The Popularity of Sports Betting in South Africa and Legal Situation

These days, sports betting has become less of a taboo subject. It’s now a common activity that more and more people from around the world are showing interest in it. Some of the countries that are known to bet the most are China, the United Kingdom, India, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Nigeria. Some of the most wagered on sports are football, cricket, and rugby. This is also true for South Africa.

It’s not surprising that sports betting is gaining some traction in the South African region. After all, sports betting is completely legal here. This includes horse racing too. Today, it is estimated that there are over 300 sportsbooks and 400 betting shops that are operating throughout this part of the continent.

With legal online betting sites in South Africa, it’s no wonder why people won’t hesitate to place bets on their favorite sports. As long as the sportsbook is licensed by the National Gaming Board (NGB), people are free to place their bets both offline and online.

How Sports Betting is Doing in South Africa

Online gambling sites have been around since 1996 and South Africa didn’t take long to decide that there should be regulations in place. The 1996 Act is based on a 1994 report on gambling that’s titled the Wiehan Commission reports. This law states that gambling activities like the lottery and sports betting are allowed. However, the local operations of casino games including poker are prohibited.

The 2004 Act also plays a role in regulating the allowed gambling operations in the country. Based on this law, only online gambling operators licensed by authorized bodies in different parts of South Africa can offer their services to the locals.

South Africa has a total of nine provinces and each of these has authorized bodies that can issue gaming or gambling licenses to operators. Of course, certain requirements are to be followed. This is important because a license is only given to qualified businesses that have the best interest of the consumers.

Since 2016, the local gambling revenues have been doing well. Before this year, South Africa had a struggling betting market because of the economic situation. However, this changed in 2016 when the Gross Gaming Revenues (GGRs) increased by 14.3 percent. Aside from sports betting, the lottery has also gained more sales.

It is estimated that the current GGR of South Africa is valued at R35 billion which is a big increase from 2016’s R27 billion. The increase is mainly thanks to how easier it is to access sportsbooks nowadays. Thanks to the internet, people can easily place their bets even on multiple bookies. Convenience is surely one of the reasons why people are more interested in gambling.

Today, some of the most popular betting sites in the country are 1xBet, Ladbrokes, Betway, Hollywoodbets, Gbets, Bet., World Sports Betting, Sportingbet, Sunbet, and Supabets.
While sports betting is already a popular activity in the country, some people wish to have no access to it or other gambling activities. People may have different reasons why but commonly, this is because they want to avoid having gambling-related problems.
This is why self-exclusion is an option in South Africa. According to NGB, here’s what you should do if you’re interested in self-exclusion:
“To be excluded from gambling, you, the punter, can approach the casino operator or Provincial Gambling Board to assist you in having yourself voluntary/self-excluded. Once this is done, your particulars will be circulated to all other licensed venues to prevent you from gambling. Third-party exclusions can also be done by making use of the courts to have a person whom you are financially reliant to excluded should he or she have a gambling problem.
“Once excluded, the onus remains with the excluded person to stay away from the venues. The exclusion remains a contract between the excluded punter and the operator. If a punter is found in the gambling premises, he/she will be charged with trespassing and may be arrested.”


With the rise of sports betting in the country, more bookies and operators will likely show interest in offering their services to the locals. We might also see gambling operators that are already licensed to expand their businesses throughout the country. The bottom line is that the industry is set to continue to grow in the coming years. So far, nothing seems to be getting in its way which is a good thing for many sports betting and lottery fans.


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