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Sports Betting in South Africa: Legality, Tips, Tax, Best Betting Sites

Online sports betting is becoming an increasingly popular pastime in South Africa. Whether you’re new to the game or you’re looking for ways to improve your betting strategy, you’ve landed on the right page.

This comprehensive guide will set out everything you need to know to make the most of online sports betting in South Africa. Read on to discover the top 10 most reliable bookies, the legality of betting and the best welcome offers in ZAR. We'll also give you insight on the most popular markets and useful betting tips.


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The Legality of Sports Betting in South Africa

Gambling has been restricted in South Africa for many years. The only form of activity was horse racing betting, which was later joined by licensed casinos and the national lottery. At this time, gambling regulation was introduced, and the National Gambling Board was established.

The National Gambling Act 2004 made a distinction between interactive gambling (poker, casino, and bingo games), and sports betting. Interactive gambling and services that provide it are illegal, but sports betting is not as long as it’s through a South African licensed provider.

Further clarifications came in 2010 following a high court ruling, which made online gambling through servers located outside of South Africa illegal both for sports betting and casinos. Only bookmakers with a South African license can be used. Penalties can be applied to individuals, online operators, internet service providers, and any media channels that promote them.


Licenses Held By Bookies in South Africa

Is sports betting in South Africa legal? Yes, the nine provinces of South Africa each has its dedicated gambling and racing board, which can grant licenses to bookmakers. Any website with a license from one of these boards can be used legally by South African residents.

Up to 40 licenses can be awarded, and the central governing body, the National Gambling Board, chooses how they’re spread among the regions. The nine territories are Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and the North West.



When visiting an online bookmaker for the first time, you can check to see if the operator is licensed by viewing the footer at the bottom of the page. You should find the company information, the name of the licensing and regulatory board, for example, Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board, and the license number. They should be accompanied by the NGB logo and the province logo.

If you use a sports betting site that’s not licensed, then there’s a chance that you’ll not be able to withdraw your winnings. You might not be protected against practices that regulators look out for, which could put you at a disadvantage.


South Africa Payments & Withdrawals options

The majority of sports betting companies in South Africa offer a range of payment methods. As a bettor, it’s crucial for you to find a site with the method that suits you best and can use straight away.

The primary element to check for sports gambling in South Africa is whether you can find a secure and trusted payment method. Your personal preferences will mean you may want a method without fees, fast withdrawals, and limits that match your needs.


What Are the Current South Africa Betting Tax Regulations?

As a casual bettor, you don’t need to declare your winnings for tax purposes. Bets that involve horse racing have a 6% deduction to cover VAT. No other taxes are applied, and your winnings are not considered as income, so you don’t need to report them.


Payment Methods

Debit/Credit Card – works in a similar way as other online payments. Card types like Visa and MasterCard are accepted at most sites. You may need to complete a bank authorisation form.

Direct EFT – You can find the bookmaker’s account details to match your banking institution and make an electronic transfer from your online banking platform.

OTT Voucher – These vouchers can be purchased at 20,000 outlets across South Africa. You enter the voucher code on the OTT payment page of your chosen bookmaker to redeem it.

Kazang Voucher – You can also purchase these vouchers from vendors and redeem them at several sportsbooks.

1Voucher – These are available from FLASH traders or PEP stores. Enter your voucher code on the bookmaker’s website to redeem.

Ozow – This is an automated online payment system that creates an electronic funds transfer.

Neteller – An eWallet that allows you to transfer funds without directly giving a company your bank account details.

ecoPayz – An online payment service that also offers prepaid cards.

Skrill – Another type of eWallet that allows you to transfer funds without directly giving a company your bank account details

Bitcoin/Litecoin/Ethereum – these are forms of cryptocurrency, an internet-based exchange unit that uses blockchain technology.

Apple or Google Pay – if you have your card registered to a Google Pay or Apple Pay account on your phone or device, you can use that to transfer money.

Withdrawals are usually made as a transfer to your bank account. To comply with FICA guidelines, you’ll need to prove your identity to a bookmaker when opening an account or when making a withdrawal.


Welcome Offers and Promotions for South African Players

Bookmakers like to help you along with your decision when deciding where to open an account. One way to attract customers is to provide welcome offers that match your deposit or give you free bets. South African players can benefit from these offers at almost every sportsbook available. Here are the top ones:


Top Welcome Offers in South Africa

  • Deposit bonuses up to R5,000
  • Place qualifying bets
  • Receive a 100% deposit match
  • Deposit between R50 and R2,000
  • Use online payment methods other than Skrill and Neteller
  • Receive up to R2,000
  • Free Bet Welcome Offer
  • The maximum return on any Free Bet is R5,000.00
  • Deposit min. R10 to withdraw Free Bet winnings

Sports Betting Markets Available for South African Punters

There are plenty of bets to be made in South Africa! From classic sport markets to more recent esports and virtuals we have them all covered below.


Classic Sports

If you want to enjoy sports betting in South Africa, you’ll have an excellent range of sports to choose from at most bookmakers. Soccer is the biggest market, with the Absa Premier Soccer League featuring prominently. International leagues, such as the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League, are popular too. There are also tournaments, such as Afcon, Copa America, and the World Cup.

Horse racing is found on just about every sports betting site in South Africa. You’ll find straight forward bets like win, place and show bets, and the option to combine all three. There will also be Exacta, Superfecta, and Trifecta bets, where you pick first and second, the top four horses, or the top three finishers. Place wagers on races from Vaal, Fairview, and international races like the Grand National and the Kentucky Derby.

Rugby has a rich history in South Africa, so it’s natural for it to feature in sports betting South Africa reviews. As well as Moneyline bets and outright bets, rugby is a popular sport for live betting. In-play bets can include the scorer of the next try, the next lineout, and more. Super Rugby, the Six Nations, the Rugby Championship and league games are all available for betting.

There’s one other discipline that stands out when it comes to sports betting in South Africa; cricket. It offers a wide range of markets, from the ICC World Twenty20 and the Indian Premier League to the Mzansi Super League and the ICC Cricket World Cup.

Other popular sports that feature on betting sites include tennis, boxing, basketball, and baseball. Bettors can also try wagering on horse racing, golf, motorsports, cycling, hockey and many others.



Betting on eSports or competitive gaming is on the rise. Interest in the industry has shot up over the last five years, and it’s set to grow even bigger. That means there’s an opportunity for bettors in South Africa to be a part of that. The viewing figures are also growing, which means more markets will be on offer, and more live streams will be made available.

Since eSports are still relatively new, the bookies are still working out how to set the odds. This means this market can be unpredictable in a good way as there’s excellent value to be found. Games like League of Legends and Dota 2 are very popular, but there are lots of other events to get involved in, such as Call of Duty, Hearthstone, and Overwatch.


Virtual Sports

As a sports fan, you’ll know that you just can’t get enough. When the season ends, you’re already counting down the days to the next event. Sports betting is the same, which is why many bookies offer virtual sports betting.

This form of betting allows you to place wagers on computer-generated leagues and matches. It covers sports like horse racing, soccer, baseball, and hockey. The games are set up by the bookmaker, and the algorithm generates the outcome. This means you can bet at any time of the day. The bookies offer odds, profiles, and histories created for betting purposes.


Politics And Entertainment Bets

Sports betting sites in South Africa commonly feature markets that aren’t sports-related. These operators usually focus on two topics. The politics bets look at upcoming elections, including bets on individuals and the parties that you think will win.

You’ll also see entertainment bets. These will feature award shows like the Oscars and the Grammys. They also focus on reality TV shows like X-Factor, Survivor, The Voice, Big Brother, and Eurovision. Within this category, you might find other miscellaneous markets, including the Nobel Peace Prize winners and the likelihood of humans landing on Mars.


South Africa Betting Tips

Sports betting in South Africa is generally straightforward and fun. However, there are a few tips and tricks to help you make the most out of your experience.


Finding the Right Sports Betting Site

The crucial point for any South African bettor is finding a site that caters to South African customers and is licensed in South Africa. This means it should accept payments in ZAR, accept payments from South African banks, and cover the most popular sports.

It’s also essential from a legal point of view. If the bookmaker is licensed in South Africa, it means it’s a legal operation, and the National Gambling Board regulates it. The regulator establishes the security of your winnings and the fairness of the markets.


Payment and Bonuses

The choice of legal South African betting sites is smaller than some other markets, which means that South African bettors need to shop around carefully to find the best bonuses. Some sites are part of a sports betting franchise in South Africa, meaning the deals may look similar.

It’s crucial to check the wagering requirements, as these may be higher when the choice is more limited. Some sites will offer smaller amounts with fewer restrictions, which might be preferable.

To take your winnings and to claim bonuses, you’ll need to comply with FICA, the Financial Intelligence Centre Act. This act prevents money laundering and requires all bookmakers to identify its customers. You’ll need to upload documents, such as proof of ID and something to prove your address (dated within the last three months).


Soccer Betting Tips

In recent years, South African Premier League games have generally been low scoring events. Most strikers average less than 20 goals per season, so betting overs on the score usually isn’t a wise choice.

It’s worth shopping around for the best odds against the favourites. In the Asba Premier League, that includes Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns, Orlando Pirates, and SuperSport United. On the other hand, it’s worth following the Mamelodi Sundowns and looking for good value bets in the African Champions League.


Cricket Betting Tips

Some of the best options for cricket betting on the South Africa national team are one-day internationals, especially when they are playing at home. Against teams like England, South Africa are fairly well matched, which means there might be some good value bets to be found.

If you like picking out the top runs scored, it’s worth looking at Quinton de Kock, or perhaps you want to bet on wickets taken, in which case Lungi Ngidi is your man. There are some excellent options for women’s T20 to look out for too.


Mobile Betting in South Africa

Sports betting from a desktop or laptop is incredibly popular, but you can also enjoy sports betting in South Africa on an app. The top operators give their customers the chance to place bets while on the go.

Hollywoodbets has a mobile-friendly website with a dedicated app. Sportingbet also has a handy app for iOS and Android devices that’s easy to use and has all the features of the desktop site. Betway, a reliable brand with a good choice of markets, also has a dedicated app, which means South African bettors can choose what suits them best.


Tote or Parimutuel Betting in South Africa

Pool bets or parimutuel bets are popular in horse racing sports betting in South Africa. All the bets on one event are pooled into a pot. At the end of the race, the payouts are made from the pool according to the final odds. The odds are determined by how many bets are in the pool.

This means that the odds can change right up until the betting closes. It keeps things exciting, which is why tote bets are so well-liked. Scoop 6 offers bettors the chance to name the winner of every race on a given day. Totes aren’t always the best place to bet, but if you like to go against the crowd, then the size of the pools in South Africa make them a tempting prospect. Read more about pool betting here. 


Sports Betting in South Africa FAQs

Which sports betting site is the best?

The best sports betting site in South Africa is subjective. Any site you choose should meet the requirements of having good customer service, a license from a South African province, a generous bonus, and a decent choice of sports.

However, if you need a particular payment method and want the best odds on rugby, then the best site for you will differ from someone who needs a dedicated app to bet on the go or wants to find niche markets on sports like bandy and handball.

The top 10 sites that we’ve featured are a good place to start to find the best betting site. From there, take a look at your requirements.

How can I bet soccer online in South Africa?

Just about every sports betting website in South Africa features soccer. Once you’ve picked a bookie, start by placing a simple pre-match bet by picking a team to win.

After you’ve got a feel for how it works, it’s worth looking at the in-play betting section. This is one of the most exciting and varied ways to bet on soccer while the games are in progress. You’ll find different markets, such as the next goalscorer, next yellow card, and so on.

What Is The Legal Gambling Age In South Africa?

To participate in gambling inSouth Africa, you need to be 18 years of age.

How do I choose a bookmaker?

You can take a look at the top 10 sites featured in this guide. If there are one or two that appeal to you, take a closer look at the websites. You can check the different sports, see how easy the site is to use, and find out whether the provider accepts your preferred payment method.

Once you narrow down the choice, you can register for an account and make your first deposit. You’ll receive a welcome bonus, which is a fantastic way to get to know what the bookmaker has to offer.

What is a deposit bonus turnover minimum?

Many deposits are awarded as a bonus balance rather than as cash. That’s because they’re meant to be used as free bets rather than to go straight into your pocket. When you receive a bonus, it will have requirements attached to it, which means you have to place a certain number of bets before you can withdraw the funds.

These requirements are called turnover minimums. For example, if you receive a bonus of R1,000, then you’ll need to bet that amount a minimum of 5 times before you can withdraw the winnings.

What Is FICA?

FICA is the Financial Intelligence Centre Act; it was passed to prevent money laundering. It means that the bookmaker has an obligation to formally identify you. The result is that the provider knows who is entering money into an account and who is withdrawing it.

Is my FICA information safe with the bookmaker?

To identify yourself to a bookmaker, you need to send them your ID, such as a passport, and something that proves your address. The bookmaker will then keep their copy of this information on record.

Bookmakers use digital encryption technologies to secure your personal and financial information. In their terms and conditions, it will have a privacy policy that sets out how the provider will manage your data.

How do I calculate betting odds?

Odds in South Africa are usually shown in decimals, although they can sometimes be changed to fractional or American odds. Decimal odds help you to calculate your payout. For example, if you bet R100 and the odds are 6.5 when you win, your payout will be R650, the winnings are R550 with your R100 stake.

Decimal odds of 6.5 as a fraction would be 11/2. That means for every 13 times an event happens, 11 times one outcome will occur, and twice it will go the other way. In a percentage, that’s a 15.38 probability. 2 divided by 13 multiplied by 100.

Why do odds differ from bookmaker to bookmaker?

Bookmakers rely on information and algorithms to create odds. Some bookmakers will change the odds for high profile events based on how the provider thinks the public will bet. The operator also needs to add its margins. All these factors create unique odds at different bookmakers. Sometimes bookmakers will go with the crowd when calculating odds.




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