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Sports Betting South Africa 2019

Sports Betting was bound to be a favourite in South Africa, because Mzansi has a nationwide love for sports! No matter which region you are in – be it Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Bloemfontein or Joburg, there will be something for you. Sports betting games include soccer, rugby, cricket, tennis, boxing, golf, hockey, cycling and many others. Another form of sports betting which is quite popular with the players is horse racing.image of sports betting player

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What is Sports Betting?

The basic concept of sports betting is quite simple – For any given type of sport which players are betting on, the player bets by predicting an outcome from all the possible outcomes.

Sports betting has had amazing growth and a lot of its growth is thanks to online gaming, which has made it so much more accessible for players. This type of gaming has extended into various non-sports related events like politics, economics, television competitions (e.g. South African Idols) etc.

The History of Sports Betting

Known as the earliest kind of gambling worldwide, Sports betting has been around for approximately two millennia!

Here are a few important points on the evolution of Sports betting:

  • Sports betting dates back to more than two thousand years ago and it is believed to have originated in ancient Greek cities.
  • At this point the Greeks betted on games such as the Olympic and Delphic games.
  • The Romans turned the game into a business and sports betting was most popular in Gladiatorial games.
  • Eventually, horse racing became the most popular game to bet on in England.
  • Some rulers of the middle ages outlawed sports betting, though it was still played underground.
  • With colonisation, the English introduced sports betting in the USA and from then it spread to the rest of the world.
  • The internet boom spread sports betting even further throughout the world.

Types of Online Sports Betting

There are a number of games which cater to all the avid sports better’s needs. And of course, players can play on different platforms. With having a choice of where to make wagers, players can also expect the same games to have different variations. So, South African players must always make sure they understand the rules of their preferred online casino or Bookmaker. One of the most popular types of events South African players bet on is horse racing competitions. Mzansi players also bet on some of the country’s favourite sports such as soccer and rugby.

Online Sports Betting – How to Bet on Horse Racing

Since the 18th century, horse racing has been a prominent sport in South Africa. Betting on horse racing has also gained much popularity in Mzansi and the game is very straightforward.

In order for players to make wagers on a horse racing competition, the racing distance must be set beforehand and there must be at least two jockeys as well as their horses. Online sports betting has made this game quicker and easier for players. Instead of travelling all the way to the location of the horse racing competition to make wagers at the betting station, playing is as easy as gambling from the comfort of your own home.

image of sports betting on horses

This is how it works:

  1. Choose a legitimate online casino or sportsbook/bookmaker to play on.
  2. Pick which race / competition you want to bet on.
  3. Select the horse (and jockey) you would like to bet on.
  4. Consider all the possible bets you can place, and choose your favourite for the race.
  5. Place your lucky bet.

There are different bets players can make and players must always double check which bets are offered and what they mean in terms of a possible payouts.

Here are some of the most common bets made in horse racing:

The bet To Win in Horse Betting

This bet is also referred to as a “straight” bet. By making this bet a player makes a wager on the horse they think will make first place. If the player guesses correctly, they win.

The bet To Place in Horse Betting

Depending on the South Africa casino sites a player chooses, this type of bet will rely on the number of horses which are competing. Usually the bet means that the player is placing a wager on a specific horse coming in first, second or third place. But when there is a small number of horses competing (e.g. 5 horses), the bet might mean that the player is placing the wager on first and second place only for their selected horse.

The bet To Show in Horse Betting

Players make this wager when they are betting on their selected horse making first, second or third place. The payouts for this type of bet are lower than for bets on one outcome because a “to show” bet has better winning odds for the player.

Other types of horse racing bets include: Eachway, Exacta, Quinella, Daily Double, Trifecta and Superfecta. Depending on the country of the competition and where players bet online, the rules might differ.


Online Sports Betting – How to Bet on Soccer (Sportstake 13)

Sportstake 13 is a lottery game and it is one of the biggest sports betting games in South Africa. The 13 in the name of the game refers to the total soccer matches a player has to bet on for a valid entry.

Unlike the other popular lottery games in South Africa, this game does not have a live draw. Players are required to make bets on 13 fixtures, so after each soccer match players can determine the result of their selection on that specific match. Players must remember that only the 90 minutes of game time and extra time counts, but not penalty shoot outs.

If a player is feeling a bit unsure about the bet they want to place, they can place multiple bets on the same match. And if players are feeling completely doubtful or don’t want to make their own selections, they can use the ‘Propick’ option. This functionality of the game makes selections for the player based on the history of the teams’ gameplay as well as some random selections to mix things up.

image of online sports betting - soccer

This is how it works:

  • Since this is a Lottery game, players need to go to the National Lottery’s official website to play.
  • Once they are signed in, they should press “Play” and then choose the “Sportstake” game.
  • Players will now be able to make wagers on the Score Selection Board with all the fixtures. Players are allowed to bet on more than one outcome per match.
  • Once all bets are placed, the “Submit” button will direct the player to an entry summary.
  • To buy the ticket, the player must click on the “Submit” button again.


Online Sports Betting – How to Bet on Rugby

The South African national rugby team is one of the strongest rugby teams in the world and the support from the country is quite fitting. With the large number of rugby supporters throughout the country, betting on rugby matches is also very popular.

Online rugby betting rules might differ from one Sportsbook to the next, so it is best that the player knows and understands the rules where they are playing. Other important things players should keep in mind are the previous score statistics of the teams they are betting on and against.

image of rugby betting - rugby ball

Types of rugby bets include:

Match Betting

The player places their bet on the team they think will win. If the team wins, the player’s bet wins.

Handicap Bets

In this bet, a points handicap number is selected before the match. When the game is over, this number can be added or subtracted to (or from) the team’s score which the player placed a bet on. The handicap score will therefore be different from the real score. For example, the real score of a game is 18 – 20, with Team A having the score of 18 and Team B 20. If the player made a wager on Team A + 5 to beat Team B, the player’s bet wins. The player’s wager will be determined after the match (18 + 5 = 23). This will mean that in terms of the bet, Team A won, although Team A lost the match (23 – 20).

Winning Margin

This bet refers to players making wagers on by how many points a particular team will win.

First Try Scorer

This bet is self-explanatory – it refers to a wager that a specific rugby player will score the first try.

Rugby betting offers players more bets such as the first scoring play, the position that will score the first try, scoring the first try for the team and scoring a try at any time in the duration of the match.

Sports Betting FAQs

What is Online Sports Betting?

Sports betting is a game in which players can make bets on the outcomes of upcoming sporting games or events that might not even be related to sports. Players can bet on anything from politics to horse racing and win according to the outcome of the sports match or event.

Is Sports Betting legal in South Africa?

Yes. Players should just always remember to verify that the online sportsbook they are betting on is licenced by the Gambling and Racing board.

In Horse Racing, what is the difference between a “Bet to Place” and a “Bet to Show”?

The fundamental difference between these types of bets is that the place bet is flexible, because it is determined by the number of runners. The more horses there are in a competition, the more places a player can bet on. For example, when there are sixteen horses in the race, the bet can be placed on the first four horses. Depending on the number of competing runners the bet can be on two or three places etc.

Whereas a Bet to Show means that the player is placing a bet on their selected horse coming in either first, second or third place with no exceptions.

Which sport can I bet on in South Africa?

Some popular sports South Africans bet on include Soccer, Rugby, Golf, Tennis, Hockey, Cricket, Boxing, Cycling, Basketball and more. In addition to sports, Mzansi players can also bet on Politics, Horse Racing, TV show competitions etc.


Bookmarker / Sportsbook / Turf Accountant / Bookie

These terms refer to a person or an entity who is in charge of taking players’ bets and structuring the odds for the sports betting games of a particular sport.

Score Selection Board

This is the Sportstake 13 Online list where players will be able to make their wagers.

Bet Duration

In Sportstake 13, and in South African Lottery games in general, this refers to how many draws a single ticket can be entered into. Because Sportstake 13 relies completely on upcoming soccer matches, the bet duration will always be one draw.

Betting Station

When players are not playing online, they can go to the actual horse racing competition and place bets at the Betting Station.


This refers to the sum of money that might be lost by the sportsbook to winning bets by players.


This slang term refers to the percentage that the sportsbook keeps from wagers as their commission or profit.

Dog player

Players who regularly place wagers on the underdogs in the competition.


The sum of money that has been spent on sports betting wagers.