Wamukelekile, Welkom, and Welcome to your one-stop destination for answers to all the questions you may have about online sports betting in South Africa! If you are completely new to this exciting form of betting, this guide has everything you need to get started.
And if you happen to be a veteran betting enthusiast looking for quick directions to the best online sportsbooks in South Africa, this IS the place for you as well! What with COVID-19 shutting access to all offline betting shops and racecourse action, this is the best time to consider online sports betting in the Rainbow Nation.
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Betting on sporting events is a very common pastime in many parts of the world, and South Africa is no exception. To gamble on cards and slots, you go to a casino in Johannesbug or Cape Town. To place a bet on a match between the Kaizer Chiefs and the Orlando Pirates, you can go to one of the many small betting shops all over the country.
But why bother when you can place bets safely from the comfort of your home? In 2019, that might have sounded like a convenience. But in these times of Coronavirus, the freedom to bet on sports from home could be a life-saver! And you can do exactly that at online sportsbooks. We are talking about licensed websites that offer you more betting options than the average retail shop!
In many ways, online sports betting is like shopping on Amazon or Takealot. You visit the website/app from a computer or mobile and bet on things you fancy. Make payments with cards or online banking, and that is online sports betting in a nutshell!
Gambling is a complicated business in South Africa. It was only legalized relatively recently after the arrival of democracy in 1994. But not all forms of gambling are legal in the rainbow nation. The important question is – which side of the law does online sports betting belong. A quick look at this timeline will help you understand the evolution of laws on gambling in South Africa in the last 30 years:
From the timeline, it is clear that under the 2004 and 2010 amendments to the National Gambling Act, online sports betting is fully legal in South Africa. There is no law that prohibits South African citizens and residents from betting on their favorite sports at online sportsbooks. Only online casinos and gambling sites that offer betting games and virtual slots are prohibited in the country. Other forms of gambling, both offline and online are legal and safe.
The National Gambling Board is the main authority on all betting activities in the country. It regulates the industry and sets standards and rules for all to follow. Under the NGB, there are nine regulatory boards, one for each province.
South African players are only allowed to legally place bets at online sportsbooks that are registered under any one of these nine gambling boards. The biggest of these is the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board (WCGRB). The other prominent boards are the Gauteng Gambling Board (GGB) and the KwaZulu-Natal Gaming & Betting Board (KZNGBB).
When it comes to picking the best sports betting site in the rainbow nation, the first thing you should look for is a South Africa online betting license. It can be from any of the nine provincial gambling authorities, not necessarily from your home province.
Even if you reside in Gauteng, you can bet at a site registered in Western Cape, Limpopo, or KwaZulu-Natal. What matters above all is that it is licensed to operate in South Africa. Since there are over 30 such sportsbooks, you do have plenty of choices. We have lined up the finest sportsbooks of them all right here.
Now, there are many other online sportsbooks located outside South African territory, in offshore jurisdictions like Curacao, Malta, and Gibraltar. Many of these are global sports betting platforms that accept players from around the world. But for smooth and hassle-free betting and payout experiences, it is best to stick with sites licensed in South Africa.
If the sportsbook has a valid license, you can pick it based on the following considerations:
These are just a few questions that focus on the important features that should matter to you at online sportsbooks in South Africa. If the sportsbook in focus has positive answers to all or most of these (along with a valid license), you should give it a try without worry!
Once you have picked a licensed online sportsbook, it is time to get connected with them and start betting. There are a few common steps you need to undertake at all online sportsbooks. Before we explain them, let’s look at the bare minimum requirements for betting online in 2020:
You cannot bet online without creating an account at the website. This is a common rule at all South Africa sportsbooks. But the good news is that the steps are generally quite simple and easy to follow at all websites. They include the following:
To start placing bets online you need to add some Rand in your online betting account. This is usually the first step to do after creating an account. You can make a deposit via several different payment methods at popular South African sportsbooks. They include:
You may find more online payment options at some sportsbooks. But for South African players, Instant EFT is usually the most preferred option. It is fast, secure and works with all major SA banks accounts. Quite similar to the registration process, depositing money is also quite simple at these online sportsbooks. You can check the steps right below:
Once your account is fueled with a cash balance, it is time to place your first bet. Betting websites have different themes and designs, but the steps you have to take to place bets are largely the same.
First, you have to choose from the many sports options available to you online. This will include both scheduled matches and ongoing live events. Once you pick a sport, like soccer or rugby, you will be shown the available matches and betting markets.
If you are not too familiar with betting terminology, betting markets are types or categories of bets you can participate in. A bookmaker or sportsbook can offer anywhere from 1 to 100+ betting markets in a single match!
Match Result - The easiest form of betting market where you try to pick the side you think will win.
Point Spread - Teams have varying skill levels, some are clearly superior. So naturally, punters will all be interested in betting on the stronger team in a match result market. With the point spread, the bookmaker assigns some points to the underdog team. In such markets, you will not lose your money if your underdog team loses. They will have to lose by a margin more than the points spread for this to happen. This encourages bettors to wager on both teams.
Outright - If you bet on the Springboks to win the Rugby World Cup before the beginning of the tournament, that is an outright bet. It is a longer-format wager usually used in huge tournaments.
Over/Under - Instead of wins, you look at the points/runs/goals scored in a match. It could be limited to certain halves, the final score, or other specific points in the game.
You can browse through the many betting markets you will find on the sportsbook pages. They will all be clearly categorized according to a “sport - tournament/competition - match” order. These are the three main steps involved in placing a bet:
Once you place bets and win some money online, it is time to find ways to get that sweet cash back into your account. But there are a few extra steps here, mandated by the financial and gambling laws in South Africa.
The Gambling Act has strict provisions against money laundering and the use of illegal money, both of which are possible with online gambling websites. You cannot place bets anonymously at online sportsbooks. Before you ask for withdrawals, you have to submit scanned copies of the following:
Usually, you have to send these images to the sportsbooks customer care team through email. But a few of them may also allow you to send photos of the documents clicked on your mobile and sent through Whatsapp.
This entire process is based on the South African law called the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act - FICA. All licensed bookmakers have to follow this provision before sending money to a player’s account.
At a few sports betting sites, they may provide exceptions if the withdrawal amount is really small, like R2000-3000, no more than that. But such instances are quite rare, and you are usually always requested to send the documents before they proceed with the cash withdrawal. Therefore, it is better to keep those copies ready if you want to get paid!
The South African sports betting industry is growing at a fast pace. The licensed operators include both homegrown names as well as international brands based in the UK and EU. As a result, the quality of service you get from these online bookmakers is comparable to the best in the world.
This section will deal with some of the common features, perks and bonuses you are likely to encounter when you join an online sportsbook in 2020.
This is one area where online betting shops have a huge advantage over local retail shops. There are hundreds of matches scheduled in various professional leagues and tournaments across the world, in a wide range of sports.
At the best online sportsbooks, you can bet on events in South Africa as well as the rest of the world. That being said, the following are the most popular sports you can find at South African bookmakers:
⚽ Football/Soccer - You can bet on the Premier Division and the two domestic cup competitions in South Africa, as well as all major foreign leagues like the EPL, Bundesliga, Serie A, and all UEFA competitions. National tournaments like the AFC, Euros, and the World Cup are also available.
🏉 Rugby - Given the immense popularity of the Springboks, Tri-Nations Series, World Cup and tests featuring the national team are very popular betting markets both online and offline. Domestic competitions like the Super Rugby, Pro 14 and Currie Cup are also available.
🏏 Cricket - All major international cricket matches and tournaments are available at online sportsbooks in South Africa. With competitions like the IPL, Big Bash, T20 Challenge, not to mention first class matches, there is plenty of options in cricket!
🏇🏽 Horse racing - Historically, this was the only sport where betting was allowed in the past. With online betting, you no longer have to visit a racecourse in Scottsville or Kenilworth to place a bet or two. You will find all domestic and important overseas races online.
🏌️♂️ Other sports - While the above four are the most popular, South African betting sites also offer betting markets from tennis, motor racing, golf, cycling, basketball, athletics, boxing, wrestling and other international events like Olympics.
🎮 E-sports - With the rise of COVID-19, live sports events are being cancelled and postponed. Virtual sports or e-sports, involving competitions in popular video games like Counter Strike, League of Legends, and DOTA are becoming more attractive at this point. Many sportsbooks also offer esports betting markets
With so many quality sportsbooks available, South African punters are spoilt for choice. The result is a very competitive online sports betting market. The bookmakers have to work hard to attract new bettors and retain existing customers. They do this online by offering special bonuses and promotional boosts from time to time. You can find ads and banners proclaiming these exciting offers at online sportsbooks in South Africa:
New Player Bonus - Most sportsbooks offer a cash boost to new customers who create an account and deposit some money for the first time at the website. This could be a few hundred Rand or even more, depending on the size of the initial deposit.
Matching bets - Similar to the new player bonus, this type offer will see the sportsbook add an equal amount to the first cash bet you make, doubling your stake effectively.
Free bets - A few bookmakers may also offer an exclusive limited offer where you give a small bonus cash chip for free when you create a new account.
Reload Bonus - Available to players who make subsequent deposits at the website, the sportsbook will match your cash deposit to a specific percentage.
Cashback - When you lose a bit of money at the website over a period of time, say a week or month, the bookmaker will return a percentage of those losses as cashback in your account.
Given the immense rise in mobile internet usage, sports betting too focuses largely on this small platform. It is the ultimate form of comfort and convenience - the freedom to place a bet anywhere you like. There are two main ways in which South African sportsbooks implement online mobile betting:
You can open the websites of all South African sportsbooks on a mobile browser. You get the same set of features, just redesigned and optimized for work better on a smaller touchscreen. You can use the existing account details and password to sign in, place bets, deposit cash, and make withdrawal requests. This type of instant website system works on all mobile phones with HTML5 browsers, both iOS and Android included.
A few top online sportsbooks may choose to offer dedicated apps you can download from the AppStore or Play Store. Or you can download the APK file directly from their websites and install safely on your device. Apps offer a very smooth and secure betting experience. You cannot really go wrong with either an app or website in sports betting!
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In sports betting, you can wager on two main types of bets based on the factor of time. The normal form of betting is pre-match betting, where you place a bet on a match before it has begun. This allows for more strategic planning, as you can check the stats and form tables and make careful choices. Many serious punters rely on pre-match bets for maximum returns on their sports betting.
In-play betting, also known as live betting, is an exciting alternative where you can place bets on matches while the action unfolds. This is much easier with mobile and online sportsbooks, as you don’t have to visit a betting shop while the match is going on. Based on fun factor and excitement, in-play betting is arguably more enjoyable than pre-match betting. Bookmakers offer a wide range of different betting markets with exciting variations in odds. These can change as the match progresses, adding a sense of thrill and unpredictability.
But In-play betting also has a higher amount of risk when compared to pre-match betting. With the best South African online bookmakers, you can make both types of wagers, mixing and matching for the perfect combination of skills and thrills!
Online casino gambling and interactive games are slots are not permitted in South Africa. The law forbids online operators from providing such games, especially if they are based outside South African soil but Bet Games is a different beast altogether. It is available fully legal as an extra feature at many top South African online sportsbooks, like Hollywoodbets and Betway. It is one of the only legal forms of online casino gambling allowed in South Africa.
Put simply, Bet Games is a series of live dealer games - you will find virtual rooms where real dealers host games of Baccarat, Dice, Poker, Wheel of Fortune, Lucky 5 and many more. These games happen in real time, in professional studios managed by skilled professionals.
The games involve real cards, wheels, and other casino equipment, all closely monitored for 100% fairness. The hosts are all gorgeous women or handsome men, with attractive personalities and serious skills.
The action is relayed to your PC or mobile screens in real time, using live streaming technologies. You can use buttons on the screen to place bets and even chat with the dealers. Everything happens instantly with zero delays, as long as you have a decent internet connection!
Bet Games is a great way to relax and have some gambling fun in between sports betting action online. And the best part is, you get a casino experience right at home!
Yes, online sports betting is 100% legal in South Africa. There is ambiguity in the law regarding this - as long as you play at a licensed sportsbook it is legal and safe.
According to the law, it is illegal for both consumers and businesses to indulge in any form of unlicensed sports betting without the permission of the gambling boards in South Africa. If you place a bet on such platforms, there is a risk of your payments getting blocked. The law also specifies other forms of punishment like fines and imprisonment, but the risk of that may be low, at least for first-time offenders.
You can find the best legit online sportsbooks and bookmakers right here on our pages. Or else, you can do an online search and visit the website of any sportsbook. Search for a license number and name of any of the major licensing boards in South Africa - Western Cape authority is the most common board for bookmakers. You can also visit their official site for a list of all licensed operators.
States regulate online gambling very strictly because it can be misused for money laundering and terrorism financing. There are international laws in place across the world to prevent this - FICA is the South African Government’s weapon.
It allows the sportsbooks and government tax agencies to keep an eye on cash transactions in gambling. By checking your ID book or Smart ID, they can verify if all the money is coming from “clean sources.”
FICA is mandatory if you want to legally indulge in online gambling in South Africa. Online sportsbooks will lose their license if they don’t enforce it. So they will block your withdrawals until you comply with the procedure!
Before the pandemic, online betting was more about convenience. But in these times of COVID-19, your life could be in danger if you have to step outside frequently. Lockdowns and quarantines also prevent shops from opening and public transport from functioning.
In these situations, online sportsbooks are clearly superior to betting shops in every way. You can stay safe and healthy at home and still place bets on all your favourite matches. There are many betting markets and numerous live betting options as well.
According to the national gambling laws, you have to be at least 18 years of age to be able to bet legally on sports online and offline in South Africa.
Yes, millions of players win Rand by placing bets on sporting events in South Africa. The important thing to remember is that sports betting, like any other forms of gambling, is intended for entertainment. As long as you treat it responsibly as a fun activity, it is safe. Winning cash is just the icing on the cake!
A basic understanding of the rules of your favorite sports is essential. You can also take some time to learn a bit more about odds and other sports betting terms. Other than that, no special knowledge is necessary. Of course, your chances of winning will increase if you are an expert at stats and other numbers in sports!