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South African Online Sports Betting Laws

There is an important distinction to make when having this discussion.  In terms of the situation in South Africa, ‘sports betting’ and ‘gambling’ are two distinct activities.  Although ‘sports betting’ or ‘bookmaking’ is a type of gambling, sports betting is a completely legal form betting.  Confusion may arise for some because online gambling is restricted when referring to casino-type games like blackjack, baccarat, craps, online slots, poker and bingo games.  

There have been various Acts passed in South Africa to prohibit interactive online gambling games.  Of late, in August 2010, online gambling offered through servers located outside the country was banned in South Africa. This was the result of the North Gauteng High Court judgement on the jurisdiction of online gambling transactions in the country. Consequently, both offering gambling services online and gambling online became illegal. Also, South African Banks and credit cards are no longer allowed to directly process transactions to online gambling companies.  This however has not stopped online gamblers from using other intermediary banking methods that avoid this manner of prohibitive legislation.

The only exceptions to the gambling ban are province-licensed horse racing and online sports betting. Casino sites, individuals, internet service providers and banks that process payments for online gamblers are subject to a fine of 10 million Rand or 10 years of imprisonment, or both. Mass media channels that transmit or facilitate advertisement of online gambling services are also subject to penalties.

So, the bottom line is that in South Africa, online sports betting (and horse race betting) is legal with any provider of your choice and many of the best brands in the world provide service to South Africans, two of which also provide rand betting accounts.

How the list was constructed:

As you can see from my list, several of the biggest names that you might recognise that advertise alongside popular sports for South Africans are not listed.  Unlike other sites, I am not interested in simply trading on a brand that you know if it is not actually a good choice for you as a South African bettor.  I want you to play with the sportsbooks that I truly believe are the best for the South African bettor.

My list only includes sites that have satisfied the following criteria:


The best sports betting sites for players in South Africa

Unibet, headquartered in Sweden, provides some incredibly deep coverage of all sports including those that could be considered niche sports.  This also means there is vast coverage of the sports South Africans tend to love most - rugby, cricket and soccer.    Read the Unibet South Africa review.

Go! Go!

888Sport’s parent company has been online since 1997 and are listed on the LSE.  They have likely the most extensive array of banking methods and a wide array of betting markets for all sports including multiple handicap lines.  Read the 888Sport South Africa review

Go!

Pinnacle Sports operates as a reduced-juice sportsbook.  This means they rarely advertise do not offer a sign-up bonus. The savings is passed back to bettors with consistently higher paying odds on all sports, not just football.  A favourite of high-stakes bettors. Read the Pinnacle Sports South Africa review.

Go!

BetVictor has has been in business since 1946.  Known around the world for the most competitive football odds, BetVictor also covers cricket and rugby comprehensively with every competition available for wagering, and a vast array of betting markets.   Read the full BetVictor South Africa review here.

ZAR

Legal South African Betting Sites