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FICA and what you need to know

Money laundering was a major problem in South Africa for a number of years, but with the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, a big step has been taken. Online gambling has also been heavily regulated since then, interactive casino games tend to be banned. Sports betting, on the other hand, is allowed, and there are numerous regulatory authorities in South Africa.

  • You can bet on sports legally in South Africa
  • All betting sites on BettingBilly are regulated
  • Licensed betting sites are open for South African players
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Matthew Jones
Author:
Matthew Jones
Last Updated:
Mar 1, 2021
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This author was thoroughly tested and approved by the experts at BettingBilly.com before joining the editorial board to ensure a high content quality.
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Matthew is a former journalist and entrepreneur. Before he turned 18 he'd already started an online-shop, grew it to more than $1m in sales and sold it. Together with Richard he is now in charge of BettigBilly. His specialties are gambling mathematics and creating winning betting strategies.
Matthew is a former journalist and entrepreneur. Before he turned 18 he'd already started an online-shop, grew it to more than $1m in sales and sold it. Together with Richard he is now in charge of BettigBilly. His specialties are gambling mathematics and creating winning betting strategies.

FICA (Financial Intelligence Centre Act) 2021

Originally passed in 2001, Financial Intelligence Centre Act is a government act designed to protect against all types of money laundering related activities. The act ensures that South Africa is safe from transactions related to money laundering and terrorism. This act set a framework for the legality of online gambling activities as well, including sports betting sites and other types of online gambling sites.

FICA (Financial Intelligence Centre Act) explained

South Africa was a country troubled by crimes related to financial fraud, money laundering and similar before the 2000s. The FICA act that was passed in 2001 and came into effect in 2003 sought to end this trend. With FICA approved, FIC (Financial Intelligence Center) was established. This unique body works to empower the country’s financial sector and protect against money laundering.

The actions of FIC are primarily directed towards financial institutions. This government agency follows transactions and inspects the operation of such institutions. The supervision ensures that all agencies and institutions comply with the relevant laws. The final goal is to locate any transactions related to organized crime, terrorism or tax evasion.

In relation to online gambling, this act set a framework for its legality. A subsequent National Gambling Act of 2006 was passed to regulate online gambling. In 2008, The National Gambling Amendment Act was also passed. Combined, these acts made all interactive gambling illegal throughout South Africa. However, sports betting and horse racing betting remains legal to date.

FICA in Action

Lets look into the FICA meaning: FIC is an agency whose authority is related only to the enforcement of financial regulations. This body that was founded by FICA serves the purpose of carrying out the laws and regulations set forth by the lawmakers and POCA. POCA, on the other hand, is put in charge of defining the money laundering offences themselves.

While the main targets of FIC’s inquiries are usually monetary and financial institutions, others may come under inspection as well. All forms of gambling businesses in South Africa also fall under the agency’s authority. With the National Gambling Act in place, FIC now ensures that gambling operators are not facilitating transactions that may be brought into relation to organized crime or money laundering of any sort.

Unlike gambling regulators who ensure the safety of games and similar aspects, FIC is only concerned with the financial side of things. Shady transactions and all big wins are put under scrutiny. This way, all attempts of using gambling sites to facilitate monetary fraud are stopped in their roots.

Legal South African Betting Sites

The gambling acts passed in South Africa in the early 2000s made most forms of online gambling illegal. For that reason, it is not legal to operate an online casino or poker site within South Africa. Players still occasionally play at international sites of this sort, despite the government’s objections.

However, this does not apply to sports betting or horse racing. Both of these activities are completely legal in South Africa. Operators can actually launch sites dedicated to SA players. In order to do so, these operators must request the appropriate licenses, which are issued by local regulators.

South African online betting sites provide a comprehensive gambling experience for their users. Since they don’t fall under the category of interactive gambling, these sites don’t have any problems. Regulations allow for licenses to be issued to any operator who complies with the necessary standards. For this reason, numerous legal sports betting sites are operating in SA.

In addition to the classic betting sites, South Africa also offers plenty of legal mobile betting operators. Mobile applications can be downloaded for Android and iOS operated devices and legal real money wagering is possible within the laws. Players who are looking to bet on the go need not look for international betting apps as plenty of regulated SA mobile bookies are available.

Is Online Betting Legal in SA? Yes or No?

Sports betting and other forms of online gambling are a gray zone legally speaking in many countries. South Africa is not one of these, as sports betting of all sorts is 100% legal within the country. Restrictions that do exist apply to all other forms of online gambling, such as online casino, poker, bingo and other interactive games.

Online sports betting and horse race betting is both legal and very popular in South Africa. Operators within the country compete against each other to offer better services and most competitive betting odds. Users can sign up with over a dozen regulated and licensed SA betting sites and use them both on their desktop computers and mobile phones.

The scope of legal sports betting is very wide. Regulated sites can offer pre-match and live betting on all sorts of sports and betting markets. International bookmakers are also available to SA players for the most part. Since there are no restrictions on sports betting, such sites are also welcome to take action from SA players. Playing at such international bookmakers is safe and legal as long as the site is regulated by one of the major international regulators.

Bet Now with Legal South African Bookmakers

You have read the FICA act summary and understand the legality of sports betting in South Africa and what is FICA. Now is the time to go ahead and pick your bookmaker and start betting online for real money. Options for legal betting are ample and we offer a whole host of legitimate operators you can sign up with. Choose your sports betting site today and enjoy the various betting types and options that are available.

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FAQ: All You Need to Know about FICA

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