The South African gambling industry is big business. The country has the third-highest GDP in Africa and it’s a hotbed for sports betting. Put those two together and you have the biggest sports betting market on the continent.
In this quickfire guide, we’ll give you an overview of everything you need to know if you want to join this burgeoning market. Sports betting is always fun, but it really pays to know the basics before getting started.
The History of Sports Gambling in SA
Sports betting has a long history in South Africa. The short of it is, people love it. But for a long time, it operated under a black market due to government restrictions. In 2004, however, the National Gambling Board was introduced, which served to license a wide range of betting options.
In 2022, sports betting is 100% legal. The catch? The provider must have a license, be a South African company, and the servers must also be housed in the country. If these boxes are not ticked, it’s a black market game.
How to Pick a Betting Company
To maximize your chances of winning when it comes to sports betting, it pays to take advantage of the many welcome offers available. With gambling being so popular, providers fight for your custom by giving juicy bonuses and free bets.
The problem is that this also means there is loads of choice. Analysis paralysis is a real thing. How do you know which one to pick? Not all sports betting sites are created equal, and some are not exactly trustworthy.
The best thing to do is to find reliable review or compilation sites that do the heavy lifting for you. Instead of having to sift through hundreds of results on Google, you can simply go through a vetted list. For South Africans, onlinegamblingsa.co.za is a solid option, with some of the country’s most popular betting sites on offer, but there are others of a similar kind.
The main thing you want to make sure of is that you are putting your money with a licensed operator. This not only means that your money will be completely safe, but that you’re also operating under a legal umbrella. Considering there are plenty of options out there, there is no point in trying to circumvent the law.
Why Betting Online is the Superior Option
With land-based bookies still taking a huge chunk of the revenue, it’s clear that online options are expanding quickly. If you want to bet on sports in South Africa, online is your best bet. Here’s why:
- Convenience. It’s clear, betting online is far easier. Instead of having to go to your local bookie, you can bet without even having to get out of bed (not that we’re recommending this!).
- Data analysis is much easier from the comfort of your own laptop. You can make informed choices far more easily when betting online, compared to a busy bookie.
- Offers are far more generous due to the lower overheads and increased competition. Companies will literally give you free bets just to sign up with them. Take advantage of this!
- Free matches are played using the company’s in-house channel. You can watch a lot of football, rugby, cricket, and many other sports from the betting app itself.
Be Careful of Boosters and Promotions
When you see a promotion on a particular game or event, be careful. Even though the odds are boosted in your favour, they’re not always a good deal. We’re not trying to be negative here, but we do want you to be aware.
You need to be mindful of whether these boosted or promoted bets are worth doing. If you wouldn’t place the bet under normal odds, why would you put your money down just because the odds are a wee bit better?
The key is making sure you approach these promotions within an analytical framework. If you calculate that it’s a decent bet based on the data, go for it. Or, if you’re just betting for fun, why not, put a fiver down on Kane winning the Golden Boot again and England finally winning it all?
Take the Usual Precautions
We’ll leave you with this: there is nothing particularly unique about betting on sports in South Africa. As long as you find a decent list of providers (as we’ve explained earlier in the article), you need to simply follow the basic rules of sports betting.
For instance, manage your bankroll effectively. Don’t just fritter your cash away.
If a welcome offer seems too good to be true, it’s due diligence time. Check whether the provider is legit before signing up. There are plenty of great offers out there that do pass the sniff test. If you notice you’re starting to spend money you can’t afford to lose, come back to fight another day. There’s always a new event you can put your money on tomorrow.
Just remember to have fun with it. Betting on sports adds a whole new layer to watching a match, and as long as you don’t put your house on the result, it’s a great way to add some entertainment value.