Ready to sink your teeth into some South Africa betting sites? On this page, you’ll find pretty much everything you need to know before you get started.
Now, betting sites in SA of course come in hundreds of different shapes and sizes – so perhaps the most important thing to wrap your head around first is what features tend to be most common among the best ones. On the surface, you should look out for a legit government gaming license and fair odds, but what else…?
It’s estimated that around one in every 10 South Africans enjoys the odd bout of sports betting or casino gaming at least occasionally – but are such activities actually deemed legal in SA?
You bet they are. Old-school, land-based gambling activities were first legalised in 1996 with the National Gambling Act. The industry was then greatly expanded thanks to the National Gambling Policy Council in 2004.
Nowadays, there are nine Provincial Licensing Authorities (PLAs) dishing out licenses to traditional brick-and-mortar betting shops across SA, but ever since the pandemic times, an increasing number of Rainbow Nation residents have been eyeing up online betting sites as a more accessible, flexible alternative. And we don’t blame them – because online betting is amazing fun, right?
In 2014, the Remote Gambling Bill, intended to legalise online casinos, initially fell through. More recently, however, online betting sites have been legalised and the National Gambling Board South Africa (NGB) has started regulating the iGaming sector very closely.
Today, all betting sites in South Africa absolutely must hold a government or NGB license to be deemed legit. From a bettor’s standpoint, you should only ever play with properly licensed sites, and you’ll need to be aged 18 or over before you can legally place any bets from within ZA. Got that?
As you can clearly see, online gambling in South Africa has come a pretty long way in recent years. Right now, South Africans have a bunch of different options to choose from when it comes to reliable, trusted betting sites, but some sites of course have a better rep than others. A few player favourites right now, include:
Odds are everything in the sports betting game, right? So, it’s a good thing that Playabet keep theirs ultra-competitive across a bunch of big mainstream markets, from Premier League soccer to tennis, rugby and even e-sports.
Their platform is a cinch to use, too, and packed full of fantastic features that are seldom seen elsewhere, including a “Quick Bet” feature that allows you to select a completely random sports event from any country happening today, and then drop a one-click cheeky bet. Odds-boosters are frequently offered at the last-minute on anything from basketball to cricket here, too, and the operator offers a 20% deposit bonus to all players weekly. Good stuff, huh?
Getting your hands on a bumper bonus is a great way to set yourself off to a good start with a new betting site. Perhaps even the best way. So, you’ll no doubt be happy to hear that Hollywoodbets is currently offering all newbies an R25 sign-up bonus, which comes with 50 free spins on Habanero, one of the operator’s most popular casino slots, thrown in as an added extra.
But of course, Hollywoodbets is ultimately an online sportsbook, which means their bonuses can often go down on horse racing odds, rugby fixtures, and more, too. And of course, this isn’t the only bonus you’re going to find here. In fact, we’ve previously seen these guys advertising free bets on all sports markets with minimum odds of 1.5 – though this once-great offer doesn’t appear to be up for grabs currently. Nevertheless, we’re big fans of Hollywoodbets’ live betting software, too, which is silky-smooth and a bit more beginner-friendly than what you might find elsewhere.
Supabets is another killer online sportsbook offering a bunch of unique features you’ll struggle to find elsewhere. A few highlights include direct, in-play betting odds and the ability to live-stream sports events and watch the action unfold as you wager – something you can initiate incredibly easily with just the click of a button or two.
Their easy-to-navigate website is packed full of quick links to anything you could ever possibly need, and we love the way all the latest odds are organised under simple, one-click headings here, as opposed to cluttered together on one single, endlessly scrollable page. You’ll find a whole bunch of niche markets represented, too, from cycling to motorcycle racing and more.
This is a real easy one. You can register with any of the operators above – or any other popular sportsbook sites for that matter – by following these fairly basic, and generally quite universal steps:
With several popular sites out there and a bewildering range of betting options offered by some of the biggest operators, we totally get that comparing sportsbooks isn’t exactly straightforward. That said, you can cut through the noise once you’re familiar with what you ought to be looking out for. The most important features to try and pin down, are:
As we said earlier, odds are everything. The easiest way to double-check whether an operator in your crosshairs is competitive is to simply compare their odds on your favourite upcoming sport events with whatever competitors are offering on those very same games. This is sports betting 101, guys.
Most lists of the top 10 betting sites in South Africa will single-out which operators are best for betting on specific sports. Ideally, most of you are probably going to want a site that offers access to a ton of different markets rather than just one – so keep this in mind when you’re clicking around a site’s game pages.
What do the operators mentioned in our mini-reviews above have in common? Generally, they offer much-coveted features and special odds-boosters of the kind that can be difficult to locate elsewhere. Unique features are what make a good sportsbook really stand out from the crowd.
The best betting sites in SA treat bettors well. And by this, we mean they offer regular free bet bonuses and “risk-free” betting offers to keep you guys endlessly entertained. Curious? You can check out our detailed bonus reviews to learn more about which operators are currently offering the very best promos in South Africa.
Now generally, these tend to be virtually identical to South Africa betting sites, with the obvious difference being that they come in a downloadable app-based format. The best apps should really offer the following functionality and features:
Not all betting apps will let you place bets midway through the action, but the best ones certainly will. Now, if you’re going to be playing from your smartphone, being able to drop live bets is a seriously fun feature to have at your fingertips. Bonus points go out to any apps that’s actually let you live-stream games from your phone to boot.
Much like how the top South Africa betting sites ought to be user-friendly, functionality is equally essential when it comes to app-based gaming. Look for apps that are not only compatible with your device, but allow you to perform basic functions painlessly, such as editing your betting slips with a quick click or swipe, for example.
Now this feature’s a little rarer to find, but some popular betting apps will reserve exclusive promotions and free bet offers for South Africans who sign up via apps as opposed to on regular desktop sites. So, always keep your ear to the ground on this one. Top tip: the best offers are usually promoted on operators’ social media accounts, so be sure to give your favourites a follow.
Phew. We got through a lot there, right? Well, here’s a refresher on the top things you really ought to take away from this guide. First up, it’s mandatory to bet only with government-licensed online sportsbooks if you want to be on the right side of the law. Second, securing a site that’s going to offer you fair and competitive odds is an absolute must. And finally? Well, we’d suggest opting for operators that offer nicely balanced market coverage, too.
Playabet, Hollywoodbets and Supabet are three standout betting sites that tick these all-important boxes. They also each offer some of the best gambling apps in South Africa right now if you’re the kind of bettor who prefers to play from your smartphone. Whichever platform you choose, we’re all but certain you’ll have an amazing time.
You’ll find a massive variety of bonuses waiting for you at South Africa’s best betting sites. Operators like Hollywoodbets and Playabets routinely advertise epic free bet bonuses, so you should definitely check out those two. We’d also recommend weighing up operators’ bonus offers alongside one another using our latest casino bonus comparisons.
There are a ton of trusted betting apps out there, many of which you can download onto either iOS or Android devices. Here at TheGruelingTruth, we offer detailed comparisons, guides, and reviews scrutinising the top-ranking betting apps in the region. Check out our content today to find the ideal sports betting app for you.
You can legally bet at both online sportsbooks and online casinos in South Africa, so long as the operator you’re playing with holds a government license. Have a read through our latest iGaming guides to discover everything you need to know about ZA online casinos today.
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
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