Sports Betting in South Africa

8 Aug 2022
18+ | Play responsibly | Terms and Conditions apply | Commercial Content

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Is Sports Betting Legal in South Africa?

Legalized sports betting has been a thriving industry in South Africa – both offline and online – since the foundation of the National Gambling Act in 2004. Several provincial authorities issue licenses, including:

  • The Gauteng Gambling Board
  • The Limpopo Gambling Board
  • Mpumalanga Economic Regulator
  • KwaZulu Natal Gambling Board
  • Western Cape Gambling Board.

Bettors in the country can wager on various local and international sporting events, covering everything from horse racing, soccer, and rugby to cricket, MMA, and volleyball.

In addition to placing traditional bets ‘against’ the bookmaker, South Africa also allows totalizer (tote) betting on racing.

Sports Betting in South Africa

Most online betting companies offer 25+ sports to wager on. Having such a diverse array of choices means that no matter what your sports knowledge and passion, the bookmakers can cater to your desires. 

Soccer is the most popular sport to bet on in South Africa and is available from virtually every bookmaker. Here’s a quick overview of the other premier sports found at most licensed and regulated betting sites:

  • Horse racing
  • Rugby
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Basketball
  • Cricket
  • Formula 1
  • American football
  • Ice hockey
  • Baseball
  • Table tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Moto GP
  • Snooker
  • Boxing / MMA
  • Handball
  • Esports

Our Best Betting Guides

Betting on Soccer

Sports bettors can wager on their local teams in the DStv Premiership (South African Premier League) and more than 100 other leagues and competitions like the Champions League, La Liga, the EPL, Bundesliga, Serie A, and Ligue 1. 

If you also enjoy international soccer, all the top-rated sports betting sites accept stakes on the World Cup, AFCON, the Euros, and more.

Betting on Horse Racing

You can bet on the Durban July, Premiers Champion Stakes, or any regular meeting from legendary local race courses, such as Fairview and Turffontein. 

Additionally, all horse racing betting sites cover the action from other countries, including the UK, Ireland, Australia, and the USA. So, markets are available for iconic races like the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the Melbourne Cup, Kentucky Derby, and the Grand National.

List of Sports Betting Sites in South Africa

For enthusiastic bettors looking to put their sports knowledge to the test, we’ve handpicked the top three sports betting companies in South Africa. Each of these operators offers desktop and mobile sportsbooks.

  • Betway South Africa
  • Hollywoodbets

Welcome Bonuses on Betting Sites

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Types of Sports Bets

One of the favourite bet types for online sports betting fans is the accumulator bet, also known as a multi-bet. This wager involves picking multiple selections and compiling them into one bet. 

For instance, you could pick the match winner market from each weekend’s Premier League match. All the odds are multiplied together, so the payouts are much higher. Every selection needs to win for the bet to be successful.

Each way bet is a favourite bet type for horse racing. This is where two bets are rolled into one. Half of your stake is placed on the horse to win, and the other half on the horse to place in the top 3 or 4. It is a great bet if you fancy an outsider with long odds.

In addition to the variety of bet types, there are a plethora of sports betting markets, including match winner, correct score, O/U total goals/points, and Asian handicaps. Online bookmakers provide betting tools such as bet calculators, and there are pre-match and live statistics to help you find the best value bets.

Lastly, you are not obligated to bet against the bookmaker. In fact, South Africa has a few peer-to-peer betting exchanges where you wager against other punters. As the bookie has been taken out of the equation, the odds tend to be slightly higher on the exchanges, so they are worth checking out.

Popular Sports Betting Events

Sports betting is global, and South African bookmakers take you to the heart of the action. All the world’s biggest and best sporting events from every continent are available on the aforementioned operators. This is a small sample of what you can bet on:

  • World Cup
  • English Premier League
  • South African Premier League
  • NBA, MLB, NHL, and NFL
  • US Open, Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon
  • Formula 1 and MotoGP
  • Rugby World Cup and Six Nations
  • T20 World Cup, the IPL, and International tests
nba betting

Why Online Sports Betting is Better than Offline Betting?

There are many benefits to joining online sports betting sites instead of strictly sticking to offline betting. Take a look at a few of the advantages below.

Maximum Convenience in Betting

Online sports betting sites allow you to bet on your favourite teams and players anytime and anywhere. As such, you avoid wasting any time, money, or effort visiting a shop.

This can be a huge convenience in terms of placing pre-match bets and partaking in live betting.

For example, think about all the times when you wanted to make bets on an international event taking place at night. But you could not bet because all the shops were closed. Or the times when you could not make the right bet at the right time.

Leave all those problems behind by signing up on one of the best South African betting sites. You can follow every minute of every game and place bets promptly with a few clicks on your computer or mobile phone.

soccer betting in south africa

More Choice in Terms of Betting Options

The top betting sites generally have bigger and more diverse betting markets than brick-and-mortar shops. The sheer number of sports, events, and bet types that you get access to from major online betting sites in South Africa is incredible.

You can wager on both mainstream and niche sports like greyhound racing, darts, etc. Furthermore, there are extensive sports markets under each sport, more so than what you can find at the best betting shop. The betting sites will have the highest number of markets under each event. Some major operators can offer more than 30 markets for each event.

Such aspects are hard for betting shops to compete with unless they are affiliated with the betting sites.

Bigger and Better Welcome Bonuses

Sports betting sites, especially the most renowned ones, offer incredible bonuses to attract punters and retain them. This is something that betting shops, not affiliated with established sites, cannot give their punters.

For instance, you will find that the betting sites offer new players free bets in one form or another. These free bets can be offered against your first deposit or without a deposit, however, the amount can be quite low when given without a qualifying deposit. Such promotions are called no deposit bonuses.

Secure and Seamless Online Payments

Carrying cash is starting to become less popular and more inconvenient nowadays. Sports betting sites are more appealing in this aspect because you can easily deposit and withdraw funds using your Visa or Mastercard. South African betting sites accept almost all the major payment methods available in South Africa.

Pioneering sports betting sites are starting to accept cryptocurrencies, meaning you will be able to deposit and withdraw funds from your Bitcoin wallet.

Horse Racing Betting in South Africa

Sports Betting in South Africa FAQ

South Africa provides a fantastic sports betting experience for avid sports bettors; here are some FAQs for more information.

How do sports betting work in South Africa?

Bettors can visit their local bet shop or bet online in South Africa. To bet online, customers need to create an account and make a deposit. However, several sign-up bonuses are offering free bets, so you can test the platform even before making a deposit.

How do sports betting odds work?

According to the bookmaker, betting odds reflect the implied probability of the likelihood of an outcome is correct. The favourite has the lowest odds, while the underdog has a higher price. The returns from a winning bet are better on the underdogs, but the probability of them winning is lower.

How many sports betting companies are there?

There are several established betting companies in South Africa, such as Betway,, and Hollywoodbets. However, more operators are looking to launch in this country as the demand for online betting continues to grow.

How often does the favourite win in sports betting?

It depends on the sport, the team/players involved, and the odds. For instance, Manchester City would probably beat Nottingham Forest nine times out of ten, but the favourite in the Grand National horse race may only win 2/10 times.

Bet Responsibly

The bottom line is betting should be an entertaining experience. While it is thrilling to win some money, losing is also part of this activity. Here are some expert tips on betting responsibly, so you can be a match winner regardless of the result.

  • Only bet what you can afford to lose. 
  • Set a monthly betting budget. All South African betting companies allow you to set deposit limits. We recommend using these because it controls your expenditure.
  • Do not bet to make money. Keep it fun. For instance, wager small stakes on accumulator bets, so the payouts are generous, but the cost for the bet is minimal.
  • Never borrow money to bet.
  • Do not chase your losses. It is easy to get emotional when betting, particularly if you lose a winning bet in the dying seconds of a match. However, chasing your losses often results in more significant losses.
  • Research before betting – although there are elements of luck, sports betting is not a game of chance like roulette. The more research you put into your bets, the better potential you have of winning more often.
  • Use a staking system to manage your bankroll.