Johannesburg - Ladbrokes, the world's largest bookmaker which now operates in SA, has noted a "solid uptake" in betting with a higher-than-expected number of locals placing bets on the Rugby World Cup.
Ladbrokes is the third international bookmaker to enter the country through its joint venture with partner Kairo International Group.
The bookmaker said on Monday that since its launch in August into the local market, it had seen a 50% increase in registered South African customers month-on-month (August to September), a 25% rise in turnover (August to September), and a 40% increase in number of bets placed in August to September.
Anli Kotzé, marketing manager of Ladbrokes, explained that online sport betting was new to South Africa but the uptake had been really good and better than expected.
This she ascribed to Ladbrokes' reputation as a licensed and regulated operator.
"We see South Africa as a great opportunity for Ladbrokes to increase its footprint in a fast developing market. We've also adapted our payment model to cater for the needs of the local market where debit and credit cards - which are traditionally needed to make purchases in the online environment - could be lacking."
Kotzé said the company was positive about the local market's potential.
"South Africa's online sports betting market is worth about R660m and is expected to grow to about R800m over the next two years, especially in the top local sports such as horse racing, rugby, football, cricket, golf and tennis.
The London-listed company which operates 24 different language sites and supports 17 currencies obtained its SA gambling licence in September 2010, which allowed it to target online consumers on a national level.