Top African Betting Sites

Online sports betting may be a fairly new arrival to Africa – in comparison to the USA, the UK, and Asia that is – but it’s making up for its shorter history with massive and speedy growth, as Africa has become one of the most rapidly expanding online gambling markets in the world.

Three countries in particular are becoming hearty havens for African punters: there’s the established market in South Africa; the awakening lion that is Kenya; and “the Giant of Africa,” also known as Nigeria.

Ranking Name Rating Buttons
1
Betway

Betway makes it easy to get started and then keeps you there with its huge selection and numerous ways to bet.

http://www.betway.com

Overall Rating:5
Up to £30 Free Bet
Terms & Conditions Apply
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2
888 Sport

888 Sport is a fun site that makes it easy for the beginner to get started. It also offers enough extras to keep seasoned bettors interested, though some pro-bettors may be turned off.

http://www.888sport.com

Overall Rating:5
3x Winnings on 1st Bet
Terms & Conditions Apply
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3
bet365

bet365 serves millions of bettors around the world - the sheer number of international leagues they cover is unparalleled, among other perks.

http://www.bet365.com

Overall Rating:5
Available
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4
William Hill

A big name that's been in business since 1934 doesn't need flashy promos as long as the service is dialed-in - William Hill is that name.

http://www.williamhill.com

Overall Rating:3
Available
Terms & Conditions Apply
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5
Paddy Power

One of the most popular and esteemed gambling sites in the UK & Ireland, this household name offers some of the largest odds selections in the industry. With over 100 lines per game and a premium live-streaming service, it’s no surprise that Paddy Power dominates the UK sportsbook market.

https://www.paddypower.com

Overall Rating:3
Risk Free £20 bet
Terms & Conditions Apply
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6
Intertops

Established in 1983 and online since 1996, Intertops is one of the old guard when it comes to sports betting. Decent odds and enticing bonuses mean their solid stature in the market is more than deserved.

https://www.intertops.eu

Overall Rating:3
50% up to $200
Terms & Conditions Apply
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7
BetOnline

Their massive maximum bonus size is a real head-turner for bigger bettors but BetOnline offers something for everyone.

https://www.betonline.ag

Overall Rating:5
50% up to $1,000
Terms & Conditions Apply
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8
BetVictor

BetVictor has several decades of sportsbook experience and provide a solid all around product while still offering enticing promos and value-priced odds.

http://www.betvictor.com

Overall Rating:3
£50 Match Bet
Terms & Conditions Apply
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9
BetDSI

BetDSI is like a luxury hotel you can stay at for a bargain price. Their sportsbook has offerings typically only found at the bigger sites, and they offer these at a very good price compared to others.

http://www.betdsi.eu

Overall Rating:3
100% up to $500
Terms & Conditions Apply
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10
SBG Global

Don’t be fooled by SBG’s simple look and small stature; an easily obtainable bonus structure and a wide variety to lines, teasers, and parlays make it a solid option for casual players.

http://www.sbgglobal.eu

Overall Rating:3
30% up to $3,000
Terms & Conditions Apply
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Below, we detail the current online betting framework in each country, answering the following questions:

  • Is online gambling legal here?
  • How do residents deposit and withdraw money?
  • Can mobile devices be used to bet online? And finally …
  • What are the most popular sports to bet on in the country?

Kenya

Is online gambling legal in Kenya?

The short answer is yes. The Betting Lotteries and Gaming Act (1966) established the Betting Control and Licensing Board (the “Board”) and gave it the power to issue licenses to sportsbooks. If a sportsbook, whether brick-and-mortar or online, is licensed, it may legally operate in Kenya.

If a sportsbook is not licensed, any operations in Kenya are illegal.

The Board has licensed numerous sportsbooks to operate within the country, including SportPesa, Betway, JustBet, Betin, and others. The general population of Kenya has taken advantage, and SportPesa alone boasts over one million users, according to a 2017 article by Zipporah Nyambura.

They are not the only sportsbooks that accept Kenya users, however. Many offshore sites are accessible within the country and perfectly happy to accept Kenyans as players.

Under the strict letter of the law, offering such unlicensed services to people in Kenya is not legal. However, it is not something the government appears to be concerned with. The authorities are not “cracking down” so to speak by restricting access or prosecuting offenders.

As a result, bettors in Kenya can feel fairly confident that using an offshore sportsbook (which is not licensed in Kenya, itself) will not land them in trouble with the law. As long as the sportsbook is licensed in its own jurisdiction and has a good reputation for safety and security, your bankroll should not be under any threat.

How do Kenyans deposit and withdraw money at online betting sites?

The deposit and withdrawal options available to Kenyans will vary greatly from site to site.

The Kenyan-run sites, like SportPesa, tend to favor M-Pesa, a mobile-based money transfer service. Players create an M-Pesa account, deposit money to that account from, say, a more traditional bank account, and then transfer the money in the M-Pesa account to the sportsbook.

Withdrawing is just as simple. Players request a withdrawal to their M-Pesa account and can then either leave the balance in that account (just as they would a traditional bank account) or transfer it elsewhere, potentially even directly to retailers.

At offshore sportsbooks, the more globally-recognized deposit and withdrawal options are more common. Visa and MasterCard, in particular, are widely accepted, as are e-wallets like Neteller and Skrill. E-wallets function identically to M-Pesa, they’re simply not Kenya-specific.

Players looking to deposit large amounts (which may exceed credit card limits) will be happy to know that bank transfers are also widely accepted from Kenyan players.

Those on a budget at the opposite end of the spectrum can generally take advantage of pre-paid credit and debit cards.

Can Kenyans bet on their mobile devices?

Yes. Unequivocally yes.

Not only are all the major offshore sportsbooks mobile-friendly these days, but the Kenyan-run sites are also available on cell phones. Indeed, registering at SportPesa means signing up under your phone number.

The massive expansion of the Kenyan betting market can largely be attributed to this accessibility. By 2019, the gross revenue of the Kenyan betting market is expected to grow to over $50 million USD, according to The Daily Nation.

What are the most popular sports to bet on in Kenya

European football/soccer is responsible for the majority of the betting revenue in Kenya, especially the English Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, and the UEFA Champions League.

The secondary sports include rugby, cricket, and boxing. Recently, there has also been a proliferation of e-sports betting, but this is still a fledgling market by comparison.

South Africa

Is online gambling legal in South Africa?

In comparison to other African nations, South Africa’s regulatory framework for online gambling is quite robust.

South Africa, like many nations, takes a legal-but-heavily-regulated approach to online betting, meaning there are numerous legal options for South Africans look to place a bet online, but there are also a host of illegal betting activities which could result in penalties.

As in Kenya, sportsbooks in South Africa must be licensed in order to operate legally in the country. But unlike in Kenya, the South African authorities take a hands-on approach. Sportsbooks that operate without a license and players who use those sportsbooks are both subject to fines, jail time, and confiscation of funds.

The licensed sites in South Africa include BetWay, Bet.co.za, BetVictor, SportingBet, and BettingWorld. Again, though, many unlicensed sites make their services available to South Africans. The potential for stiff penalties (upwards of R10 million) does not act as a deterrent because they have no physical presence in the country and enforcement of the penalties is basically impossible.

The same can’t be said for users who reside in South Africa, of course, and while there is not a widespread history of prosecution, the law is clear about the legality and possible penalties for using unlicensed betting sites.

How do South Africans deposit and withdraw money at online betting sites?

Visa and MasterCard are the most popular options at licensed South African sportsbooks. Players can also take advantage of direct deposits to and from major South African banks, such as Standard Bank and First National Bank.

E-wallets such as Skrill and NetTeller are also accepted at almost all online sites that cater to South African players.

Some sites also accept ApplePay/iPay, EntroPay, and paysafecard (formerly UKash).

Can South Africans bet on their mobile devices?

South African bettors can play along on their mobile devices at every major sportsbook in the country, both licensed and unlicensed.

It should be noted, though, that some sites will not offer their full slate of services on their mobile platforms. For instance, while all sites allow you to place wagers on your phone, you may need to use the full site in order to e.g. make a withdrawal request, claim a bonus, or take advantage of the various customer service options (such as live chat windows).

Players who highly value mobile betting should clarify before signing up how much of the site will be accessible on the mobile platform and what aspects will be unavailable, if any.

What are the most popular sports to bet on in South Africa?

While football/soccer is hugely popular in South Africa, it doesn’t dominate the market like it does in many African nations, and that’s thanks to the similarly massive popularity of both rugby and cricket.

With the success of South African golfers like Ernie Els on the world stage, golf (both the PGA and European Tour) has become another popular option.

Nigeria

Is online gambling legal in Nigeria?

The laws surrounding online gambling and sports betting in Nigeria are cloudy compared to places like South Africa. The Criminal Code bans all forms of gambling that are not expressly permitted and sets out penalties for those who run illegal betting operations and those who use them (~40 Naira fine for the latter).

However, the current laws make no real mention of online gambling sites, so the legal framework for online sports betting has to be inferred and extrapolated.

To be brief, the situation is likely as follows: Nigerians who use offshore sportsbooks that do not have an active license in Nigeria are probably breaking the law and could be subject to a small fine; however, authorities seem to care little about use of such sites and there is little to no risk of prosecution just by virtue of placing bets at an online sportsbook hosted in the UK, Central America, or elsewhere.

Indeed, few Nigerians worry about this in the slightest, if the statistics are any indication. It was estimated that, as far back as 2014, upwards of 60 million Nigerians were betting on a daily basis, and much of the action was taking place at offshore sportsbooks.

That said, those who favor an extremely cautious approach may want to look to one of the many licensed Nigerian sportsbooks, such as Bet9ja, Bet365Naija, and NairaBet.

How do Nigerians deposit and withdraw money at online betting sites?

Nigerians face a comparatively tough climb when it comes to depositing money at Nigerian-run online sportsbooks. Neteller and Skrill, the e-wallets favored by so many betting sites, were generally unavailable to Nigerian residents in the past, but this situation may be changing.

Depending on the site, Nigerians may also be able to take advantage of a similar e-wallet service known as Click2Pay, or paysafecard (formerly known as UKash).

If using an offshore sportsbook, the options will be more plentiful, and will in almost all cases include Visa, MasterCard, and wire transfer.

Can Nigerians bet on their mobile devices?

Absolutely. The growing popularity of sports betting in Nigeria is largely founded on mobile betting, and the sportsbooks know it. The ease with which anyone with a mobile device can place a bet is what has led to the staggering number of Nigerians (about 30% of the population) placing sports wagers on a regular basis. Whether using a Nigerian-based sportsbook or an offshore sportsbook, Nigerians will be readily able to place a bet on their mobile device.

As in all countries, which parts of the website are accessible on mobile will vary from site to site. All sites will allow you to bet and deposit on mobile, of course. Fewer will facilitate withdrawals on mobile. (It’s almost like they want you to keep your money in the sportsbook!)

What are the most popular sports to bet on in Nigeria?

European football/soccer is, far and away, the most popular sport for bettors in Nigeria. Within that, the English Premier League is the dominant force.

Football is just one of many options Nigerian bettors have access to. NBA basketball is another popular option – especially with Al-Farouq Aminu and Giannis Antetokounmpo both possessing Nigerian citizenship — as are tennis, rugby, and cricket.

A couple more niche sports, such as bandy and floorball, are also gaining popularity at the Nigerian sites.