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Betting on sport is an enduringly popular pastime, and over the years, millions of South Africans have added an extra level of enjoyment and occasionally profit to their sports watching through betting. But if your idea of sports betting is still based on betting shops or kiosks at the racetrack, you should be aware that sports betting these days is a much more sophisticated business, thanks to the online revolution that has added a new dimension to sports betting in South Africa.

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The Growth of Online Sports Betting

Traditional sports betting involved having to write out your selection on a betting slip and hand it over to the cashier. It also meant that you had to travel to the betting shop or the racetrack, which could be time-consuming and expensive. But the online sports betting revolution means that you can place all your sports bets from the comfort of your home.

Sports betting companies now operate sophisticated and well-designed online sites that offer every facility you can find in a betting shop and more! Most of these sites provide comprehensive betting options covering the full range of popular sports, and enable you to enjoy many useful betting tools, including bet calculators, live in-play betting, streaming of popular betting events and the ability to combine single bets into combination bets. Most modern sports betting sites are also optimised to work with the full range of mobile devices, so you can bet on the go.

How to Place an Online Sports Bet

Modern sports betting sites are designed to make it as easy as possible to get your bets on with the minimum of hassle. Most sites provide a simple and speedy sign-up process, though you may be asked to provide proof of identification at some point when signing up.

Once you’ve set up your account and made a deposit using your preferred banking method, you can then navigate to the sport and market of your choice. Most online sports betting sites will provide a list of available sports that you can browse to find the one you’re looking for.

Having found your sport and opened your preferred market, you can then click on your selection. This choice will appear in your online betting slip, which is usually located at the top right of the page on most sports betting sites. All you have to do next is to choose your stake, decide whether you wish to combine your selection with others to make a multiple bet, and then click confirm to make your bet. The online betting slip should also tell you how much you can win if your selection is successful.

Betting Market Variety

There is no end to the ingenuity with which sports betting companies come up with new ways to bet on your favourite sports, but certain markets are more common than others.

Match Winners

The most popular way to bet on sport remains the Match Winner option. With a Match Winner market, you have two or three options, depending on whether the draw is possible, and the price for each selection will be quoted in fractional odds (e.g. 2/1, 5/2) or decimal odds (e.g. 3.0, 3.5).

Asian Handicaps

Asian Handicap betting began to become popular globally around the time of the 1998 World Cup, and now it is the preferred way to bet on football for many people. In an Asian Handicap, you are not betting on which team will win, but instead on the margin of victory. For example, in a game between Brazil and Germany, the handicap may be Brazil -0.5, which means that if you bet on Brazil, they will have to overcome a 0.5 goal handicap for your bet to be successful.

Over/Under Betting

Over/Under betting is another new form of betting that offers an alternative to the traditional Match Winner market. With Over/Under betting you are betting on a numerical indicator such as the number of goals or corners in a football game. For example, in the Over/Under 2.5 goals market, you will be betting Over if you think there will be more than 2.5 goals or Under if you are expecting fewer.

Popular Betting Options

South African sports betting sites will offer you markets on every sport you can think of, but some sports are obviously more popular than others.


Along with horse racing, football is probably the world’s most popular betting sport and every day millions of football fans place bets on an astonishing variety of football markets. The betting options will be wider with the top games in the Premier Division and the big leagues in Europe, where you may be able to choose from as many as 100 markets, but you should be able to find markets on more obscure domestic and international games, as well as a range of in-play football options.


As one of the world’s most popular sports, it is no surprise to find tennis is also a big hit with sports betting fans, and both the ATP and WTA tours are well covered by South African betting companies. Tennis is particularly popular with fans of live betting, and many online sites will offer in-play markets focusing on which player will score the next point or win the current set. The best South African sites will also provide live streaming coverage of the major tennis events to help you bet in-play.

Ice Hockey

Popular all over the world, from Finland to Canada, ice hockey provides sports betting fans with a range of betting opportunities, from straightforward betting on tournament or match winners to live betting on the scorer of the next goal. Ice hockey action is fast and furious, and so are the ice hockey betting markets, particularly when it comes to major events like the Stanley Cup play-offs.


Whether you want to make a bet on the Nedbank Cup Final or the winner of the US Open, you can find an online sports betting platform to meet your needs. In the twenty-first century, sports betting fans in South Africa are living through a golden age of betting opportunity as online sports betting companies compete to offer the best prices and the most comprehensive markets.