Sports Betting Prowess in Africa’s Powerhouse
As a sportsman and punter, there is nothing better than following the progression and development of sports betting. I’ve been playing cricket and rugby for over a decade. Although I’m i
n a competitive class, I’m certainly not national side material. But that has hardly clipped my creative wings in wanting to promote the fantastic sports betting sector. Born and bred in the glorious South Africa, I quickly came to appreciate the power of sport in unifying people across racial, religious and ethnic lines. This fantastic diversity is truly the spice of life and on the pitch, it’s the resin that creates an unbreakable bond.
How sports betting became a massive force in South Africa
Make no bones about it – sports betting is a massive and growing enterprise in South Africa. The whole business of punting on sports is regulated by various gambling laws and authorities. Suffice it to say that everything is under the watchful eye of big brother and that’s just grand. Only bookies who are actually licensed to accept wagers on things like horse racing and the like can legally operate. These selfsame bookies also take wagers on all manner of other bets such as cricket, rugby, football, tennis, athletics and so forth. And because we’re dealing with everything with an African flavor, there is little appeal or desire to be involved with typical American sports in the NFL, NHL, NBA and the like. It’s all football, horse racing, cricket, rugby, hockey and boxing in South Africa – and the fans go berserk for these sports.
More about what sports bets are most popular in South Africa
First thing that comes to mind when I think of sports wagers in South Africa is cricket. The Proteas are a world force in the game and their performances regularly evoke a mountain of sports betting activity. While countries like India and Pakistan certainly outdo South Africa at the bookmakers when it comes to cricket, the SA market is large and thriving. Another sport that has captivated players and punters alike is rugby This is a far bigger betting market than cricket in South Africa. The Super 14 Rugby is all the rage and the local teams competing in the contest draw lots of attention from sports punters.
An aspect – somewhat unfavorable many years ago – was the betting scandal that dogged SA cricket with Captain Hansie Cronje. The said player was accused alongside other notable players in a match-fixing scandal. Although Cronje was certainly not the only player to be accused or convicted of malfeasance, this tarnished the golden name of cricket in SA until this day. Conversely however, this catapulted sports betting into the limelight and the repercussions have been sublime. But both cricket and rugby pale in comparison to the massive appeal of sports betting on football match outcomes. The recent 2010 FIFA World Cup is a case in point, but in spite of that, local teams are the central focus of punters in a new concept to SA called the Soccer 6. Popular operators in South Africa include BetFair and Lance Michael. A characteristic of SA sports betting is that most of it is done over the telephone or in person.