The Big Three – Most Popular Sports To Bet On In South Africa

Sports has an extremely important place in South African culture, and the country is known for its many successful athletes in various fields. The nation has always adored watching popular games and cheering for their favourite teams, and nowadays, more and more adults are also trying their luck with wagering.

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Since sports betting is on the rise among the locals, let’s go over the three most popular sports to wager on in South Africa.


Soccer is by far the most popular sport in South Africa, with more than 900 clubs and 1.5 million registered players in the country. The game traces its roots in the area back to the 1800s, to the French, British, Belgian and Portuguese colonialists that brought the game to the continent. However, it didn’t take long for the game to gain popularity and spread all throughout. Unlike many other disciplines, soccer requires almost no resources and that significantly helped its popularity.

Nowadays, there are many regional tournaments in the area that get lots of attention from the locals, including the African Cup of Nations and the ABSA Premier Soccer League. On top of that, South Africans are also crazy about large international competitions like the FIFA World Cup and UEFA Champions League. Likewise, there are several remarkable soccer players that come from Africa, including Didier Drogba, Mohamed Salah, and Yaya Toure.

Besides watching the games, many locals also enjoy placing bets on their favourites. Whether it’s just for fun, or otherwise, being properly informed is paramount and punters have the option of choosing the most reliable sportsbooks in South Africa. Thanks to these sites, bettors can read online reviews packed with unbiased information that help them discover sites with amazing odds and other benefits like simple money deposits and withdrawals. Once a user opens an account, they can wager on all the top leagues, and even on the individual performance of each player. 


With more than 600,000 registered players and a large number of fans, South Africa is one of the most important markets when it comes to the world’s popularity of rugby. Interest in the game skyrocketed during the past few years when it expanded across several countries on the continent including Namibia, Kenya, and Ghana.

However, the country’s national team, Springboks, has had plenty of success in the past. For instance, in 1995 they won the Rugby World Cup, helping the event become more significant in the eyes of many locals than some large world-famous leagues such as NBA or the UEFA Nations League. Currently, South Africa ranks number four in the world, right after Ireland, France, and New Zealand, and the incredible success of the national team encouraged many fans to engage in sports betting.

Many of them enjoy visiting local bookies where they can watch games and discuss strategies with other sports bettors. On the other hand, more and more fans choose to place their bets online, especially through platforms that offer exciting promotions and bonuses. Even though the bonus structure varies from one platform to another, each sportsbook has a few tasty incentives for its loyal members. 


Cricket is another discipline that is highly appreciated across the continent, but the places where it’s getting the most attention are definitely South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Tanzania, Namibia, and Kenya. South Africans are very passionate about cricket, even though the country used to be banned from international competitions for more than 20 years due to the Apartheid policy.

As the political climate of the country changed for the better, South Africa started to compete internationally, and in 2003, they even hosted the Cricket World Cup together with Kenya and Zimbabwe. The country’s national teams, both men’s and women’s, are known as the Proteas, named after its national flower.

When it comes to the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) One Day Internationals, South Africa currently ranks number six with 24 matches played and 2392 points in total. The country also produced several amazing players during its rich cricket history, including Jacques Kallis, Shaun Pollock, Dale Steyn, and AB de Villiers.

Nowadays, cricket fans also enjoy a variety of bookies where they can support their favourites by wagering on their success, as well as some more detailed outcomes like predicting the top batsman, top bowler, the series winner, or the outright winner. The users can also take part in live betting which often adds even more excitement to the overall experience. 

South Africans are interested in and follow many different sports, but nothing beats the popularity of the big three – soccer, rugby, and cricket. Thanks to the long history that made all three disciplines part of the local culture, fans are now expanding their interests to include occasional wagering on their favourite teams and tournaments. Luckily for them, the market is booming, with a large number of bookies offering great wagering conditions to local punters. 

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