A History of Soccer Betting in South Africa
Soccer Betting and sports betting in particular only really gained popularity in South Africa from the mid 90’s. Before 1994 sports betting was illegal due to the Gambling Act of 1965 where any form of gambling was prohibited in South Africa. Only Horse race betting was allowed and deemed as acceptable as it was viewed as a sporting activity and not just a pure act of gambling.
With the new democratic government elected in 1994, new laws and regulations emerged and sports betting and soccer betting started to gain popularity. However it wasn’t until 1996 that online sports betting was deemed legal and this is when the online sports betting and soccer betting markets started to gain momentum. There are more than 400 sports betting shops and 300 sportsbooks in South Africa.
Soccer betting makes up about 70% of sports betting in South Africa and both the local and international tournaments are hugely popular. One of the most popular tournaments for soccer betting enthusiasts to bet on in South Africa is the Absa Premiership. The Absa Premiership is the highest division of South African Football League Division. It is often referred to as the South African Premier Division or just ‘Premier Division’ in many cases.
The first Absa Premiership was held in 1997 and won by Manning Rangers. Since then Mamelodi Sundowns has won the most Premier Division titles (6), with Kaizer Chiefs winning 4, Orlando Pirates 4, Supersport United 3, Manning Rangers 1 and Santos 1. Kaizer Chiefs have scored the most goals (73) and the biggest win was in 2003/2004 where Supersport United beat Zulu Royals 8-1. Soccer betting fans in South Africa try their luck each year at predicting the winner of this prestigious title. Kaizer Chiefs were last years winner, and betting enthusiast believe they are the team to beat this year.
For more information on soccer betting markets available, have a look at our article: A Guide to Soccer Sports Betting in South Africa.
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