use of the new smartphones by gamers playing mobile casino games.

SA Economy

The final report on the South African economy for 2017 is in and the economy performed much better than most observers expected.  Some of the growth was fueled by South Africans increasingly playing online games for money but most came about in the smaller areas such as consumer spending, business start ups, and general euphoria after the resignation of former President Jacob Zuma and the beginning of the presidency of Cyril Ramaphosa. 

In fact, the era of good political and economic news generated by the presidential transition and the real world policies of new President Ramaphosa have created what is being called “Ramaphoria”.

Horse Racing in South Africa

South African based Phumelela Gaming and Leisure has partnered with Kiron Interactive and horse racing interests in Britain and Ireland, represented by GBI Racing, to develop a new satellite-based fixed odds betting venue which will take bets on featured live horse races from Ireland, Britain, and South Africa and virtual races provided by Kiron.

The new horse racing channel is called Racing World.  It will meet a felt need in South Africa in particular and throughout the continent as well where online games are widely available but horse racing, although extremely popular, is less widely disseminated for spectator enjoyment and betting.


We recently received a query from a long-time player who asked simply, “I know that roulette is one of the most popular casino games at land based casinos.  Why is it less popular at online casinos?”

This question gives us a great opportunity to reintroduce roulette to the online casino gaming public.  Everyone knows that slots are the most popular game at online casinos.  Slots rely heavily on graphics, animation, and sound and these three technologies continue to develop and improve with each generation of computer software.

MOCAA in Cape Town

Despite the ongoing water crisis, Cape Town is one of the best places to visit during a South African holiday.  The city has a number of land based casinos for your gaming pleasure but we recommend you spend your casino gaming time at our online casino and spend the rest of your time exploring Cape Town.

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SA National Gaming Board

As the recently concluded conference in India reiterated, the integrity of all aspects of gambling is the key to maintaining public confidence that gambling is fair and safe.  Coupling the highest level of integrity in the honesty of all gambling opportunities with the growing number of families in South Africa with enough money left over to use it gambling, the gambling industry looks forward to continued growth in the near future.

Conference in India

Eventus International, a company based in South Africa that specializes in developing, producing, and running international conferences on primarily sports and gaming-oriented subjects, recently concluded a successful conference in Goa, India called the Sports Betting and Gaming India Conference (SBGI).

One of the highlights of the conference was a presentation on the importance of a growing middle class on gaming generally, sports betting and casino gambling in particular.  When a working class family becomes a middle class family, it has more disposable income and more free time.  Both of these can translate into more gaming and gambling if the activities are marketed as aspects of an overall entertainment budget.

Jo'burg Nite Life 2018

Johannesburg is a suave and sophisticated city.  It’s the economic powerhouse of Africa and the personal playground of wealthy well-connected people.  Although it doesn’t have the natural beauty of Cape Town or the sultry beach-side vibe of Durban, Johannesburg has a life all of its own. 

Visit the dazzling City of Gold and you’ll find trendy eateries, retro nightclubs and splinky shiny jazz emporiums showcasing the best local and international artists.  It’s the city that never sleeps.

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Realtime Gaming (RTG) is hell bent on giving us action packed super slots featuring the king of Kung Fu.  Following hot on the heels of Fantasy Mission Force slot is yet another Jackie Chan inspired money spinner based on the low budget cult movie, Eagle Shadow Fist aka Return to China.

This time a very young Chan plays Si To, a lithe and acrobatic member of a circus-based résistance army that’s formed in response to the Japanese invasion of China in World War II.  He together with the decidedly bad ass Tang - played by Hao Li - and the renowned female martial artist Qiu Yuen are the key characters in the movie... and on the reels of the 5 reel and 25 payline Eagle Shadow Fist slot.

SA sports betting increasing

The South African National gambling Board (NGB) reported late last year that land based casinos still generate the most money in the broad gambling industry but that in the fiscal year covered by the report, land based casinos had actually lost revenue. 

In other words, land based casinos are still at the top of the gambling pyramid in South Africa but they are losing ground to other gambling opportunities.  We can imagine all the other gambling opportunities that may or may not have made inroads in the hegemonic leadership of land based casinos.  Online games, LPM (Low Payout Machines), lotteries, and sports betting are all growing and present a strong challenge to the leadership of the land based casinos.

Cape Town Events

If you’re finding the golden beaches, boutique wineries and pubs and clubs of Cape Town a bit of a bore, there’s a packed events schedule in March that’ll make you love the Mother city more and more.  There are festivals, carnivals and all-night parties; horse races, cycle races and gallery events... plus a smattering of cultural stuff designed for the more ‘high brow’.

So if you’re into entertainment with a capital ‘E’, make your way to the dazzling jewel of the Western Cape and party long and hard... or until you drop.  To ensure you get the best out of Cape Town as summer slowly draws to a close, here are five sizzling festivals and events destined to make a March Hare or Mad Hatter out of you!

Online Casino Legalities Update

The future of online casino gambling in South Africa remains murky.  The National Gambling Board (NGB) frequently tries to remind South Africans that online gambling is illegal in the country.  The NGB released a long study in 2016 that detailed the odd circumstance that finds online casino gambling in South Africa to be both illegal and thriving.

The board also reminds people who are flouting the law that the fine for gambling online may be as high as R10 million with an accompanying jail sentence of up to ten years.  Nevertheless, online gambling in South Africa continues to grow, many gambling sites cater to South Africans by accepting Rand, and online casinos regularly add to the list of banking methods South Africans can avail themselves of. 

Cape Town Water Crisis

There is an interesting correlation between the unfolding and ongoing water crisis in Cape Town and the concept of gambling, especially responsible gambling.  In short, the city and people of Cape Town have been gambling with their water supply for years in much the same way that a problem gambler gambles with money he or she cannot afford to lose.

SA Travel - North of Pretoria

South Africans sometimes say that an Aussie who wants to go off the beaten track in Australia has only to walk a few kilometers and he’ll be in the Outback.  It’s not so simple in South Africa.  In this second installment of our off the beaten track in South Africa series we’ll leave the coasts entirely and head north from Pretoria.

We recommend driving on Old Warmbaths Road.  It’s much more interesting than driving on N1.  You’ll see many out of the way attractions from shops to the amazing things Nature has done with the landscape.   However, to start your trip head northwest on M35 for a short distance to the Tswaing Meteorite Crater, Museum, and Nature Reserve.

Play Like a Poker Pro

You’ve heard about the World Series of Poker, the European Poker Tour and the Aussie Millions?  And you’ve surely heard of the poker players who walk away from the final tables with serious amounts of hard cash.  Some are pure poker pros who spend their time trawling the globe for live poker events... and others are ordinary Joes, like you and I, who get their ticket to the big time through online qualifiers.

So what’s stopping you from cracking open the live poker treasure chest?  Confidence, low self esteem or are you simply out of your depth?  Well if you want to stand in line behind dudes like Toby Lewis, Scott Blumstein and Eric Afriat, poker buffs who have won serious coinage in the past few months, there are ways and means of refining your game plan.

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Bitcoin (BTC) is a newsmaker, heart breaker and a cryptocurrency destined to keep on giving... to those who wait.  It’s the apex predator of virtual coinage and once all the dust has settled it will become the currency of choice - at shabby chic stores, fast food emporiums and high end online casinos just like ours.  BTW - at Thunderbolt Casino we’re ahead of the game as Bitcoin is already splashed all over our banking page!

In the USA and Canada there are ATMS spewing out BTC as we speak.  Down Under you can replenish your wallet at one of 15 Australian Bitcoin exchanges.  Right here in the deep south of the African continent you can exchange ZAR for Bitcoin in a snap on virtual currency trading platforms like IceCUBED X, CryptoChange, Remitano and more!

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February is the month of love.  It’s a time for kissing and getting all misty-eyed about that special someone in your life.  It’s a time when fresh new romances blossom and more mature lovers dance to the tune of ‘maybe, should we, could we’ commitment... now and forever more! 

To celebrate the power, accuracy and sustained singularity of Cupid’s little bow, we’ve decided to spread the love with a few commitments of our own.  So before you blow off the online entertainment to focus on love and love alone, make a mental note of our gifts to you. 

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On February 6, SpaceX, the space exploration company founded by Elon Musk, launched a triple-rocket, called The Falcon Heavy, into space.  The rocket is expected to fly past Mars and head into the asteroid belt.  After the two boosters deployed the center rocket further into space, they returned to the launch pad and landed, making this the first space launch in which boosters have returned successfully to Cape Canaveral.  You can view the entire, exciting event here.

safari in South Africa

So much has been written about the most common travel experiences in South Africa.  We decided to begin a series of articles on lesser-known places and exciting tourist destinations both for travelers from outside the country and also for South Africans.

Robots have become so popular for business use that they already have a nickname: bots.  Manufacturers began using robots several decades ago.  The first robots were large “industrial arms” that did the work that two humans couldn’t do.

Charity Raffles in South Africa

Dozens of charities in all areas of South Africa run charity draws and sweepstakes to facilitate fundraising activities. These include raffles, lotteries, bingo parties, games and other gaming endeavors.

Spend Money Wisely in  South Africa

During the festive season, as it does every year, the National Credit Regulator (NCR) warned South Africans to watch their money carefully.  This advice covers spending for holiday gifts, spending for purely personal enjoyment such as high end restaurants or travel, and, perhaps, especially, when revelers want to gamble on anything from sports to slots to other casino games.

SA Government Offers Money Advice

During the festive season, as it does every year, the National Credit Regulator (NCR) warned South Africans to watch their money carefully.  This advice covers spending for holiday gifts, spending for purely personal enjoyment such as high end restaurants or travel, and, perhaps, especially, when revelers want to gamble on anything from sports to slots to other casino games.

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