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.
We expect to see even more growth for sports betting in Africa during 2021. Check back here to get the latest review and find current bonus offers at African sportsbooks this year.
Below, we look at the six countries that have become particularly hearty havens for African punters: there’s the established market in South Africa; the awakening lions of Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, and Uganda; and “the Giant of Africa,” also known as Nigeria.
Below, we detail the overall top betting sites in Africa as they are mostly the same between different African countries.
Best Betting Sites in Africa in 2021
Is online gambling legal in Ghana?
The laws of Ghana are extremely lenient when it comes to gambling. Anyone over the age of 18 can legally place a wager on sports, both online and offline.
In theory, Ghana’s gambling industry (which includes sports betting) is regulated by the 2006 Gaming Act, which requires operators to be licensed by the Ghana Gaming Commission. However, the law does a poor job of covering online betting and, as such, Ghana remains a Wild West-type frontier for sportsbooks licensed elsewhere. There isn’t really anything preventing them from offering their services in Ghana, so many accept Ghanaian users without registering and paying tax in the country.
There is no single answer about whether these sportsbooks are safe or not. It depends entirely on the site. Large, reputable operators licensed in highly regulated markets tend to be safe. But be sure to read our unbiased sportsbook reviews before you sign-up and deposit your money at any site. (Always ensure a betting site is licensed in its home jurisdiction.)
Since the country passed its most recent sports-betting legislation in 2006, several licensed operators in the country have started offering online sports betting in addition to their brick-and-mortar corner shops.
How do Ghanaians deposit and withdraw money at online betting sites?
Major credit cards like Visa and MasterCard are almost universally accepted deposit options at online sportsbooks that cater to Ghanaians. Most will accept transfers to and from e-wallets like Neteller and Skrill, as well.
Airtel Money and MTN Mobile Money are also common options. They are both mobile phone-based money transfer services that function like an online bank account. Once you have money in your Airtel or MTN account, you can transfer it to and from other bank accounts, other Airtel/MTN users, and any sportsbook that supports Airtel/MTN.
Ghanaians will also be able to use bank/wire transfers at some sites, but this is a less common option. It’s mostly just the locally-run sportsbooks that accept bank transfers from Ghanaian banks (such as CAL Bank).
Can Ghanaians bet on their mobile devices?
They sure can.
As you will see in the other country sections on this page, African betting sites tend to have a huge mobile focus as internet-accessible cell phones are more common than, say, desktop computers on most parts of the continent.
What are the most popular sports to bet on in Ghana?
Soccer, in particular the English Premier League, dominates the sports betting market in Ghana.
As sports betting continues to rise in popularity, some have noticed that interest in the local soccer leagues has unfortunately declined. But recently, some of the Ghanaian-run sportsbooks have started offering wagers on the Ghanaian soccer leagues, hoping to boost the popularity thereof.
In addition to soccer, Ghanaians frequently bet on basketball, boxing, rugby, and tennis.
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.
They are not the only sportsbooks that accept Kenya users, however. Many other 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.
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 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 sportsbooks based elsewhere, 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.
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.
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 to enforcement.
Sportsbooks that operate without a license and players who use those sportsbooks are both subject to fines, jail time, and confiscation of funds.
While the potential for stiff penalties (upwards of R10 million) does not act as a deterrent for many foreign operators, 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.
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, there many licensed Nigerian sportsbooks to bet with legally.
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).
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.
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.
Is online gambling legal in Tanzania?
Yes, online gambling has effectively been legal in Tanzania for well over a decade, and has been regulated since 2012, when the government amended the existing legislation to account for online gambling and bring online operators under the relevant licensing regime.
That licensing system is currently run by the Gaming Board of Tanzania, which issued its first license to an online operator in 2013.
Despite being ahead of the curve (relative to other African nations) when it comes to licensing online sports-betting sites, there are still very few sites that are actually licensed in Tanzania itself.
Yet, just like in most of the other countries covered herein, myriad foreign sportsbooks offer their services to Tanzanian residents without obtaining a license form the Gaming Board of Tanzania.
They do so because it’s cheaper than going through the bureaucratic hoops of obtaining a license and because they run little risk of punishment, since they don’t tend to have an executable assets in the jurisdiction.
The general consensus is that Tanzanian bettors need not fear prosecution for using such betting sites. Legal or otherwise, the government is not concerned with punishing individual bettors.
Whether unlicensed, offshore betting sites are safe for Tanzanians depends entirely on which site is at issue. As in all countries, the options available to Tanzanians run the gamut from reputable to ignominious. Be sure to read comprehensive sportsbook reviews and do the background research before signing up and depositing money.
How do Tanzanians deposit and withdraw money at online betting sites?
Major credit cards like Visa and MasterCard, and sometimes American Express, are accepted at most sites.
Prepaid credit and debit cards are also a common option at both Tanzanian sites and foreign sportsbooks.
At the offshore books, e-wallets like Skrill and Neteller are usually available. Whereas, at the locally run sites, mobile money transfer services (Vodacom M-Pesa, Airtel Money, etc.) are very popular.
For the locally run sites that also have physical brick-and-mortar locations (like Premier Bet Tanzania), there is also a “voucher” system, which requires going into the land-based location, buying said voucher, and then using the voucher to make an online deposit at the operator’s website.
Can Tanzanians bet on their mobile devices?
Absolutely. Almost all of the sites available to Tanzanians — both local and offshore — make it pretty darn easy to place wagers from a mobile device.
According to Fredrick Boshe, mobile devices have a 77% market penetration in Tanzania, much higher than many African nations. So it’s no surprise that Tanzanian betting sites are highly focused on mobile options.
What are the most popular sports to bet on in Tanzania?
Have we mentioned that soccer is the most popular sport to bet on in Africa? That holds true in Tanzania, specifically, with the biggest European leagues, i.e. the English Premier League, La Liga, (Spain) Bundesliga (Germany), and Champions League, getting the most action.
Boxing and basketball are the biggest secondary markets in the country, with rugby gaining in popularity as well.
Is online gambling legal in Uganda?
Yes, online gambling is legal in Uganda for anyone aged 25 and over.
The legal framework in Uganda is somewhat akin to Ghana: in theory, the laws of the land (specifically the Lotteries and Gaming Bill, 2013) require sportsbooks to have a license in order to offer their services to Ugandans. But it’s not abundantly clear how the laws apply to foreign sportsbooks and there is no real enforcement effort/mechanism to prevent sportsbooks from offering their services to Ugandans without a license.
As such, many sportsbooks from around the world are available to Ugandan users. Obviously, since they don’t have to go through a licensing process, there is no guarantee that these sites have been scrutinized by any regulatory body for safety and security.
As in Ghana, whether a site is safe depends entirely on which site you are using. (This isn’t the only thing to look for, but one general rule is to make sure you only use sites that are at least licensed in their home country.)
Ugandans have access to about 40 registered sports-betting companies as fully-legal options, according to theobserver.ug. Many are just land-based, but some also have an online presence, so there are myriad licensed online options for Ugandan bettors to choose from.
How do Ugandans deposit and withdraw money at online betting sites?
Credit cards (Visa and MasterCard in particular) are widely accepted by both foreign sportsbooks and Ugandan-based sportsbooks.
Bank transfers are fairly commonly accepted, as well, particularly from local banks (like Stanbic and Barclays of Uganda) to Ugandan sportsbooks.
As in many African countries, mobile money transfer services are an option at many locations, both online and brick-and-mortar. These include Airtel Money and MTN Mobile Money (which are described in a little more detail in the Ghana section, above).
For local sports-betting operators that have both an online and offline presence, Ugandans can also take advantage of a “voucher” system, like in neighboring Tanzania (see above). It’s not terribly convenient, though, as it requires going into one of the operator’s land-based locations, buying a “voucher,” and then using the information on that voucher to perform a deposit into your online account with that operator.
When it comes to the offshore sites, if you don’t have a major credit card, it may be worthwhile to download an e-wallet (Neteller, Skrill, etc.) as they are widely accepted for both deposits and withdrawals. Prepaid debit cards (like EntroPay) are common, too.
Can Ugandans bet on their mobile devices?
Another yes! All reputable Ugandan sites, whether based in the country or offshore, have a mobile betting option these days. As in the rest of the continent, mobile betting appears to be the fastest growing sector of the Ugandan betting market, with more cheap smartphones from China flooding into the country daily.
What are the most popular sports to bet on in Uganda?
Soccer is king in Uganda. It’s also queen, prince, princess, and court jester. Again, the major European leagues get most of the action, but local books are also offering wagers on the domestic leagues, as well, these days.
There aren’t firm numbers out there in terms of handle, but basketball the second-most popular sport to bet on in the country, while boxing and rugby are also high on the list.