Meridianbet approved to bring sports betting services to South Africa

The bookies will be able to open for business just ahead of the South African COSAFA Cup.

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Meridianbet, a subsidiary of Golden Matrix Group, has been granted a sports betting licence by the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board.

After completing the application and passing the necessary regulations, Meridianbet was awarded a bookmaker licence, a bookmaker premises licence and a manufacturer’s licence.

These will allow Meridianbet to offer its sports betting products and services in South Africa, with the company providing live and in-play betting across various markets.

The manufacturer’s licence will grant Meridianbet the opportunity to license out its proprietary sports betting software within the Western Cape region.

Zoran Milosevic, Meridianbet CEO, commented on the approval by saying: “We are thrilled to enter the South African market, and this new licence presents a significant opportunity for us to continue to scale our operations.

“Expanding our reach into South Africa will provide new opportunities to grow our user base in an entirely new jurisdiction, underscoring our ongoing commitment to growing our industry-leading brands around the world.”

This deal has been struck just days ahead of the COSAFA Cup 2024 football tournament, which will run from 26 June to 7 July.

The COSAFA Cup will start with group stages and continue until the finals, with 12 teams in total competing this year.

These include Eswatini, Comoros, Lesotho, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Angola, Seychelles, Zimbabwe and Kenya.

This marks the first time Zimbabwe will play in the tournament since getting banned by FIFA in 2022. 

The controversial decision was given after Zimbabwe suspended the board of is football association following allegations of sexual harrassment towards women referees. 

Despite the possibilty of getting banned for interfering, which went against FIFA rules, the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) Chair, Gerald Mlotshwa, said: "We are prepared in many respects for whatever might happen.

"If Fifa decides to ban Zimbabwean football we are prepared for that. If it does happen we look at it being a short-term measure.

"Zimbabwean football needs this opportunity just to fix itself - if we are out of international football for a year, two years, that's fine. If we are suspended from Afcon next year we are prepared for that, that is fine, we need to deal with football."

As for European football, Meridianbet just launched its latest CSR initiative “EURO 2024: Every Goal for a Better Tomorrow” will see the group donate €30 ($32.14) for every goal that is scored during the tournament in Germany. 

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