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Best Gambling Sites for South Africa — WGL
The World Gambling List ZA is your one-stop shop for everything to do with online gambling in South Africa, including an independent review, analysis, tips and news service. We aim to be your ears and eyes, whether you are at the GrandWest Casino in Cape Town or the Turffontein Racecourse in Johannesburg, or even learning about casino games or real money gambling sites. We will help you thrive when entering the online gambling world.
Online gambling South Africa
The best online gambling sites in South Africa are based offshore, although the government has shown a willingness to regulate some forms of online casino games. These include live staples such as blackjack, roulette and baccarat, with licensed betting operators now allowed to offer these real money games.
Despite these restrictions on real money gambling in South Africa, it is still possible to do all forms of gambling online in 2023. You just have to do it at online gambling sites based in places such as the United Kingdom, Malta, Curacao and Gibraltar. These gambling sites cater extensively to the South African market and to the Rand, including ZAR-friendly sign-up bonus offers and promo codes.
Despite the South African government not fully embracing online gambling, the country has a unique history in iGaming, with the world’s biggest iGaming software company founded by Durban entrepreneur Martin Moshal in 1994. Microgaming is a market leader in online slots and live games and is based in iGaming hotspot Isle of Man these days.
While most forms of online gambling are technically illegal in South Africa, the enforcement of the laws largely comes down to the banks blocking payments. For a while it just led to a boom in players using alternative payment methods to credit and debit cards, with services such as Neteller, Skrill and ecoBanq commonplace in South Africa. Many of the top South African gambling sites also accept various cryptocurrencies, but these companies are usually licensed in Curacao, rather than like the more reputable brands in the UK and Malta.
As the iGaming industry in South Africa continues to grow and more regulation is brought in to manage it, we expect many of the leading online gambling sites to legally enter the market. We have already seen this, with brands like Betway, Sportingbet and Betfred either in or in negotiations to enter the regulated sports betting scene.
At the moment, massive gambling companies such as William Hill, 888Sport and Bet365 accept sign-ups to their casinos, but do not allow South Africans to use their sports betting products. The World Gambling List only promotes South African-licensed betting sites and casinos to our readers.
Top gambling sites in South Africa
Naming the top gambling sites in South Africa is a bit of a loaded question, because many of the best International online casinos accept players from South Africa. They may not cater to this market specifically though, which can cost players in the long run, with things such as currency conversion fees and no promotions being available just some of the pitfalls of playing at a gambling site that accepts, rather than caters specifically to, South Africa.
The World Gambling List South Africa has a strict policy when it comes to advertising online gambling sites, with the key point being that the online casinos we promote must accommodate ZAR currency and have casino banking methods that support customers in the Rainbow Nation.
The best gambling sites have upwards of 1000 real money games, with these slots and table games made up of titles from various iGaming developers. This means you might find casino giants such as Playtech and NetEnt under the same URL, which means the depth of games has improved dramatically from when it used to be one software provider per operator.
On top of being able to access gambling sites via your computers, casino sites are accessible via smartphones, tablets and pretty much anything with an internet connection and browser. Obviously, the more modern your smartphone or device is, the better experience you will have at SA online gambling sites.
The best online gambling sites for South Africans are likely to change in the near future, with the government in the process of regulating all forms of online wagering. This means we are likely to see a big shake-up and only regulated gambling brands operating in South Africa in the coming years.
Top 10 Legal gambling sites in South Africa
South Africa has legalised online bookmaker gambling available, with these same companies doubling as live gambling sites. The top 10 gambling sites we endorse are:
An exceptionally popular gambling site that has a global presence, Betway.co.za has sports betting, live casino games, lotto betting and Betgames available. Betway also boasts an exceptional instant-play interface, downloadable apps and responsive customer service.
Sitting comfortably on our top 10 gambling sites list for South Africa is Sportingbet.co.za, which has a great reputation. Sportingbet is worth opening a new account with for their horse racing alone, but they also have competitive sports betting, live gambling and lotto betting available. Sportingbet is at the cutting edge of online gambling worldwide and the local branch is no different.
With live gambling available via their Bet Vegas feature, Bet.co.za is a promising online gambling portal. Bet.co.za’s #1 feature is sports betting and they have some great promotions surrounding this, but Lucky Numbers and Betgames are also available. Bet.co.za is definitely a gambling company on the rise and is deserving of a place on our top online gambling operators list.
HollywoodBets might not be as technologically advanced as the other gambling sites on our list, but they do have Ezugi and Evolution live gambling available. HollywoodBets.net also has sports betting, betgames and a low data website, which works on simple phones. HollywoodBets is also a popular retail gambling option through South Africa.
Owned by the South African gambling giant Sun International, SunBet is purely a sports betting website, but is likely to include more forms of online gambling in the future, given their financial and technical clout in iGaming. SunBet does have some of the better gambling promotions that we have come across, including some great cash back deals on popular sports.
Supabets operates in most places across Africa and is popular in South Africa. With a great no-deposit bonus for new customers, extensive global racing markets, sports betting, live gambling and lotto, Supabets is truly one solution for all needs. Supabets’ mobile gambling is also a feature, with apps available for iOS and Android smartphones.
Best SA mobile gambling sites
Mobile gambling has exploded in South Africa in recent years and now is comfortably the no.1 way people in this country gamble online. The top mobile gambling sites are based overseas but still feature downloadable apps, upwards of a 1000 real money slots, live dealer games and various other features.
You can also claim all the usual casino bonus codes, promotions, sign-up offers and pretty much any other forms of gambling promotion you can think of via mobile. Online slots are a definite highlight of the top ZAR gambling sites, with these games the most played on mobile.
South Africans will also find many familiar banking options at mobile casino sites, although some payment types might not be available on smaller screens, through no fault of the gambling site, but rather it’s more likely the method does not support mobile.
While as a general rule you will find fewer games at mobile gambling sites, this is improving all the time, with all new games releases catering to smartphones and tablets. Gambling apps, as a general rule, are only available to Android users in South Africa, with iOS users not allowed to download real money casino apps from the App Store. Android gambling apps have a function where it allows you to download non-market apps.
Live gambling sites
The thrill of being at a casino can be replicated at the best live gambling sites in 2023. Read our guides to find out more about your favourite casino table games that are available in live dealer format in South Africa.
Betway South Africa
Best ZA live dealer casinos 2023
South Africans have a plethora of live gambling sites available to them, including many regulated bookmakers, which also feature live dealer games. The best live gambling sites available to South Africans will fall into two categories: live games at bookmakers (which are legal) or offshore live casino sites (which are not).
The live gambling available at bookmakers is to the best of our knowledge all supplied by Evolution Gaming and Ezugi, which are great live studios that service most countries around the world. These live games are limited in comparison to what you will find at International online casinos, where it is commonplace for gambling sites to have upwards of 50 different providers.
Live gambling on the internet has not completely replicated the thrill of playing real money games at land-based casinos, but it has gone pretty damn close. Plus live online gambling has several big advantages over its more seasoned competitor: They can afford to have their return-to-player rate set higher, because they have lower overheads, and the table limits suit all types of players, and won’t just cater to those spending thousands of rand.
Some of the live gambling games that you will find online include blackjack, roulette, baccarat and various formats of poker. These games will have many different variations online, and it always pays to check the rules before committing real money to any live casino.
Live casino gambling online can also net you some great bonus offers and promotions, that you would otherwise not find at a retail gambling venue. For instance, one of the leading live gambling sites in South Africa has a deal where players receive 10% cash back on all losses weekly. This means if you lose R10,000 in a week, you would receive R1000 back.
Many of the best live casinos will also have a sign-up offer available, although it’s important to note that several of these types of offers are not available to use on live dealer games. Instead, customers can use them on the website’s sports betting facilities.
One of the major innovations in recent years in the live gambling space has been the advent of mobile live dealer, with most platforms now working on smartphones and tablets. Mobile live gambling sites are available in South Africa, with the only legal option being via the many bookmaker-casinos
Best lotto gambling sites
South Africans can buy lottery tickets in the government-backed draws or can bet on lottery draws from all over the world, via the top lotto gambling sites.
Lotto gambling in South Africa
State-based lotto draws are the biggest form of gambling in South Africa and are run by ITHUBA Holdings, who have been the licence holder since 2015. The National Lottery is regulated by the National Lottery Commission.
To buy lotto tickets in South Africa you must be at least 18 years of age and make your purchase in person. They are available to buy in approved retailers, some banks and handheld partners (think mobile). These online purchases are dependent on you having a bank account with ABSA, FNB, NedBank or StandardBank.
The other option to buy lottery tickets in the National Lottery is via their website, but you will need to create an account and have a current South African ID.
There are several different draws run by the National Lottery, including LOTTO, LOTTO PLUS 1, LOTTO PLUS 2, Powerball, Powerball PLUS, Daily Lotto and SPORTSTAKE 13. The most popular draws are the Powerball lottos, with these taking place on Tuesdays and Fridays at 9pm SAST.
Lotto betting in South Africa
Like most places in the world, lotto betting has shaken up the traditional lotteries structure in South Africa, with citizens legally able to bet on the outcome of various draws from around the world. This form of gambling is deemed to be betting and is allowed at sports gambling sites in South Africa.
Lotto betting allows you access to draws from places such as the United States, Canada, Australia and all of the major European lotteries. The lotto betting operators insure your bets, meaning they take minimal risk on, but give you exactly the same payout as the the winner of the draw. There is some complicated maths behind the business model that makes lotto betting work, but we’ll go into that more in other articles.
Many of the top gambling sites in South Africa feature lotto betting, including popular betting brands like Sportingbet, HollywoodBets and Betway South Africa.
Top sports gambling sites
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Sports betting in South Africa is the only government-sanctioned form of online wagering, with licences issued by the various gambling regulators in each province of the country. The biggest of the sports betting licensing bodies are the National Gambling Board and the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board, which are entrusted with looking after player safety and ensuring licensed online bookmakers follow all laws, including ensuring under-age gambling does not take place. South African sports betting sites are taxed by their state licensing body.
Sports gambling in South Africa
Sports gambling is extremely popular in South Africa and wagering online is definitely the preferred method. Online betting can be done at sports gambling sites that have a licence from a gambling regulator in South Africa. There are upwards of 30 sports gambling operators in South Africa, but they are not all at a high standard.
The popular sports that South Africans bet on in 2023 include rugby, cricket, football, basketball and horse racing, but really the options are endless and you can bet on pretty much whatever professional event is happening. Heck, you can even bet on politics, or who will win the next season of Survivor South Africa.
There are few restrictions on sports bet types in South Africa and you will often find 100s of markets on a single match or sporting events. These include ante-post bets or futures and, of course, head-to-head wagering types of many descriptions.
Rugby and football are dominant at South African sports gambling sites and you will often find promotions around these sports, and many others. Sport gambling promotions include things such as sign-up bonus offers, cash back offers and even reload bonuses. With the online gambling industry so competitive bonus offers are common-place as a way to lure new and retain existing customers.
Upcoming events guides
We have guides on all the major upcoming sports events from around the world, including detailed information and tips for betting on the events.
Betting promotions and sign-up offers
When you sign up as a new member at online betting sites you will often be given a bonus offer to complement your first deposit. The World Gambling List is constantly sourcing the best new ZA betting bonuses for our readers. We will always promote licensed betting sites and their bonuses to our South African readers.
There are numerous sports betting bonus offers, free bets, live gambling promotions and even lotto promos up for grabs at South African gambling sites. Nearly all betting sites in South Africa will have extensive promotions available, with some of the key legal offers being:
Free bets: Sports betting sites in South Africa generally have a sign-up bonus, or free bet offer up for grabs. While the structure of these bookmaker freebets varies from brand to brand, as a general rule they will either be a matched deposit bonus or a no-deposit free bet. Learn about the best SA free bet offers.
Daily betting promotions: Bookmakers are constantly updating their betting promotions to suit the events that are happening. These can be anything from boosted odds, cash back deals or even deposit bonuses. WGL South Africa will have regular stories going up advertising the top daily betting promotions.
Live gambling promotions: South African bookmakers are now legally allowed to offer live casino games and because the landscape is so competitive, there are often promotions surrounding them. Some offers we have seen include bonus money to use on the tables, or cash back on losses, which can be great for VIP players.
Casino bonus offers: Unfortunately full-scale online casinos are banned in South Africa, although there are many casino gambling sites that accept players illegally. We do not advertise illegal gambling sites on this website, which means we do not advertise any SA casino bonus offers.
Years spent scouring the form guide has left some of the World Gambling List team as experts in thoroughbred racing. Read our guides and you will believe us. If you are looking for a South African horse racing bookmaker we have got you covered.
Horse racing gambling in South Africa
Horse racing betting is a large part of the overall wagering industry in South Africa, with millions of rand wagered weekly on it. Horse racing has been gambled on since the early 1800s in South Africa, with the biggest race these days being the Durban July, held on the first Saturday in July each year.
The best horse racing betting sites in South Africa are licensed and you are legally able to bet with them. These include well-known brands such as Hollywoodbets and Sportingbet. You will be able to wager on racing via several different methods including via your computers, smartphones (including apps), via telephone and retail wagering.
Tote betting is commonly done at regulated South African bookmakers, with the two main operators in this market being Gold Circle and 4Racing, an entity set up as part of the Phumelela Gaming business rescue process. Phumulela went under in 2021, with the Covid-19 pandemic taking its toll, and its horse racing operating licenses were transferred to 4Racing.
The National Horse Racing Authority, which is funded by the tote operators, is the governing body of horse racing in South Africa. They are in charge of things such as scheduling, negotiating TV rights and other organisational matters.
South African gambling laws
In short South Africa sanctions sports betting but has banned forms of online gambling (which includes things such as online poker and casinos). While players have never been charged for gambling online, it is an ongoing battle between offshore casino operators and the South African government, with measures including payment blocking being employed to stop the flow of money to overseas companies. Gambling laws vary from country to country, or even state to state in some cases. Read our country guides explaining the ins and outs of the local industries.
About the World Gambling List South Africa
The World Gambling List South Africa is the no.1 online gambling sites guide for the Rainbow Nation. WGL South Africa only deals in regulated and legal sports betting, online lottery and live gambling. We do not promote any offshore online casinos.
WGL South Africa has local writers who know the South African gambling market, including retail gambling and all forms of legal real money gambling online. We take pride in delivering accurate, unique and user-friendly reports and guides on all aspects of the gambling industry.
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