What is a Bookie?In the heart of South Africa’s sports betting scene, a bookie, or “bookmaker,” is an individual or entity that facilitates bets on various sporting events. From the lush fields of rugby to the fast-paced action of soccer, bookies set the odds, take bets, and pay out winnings, ensuring the wheels of this industry keep turning.
Key Responsibilities of a South African Bookie
- Setting Odds: South African bookies must have a keen understanding of local and international sports to set competitive odds.
- Accepting Bets: They manage wagers on popular sports, including rugby, cricket, soccer, and more, catering to the diverse South African market.
- Paying Out Winnings: Ensuring timely and fair payouts is essential for maintaining credibility in the South African betting community.
- Balancing the Books: Similar to their international counterparts, South African bookies aim to balance bets to minimize risk and ensure profitability.
How Bookies Make Money in South AfricaBookies in South Africa earn through the vigorish or “vig,” a commission charged on bets. This fee is critical to the business model, as it guarantees income regardless of the outcome of the events.
The Legality of Being a South African BookieSports betting is legal and regulated in South Africa, overseen by the National Gambling Board. Bookies must adhere to strict regulations and obtain a license to operate, ensuring a fair and secure betting environment.
Applying for a Bookmaker License in South Africa
- A bookmaker license is necessary to conduct the business of a bookmaker.
- Any person, except those disqualified by section 30 of the Gambling Act, can apply for a bookmaker license.
- Applications must be made in response to a notice inviting applications published by their nearest provisional Gambling Board.
- The application format includes an original application, copies of the original application, public copies with excluded confidential information, and proper advertisement of the application.
- Relevant documents such as consent applications, legal instruments, declarations, and release authorizations must be included.
- Accompanying documents required are company and personal declarations, fingerprints (police clearance certificate), certified identity document, work permit and criminal clearance for foreign applicants, tax returns, VAT returns (if applicable), recent passport-sized photographs.
- The Board may request additional information during the investigation process.
- The costs associated with applying the license include an application fee of R2,780 for key employees and R690 for others, as well as a license fee of R14,520.