Most Popular Sports Among South African Bettors
We’ve done some research about the most popular betting categories in South Africa. The results are fairly unsurprising: football, horse racing, and rugby. Still, considering different bookmakers specialise in different things, we’ve chosen to recommend you the best websites for these sports specifically.
The best football betting site in South Africa
1xbet Africa. This bookie does not attempt to hide what their focus is, and it’s always been football. 1xBet is generally renowned for their excellent odds, but football bets take this to a whole new level. According to our research, 1xBet’s bookmaker margin for football is as low as 1.2%. Remember, this industry-standard is somewhere between 4 and 6%, so this is an insanely good offer.
Welcome Offer 130% up to 1500 ZAR
The best South African bookmaker for horse racing
Betway Africa. This sportsbook can boast coverage of almost every horse racing event on the planet. Throw in their policy of best odds guaranteed, and the choice was not hard to make.
The best South African rugby betting site
22Bet Africa. 22Bet famously caters to all niches, and are known for giving proper odds and a lot of markets for even the smallest events. This extends to rugby as well. Not only that, but you can also watch live streams of rugby matches, participate in in-play betting, and so much more.
Welcome Offer 100% up to 2.000 ZAR
History of Sports Betting in South Africa
Gambling in any form was prohibited for quite a long time in South Africa, since as far back as 1673. The Gambling Act of 1965 officially banned all forms of gambling except wagering on horse races. Still, not everyone respected the law, and an estimated 2000 illegal casinos sprung up across the country by the end of the 20th century.
Following the regime change in the 90s, many forms of gambling were legalized – but remained heavily regulated, as in most modern countries. The National Gambling Act of 1996 finally ensured standards and norms for South African gambling companies. During this time, the National Gambling Board was founded to oversee the regulation of gambling activities, as well as issue gambling licences.
To this day, the National Lottery remains by far the most popular form of gambling in South Africa. According to studies as recent as 2006, over 95% of the population has participated in the lottery at one time or another. In terms of South African sports betting, more than 10% of the population claims they regularly participate in horse race betting and football betting. That much higher than the world’s average, making South Africa one of the most active countries when it comes to wagering on sports.
It also seems that, for now, South Africans prefer traditional betting shops to their online counterparts. Online gambling was not legal until much later, and we can still feel the effects of that. However, the door is open now, leading many of the world’s top online bookmakers to start accepting South African customers.
Complete list of Bookmakers in South Africa
Welcome Offer 130% up to 1500 ZAR
Welcome Offer 100% up to R2,000
Welcome Offer 100% up to 2.000 ZAR
Welcome Offer 100% up to 1500 ZAR
1xbet South Africa: This bookmaker is one of the most established names in the South African sports betting market. 1xBet has been making plenty of waves in the online gaming industry and for a good reason.
22bet South Africa: Another reputable bookmaker with a growing reputation on a global scale. 22Bet is emerging as one of the leading names in the sports betting industry and it’s easy to see why. South African punters can enjoy plenty of advantages with this particular bookmaker.
Betwinner South Africa: This operator might be a recent addition to the South African betting market but it’s certainly a well-known name on the international scene. BetWinner offers some interesting features South African players will have a hard time finding elsewhere.
Sportingbet South Africa: Players who like to wager on the higher end of the scale will love Sportingbet. This online bookmaker offers great odds and a wealth of sports to bet on each day. As an operator accepting payments in South African rand, it is perfect for local players who like to bet on sports.
Betway South Africa: Design is far from being the most important aspect of the sports betting experience. When it comes to Betway, however, it complements this bookmaker’s overall offering perfectly. With Betway, South African punters will enjoy a fantastic experience across all devices and platforms which is perfect for players living on the go.
Online Sports Betting in South Africa: Tax and Legal Terms
First of all, let’s get this out of the way: is online sports betting legal in South Africa?
The answer is a resounding yes. However, there are some things you, the customer, have to consider before placing any bets online:
- You must be over the age of 18.
- You must bet exclusively with bookmakers licenced in South Africa, by the National Gambling Board.
- You do not need to declare winnings for the purposes of taxation, except a 6% VAT on horse race betting.
You also need to be aware that, in South Africa, these regulations are not just technicalities. Gambling laws are heavily enforced, and breaking them can result in nasty repercussions. Especially because both illegal sportsbook operators and those who use them are legally prosecuted. Breaking gambling regulations can result in hefty fines, confiscation of funds, and even jail time.
There are more than 40 licenced betting sites in South Africa, so there are a lot of ways to wager online legally. However, many bookies accept South African users even if they do not own a licence. This is because most international bookies do not own any physical assets in South Africa, so the authorities don’t have a way of enforcing the law. Such illegal operations can still end badly for the customer, though, so you need to be very careful about who you trust your hard-earned cash with.
Of course, all of our recommended South African bookmakers are fully licenced and regulated, meaning you don’t have to worry about this if you stick to them. Regardless if you care about the law or not, regulated sportsbooks ensure a degree of safety to your wagering, and we recommend using only licenced sites.
Deposit and Withdrawal options at South African sportsbooks
Most of the best South African bookmakers in 2021 are huge international brands. What we mean is that a sportsbook is good or bad no matter where you are in the world, generally speaking. So what makes a bookie good specifically for South African residents, besides a National Board licence?
One of the biggest such factors is regionally specific banking options. First of all, the currency. The rand is a fairly common currency among most operators, which is an advantage. A lot of other countries are not so lucky.
Additionally, payments can get complicated for residents of different countries. For example, not being able to withdraw directly onto your credit or debit card is a common problem for international punters. Luckily, this is not the case for South Africans. Card payments are by far the most popular banking option on South African sportsbooks according to our data.
You can also freely use other common methods such as bank transfers and e-wallets such as Skrill, Neteller, and PayPal.
Beyond that, there are some region-specific payment options. Not all of the top betting sites in South Africa accept these – those that do have an advantage on our ranking system. Here are some of them:
- Previously known as iPay, Ozow is a popular new payment method for South African sportsbooks. It is an instant payment system that requires no cards. All payments contain no additional hidden fees or charges. An excellent option if you don’t want to use your card and the bookie supports Ozow.
- An industry-leading electronic vending system, Kazaang is quickly becoming popular among South African users. It is secure, fast, and flexible.
- If you prefer cash payments over numbers on a screen, online betting is still a perfectly viable option for you. You can always just purchase a 1Voucher at your local store and use the code for your next payment.
- Works pretty much the same way as 1Voucher. Easy, reliable, and requires no accounts, cards, or applications.
Best Betting Site in South Africa
If we were to choose just one bookmaker that operates in South Africa that would be, hands down, 22bet South Africa.