How to Choose a Safe Betting Site in South Africa | Play With Complete Peace Of Mind
The world of online betting can be very intimidating, especially when you're just getting started. Not only is the barrage of different betting options overwhelming in many cases, but there's also the important question of how to keep safe, even while choosing a legal betting site in South Africa.
From how to find reputable betting sites to keeping passwords safe and managing your betting budget, this article is intended for punters who are brand-new to online betting as well as established bettors who want to make sure they are playing as safely and securely as possible.
Want to know where to sign up? We have detailed and reliable information about every legal betting site in South Africa. Check out the best online betting sites in South Africa for 2022!
Here are some tips for making safe, informed decisions when betting online in South Africa so you can enjoy your playing experience with complete peace of mind.
Only bet with licensed operators
Regulations are in place that requires every bookmaker in South Africa to be licensed by their provincial gambling board. Why bookmakers need to be licensed is for their protection as well as yours. Playing on an unlicensed site means you will have no recourse should they refuse to pay winnings owed to you or break their terms and conditions in any way.
Legal operators in South Africa are issued a bookmaker license number, which you can usually find near the bottom of the betting site's homepage (pictured above) or within their terms and conditions. Cross-reference this number with licensing information available on the site of the National Gambling Board to ensure that any betting site you use is fully licensed and regulated.
Make your password impossible to crack
Creating a strong password is the easiest and most reliable way to stop your online account from being compromised when betting online in South Africa. As tempting as it might be, avoid using the numbers of your birthdate in your password or any other information that can be obtained by a stranger. Number sequences such as 'simon12345' or 'password54321' are also a big no-no because they can be guessed quite easily.
Make your password at least eight characters long and use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Another tip is not to use the same password for multiple online accounts. Because, that way, if a criminal gets their hands on your password, they can access all of your accounts and you might be in serious trouble.
Keep your personal information safe
When you sign up for an online betting account, it's completely normal to be asked for personal information such as your name, physical address, email address, phone number, ID number and more. While it’s a legal requirement for you to hand over this information to create an account, you should still keep it private.
Bookmakers are responsible for protecting your personal information as best they can, but it's up to you to ensure any betting site you register with is legitimate and trustworthy.
Use a secure payment method
Before you can start betting online, you’ll need to choose a payment method for your deposit. While there are many options available, some are more secure than others. Debit and credit cards are popular in South Africa but they are also one of the riskiest ways to top up. Because your card details are automatically stored, they can be stolen by criminals if the site is hacked.
Using a third-party site like Ozow or PayFast to make an EFT deposit, or even better, topping up with a voucher like 1ForYou adds an extra layer of security between you and the gambling site. This way, you don't have to hand over any banking information to the betting site in order to play.
Check for reliable customer service
A good litmus test for whether a bookmaker is safe is the quality of their customer service and online support. The last thing you want as a punter is to get stuck with no one to help when you have a problem.
The best online betting sites in South Africa have multiple contact points for their customers (Telephone, WhatsApp, Email, Live Chat, Twitter, etc.) and a support team that is available (during working hours at a minimum) to resolve any account-related queries you may have.
Watch what you download
Never download software from any site unless you can be sure the link and file are safe. Usually, the only time you'll download a file for online betting is to use mobile apps. In these instances, visit the bookmaker's site to download the file rather than through a third-party site.
Even better, search for the app you want in the Google Play Store or iOS App Store. If you’re not 100% sure whether or not a site is reputable, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and avoid downloading anything.
Manage your bankroll properly
Managing your betting budget (bankroll) is a key part of being a successful gambler and can also help you to keep your spending under control. The best way to manage your bankroll is to decide how much you want to spend each week or month on betting and stop depositing once you've reached the limit you've set for yourself.
Once you know the size of your budget, you can also then decide how much you will stake on each bet. How to divide up your bankroll will depend on what types of bets you like to place and how often. Learn more about bankroll management for online betting here.
Know the signs of problem gambling
Gambling can be a lot of fun, but it can also lead to financial problems if you don't play responsibly. The golden rule is to never play with money you can't afford to lose. So it's never wise to gamble with the money you need for rent or to pay your bills. If you start "chasing losses" by trying to win back all the money you've lost or can't seem to stop playing when you're winning, these are signs that you might be a problem gambler.
If you or a family member needs help with gambling addiction, call the National Responsible Gambling Helpline on 0800 006 008 for assistance.
Where should I bet online in South Africa?
Thankfully, wherever you are based in South Africa, fully regulated and legal betting sites are not in short supply. With fantastic operators like Hollywoodbets and Betway offering their services to customers in Mzansi, it's easy to find a legal bookmaker where it is 100% safe and secure to play online!
For more about online sports betting, casino games and lotteries in South Africa, visit the Betting Guide homepage to find bookmaker reviews, promotions, betting tips and more.