South Africa Has Regulated and Legalized Sports Betting

South Africa is a land in which sport is held in the highest regard. They love it, and they are so good in some of them. Their favourite sports are most definitely football, rugby, and cricket. Something that stuck with them since the early British colonial era.

Even though sanctions due to apartheid prevented sportsmen from this country compete internationally until 1992, people were keeping their love for the sport alive. And it is only natural that with interest in sports, sports betting operators found their customers.

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Luckily sports betting in Africa is legal and available through regulated and verified providers. In that way, people can have fun and be safe while betting.

The Popularity of Sports Betting in South Africa

As everywhere in the world gambling industry thrived in recent years due to numerous factors, such as the coronavirus pandemic, easier online payments, and technological improvements. Players are looking for the best betting sites in South Africa and their demands are met on sites like Research results are showing us that the gambling community is growing in South Africa, with a specific preference. Nearly half of the gambling market is dedicated to online sports betting, precisely 45 percent of all South African bets. It took the primary role from online casino classics, which claimed 80 percent of the market, but sports betting is clearly on the rise.

History of Gambling in South Africa

During the history of the country, there have been various degrees of regulation for gambling in general in the South Africa. Gambling, including all forms of sports betting, has been forbidden in the nation since its founding in 1673. These regulations persisted up until 1965 when South Africa’s first authorized gambling activity – horse race betting – came into existence. Casinos began to appear in the late 1970s. Due to their inaccessibility to all parts of the population, nearly 2000 illegal casinos were operating until the middle of 1990.

Gambling Regulation in South Africa in the Recent Years

Gambling was made legitimate in South Africa after a new democratic administration assumed office there in 1994, though with some restrictions. Although more casinos were opening up all over South Africa, the country never really embraced regulated sports betting. As a result, South Africa lacks any actual sportsbooks, leaving only online wagering as a way of legal betting. When placing wagers online, however, you need to do so through a state-sponsored, properly accredited website. In contrast to the United States and the majority of other nations, South Africa expressly forbids its people from betting at unlicensed online sportsbooks.

Is Sports Betting Now Legal in South Africa?

Sports betting is allowed in South Africa, among many other fascinating stuff about this country. Gambling activities on sports like football, cricket, rugby, and many others are offered by a large number of registered bookmakers. Sports betting makes it possible for bettors to wager on both sporting activities and horse racing via an identical bookmaker. In a rich offer by the local sportsbooks, it seems that betting on European football is the most attractive thing for players. Now it is perfectly legal and safe for players to have fun while betting on sports in South Africa.

Laws That Permit Sports Betting in South Africa

The National Gambling Act of 2004 governs betting in South Africa. The Act contains provisions that expressly forbid internet betting and applies to all forms of gambling. The Act does, however, allow bookmakers to apply for licenses and provide legitimate internet sports betting services by doing so. Despite being released in 2008, the National Gambling Amendment Act has not yet gone into effect. This Act will legalize a broader range of Internet gambling operations if it is approved. The Act hasn’t been passed, though, due to opposition from the South African casino business. A business must obtain a permit from any of South Africa’s nine regional wagering and racing bodies to provide an online sports betting service.

Regulations for Sports Betting in South Africa Regarding Operators and Players

It is against the law for South African residents to use unauthorized betting sites, such as offshore bookmakers who lack South African permits. Gambling laws in numerous nations that control internet betting tend to focus more on betting companies than individual gamblers. But South African gaming regulations target both players and suppliers. South Africans that place bets at unauthorized bookmakers or participate in other unlawful internet gambling operations run the risk of having their money seized and being prosecuted.

What Are the Most Popular Sports for Sports Betting in South Africa?

Every market has its preferences, and such is the case with South Africa as well. Players from this country love certain sports a little bit more than others. That is no surprise, as their teams are representing the country excellently in some sports. Those teams are Springboks which is the nickname for the South African rugby team and Bafana Bafana, the nickname for the national football team. There are a lot of offers for the ABSA Premiership and Super Rugby due to that. As we already mentioned, players love European football, probably because a lot of Africans play for those teams. They also bet on American competitions such as NBA, NFL, and others.


Bettors all over the world continue to show interest in sports wagering. Regulating these activities is crucial for keeping them in control. While this behavior is entirely outlawed in some nations, it is partially legalized in others. South Africa is among the countries that saw the potential in enforcing a clear set of rules and laws for this type of gambling, and reap the benefits of that decision. Players just have to make sure they are placing their bets at authorized operators, and they can enjoy their predictions in their favourite matches. One thing is certain, though: the appeal of sports betting will only increase.

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