Best online sports betting sites in South Africa 2023
South Africa is a nation that adores its sport. Rugby union, cricket and football all have massive, devoted followings in the rainbow nation. As a result, millions of South Africans also love sport betting as a great way to get even closer to their favourite action. But what is the best website for sports betting? We’ve compared the sportsbooks that operate in the country and offer online sports betting to identify the ones we believe you should be using.
The 10 best South African betting sites
Sports betting sites to avoid
There are many great sportsbooks to choose from when you want to enjoy online sports betting in South Africa. Sadly, there are some less trustworthy operators who have earned a bad reputation by treating bettors poorly. We recommend you steer clear of these and focus instead on the sports betting sites we’ve identified as the most respectable in South Africa.
Popular online betting sports in South Africa
Bettors have a great deal of choice when it comes to online sport betting in South Africa. As well as a buzzing domestic sporting scene, they can tune into the best sporting action across the world for their betting entertainment.
Horse racing betting is immensely popular in South Africa. Meetings take place regularly at excellent tracks such as Turffontein, Scottsville and Kenilworth, while bettors also take a keen interest in the best racing action from around the world.
Rugby union is followed with a religious fervour by many South African sports fans. As a result, rugby betting is a regular pastime for enthusiasts who enjoy the top-class domestic competitions, as well as following the fortunes of the national side, three-time winners of the Rugby World Cup.
There’s a huge appetite for online soccer betting in South Africa. The 16-team South African Premier Division attracts massive interest, while fans can also bet on the best of the action across the globe in the major leagues in Europe and South America.
Cricket has been one of South Africa’s favourite sports for many decades. Fans have a rich choice of domestic competitions to follow, while the exploits of the national side, one of the world’s best, also ensure that cricket betting is a prominent offering for many sportsbooks.
Some of the greatest players in golf’s history have been South African, and part of their legacy is a widespread enthusiasm for the sport. As well as several top Tour events on South African soil, fans can enjoy online betting on the top golf tournaments in the USA, Europe and elsewhere.
Tennis is one of the world’s most popular sports for betting. There’s a steady diet of high-class action all year round and online betting sites carry odds on every tournament, with the four Grand Slams the highlights of the calendar.
UFC has grown in popularity in a relatively short time to become one of the world’s most watched sports. At the same time, fights in the UFC and other MMA (mixed martial arts) events have attracted plenty of fans to sports betting sites.
Boxing has always attracted a big following in South Africa. That’s not going to change any time soon, and as a result there will always be a high level of online betting on local bouts and big world championship events.
Basketball is one of the leading attractions in the world of sports betting. The worldwide expansion of the NBA has raised the profile of the sport - and South Africa now has its own National League. Fans love to bet on this, as well as the big action from the USA.
Advantages of online betting
Sport betting online has grown so rapidly in recent years that it’s hard to remember a time when it wasn’t an option. With a host of online bookmakers to choose from, there are so many reasons why online sports betting is just great.
- Convenience. You don’t have to go to a licensed betting shop or a racetrack to bet. You don’t even have to leave your chair.
- Flexibility. As long as you have a signal, and money in your account, you can have a bet on your desktop or mobile device wherever you are.
- Choice. The best sports betting websites will have thousands of events and markets in dozens of sports for you to choose from and wager on.
- Offers. Online bookmakers want you to sign up with them, so there are plenty of welcome bonuses available such as free bets and matched deposits.
- In-play. Even when the action is under way, thanks to digital technology you’re still able to bet on races and matches on websites and apps.
Online betting explained: How odds work
The best way to explain odds is that they are an expression of the probability of a particular outcome happening. They also show you how much you will win if you make a successful selection. There are three ways in which online sport betting sites display those odds. Depending on where you are in the world, they will be in one of these formats. They’re all easy to pick up quickly - and the best sports betting websites allow you to switch from one to another.
What are decimal odds?
Decimal odds are popular with sports betting sites in South Africa, Europe and Australasia and are probably the easiest odds format to understand. Simply multiply your stake by the figure presented to see what you will win if your bet is successful. This means that, for instance, if you stake R1 on a rugby team to win at 3.0, your return will be R3. Please note that the odds in this format includes your stake.
What are fractional odds?
Fractional odds are typically used by sports betting sites in the UK and Ireland and are a traditional way of showing the price of a contender in an event - and how much you’ll win if you bet on them. The number to the right of the slash equates to your stake, while the number to the left shows how much you should multiply that by to work out your return. So if a horse is at 8/1, for every R1 you stake you will get back R8 - plus your stake.
What are moneyline odds?
Moneyline odds are also known as American odds, because they are the choice of sports betting sites and bettors in the USA and Canada. The figure to keep in mind here is $100. An outsider will have a plus sign before its odds and the amount displayed is the figure you will win for a $100 bet - as well as your stake return. A favourite, meanwhile, will have a minus sign before its odds and the amount shown is how much you have to place to win $100.
Types of sports betting: Markets and bets explained
The best websites for sports betting offer you a broad selection of ways in which you can enjoy a wager on your favourite sports. There’s a great variety of markets on offer - and there are also several different types of bet you can use when you want to get closer to the action.
- Single bet
- Each-way bet
This is the most uncomplicated bet you can place when you are taking part in online sports betting. Simply decide which person or team you think will win a match or event, or which horse will win a race. Then decide how much you want to stake. If you call it correctly, you will collect a winning return for your bet. It really is as straightforward as that.
- Match odds
- Over and under
- In-play betting
This is one of the easiest markets to understand when you want to enjoy some sport betting online. You will see a list of odds about all the contenders in a field - such as a horse race or a golf tournament - and you simply have to select which one you think will win. If the field is particularly large, you may wish to place an each-way bet - check out how many places will be covered by this option.
How to calculate your winnings from a wager
The more time you devote to sport betting online, the quicker you will become at working out what your winnings from a bet will be. This simple guide will take you through the method for calculating the return from a single bet - and we’ll show you how a double works too.
Let’s assume you stake R10 on a single win bet at odds of 3.0. That means, for every R1 you put down, you win R3. So in this instance, your return will be ten times the winnings for a R1 bet - which means you will collect R30.
Now let’s add a second selection into the equation, which has odds of 4.0. First you calculate the return from your first bet of R10 at odds of 3.0, which is R30. That sum is now rolled over on to your second selection. If you multiply your R30 stake by the odds of 4.0, you arrive at a total return for your double of R120.
Popular sports leagues to bet on in South Africa
People who enjoy sports betting in South Africa have a fantastic array of leagues, events and competitions to wager on. The nation has a huge passion for sport, so there is plenty going on locally. However, online betting sites in South Africa enable customers to bet on the best action in a wide variety of sports from around the world.
English Premier League (soccer)
The EPL is the most popular domestic football league in the world and therefore Premier League betting is a great option. The league is known for its non-stop action, historic rivalries and the passion with which fans pack stadiums to show their devotion to their chosen team. Millions in South Africa follow the fortunes of its most famous clubs such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.
The Rugby Championship (rugby union)
South African rugby fans follow the fortunes of their national side with intense interest. Not least in the annual championship that pits the Springboks against the other elite rugby powers of the Southern Hemisphere. There are plenty of ways in which supporters can place a bet on the keenly-fought clashes with New Zealand, Australia and Argentina.
Currie Cup (rugby union)
The appetite for top-class rugby union in South Africa is insatiable, and the Currie Cup is the highest level of competition in the sport here. The top provincial sides go head-to-head each winter and spring to battle for supremacy, and the result is that this is one of the most popular events for sports betting.
South African Premier Division (soccer)
The beautiful game’s popularity in South Africa has grown rapidly in recent decades, boosted by the nation’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2010. With 16 teams playing to a high standard, the South African Premier Division is a top-quality competition that generates huge interest among fans and football betting enthusiasts alike. It’s been dominated in recent seasons by Pretoria-based 10-time winners Mamelodi Sundowns.
Turffontein, Kenilworth, Scottsville and Greyville (horse racing)
Horse racing in South Africa has been a popular sport for more than 200 years. Action from tracks around the country is followed closely by bettors at home - and in many other nations across the world. The best quality action is staged at four Group 1 tracks - Turffontein, Kenilworth, Scottsville and Greyville - which are familiar names to racing enthusiasts around the globe.
International Test series (Cricket)
South Africa has a proud heritage of producing world-class players who stand comparison with the elite stars of any rival nation. Players like Graeme Pollock, Jacques Kallis and Quinton de Kock are household names around the world. Test cricket is seen as the highest form of the game, with matches lasting five days. When South Africa play against other leading nations, the level of interest in cricket betting, is incredibly high.
Tennis grand slams
The undoubted highlights of the tennis calendar are the four Grand Slam tournaments. The Australian Open takes place in January, the French Open in May/June, Wimbledon in June/July and the US Open in August/September. Both the Australian and US Opens are played on hard courts, with the French Open played on clay and Wimbledon on grass. Johan Kriek is the only South African to win a grand slam, claiming the Australian Open in both 1981 and 1982, although Kevin Anderson has reached the finals of Wimbledon and the US Open in more recent years.
SuperSport Rugby Challenge (Rugby Union)
The enthusiasm for rugby union among South African sport lovers extends to the SuperSport Rugby Challenge, the second most prestigious domestic competition in the country. Online betting sites in South Africa carry a wide variety of markets as 14 provinces, plus one team each from Namibia and Zimbabwe, play in two sections followed by a final knock-out tournament.
Legendary names from the history of golf including Gary Player and Ernie Els demonstrate that this sport has long been extremely popular in South Africa. Interest reaches its peak when there is a big event on home soil, or if it’s time for the four annual majors. These are the Masters (held in Augusta each April) , the PGA Championship (held in various USA locations each May), the US Open (held in various USA locations each June) and the Open Championship (held in various UK locations each July).
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has quickly gained a huge worldwide following since it was launched in 1993. It has mushroomed from its spiritual home in Las Vegas and its regular fight nights are now held in venues around the world. Sports betting sites carry a wide range of markets on UFC events, as well as in South Africa’s top mixed martial arts championship, the EFC.
Africa Cup of Nations (soccer)
The finest national teams in Africa meet every two years to battle it out for the continent’s leading international prize. South Africa, where soccer is such a popular sport, have won the cup only once, in 1996, but there is always enormous interest in matches in the finals and betting on the games is common.
Basketball National League
Basketball is one of the most popular spectator sports, and it has grown steadily in South Africa in recent decades. The Basketball National League is the top level of the sport here, with 10 teams who showcase the best talent the nation has to offer. Online sport betting sites carry markets on matches in the tournament each season.
The most prestigious league in the world of basketball is undoubtedly the NBA. Its global following began to grow in the 1990s, driven by Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls and the exploits of the USA’s Dream Team at the Olympics. Interest has stayed high and matches in the regular season and the annual playoffs generate significant interest for online betting sites in South Africa.
What sports can I bet on?
Online betting sites in South Africa carry odds on many sports, especially the following:
- Rugby Union
- Horse Racing
Sports betting tips
Sport betting is supposed to be a fun and enjoyable activity, bringing excitement to your spare time. There are a few simple guidelines you can follow to make sure you get the best out of betting on sport
Do your homework
Stick to the sports you know most about and research your bets. The more time you put into studying the form and finding out as much as you can about the contenders in any event, the better your results will be. And let’s face it, everybody enjoys being a winner.
Only bet what you can afford
Decide on an amount you can safely afford to lose each week or month, and stick to it. That way, if you do lose it won’t hurt - and if you win it will feel like a bonus. If you do have a run of losing bets, don’t chase your losses by raising your stakes to get them back. That doesn’t work.
You don’t have to do all your online sports betting with the same betting site. Look around to see where the most compelling offers are, and which operators are offering the best odds on a particular market or event
If you find you aren’t enjoying your experience of betting, it’s perfectly OK to take a break and not have a bet at all until you feel ready to resume life as a bettor. If you feel you have a problem with gambling, there are bodies like the South African Responsible Gambling Foundation who can help you.
Best sports to bet on in Africa
As well as all the great events taking place around the world, there is plenty of action in Africa that is entertaining to watch and that makes sport betting online fun. You can find top-quality rugby union, cricket, soccer, horse racing, golf and a host of other events across the continent.
We live in the digital age, and online betting sites have worked hard to stay at the cutting edge of trends driven by new technology. That’s why most modern sportsbooks now have excellent mobile apps that make it possible for you to keep up with the sports betting action wherever you are. Whether you have an iPhone, an Android device or a tablet, you can enjoy the benefits and flexibility of mobile betting either by downloading apps or visiting sports betting sites in-browser.
South African online betting facts
South Africa is a nation with a deep love for sport - so, naturally, there is an appetite for betting on it. Here are some facts you may not know about online sports betting in South Africa.
As of 2020, it is estimated that South Africans spend around 13 billion UDS a year at betting venues.
The Gross Gambling Revenues of all betting activities in South Africa was on target to grow from R26billion in 2015 to over R34billion in 2020.
Four World Cups?
If you believe South Africa can win the Rugby World Cup for an amazing fourth time at the next tournament in 2023, you can back them already at odds of up to 7.0
One in 10
It is estimated that one in 10 South Africans bet regularly. Nearly three quarters of the annual gambling turnover is at casinos, with sports betting in second place.
How our team reviews the best betting sites
We take the task of reviewing the best betting sites very seriously. Our team of experts put in plenty of hours to help you find the top places to enjoy online sport betting - and there are plenty of factors we take into account.
Sports, markets and bet Types
The best websites for sports betting offer customers a tremendous amount of choice. You will find a range of sports to choose from, numerous markets on the events and a rich variety of bets you can place on the sporting action.
Bonuses & promotions
We think sports betting sites should work hard to gain your loyalty - and one of the best ways to do this is to offer genuinely attractive and valuable welcome bonuses, free bets and regular promotions for new and existing customers.
This is important. Do you have a choice of methods when you want to make a deposit into your betting account? We also find out how easy and quick it is to get your money out when you decide to make a withdrawal from your account.
Security & customer support
This is even more important. When you take part in online sports betting, you want to do so safe in the knowledge that your money and your personal data are safe from criminals. You also want to be sure there is support on hand to help if you have a query or issue.
Competitive odds and additional features
The top online bookmakers add value to your user experience by having the most competitive odds on offer. This is essential in an age when people can shop around to find the best odds. Similarly, extra features such as form guides and expert blogs can enhance your online betting experience.
Most modern bettors want the convenience of being able to assess a market and place a bet online wherever they are. It’s essential that sportsbooks offer an app that works well and gives people a great user experience when they’re looking to enjoy a wager on the go.
Tax on sports betting in South Africa
There is, effectively, no tax on sports betting in South Africa. The South African Revenue Service does not tax gamblers who bet purely for entertainment - which is the overwhelming majority of people who enjoy online sports betting. However, if you are an organised and successful betting operation, and your profits from gambling could be considered a regular source of income, SARS will be on your trail for a percentage. The legal position is that if you bet and win regularly, it’s your profession rather than a leisure activity.
Best South African sports betting sites 2023
Once you’ve placed a wager at a sports betting site, ideally you want to see how your selection gets on. The good news is that some online betting sites in South Africa offer live streaming so you can watch live pictures of the event in question. Check out your chosen betting site to see which events are available for live streaming - you will usually need to have a bet to qualify to watch.
Online betting FAQ
Do I pay taxes on sports betting?
No, provided you are betting purely for your own entertainment. However, the South African tax authorities would come after you if betting becomes your livelihood and main source of income.
Which betting sites give bonuses?
All good sportsbooks these days offer bonuses. These are often targeted at new customers to encourage them to sign up - but existing clients can be in line for special offers and promotions too.
Is it safe to bet online?
Yes it is - provided you join the right sportsbook. The security of customers’ money and personal data should be absolutely top priority for all bookmakers. This is one of the most important criteria by which we judge which are the best sports betting websites.
What is a sportsbook bet?
A wager on an event on which a sportsbook is offering markets and prices. This can take many forms - win, each-way, over/under, accumulator - and on a wide variety of markets and events.
Do African bettors pay tax on sports bet winnings?
No, as long as you are only betting for your own enjoyment as a leisure activity. If you bet on a regular basis and make a significant profit, the South African tax authorities might decide that you are making a living from betting – and tax you accordingly.
What to look for when choosing a bookmaker?
Security, bonuses and betting markets are chief among the many criteria for deciding which is the right online betting site for you. Always choose a licensed operator with a good reputation. You should also look for an excellent user experience on its website or app, plus a wide variety of betting markets and events on offer. See our list of the 10 best South African betting sites at the top of this page for your best options.
Will betting sites work on a smartphone?
Yes, they will. Most sportsbooks now have their own mobile app, and they invest considerable time and money to make sure the sport betting experience for people who bet through their device is good. You should find an app that works for you so that you can bet wherever you have a signal.
Which betting sites give bonuses on registration?
Most betting sites do. Shop around to find the right welcome bonus for you. This can be in the form of a free bet, a matched or enhanced deposit or another promotion that makes the sportsbook in question attractive to you.
What sports can I bet on?
Almost all major sports. Most online betting sites offer a wide variety of the best sporting action to be found in across the globe. The most popular sports with bettors in South Africa are rugby union, cricket and soccer, reflecting the appetite of the people of the nation for watching them with passion and dedication.
The brand logos featured on this page are for illustration purposes only and there is no association between any of these brands and casino.org.