If you're living in, or planning to visit, South Africa after next week, you'll have a problem trying to use Betfair. With sports betting licences now being granted to foreign companies (Ladbrokes and Sportingbet are two of the early licensees), the world's biggest betting exchange are in the process of applying for a traditional sportsbook licence. While that is in progress, they will be blocking access from within South Africa, in order to keep on the right side of local authorities.
Betfair to pull out of SA
UK-based betting community Betfair will no longer offer its services to South Africans from next Tuesday.
The company says it will block access to its services from SA-based IP addresses, following the Supreme Court of Appeal ruling last September that declared online, or interactive, gambling illegal, says Betfair public affairs manager Tom Tuxworth.
Betfair is applying for a traditional back-only sportsbook licence in the Western Cape under the existing framework, says Tuxworth. Sports betting is legal in SA under the current gambling framework.
“Our Web site is in the process of being IP-blocked to the entire country.”
On 14 February, all existing accounts will be suspended and Betfair says South Africans must withdraw their funds before then.