Gaming & consoles

Online Gambling: How Popular Is It In South Africa?


Online gambling is one of the most dominant sources of entertainment worldwide. However, for many people, casino games, such as poker, are more than a game; it is a lifestyle. The same is with sports betting, as it enables players to take their love for a particular sport or a team to the next level. 

So, what about the second largest continent? Do its residents like to gamble? The following text covers how popular online gambling is in the third-largest GDP on the continent, South Africa. 

The Rich Offer of Gambling Sites Confirms South Africans’ Passion for Wagering

Modern-day marketing experts say the best way to start your business is to define an ideal customer profile and then go where they are. For example, the increased numbers of gambling sites offering their services to South African punters indicate that the country has a lot of potential to become the continent’s most significant gambling market, as its residents show a lot of interest in gambling.

According to the National Gambling Board, the SA’s GGR (gross gambling revenue) grows year after year; it increased by 6.1 in FY 2019/20. In addition, once the pandemic hit, land-based casinos had to close their doors, and passionate gamblers looked for alternatives online. 

Online gambling attracted South Africans who didn’t engage in casino games or sports betting prior to the lockdown. Nevertheless, it was an exciting source of entertainment, allowing newcomers to learn to play various games, sharpen their skills and interact with others. 

Two years since the pandemic began, online gambling hasn’t lost popularity. On the contrary, it constantly sees an increased demand. Therefore, sites, such as, provide players with relevant information regarding the online gambling offer, helping them find the operators that meet their preferences and needs. 

The Popularity of Online Gambling Drives Discussions About Its Legalization 

According to the National Gambling Board, 38 casinos were operating in 2021 in South Africa, proving that South Africans love casino games, mainly slots, blackjack, and roulette.

However, online casinos are not legal in the country so they can’t offer their services within the country’s borders. That’s why passionate gamblers look for international sites accepting SA players. 

The COVID-19 crisis forced brick-and-mortar casinos to close and drove many discussions regarding the legalization of online gambling. 

Such a move could have helped traditional casinos to survive the challenging period and expand their offer to clients who can’t come to the physical establishments. 

Online Sports Betting Is Legal 

On a brighter note, punters can enjoy sports betting in traditional sportsbooks or online. Sports betting has been legal since 1996. Before that, horse racing was the only gambling activity that punters could engage in.

The legalization of online sports betting was a significant event for South African punters, as the nation is very passionate about sports. 

South Africans can place their bets on their favorite matches, leagues, and teams today. They are especially keen on English Leagues, for instance, the Premier League. Aside from football, they also like golf, rugby, horse racing is still popular, and cricket. 

Mobile Makes Gambling Accessible

South Africa is among the first African countries focused on introducing technology to every social sphere. In addition, the increased internet use has enabled the country’s residents to explore possibilities related to their interests, including iGaming. 

We said that online gambling is a fertile field for new companies to offer their services. But the rich offer makes it challenging for operations to differentiate themselves from competitors.

Therefore, they must come up with incentives and features to stand out in the market. The proven formula in the past decade was mobile gambling. 

As technology evolves, the cost of smartphones, for instance, and mobile data decreases. Such an environment enables more and more people to buy and use mobile phones, whether for business, communication, or entertainment purposes.

South Africans are no different. Like other players worldwide, SA punters saw the convenience of mobile gambling. It allows them to visit their favorite sites, play casino games or bet on sports wherever they are, practically, 24/7. The only consideration is to have a stable internet connection. 

Finally, online gambling companies that want to expand their customer base in South Africa must acknowledge that these days, an excellent online experience means a good mobile experience

They can provide this by developing apps that punters download on their mobile devices or optimizing their websites for mobile use. 

Transparency Is Vital 

Considering the outcomes reached, followed by enthusiastic predictions, the South African gambling market will continue to grow. 

The only thing punters should remember, as well as companies looking to operate here, is that gambling sites must work by the book. Proper licenses, high-quality security measures, and creating a unique proposal, all transparent, are critical to a successful business/online gambling experience.

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