Online betting payouts: Where does all the money come from?

The fixed-odds betting industry continues to grow both physically and online, and has remained a popular pastime for many who enjoy the thrill and anticipation of wagering against probability-based odds offered by a bookmaker. This form of entertainment sees consumers win payouts anywhere from tens of rands into the hundreds of millions. These often large sums of money are guaranteed if won through legal channels – so how do bookmakers afford to payout such significant sums on a regular basis?

Tasoulla Hadjigeorgiou, CEO of says, “Over the past year, has paid out close to R83 million. We continue to offer massive payout opportunities to over 57 000 registered users – for example, the current potential payout of half a billion rand on offer on the 19 December 2015,” she explains. “By law, bookmakers have to provide guarantees against their ability to payout those agreed funds, to protect both the consumer and their own business.”

“In order for us as a bookmaker to guarantee that we are able to pay these winnings to players, we have a number of financial provisions in place internally, which are audited and verified by the governing provincial gambling board – in our case, with the Mpumalanga gambling board.” In addition, larger potential payouts require insurance guarantees through major international insurance providers.’s payouts are not shared, meaning it is only possible for one winner to receive the payout amount. “For this reason, our payouts are only guaranteed if someone wins. Therefore, we insure the payout money with an upfront deposit to our insurers, as a bet is placed insurance is taken on that bet automatically.

“About 60% to 70% of any bookmakers’ business is generated through number betting, which has become a targeted niche market in South Africa. When dealing with such large payout offerings, it is imperative to be able to guarantee these promised amounts without compromising our business, as well as to ensure commitments made to customers are met,” Hadjigeorgiou concludes