Bet365 South Africa is no more. In March 2015, the “world’s favourite bookmaker” decided it would no longer service South African punters or renew their license to operate in the country.
So why did Bet365 South Africa disappear? That’s a good question and one we’ll try to answer for you in this article. We’ll also speculate on the future of foreign bookmakers in South Africa and suggest some excellent local alternatives to Bet365.
Is Bet365 Available In South Africa?
Bet365 supports players from many countries around the world but as of March 2015, South Africans are NOT allowed to play. Bet365 South Africa was available for several years until the company took measures to restrict access and prevent South Africans from opening accounts. Bet365 is no longer licensed to operate locally and South Africa is NOT included in the list of accepted countries on their website.
Can I Use Bet365 In South Africa?
No. South Africans are not permitted to use Bet365. Unlike some unlicensed bookmakers who do not prevent South Africans from opening betting accounts, you will NOT be able to open a Bet365 account if you’re doing everything above board. The only way South African players can circumvent these restrictions is by hiding their IP address and falsifying personal information, which is not advised!
How Do I Join Bet365?
Unfortunately, Bet365 no longer accepts customers from South Africa. The UK-based bookmaker never explicitly shared their reasons for pulling out of the South African market, but it likely has to do with commercial viability and the licensing costs associated with operating in a highly regulated country like South Africa.
What Happened To Bet365 South Africa?
I remember that foggy day in March 2015 like it was yesterday. I was working as a customer support agent at a well-known bookmaker. I had just come back from a smoke break and was checking my Bet365 South Africa account for no other reason than to stare at my balance (Don’t tell me you’ve never done that…). I had won a soccer multiple the previous night and was excited to cash out my winnings for the weekend. It was then that I noticed a message in my account inbox from Bet365 South Africa:
“Following an internal review, we have decided as a company that we can no longer service accounts in South Africa. While we appreciate this might be frustrating for customers, this decision is final and was made after careful consideration from Bet365.”
Thankfully, I managed to successfully withdraw my funds but my days of punting with Bet365 were officially over.
Why Did Bet365 South Africa Pull The Plug?
From what we can tell, the reason for Bet365 South Africa ceasing operations was a change in gambling regulations and the company not seeing enough potential for growth in the market. Considering how much online betting in South Africa has boomed over the last decade, this was probably a poor business decision in hindsight!
Another possible reason for Bet365 South Africa ceasing operations is the fact that online casino games were available on the site, something which was illegal in South Africa until 2020. We speculate that authorities and regulators were unhappy that South Africans were able to play slots, tables and other live games on Bet365 when these forms of gambling were not yet permitted online at home.
Is It Safe To Play At Bet365 South Africa?
Should you somehow manage to open a Bet365 South Africa account using a VPN and provide “valid” documentation to make a withdrawal, the bad news is you might still not get your money. While South African banks allow customers to make deposits and withdrawals with licensed local bookmakers, they are within their rights to question transactions on your account they don’t recognise.
Should the bank deem any transactions to be illegal, they can confiscate your funds. In short, it’s really not worth the trouble and financial losses you might incur by playing at Bet365 South Africa, even if you can get away with successfully opening an account.
Will I Get My Money From Bet365 South Africa?
That depends on any number of things. Upon registration, you would’ve provided a name and address which needs to be verifiable. If you simply fake the country information to complete the Bet365 sign-up process you better hope you can prove you live where you say you do.
If the information you provided at registration does not match up with the documents used to verify your account, you won’t be able to make a withdrawal and your account might be suspended. As a South African, you’ll only get your money from Bet365 by illegally deceiving Bet365, the bank and the government.
What Does The Future Hold?
The National Gambling Board of South Africa enforces a strict licensing process for online betting operators within the country and from abroad. Many of the most reputable names in online sports betting are yet to secure a recent license to operate in South Africa—William Hill & Paddy Power to name just a few. Although some of these like Ladbrokes have tried and failed in the past.
However, with Betway being granted a license in 2017, we anticipate a slow easing of restrictions and more companies to follow suit. Competition is always a good thing for consumers and the more choice for South African punters the better!
Good Alternatives For Bet365 South Africa
Just because Bet365 South Africa is a thing of the past doesn’t mean you can’t have a fantastic betting experience right here in Mzanzi! Since Bet365 South Africa made its exit, several world-class bookmakers have come to take their place.
Bookmakers like Betway and Sportingbet both have an equally impressive sportsbook and casino as Bet365. These bookies boast thousands of pre-match and live sports betting markets, casino and live-dealer games as well as features like Cash Out, Bet Builder, Edit My Bet and Live Streaming.
Betway South Africa – With a finger on the pulse of the South African betting industry and its punters’ needs, Betway is the undisputed leader in innovation and accessibility. Sign up now for a R25 free bet!
Sportingbet South Africa – One of the best sites for in-play sports betting, the live casino and gaming technology at Sportingbet is also at the cutting-edge. Register today and get your first deposit matched up to R2 000!
Do you have any experience with Bet365 South Africa or know something we don’t about why they left us high and dry? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
More on Betting in South Africa
Looking for a free bet to try our some South African Bookmakers and see how they add up? Check out our FICA bonus page.
Hollywoodbets are currently offering a FREE R25 once fica’d to try out their site, give em a whirl. It might not be Bet365 but it’s got markets GALORE! Otherwise we also recommend signing up with Betway. You can check out our list of betting sites in South Africa which covers all legal and licensed bookies and casino sites in South Africa.