Best Online Lotto Sites in South Africa (2022)

        South African Online Lotteries (2022)

        Before 1997, Lotto was a little-known gambling activity among the South African masses. The country lacked a legal framework that regulated the online lotto industry, save for a few attempts in the now defunct homeland of Ciskei where Score-A-Lot operated Video Lottery Terminals (VLT) in the year 1991. 

        The lotto industry took a turn with the introduction of The Lotteries Act, No. 57 of 1997 which was enacted to regulate and prohibit lotteries and sports pools and to officially establish the National Lotteries Fund. Of importance is to note that the Act expressly provided that there would be only one lottery system in South Africa. 

        Following the enactment of the Act, various gambling companies came together to bid for the licenses to run the national lotto. Uthingo Management, which was formed in 1996, won the license to operate Lotteries in the country. The main duty of the company was to raise money for the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund. Uthingo owned 70% of the company ownership locally while the remaining 30% were invested by international investors and players. The main role of the foreign owners was to provide the tools and knowledge to run the lottery system effectively. 

        Uthingo ran the lottery until the Gidani consortium took over from them in September 2007, with a license to run the lottery for 7 years. Gidani introduced scratch cards as part of the lotteries and ran the lottery industry until 2015. In the same year, Ithuba Holdings Limited was given the license to operate the lotto. 

        Currently, The National Lottery is operated by Ithuba, the 3rd license holder for the state lottery on behalf of the National Lotteries Commission (NLC). In 2019, Ithuba raised more than USD100 million in support of charitable causes. The NLC, through the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF), utilized the funds raised in 3 areas: charitable activities, sports and recreation, and arts and culture.

        The legal framework of Lotto in South Africa

        The Lotteries Act, No. 57 of 1997 is the primary legislation that was enacted with the following primary objectives:

        • Defined what was Lottery in South Africa
        • Create the National Lotteries Board and how it should operate. 
        • Provide for the process of awarding licenses to conduct the National Lottery.
        • Establish the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF). 
        • Outline the comprehensive approach to the distribution of NLDTF funds.

        Additionally, the Act provided for the regulations of other lotteries, including society lotteries and private lotteries. The Law also deals broadly with regulating society lotteries which are a means of fund-raising for not-for-profit organizations. It is worth noting that in addition to the regulations on the implementation of the Act, various penalties are listed for those found in breach of the lottery laws in South Africa.

        The 1997 Act was amended by the Lotteries Amendment Act, No. 46 of 2001, and further by the Lotteries Amendment Act, No. 32 of 2013 with the provisions touching on-

        1. The establishment of a National Lotteries Commission 
        2. Removal of the reconstruction and development program as a category entitled to be allocated money from the fund
        3. Provisions touching on the licensing of an organ of state to conduct the National Lottery
        4. Provide a transparent accountability process for the distributing agency 
        5. Professionalization of the distributing agency
        6. Elimination of the overlapping of roles between the Minister and the board
        7. Certain definitions
        8. An extension of the powers of the National Lottery Board

        Online Lottery Legislation

        It is evident that the online market is not well legislated and there seems like it could be illegal. However, the general gambling legislation remains very wide, and it is on these premises of the gaps in the law that the South African National Lottery avails its online products to the local market. A number of provisions within the local legislation serve for regulating the work of the online lotto sites in the country. Now that we have given the historical background and the legality of the online lottery, it is important that we tell you the criteria we use when picking the best online lotto sites in South Africa.

        How we Choose the Best Online Lottery Site

        1. Legality and safety of money and data - We always check for the sites that have been regulated and licensed to offer gambling services by the government and any other applicable authority. Additionally, we look at the measures that they have put in place to secure the money that you send to them, including but not limited to having an insurer for big lottery wins. Lastly, we consider the levels of encryption on the website and online platforms, to ensure that your data is protected. If a site satisfies most of the above conditions, we are likely to rank them highly.
        2. Accessibility - the level of accessing the platforms to bet also plays a major role on how a bookmaker will rank; think of how easy or hard it is to navigate the website when placing bets, the time it takes to load, and also the space needed on a device for installation. A site that has apps for both Android and iOS will definitely come before those that do not have one or both.
        3. Products offered - sites that have a variety of options to select from tend to come first. We look at the sportsbook options, where bookies will place their bets, as different people have different tastes and preferences. A variety of options attracts more people, and we are therefore inclined to rank them higher. 
        4. Promotions, bonuses, and jackpot - it is important that a lottery site awards people who play with them, be it when joining or during their existing relationship. In this regard, we always compare the frequency and sizes of promotions and bonuses and rank punters. Additionally, bookies who have a big jackpot that has been won severally tend to rank highly. 
        5. Customer care and user reviews - the modes of being accorded help by the company you stake on matter a lot. Where a site has options to seek help, including live chats and 24/7 customer care. We also go through thousands of past reviews by customers who have used the site and in the first instance consider where the admins respond to queries on time.

        Best Online Lotto Sites in South Africa

        Here is our list of the best bookies to play online lottery on in SA:

        Lottoland

        Lottoland is a renowned international front-runner when it comes to the online lottery. The bookmaker offers a wide range of international lotteries for South African Players. It is important from the onset to clarify that Lottoland is fully licensed and regulated by the Western Cape Gambling Board. However, they are not an official lottery operator and do not buy any lottery tickets on behalf of the punter. In essence, Lottoland lets customers make bets on different lotteries, and if they win a bet, they are paid directly by Lottoland and not by the National Lottery Board.

        Lottoland remains a giant in the South African lottery for this major reason- it has more than 25 different International Lottery options. These include The Irish Lotto, EuroMillions, and the USA PowerBall. In addition to these, there are special main prizes like Cash4Life where you can win R10,000 per day for a lifetime, and Keno24/7, which could reward you with up to R1 Million every 4 minutes.

        Lottoland is definitely one of the world’s premier lotto service providers. It is important to note that Lottoland holds the Guinness world record for the world’s biggest online gambling payout. As an incentive to its clients and to keep the clients entertained, they offer amazing and regular promotions and bonuses at various times of the year. Lottoland can be accessed by the users through the website or the mobile phone app, for both Android and iOS users from the respective app stores.

        Pros

        • Over 33 international lottery draws to select and bet from.
        • Easy to use and navigate a customized website for South African players
        • Instant and guaranteed payouts via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
        • Frequent promotions and offers over and above the official lotto operators

        Cons

        • Does not offer customer support full time
        • No iOS app for Apple users
        • There is no live streaming option on the sportsbook section

        The Lotter

        When we talk of a stable and reliable lottery site, then The Lotter should feature among the top in South Africa. With over 20 years of existence globally, The Lotter has earned its place not only in South Africa but also in the global lottery arena. The Lotter does not claim commissions, is not an agent of any service provider, and uses its private betting platform. The biggest advantage of being an independent site is that bugs are fixed promptly and offer quick upgrades. The Lotter focuses on the needs of its players, which in turn, meets the business needs.

        The Lotter provides a wide pool of gaming catalogs of more than 50 unique lottery games, including the South Africa Daily Lotto and the South Africa Lotto. To play create the Lotter account and pick one of the more than 50 lottery options available. Select the number of lines and pick the numbers of your choice. Next, go to the payment methods and pay for your tickets. Staff from the Lotter will purchase the ticket and scan it for you, sit back and wait to see if it is your lucky day to win!

        Another feature worth mentioning is the user interface of the Lotter- the website is easy to navigate and offers comprehensive features from the moment you launch it. The Sign-up, deposit, and purchase of tickets are easy, and the entire interface is interactive when selecting numbers to bet on. The mobile web and mobile apps are easy to maneuver and can be downloaded by both android and apple users. 

        Pros

        • The Lotter has paid more than $100 million to over 6 million people all over the world
        • Offers over 50 lottery options to select and play from
        • It is secure, easy to use, and offers plenty of bonus offers.
        • Allows a variety of payment options including credit/debit cards and e-wallets.

        Cons

        • Pretty expensive for South African punters
        • Charges an average service fee from the players
        • Not available in all the countries

        National Lottery

        Also known as Ithuba National Lottery, this is the legal and exclusive rights holder to undertake lottery gambling in South Africa on behalf of the National Lottery Commission of South Africa. The license was issued in 2015 to Ithuba after winning the bid from the Gidani consortium that had taken over from Uthinga. Ithuba offers the following options to select from; Lotto, Lotto Plus 1, Lotto Plus 2, PowerBall, PowerBall Plus, Pick 3, EAZiWIN, SPORTSTAKE 13 Fixtures, Raffle and RAPIDO. Below is a brief of each of the options offered by the National Lottery;

        1. Lotto: pick up to six numbers ranging from 1 – 52. If you match at least three numbers, you are eligible for a prize. To win the jackpot, simply match all six numbers.
        2. Lotto Plus 1 & 2: match six numbers just like lotto for an extra fee and you will get I or 2 chances respectively if you happen to lose. 
        3. PowerBall: for just R5, a player picks five main numbers from 1 to 50 and one Powerball number from 1 to 20. If they match the 5 numbers and the Powerball number, they get the highest prize.
        4. Daily Lotto: the draw takes place every night at 21:00 Central African Time. Punters need to pick five different numbers ranging from 1 – 36. Where no ticket matches all the 5 numbers, the jackpot prize is given to the ticket or tickets that corresponded to the first four numbers.
        5. EAZiWIN: the National Lottery offers instant win scratch cards which are not physical, tangible cards but digital in nature. The card is matched with a slip that produces a winner. The names of the games are Popa Feela, 4 Siya Wina, Fafi Fortune, and Morabaraba.

        Being the only local lottery rights holder, the National Lottery boasts of gorgeous bonuses ranging from free shares upon registration, to free tickets with every purchase or a bonus on deposit. Additionally, there is a simple and elaborate website that covers all aspects of the customers’ needs. 

        Pros

        • Secure, safe, and guaranteed safety of your data, money, and winnings
        • A variety of options crafted for the South African community to play
        • Strict rules that offer a fair ground for all the players to play 

        Cons

        • Limited options unlike other international bookmakers in South Africa
        • No mobile app for both Android and Apple users
        • The tickets are pretty expensive for the local population.

        FAQ

        How do I bet with the online lotto?
        How do I claim lotto winnings in South Africa?
        Is online lotto legal in South Africa?
        What online lotto site is the best to play on?

        Andreas Aalmers is responsible for all content on BettingGuide ZA. He has prior experience as a math teacher and plays poker professionally when not writing for BettingGuide. Please contact him for any inquiries regarding gambling in South Africa.

        Last updated: 10/6/2022