Online sports betting in Africa is growing by the day, drawing some of the biggest names in the industry to open their doors to African customers. The internet is full of reviews, ratings, and opinions about these African online bookmakers, but rarely do they consider the perspective of an African user.
That’s why Bookmakers.Africa is here – to review the top betting sites in Africa and see what they have to offer specifically to customers from countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and many others. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at Bwin, one of the top dogs among African betting companies.
Bwin Company Infomation
This bookie is usually hailed as the first true international giant of the online betting scene. The firm itself was founded in 1997, and its online betting platform was launched just a year later. Of course, back then they were known as betandwin, a name which they changed in 2006. Originally, the company was publically traded and registered on the Austrian stock exchange, although it should be noted that ownership of Bwin changed quite a few hands over the years. It is now based in Gibraltar like many other online gambling companies and is owned by GVC Holdings. GVC is quite an important name in the world of online betting because they own other world-class brands such as Ladbrokes, Coral, William Hill, and several others.
Bwin is considered very important among punters because of one innovation they introduced early in their existence: live betting. Bwin was the first betting site to implement an in-house developed in-play betting option, arguably changing the way people bet forever.
Bwin eventually expanded their offer to include more than just online sportsbooks. In 2001, they opened their first online casino, which included slots, roulette, and similar online gambling services. In 2004, the service was expanded to include live poker and blackjack.
After Bwin was acquired by GVC, they quickly started expanding to more and more international markets. It started with acquiring local licences all across Europe, eventually moving on to Asia and Africa.
For a very long time, Bwin took a lot of criticism for having an old-fashioned website which was severely outdated compared to the competition. Thankfully, that is no longer the case. We found this African betting site especially easy to look at because the dark colours made it easy to browse the sportsbook for as long as you like. That being said, the whole user interface feels like it’s trying to do too many things at once. Sometimes, there are entire parts of the screen which are never used, by take up large parts of the page relative to the more important sections.
On the good side, the UI makes it easy to stay informed about Bwin’s betting promotions and special offers. Also, large parts of the site can be customised, a feature we wish more top sportsbooks in Africa had.
You can choose from a decent selection of over 35 different sports and categories, although some categories include more than one sport. Examples of this include athletics, e-sports, and so-called Gaelic sports. The total number of daily events reaches 30,000 on average, which is impressive. Either way, we’re satisfied with Bwin’s variety of sports, and most punters will be able to find what they’re looking for.
In terms of African sports betting specifically, the offer is decent but not amazing. Bwin has not truly taken any steps to cater to African audiences, but most of the bigger events are fully covered.
Bwin Welcome Bonus
The registration bonus at Bwin’s betting site includes no free bets. Instead, the first bet you place with this online sportsbook is risk-free. That means that if the first bet of €10 or more on odds of 2.0 or more loses, you get your stake back.
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Markets and Odds
When it comes to depth, the offer is pretty good – although not without issues. Players will find a lot of choices when it comes to both common and alternative football betting markets, often reaching more than 300 different offers. The biggest problem here, however, is that that there are no Asian handicaps, which will annoy a lot of punters looking for value betting. As far as we can tell, other sports manage to keep up, with tennis and basketball betting being especially good.
We’re glad that this quality is consistent across the entire sportsbook. In addition to betting mainstays such as the Premier League, you can also find different offers for African sports, such as with Nigerian football league betting or the South African Premier Division. Additionally, Bwin offers innovative features such as the Bet Builder and Bet Editor, which is always a big plus.
We’ve also compared the Bwin’s odds and margins to the best of their competition, and we can safely say that Bwin is one of the best betting sites in Africa for football. They can boast exceptionally low margins on exotic bets, which is not something we often see.
The average margin on Bwin is somewhere around 6%. This doesn’t sound good when you look at it with no context, but the problem is not felt for African football betting. As far as we can tell, some sports simply have very high margins (such as a painful 9% for ice hockey), driving the averages up.
Live Betting and Streaming at Bwin
Being the company who essentially invented live betting, you would assume that Bwin offers one some of the best live betting in Africa. And in this case, you would be right. There are dozens of offers for football in-play betting at any given time, with more than 1000 events per day. All of these are supported by a wide variety of markets and competitive odds. Arguably, live betting is the biggest attraction here, making Bwin the best African bookmaker if that’s your primary interest.
Cash-outs are included as a feature, and Bwin’s focus on live betting is evident through excellent payout rates on in-play bets, which average more than 97%.
On top of all that, Bwin also serves as a very good live sports streaming service. All of their customers have access to regular HD streams of major sporting events and competitions, such as the Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga, and many more.
Licencing, Safety, & Customer Service
We’re dealing with a world-class online bookmaker here, which means they operate a legit, safe business. As such, Bwin has some of the most respected gambling licences in the world, including the UKGC and Gibraltar. But that’s not all: Bwin also possesses smaller, local gambling licences such as ones in Italy, Greece, and – importantly for African punters – South Africa and Kenya. In short, you are protected by law as a customer of Bwin, so you have nothing to worry about.
One of the biggest issues players have had with Bwin, however, is with their relationship with customers. Bwin has been accused of negative behaviour in the past, such as slow withdrawals, quickly closing accounts, and annoying wagering requirements. Under new leadership by industry veterans, however, things are taking a turn for the better, and customer complaints have drastically reduced in number in recent years.
Bwin’s customer support is fairly active and quick to respond in our experience. It can be reached via several channels, including live chat, phone, and email.
How to Make Deposits & Withdrawals at Bwin
Payment options at Bwin are also comparable to some of the best in the business, and most players will find a method which suits them. Card options such as Visa, Mastercard, and Diners Club are there, as expected. You can also choose from a wide selection of e-wallets and online payment systems, such as Skrill, Neteller, EntroPay, eps, giropay, iDeal, WebMoney, PayPal, and so on. There are quite a few options, but a lot of them are regional methods and are not relevant to African bettors.
Transaction limits are fairly reasonable, with a €10 minimum. Sadly, there are no African currencies accepted at Bwin as of the writing of this review. Also, withdrawal times are somewhat longer than most other top bookies in Africa, sometimes taking up to a week.
bwin Africa FAQ
These are the steps in order to open a new account with Bwin.
- Click here to visit Bwin website
- Click the yellow button "Register" at the top
- Enter your personal details and choose username and password
- Click on Register
- Your account is now ready and you can enjoy betting.
Bwin sometimes offers free bets as part of betting promotions and special offers. However, these are not available all the time and to all customers, so you can only wait until such an offer appears on the website.
While Bwin’s welcome offer is not technically a free bet, it still works pretty much the same in practice. In case you lose, you don’t lose anything – which is the whole point of a free bet.
Format settings can be accessed under settings in your Bwin account. You can find this page in the top-right corner of the Bwin page. Odds formats can be changed at any time between decimal, fractional, and US Moneyline.
Bookmaker bwin used to be called betandwin when it was founded. Presumably, Bwin is just an abbreviation.
Bwin holds a National Gambling Board licence. So yes, Bwin is a legal betting site in South Africa.
Bwin’s website is fully optimized for mobile devices. Additionally, they have a dedicated mobile bwin betting app available for both Android and iOS. However, Android users have to download the APK files directly from the Bwin website because the Google Play Store does not allow gambling apps.