What does the Sponsorship deal between Betway and SA Rugby mean for the Future of Betting in South Africa?
Fans of the Springboks will have noticed by now that the South African national side has teamed up with Betway since August, entering into a commercial partnership which has seen Betway’s familiar branding appear on the players’ shorts during games, while also being featured on perimeter signs inside the stadium and a range of other advertising spaces.

The deal, which will last for three years, has enabled Betway to add to its growing reputation in the country and provide more exposure to a South African audience. After all, South Africans are keen on both sports and gaming, something Betwayspecialises in. As such, the reputable operator now accompanies the other Top SA Casinos as it serves up appealing video slot games like Brides of Dracula and Odin: Protector of the Realms, alongside a whole host of other entertaining options. But what does the deal mean for the future of betting in the country, and could we see more partnerships like it in the future? Let’s take a look below.

Sports betting is on the rise

As is the case in many other territories globally, sports betting has become a popular activity in South Africa. Partnerships like Betway’s with SA Rugby will certainly expose the benefits of betting to a wider audience, but the industry has already witnessed dramatic growth in the country. Despite the global online gambling market still being illegal in South Africa, the sports betting sector is legal and, between 2020 and 2027, it’s expected to grow at 11.5% on a compound annual growth rate, according to Grand View Research.

The global pandemic has certainly played its part in the increased number of bettors in South Africa, although the industry witnessed a number of encouraging signs before then too. On top of this, the country’s now tech-savvy population is constantly seeking ways in which they can entertain themselves on their smartphone devices, with betting being quick and easy to do. For instance, apps can be downloaded and fired up within seconds. Smartphone usage has soared also, with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa finding that smartphone penetration reached 91.2% in 2019, up from 81.7% in 2018.

Could more brands partner up with sports betting and casino operators in the future?

With more reputable brands aiming to break into the South African market, there could be a growing trend of sports betting and casino operators partnering up with big brands in the country. It has certainly materialised in other countries, especially in the UK, where nine Premier League clubs currently have gambling companies as their front-of-shirt sponsors, while six Championship sides have the same type of deal in place too.

The Premier League, for instance, is one of the most viewed competitions on the planet, hence why so many big players from the sports betting and casino gaming space are striking up these beneficial partnerships. The same could occur in South Africa, with the Springboks and Betway’s deal representing a massive step for the industry as a whole. In fact, it’s the first time SA Rugby has ever partnered up with a betting operator. Soon, it could become the norm.
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