What Are The Most Popular Sports For Betting If You Are a South African Player?

What Are The Most Popular Sports For Betting If You Are a South African Player?

South Africa is a country of many sports and passionate sports fans. Ever since sports betting was legalized in the early 2000s, local sports became even more exciting.

A big historical process and a big boost for the sporting industry and the development of sports betting culture was the end of various sanctions against South Africa competing in international sports. This finally came to an end in 1991, with the end of the apartheid regime.


But with so many different sports in South Africa, what are the best and most popular options for betting?


Most Popular Sports in South Africa


Rugby is probably the biggest sport in the country. It is an integral part of South African history and became closely associated with the positive historical change that happened after the end of the apartheid era. This period will forever be symbolized by Nelson Mandela presenting rugby captain Francois Pienaar with the Webb Ellis Cup after the country hosted and won the 1995 Rugby World Cup.


Today, there are more than 430 000 registered rugby players in the country. Until 2020, South African teams participated in the Super Rugby competition, which also featured teams from Australia, New Zealand, Argentine, and Japan. South African teams that played in it were the Sharks, Bulls, Stormers, Lions, among many more. However, since then, the country withdrew from this competition with plans of joining the much expanded PRO14 rugby union.


Another extremely popular competition where the national team (AKA the Springboks) is among the favorites, is the Rugby Championship, which has the national teams of New Zealand, Australia, and Argentina competing as well.



Football is the most popular sport in South Africa. The country has participated in three World Cup tournaments since 1994. In fact, in 2010 it hosted the World Cup, and this was a big additional boost for the already enormously popular sport.


South Africa also hosted two Africa Cups of Nations tournaments and won one in 1996. The national team Bafana Bafana is incredibly popular, but so is the Premier Soccer League.


Both are drawing huge crowds, and today there are more than two million football players in South Africa.



The third contender for the title of the most popular sport in South Africa is cricket. The national team, the Proteas, is one of 12 national teams that compete in test cricket, a form of the game which is considered its highest standard.


In 2003, the country hosted the Cricket World Cup, but the Proteas so far never won it (the team never got past the semis). Despite that, in 2012, the South African national team became the first to top the ICC rankings in all three formats of the game.


Cricket is hugely popular among different populations of South Africa: both English and Afrikaans speaking, as well as in Asian and Muslim communities.


Sports Betting in South Africa: Where and How?

Ever since sports betting was legalized, it started being more and more popular in South Africa. This has become especially true since different online betting options became available.


Such options obviously have many advantages. You can place a bet quite easily from the comfort of your home, and all the options we discussed are available (rugby, football, cricket), but so are many other sports popular in South Africa (golf, tennis, horse racing, cycling, etc.).


Before you start betting, you should do some research, however. The best is to find a reliable option for online sports betting for South African players – one good example is Marathonbet Sportsbook.


On the other hand, if the website offers a wide variety of sports to bet on, it can be a bit overwhelming. Start from a sport you are already familiar with. The fact that you are well versed in all the rules, teams, leagues, and players, will be of great advantage to you. And when you become well versed in online betting in the sport you like, you can much more easily transition into betting on other sports as well.


Most South African online sports betting options will offer decimal odds and fractional odds. So it would be great for you if you learned some basics about them, and how they are different from each other. In short, decimal odds refer to the ratio of the full payout (including the original stake) to the stake, and fractional odds refer to the ratio of the amount won to the stake.


A great thing about betting as a South African player is that so many sports are popular in the country, which means that there is a great chance you are probably already quite familiar with a few of them. Online sports betting is a great option for putting your passion for sports to work and earning a little bit of an extra income. It can also be a great source of excitement and fun. But play it smart, study your options carefully and choose a reliable online sportsbook. Good luck!

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