Top 10 Online Sportsbook Reviews
South African punters love betting on their favorite sports and teams. It is a fun and exciting way to engage in both local and international sports. With the right strategies, sporting knowledge and insights, you could make good money consistently through sports betting. Thanks to the internet being more widespread and easily accessible than ever before, you can now bet on sports online. You no longer need to go to a local betting shop or bookmaker to place your sports bet.
There are hundreds of sports betting websites that cater to South African players. They offer competitive odds for betting on various sports markets from all corners of the globe. If you are looking for a top-notch online sportsbook, you have reached the right place.
We have decades of experience when it comes to reviewing and testing online sportsbooks. We hand-pick and recommend only the best sportsbooks for our South African readers. Check out our online sportsbook reviews.
The best offshore sportsbooks
There are various sports betting websites that are hosted in servers located outside South Africa. South Africans are welcome to sign up and bet on sports using such off-shore websites if they prefer them over South African sportsbooks. A couple of leading off-shore sportsbooks to consider in 2021 are:
DraftKings: This is an American sports betting platform which offers daily fantasy sports and even live betting amongst other things.
BetMGM: BetMGM offers an impressive range of sports betting markets including a lot of niche markets. You can get a nice welcome bonus to kickstart your sports betting journey at BetMGM.
What is a sportsbook?
An online sportsbook offers the same services as a land-based sports betting parlor, but over the internet. In essence, a sportsbook is a website where players can register and place real money wagers for bets on various sporting events. If your bet turns out to be a winning bet, you are paid real money winnings through various online banking methods.
While some sportsbooks deal exclusively with sports betting, there are many sites that package sports betting, online casino gaming and horse race betting, all in one platform. If you are interested in other forms of online gambling apart from sports betting, the latter would be better suited for you.
Sports Betting vs. Live Betting
Sports betting entails placing a wager on the outcome or result of a certain sporting event. If your predicted outcome comes true, then the bet is considered a winning bet and winnings are paid out as per the odds published.
On the other hand, some online sportsbooks offer a feature called live betting or in-play betting. As the name suggests, this is where punters are allowed to place bets on the outcome of a sporting event even though the match or game in question is already underway.
For instance, let us assume a player was not in time to place a bet on a football match between Arsenal and Manchester United and the game has already kicked off. With live betting, the player can still place a bet on this game as long as the game hasn’t already ended.
The sports markets and the bet markets offered for live betting are limited compared to traditional sports betting. Popular sports like football, boxing, rugby, cricket, tennis and horse racing are usually offered for live or in-play betting.
Best Online Sportsbook Review Process
Our online sportsbook review process for South African punters assesses all sportsbooks using the same factors so as to keep the review factual and unbiased. Below are some of the main factors we take into account when reviewing an online sportsbook.
Live sports betting: Live sports betting has caught become a standard feature at any reckonable sportsbook. This feature is well appreciated by players that like to bet on popular sports such as football, cricket, rugby, etc. When we recommend a sportsbook to our readers, we ensure that it offers high-quality live sports betting.
Bitcoin sportsbook: Since you are able to place real money bets at online sportsbooks, it is important that the sportsbook offers a good range of payment options. When an online sportsbook supports cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, it gets extra brownie points in our reviews. Many players prefer banking with Bitcoins since these transactions are lightning fast, free of any transaction fee and are peer to peer transactions that get rid of the involvement of a middle party.
Quick payouts: We don’t like it when online sportsbook delay paying your winnings and find all sorts of reasons to justify these undue delays. What we consider is how easy the withdrawal process is and the speed at which winnings are paid out – the faster, the better.
Sports betting bonuses & promo codes: Due to the tough competition, online sportsbooks are known to offer a good deal of special offers, bonuses and promotions. These come in various forms including welcome bonuses, seasonal offers, cashbacks, free bets, etc. You can rest assured that our recommended sportsbook websites offer the best promotions possible.
Tips for choosing the best sportsbook site for South African players
We review online sportsbooks and only recommend the cream of the crop. However, we must acknowledge that a particular sportsbook which may be perfect for one player may not suit the needs of another. When it comes to choosing the right sportsbook, it is a personal choice and the decision needs to be made considering the individual’s requirements. Some factors to think about when choosing the best sportsbook for your needs are:
How frequently you bet: If you are going to place sports bets consistently on a daily or weekly basis, then you might want to choose a sportsbook which offers a mobile app and offers quick payment options.
What services you need: We recommend that you think about the bets you are going to place and list down the services you will require from the sportsbook. Once you have this list, it is easy to choose a sportsbook on the basis of how many items on this list it checks.
What kind of bets you will be placing: Players have their own personal favorites with regards to bet types. Not everyone is always going to bet only on which team will win, for example. When choosing a sportsbook, you definitely want to make sure it offers a wide range of bet types and covers all the bet types you are interested in, be it win bets, over/under bets, handicaps, accumulators, outright bets, etc.
What markets will you bet on: If you are interested in betting on, let’s say, volleyball but the sportsbook does not offer volleyball as a sports betting market, then it defeats the purpose. Even if the sportsbook does offer volleyball, it must cover numerous events from around the globe and not restricted to a few. Make sure you choose a sportsbook that covers all the sports you are interested in betting on.
Do they accept ZAR: South African players will do well not only to ensure that the sportsbook supports their preferred banking/payment method, but also to make sure that the sportsbook supports South African Rands. This will save you the hassle of currency conversion for every transaction you undertake at the sportsbook.
Mobile Sports Betting in South Africa
As per data from 2019, there were more mobile subscriptions than people in the South African population. The mobile penetration rate was nearly 170%. Smartphones have become commonplace in the South African household and nearly every adult uses one.
Online sports betting websites are generally mobile-friendly so as to allow South African players to place bets on sports even while they are on the move. If you are the kind of player who is going to place bets over your phone frequently, then you might want to consider choosing a sportsbook which has a downloadable mobile app and not just a mobile-compatible website.
How to Download Mobile Betting Apps
Those who are going to play from mobile phones or tablet devices often will want to consider downloading a dedicated mobile app for their sportsbook and not depend on using the mobile website every time. The mobile app is quicker to launch and also saves you the trouble of logging into your account each time. Dedicated mobile apps are also going to be easier to use and navigate through, unlike the mobile website you will not have to pinch and zoom in at any point.
If your online sportsbook offers a downloadable mobile app, they may have the link to download the APK on their website. If this is the case, you can download the APK file and then execute the file to install the app. In some cases, the app may be available for download on the official Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store.
Can I bet from my mobile phone?
Yes, most online sportsbook websites are mobile compatible these days. As long as you are using a smartphone which is not obsolete in terms of the operating system version and you are connected to the internet, you will be able to access the sportsbook from your phone browser and place sports bets.
How to deposit money and place a bet on an online sportsbook?
The exact process of making a deposit and placing a bet will depend on the particular sportsbook. However, most sportsbooks adopt a standard process which is generally more or less the same. Below are the steps of this process.
To make a deposit:
- Visit the sportsbook website from PC or mobile
- Click or tap on the login button and enter your credentials to access your account
- Click or tap on the cashier button or icon
- Choose the deposit option within the cashier
- From the list of payment options, choose your preferred payment option (some of the usual payment options offered include bank cards, bitcoin, wire transfers, e-wallets, etc.)
- Enter the amount you would like to deposit and complete the payment details as per the chosen payment method
- Proceed with the on-screen prompts to complete the transaction until you get a confirmation message that the deposit is successful
- The available balance in your cashier account should now reflect the newly deposited amount
To Place a bet:
- Now that you have the funds, you can proceed to place a bet
- Choose the sports market you want to bet on (Example – football)
- Choose the competition or league (Example – English Premier League)
- Select the game you want to bet on (Example – Arsenal Vs. Chelsea)
- Select your bet type (Example – Arsenal to win)
- The bet is added to your Betslip
- Enter the bet amount
- Verify details of the bet/bets on the Betslip
- Click on the ‘place bet’ button to confirm the bet
How to make a withdrawal from an online sportsbook
Making a withdrawal is similar to the process of making a deposit. It needs to be requested through the cashier section. Usually, the process to make a withdrawal is along the same steps as below:-
- Visit the sportsbook website and login to your account
- Ensure you have sufficient funds in your cashier for your withdrawal
- If the funds include any bonus money, you must have satisfied the wagering requirements
- Click on the cashier button or icon
- Choose the withdrawal option in the cashier
- Choose your preferred banking method
- Provide details as prompted and enter the amount you would like to withdraw
- Proceed with the on-screen prompts till you get a message that the withdrawal request has been placed successfully
- The withdrawal status should now show “pending”. After the pending period is complete, the sportsbook will verify and process the withdrawal
Top online sportsbooks offer a myriad of banking options which are secure, hassle-free and tried and tested. Some of the standard banking options available includes:
For more information about SA-friendly banking methods, feel free to check out our comprehensive Banking Methods Guide.
Leading online sportsbooks will support various fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies as well. We suggest South African players choose sportsbooks that accept ZAR since this will save you the trouble of undergoing a currency exchange for every deposit or withdrawal made.
Which Sportsbook has the best odds?
The concept of odds can be best explained with an example. Let us consider a football game Arsenal vs. Southampton where Arsenal is the favourite to win. A sportsbook could offer the following odds for your bets.
Arsenal to win: 10/11
Southampton to win: 7/1
This means that if you bet ZAR11 on arsenal to win and the bet wins, then you will receive ZAR10 as winnings plus your stake back.
Likewise, if you bet R1 on a draw and that is what transpires, you will receive R3 winnings and your stake back.
If you choose the underdog and bet R1 on Southampton to win and they end up winning, you will receive R7 plus your R1 stake back.
As you can see, when you take risky bets with less likelihood of occurring, your wins are much bigger because the sportsbook offer such bets and much better odds. Odds can be represented in decimals and other formats too.
When considering a sportsbook, you want to select a sportsbook that offers good odds in comparison to other sportsbooks. This way, when you win, you win a good amount.
Is online sports betting legal in South Africa?
Yes, online sports betting is legal in South Africa and there are even several state-run or state-approved South African online sportsbooks. When it comes to offshore sportsbooks, South African laws don’t have any bearing on these offshore sportsbooks since they are based within the jurisdiction of South Africa.
Popular sports to bet on in South Africa
Cricket: Cricket is the second most popular sport in South Africa. This is a sport which is popular amongst all ethnicities in the country and the Proteas national team has a huge fan base and backing.
Tennis: Tennis is estimated to have over 4.5 million fans in South Africa. Currently, South African is ranked 23rd in the world in men’s tennis and 54th for women.
Popular Local and International Sports Leagues and Competitions
There is a massive range of sports betting options in terms of both local and international sporting markets for South African players. Below are a few popular local and international sporting markets.
Soccer: Telkom Knockout Cup, Premier Soccer League, First Division
Cricket: SuperSport Series, The MTN Domestic Championship, T20 Challenge
Rugby: Currie Cup, Vodacom Cup, Varsity Cup
Golf: Sunshine Tour, The Nedbank Challenge
Racing: Summer Cup, Vodacom Durban July, J&B Met
Athletics: South African Athletics Championships
Boxing: SANABO Elite National Championships, SANABO Boxing League
Motorsport: South African Rally Championship
Tennis: South African Open
Athletics: World Championship every two years, Athletics World Cup
Badminton: Badminton World Championships
Baseball: World Baseball Classic, Premier12, Baseball World Series
Basketball: World Cup, NBA Finals
Boxing: Boxing World Championships
Cricket: ICC World Cup, World Twenty20
Cycling: UCI World Championships, Tour de France
Golf: Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, British Open, US PGA, Masters, US Open
Equestrian: EI World Equestrian Games
Gymnastics: Artistic Gymnastics World Championship, World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships
Handball: World Championships
Hockey (ICE): Stanley Cup, World Cup of Hockey, Ice Hockey World Championships
Hockey (Field): World Cup
Football (American): Super Bowl
Football (Soccer): FIFA World Cup, FA Cup, Asian Cup
Motorsports: F1 Grand Prix
Netball: World Championships
Rowing: World Championships
Rugby Union: Rugby World Cup, Six Nations, The Rugby Championship, World Cup Sevens
Rugby League: World Cup
Sailing: Americas Cup
Swimming: FINA World Championships
Surfing: World Surfing Games
Table Tennis: Table Tennis World Championships
Tennis: Wimbledon, US Open, Australian Open, French Open, Davis Cup, Hopman Cup, Federation Cup.
Triathlon: World Triathlon Series
Volleyball: World Championships
Weightlifting: World Weightlifting Championships
- Welcome Bonuses: These are bonuses targeting new players in order to get them to sign up and make real money deposits.
- Sign-up bonuses: Some sportsbook offer a bonus to new players simply for signing up, no deposit required. Such bonuses are called no – deposit bonuses or sign – up bonuses.
- Free Bets: Free bets are bonuses where the sportsbook will let players take a bet on the house.
- Money Back: Some losing bets are insured and you can get a certain portion of your money back using such money back bonuses or bets.
- Other promotions: Other popular promotions include weekly races, cashback bonuses, sport specific bonuses and VIP programs.
What sports can I bet on?
Online sportsbook offers tons of sporting markets for you to bet on. This includes popular sports like Rugby, Cricket, Soccer, Horse Racing and niche sports like netball, snooker, ice skating and everything else in between.
Can I use SA Rand to bet on sports?
Yes, our recommended sportsbooks are SA friendly and support transactions and wagers in Rands.
Can I use cryptocurrency to bet on sports?
Some online sportsbooks accept cryptocurrencies. If you want to use crypto currency, then you need to make sure you sign up with a sportsbook which supports crypto.
Which sportsbook has the best odds?
When you choose one of our recommended SA online sportsbooks, you can rest assured they offer the most competitive odds.
Is it possible to bet from my phone?
Yes, you can bet on modern smartphones as long as you have active internet connectivity on your phone. Some sportsbooks also have mobile apps which you can download and use.
Why do odds vary among different sportsbooks?
Sportsbooks have independent discretion when it comes to adjusting their odds in order to get the same amount of money on both sides so they don’t end up losing money either way. This is why odds vary between sportsbooks and is driven by the bets received so far.