This year, most traditional betting activities were shut down due to health and safety reasons, leaving more people to place wagers online. Before the lockdown, sports betting in the country mainly relied on fixed retail outlets, but that is all changing.
Every year, South Africans wager billions of rands on different sports. That includes football, horse racing, and rugby, to mention a few. As a result, the country has become Africa’s largest betting market in terms of revenue. Industry experts also estimate that the country will continue its domination in the continent’s online betting scene, hitting R11.1 billion by 2023.
1. Esports Betting is on the Rise
With major sports leagues suspended worldwide, esports betting on sites like Betway has grown significantly over the last five months. In South Africa, the esports scene is not highly advanced as some European countries, though the locals can now wager on games like League of Legends, Starcraft, and Dota 2.
South Africans are also increasingly betting on FIFA football matches played virtually despite the major soccer leagues returning back to action. As a result, more betting platforms in the country are introducing sports simulations and animated matches. These games give results based on an algorithm or a random database draw.
2. Changes in Marketing Strategies
This year, South African online sports betting companies like Betway have had to revamp their marketing strategy to remain afloat. That’s because the lockdown forced many people to spend their days at home, leaving betting companies with only the option to market their services online. Strict measures from the government are also forcing operators in the country to get creative with their marketing efforts in 2020.
3. Social and Mobile Gaming
As the South African betting market continues to digitize, companies are continually releasing mobile applications alongside their offerings. While mobile betting apps and mobile casino apps have existed for years, the rise of smartphones has cemented the need for the mobile gaming experience.
Online sports betting is also incorporating the social aspect, with punters forming groups and discussion boards for sharing experiences and advice on wagering. A good example is the social messaging app, Telegram, which thousands of online punters use to discuss and listen to the opinions of other fans about different games. That helps in making informed wagering decisions.
4. Last-Minute Betting
Thanks to cutting edge technology available to most betting sites in South Africa, online punters can delay placing their wagers until the last minute. Even better, most modern bookies in the country support live betting of major sports like basketball, football, and rugby.
While some events may have better odds in the pre-match offers, betting as you watch the game can also be beneficial to skilled punters. For that reason, many South African punters are now embracing in-play betting more than ever.
Like most countries in the world, online sports betting in South Africa is on the rise. As such, several transformations are happening in the market due to changes in customer behaviour and advancements in technology.