Last updated on: March 16th, 2022

Legal Sports Betting In South Africa

Sports betting in South Africa is legal as long as you use the proper provider. Whether you live in South Africa or are planning a visit, this page will provide you with all of the necessary knowledge regarding sports betting laws and regulations in South Africa.

Gambling as a whole in South Africa has been through varying levels of legality throughout the nation’s history. Since the country was founded in 1673, gambling, including sports betting of any kind, was outlawed. These laws remained in place until 1965, when horse race betting became the first legalized form of gambling in South Africa. This was followed by the introduction of casinos in the late 1970s. Due to the placement of these casinos, they were unusable by a large portion of the country which led to the establishment of nearly 2000 illegal casinos in South Africa by the mid-90s.

After a new democratic government took over in 1994, gambling was legalized across all forms in South Africa, albeit with certain limitations. South Africa saw an influx of casinos across the nation, but legal sports betting never received major backing in the country. As a result, there are no physical sportsbooks in South Africa, making online betting the only legal method. However, all online betting must be done through an officially licensed, state-sponsored website. Unlike the US and most other countries, South Africa explicitly prohibits its citizens from using unregulated online sportsbooks.

Legal Sports Betting In South Africa

Legality Of Sports Betting In South Africa

There are a variety of laws that set the current landscape for legal sports betting in South Africa. Today, the only form of sports betting in South Africa is through government-licensed online sportsbooks. Gambling in all forms was outlawed in South Africa since the nation first began. It wasn’t until the 1994 democratic revolution that gambling was legalized, and even then, in only select areas. These restrictions never allowed the sports betting market in South Africa to grow, as the only form of betting was through illegal means.

Brick-and-mortar sportsbooks were never a reality in South Africa and that extends to today. While you can’t bet on sports in person, there are some online sportsbooks that have acquired permission to serve South African customers. According to the National Gambling Act of 2004, online gambling, which includes sports betting, is illegal by any means unless the retailer acquires the proper license. This means that unregulated international sportsbooks are illegal in South Africa, both to operate and use as a customer.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal In South Africa

Online sports betting is legal in South Africa as long as it is done through an officially licensed provider. Unlike the US and other countries, South Africa prohibits its citizens from using any unregulated international online sportsbook in addition to operating an unregulated online sportsbook. This means that there are limited options when it comes to betting on sports online in South Africa in 2022.

The few legitimate online sportsbooks that are available to South Africans are ones that have received approval and licensing from the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board. Since these are smaller betting platforms, it is important for users to research and review their options when betting in South Africa. There are few laws in place that protect players if a website does not pay out their winnings, so be sure to do some additional research in order to verify the legitimacy of your provider.

South Africa Sports Betting Markets

Once you get through the convoluted legality of South African sports betting, you will find that the country actually has a lively sports culture. Football (Soccer) has the most attention in South Africa, with international play gaining tremendous support since the nation hosted the 2010 World Cup. Due to South Africa’s international influence, you will also find plenty of fans of the English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, NFL, NBA, and MLB throughout the country’s diverse population. South African bettors also love rugby, both union and league, and cricket, which reflects the country’s early British colonial influence.

Where South Africa Sports Betting Revenue Goes

South Africa made a big push to turn its residents away from illegal betting methods and into the state-sponsored platforms. While illegal gambling does still remain a problem in South Africa, the country is reporting increasing betting revenue numbers from the official platforms every year since their official legalization. This money goes directly back into the gaming industry, which contributes to furthering the development of the South African gambling across the country. While many people in South Africa still use illegal betting methods, the goal is to bring more options and avenues into the fold so that players will be inclined to gamble their money with the approved providers and repurpose the money back into the country. Learn more about where sports betting revenue goes here.

Sports Betting In South Africa In 2021

Sports betting is happening in South Africa through the use of the numerous legal international online sportsbooks available. While activity is on the rise, as is the number of sports wagering platforms, the revenue is also seeing a surge. However, the revenue from gambling in South Africa is combined into one total number with each aspect of the market is put together. Casino gaming, the Lottery, sports bets, bingo, and various machines that allow customers to gamble are all part of the final tallied figure. Almost $2 billion was projected to be seen in revenue for 2020. Of all sports bets placed in South Africa, horse racing has seen the most action thus far but all gambling markets in the country continue to see growth, sports wagering included.

Legal South African Betting Sites

These are some of the sites that are approved by the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board to accept bets from South African residents. Popular international betting sites like BetOnline or MyBookie are do not explicitly restrict people from South Africa to join their sites and bet on sports. However, you will be doing so at your own risk. Luckily, both sites have responsive customer service options that will inform you of whether or not they can accept your account. If you would rather stick to licensed and regulated sportsbooks in South Africa there are plenty of choices. With that in mind, here is a list of approved sports betting sites in South Africa.

  • Betway
  • 888sport
  • William Hill
  • Unibet
  • Sunbet
  • Sportingbet
  • WSB
  • GG Gaming
  • Hollywoodbets
  • Playabets
  • Supabets
  • BetOlimp
  • Gbets
  • Scorebet
  • Lucky 365

Legal Sports Betting In South Africa FAQs

What Are The Best Betting Sites For Those Living In South Africa?

The best betting sites for South African residents are the ones that have received official approval from the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board. These are more Euro-based sites like Betway, Sportingbet, and 888sport. If you are living in SA, be sure to check out your best options before committing to a site.

Can I Bet On Horse Races Legally In South Africa?

Yes, horse race betting is legal in South Africa. While there are no physical betting locations, the approved online platforms will accept horse racing bets. If you are heading to a local racetrack in South Africa, it would be a great idea to ask around to try to find the best betting location for that specific track.

Can I Use bet365 in South Africa?

Bet365 is currently not on the approved list of betting websites by the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board. While bet365 is not an option, there are other options in a similar vein like Unibet, or Betway that are approved and available to use in South Africa.

What Is The Legal Age To Bet On Sports In South Africa?

The legal sports betting age in South Africa is 18 years old. You have to be at least 18 years of age in order to participate in any form of gambling throughout South Africa including casinos, lottery, horse racing, and online sportsbooks.

What Currencies Are Accepted By Sportsbooks In South Africa?

The primary currency accepted by sportsbooks in South Africa is the South African rand (ZAR). The rand is the official currency of South Africa and is the most common form of currency used in sports betting transactions, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible to bet with other currencies. Roughly 1 USD is equal to around 17 ZAR.

Depending on what book you choose in South Africa, there are often features for money exchange into either British pounds or euros, and occasionally US dollars. Most of these books will also have the option to use cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, which can be bought and traded from anywhere.

Are There South Africa Esports Betting Sites?

Yes, the best way to access an online esports betting site in South Africa is by using your normal sportsbook. Betway will certainly have some options but the best esports sportsbook in RSA will have odds for popular games like Call of Duty, League of Legends, Dota 2, and more. Also, the number of esports betting lines in South Africa will make you find the best bet no matter which site you are using.