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SA Court Ruling Prohibits Lottery Betting

The Mpumalanga High Court has ruled that betting on the outcome of lotteries is in contravention of South Africa’s Lotteries Act (1997) and should be prohibited.

The ruling was made at the end of August 2021 in a long-running court case between the lottery operator Ithuba and various parties, including Lottostar Pty.

The judges ruled that “the scheme of Lottostar whereby it offers bets, whether or not of a fixed-odd nature, on the outcome of lotteries is declared unlawful” and that Lottostar “is interdicted from offering bets, whether or not of a fixed-odd nature, on the outcome of any lottery”.

The court decided that betting on lotteries was in contravention of Section 57 of the Lotteries Act: a person will be guilty of an offence if he or she conducts, organises, promotes, devises or manages any scheme, plan, competition, arrangement, system, game or device which directly or indirectly provides for betting, wagering, gambling or any other game of risk on any outcome of any lottery unless authorised by or under this Act or any other law.

Ithuba has argued that lottery betting does not contribute to good causes and reduced the revenues of the national lottery.


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