Judging purely based on numbers, horse racing is king in South Africa.
According to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), horse racing accounted for 78% of the total gross sports betting revenue in South Africa, generating R1.7 billion ($191.3 million) from the total R2.2 billion ($247.5 million) the entire sports betting industry earned in 2011.
The numbers were disclosed by Nikki Forster, PwC Gaming Industry leader for South Africa, during the recent SA Gaming Outlook report held in Johannesburg this week. Horse racing’s dominance in South Africa’s sports betting industry isn’t entirely a surprise, especially when you consider just how popular the sport is over there. Most notably, two provinces – Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal – dominated the horse racing revenue in the country, earning R547 million ($61.54 million) and R648 million ($72.90 million), respectively, from their sites alone. Do the math and that’s 71.4% of the total gross gaming revenue horse racing earned last year.
Of all the markets in the country offering sports betting – it’s not available in the Eastern Cape – Gauteng was far and away the biggest of them all, making up 60.2% of the gross gaming revenue from 2011 with R288 million ($32.4 million) followed a long ways off by the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, which generated R75 million ($8.43 million) and R61 million ($6.86 million), respectively.
Make no mistake, though, despite horse racing controlling the lion’s share of the sports betting revenue in 2011, online betting outlets, which allowed for wagering on events like the Rugby World Cup, the ICC World Cup 2011, and even the 2010 World Cup. The Rugby World Cup, in particular, was a hot bet in the country, contributing to a 40% increase in turnover.
Having said that, all the other types of sports betting in South Africa still falls dramatically short to the popularity of horse racing in the country. Anytime one type of action controls over three-fourths of the entire pie, that’s a huge difference in any language.
So when you happen to be planning have a future vacation to South Africa and you’re looking for some betting action, the horse racetracks are where it’s at.