Exploring the surge in SA’s online betting market

Connie Queline

Exploring the surge in SA’s online betting market

The gambling landscape in South Africa has undergone a significant transformation, especially in the online betting sector. The National Gambling Board’s Annual Report for 2022/23 provides a comprehensive overview of this evolution, highlighting the critical role online gambling plays in the nation’s economy.

In the fiscal year 2022/23, the gross gambling revenue (GGR) for South Africa’s gambling industry witnessed an astonishing increase, totalling R47.2 billion.

This growth indicates a thriving sector, with online betting activities accounting for a staggering 50.3% of the total GGR, more than land-based casinos, bingo, or limited payout machines (LPMs).

Such figures underscore the mass appeal of online betting and spotlight the sector’s substantial contribution to the national economy​​.

Source: National Gambling Board’s Annual Report for 2022/23

The South African betting industry, encompassing sports betting and online casinos, has seen its revenue skyrocket from R8.8 billion in FY2019/20 to R23.7 billion in FY2022/23.

This exponential growth, outpacing other gambling modalities, reflects a significant shift in consumer preferences towards online platforms. The convenience, accessibility, and diverse offerings of new online betting sites have catapulted the betting sector to the forefront of the gambling industry’s revenue generation​​.

Economic ripple effect

Geographically, Gauteng emerged as the top contributor to GGR, accounting for 27% of the total, closely followed by the Western Cape at 25.9% and Mpumalanga at 18.4%.

These figures highlight the regional distribution of gambling activities and their pivotal role in local economies across South Africa​​.

The South African gambling industry’s growth has significant implications beyond mere revenue figures. Taxes and levies collected from the sector amounted to R4.1 billion during FY2022/23, marking a 28.9% increase from the previous year.

Such contributions are vital for the administration of fiscal policy, funding economic development, infrastructure improvements, and enhancing service delivery across the nation​​.

The future of online betting in South Africa

As the online betting market expands, new fast-growing platforms like Easybet have emerged, offering users a R50 free bet sign-up bonus, 15% cash back on losing bets, and a data-free betting app.

The sector’s trajectory suggests sustained growth, driven by technological advancements, regulatory evolution, and a deepening understanding of consumer behaviour.

The statistics from the National Gambling Board’s Annual Report for 2022/23 paint a picture of a robust and rapidly growing online betting industry in South Africa. With significant economic contributions and a clear shift towards digital gambling platforms, the sector’s future appears bright.

As new brands emerge, the potential for innovation, job creation, and further economic benefits remains vast, promising an exciting future for online gambling in South Africa.

Disclaimer: No persons under the age of 18 years are permitted to gamble. Winners know when to stop. Call the National Responsible Gambling Programme: 0800 006 008 or WhatsApp HELP to 076 675 0710. Warning: Gambling involves risk.

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