A Brief History of Gambling in South Africa The South Africa Gambling Act of 1965 forbade all forms of betting except horse racing, which was regarded more as a sport than a vehicle for pg betting. The Bantustans saw an uprising of casinos in the 1970s, but this was a geographical exception to the rule due to the unique circumstances of apartheid, a now-defunct system of black/white segregation in South Africa. Live gambling finally became legal in South Africa in 1996. By the 2000s, the government was raking in revenue from its brick-and-mortar casinos to the tune of R1.5 billion.