SMS Betting: Guide and Operators

Giuseppe Faraone
Senior Author
clock badge 6 Min Read

Placing bets via SMS is a simple enough operation, but if you haven’t done it before, it is ideal to know exactly how this works. Furthermore, it would be prominent to note the operators are providing this betting service. 

And this is what we’re here for – to give you an insight into this form of betting. Join us for this complete guide to SMS betting and having the best experience.


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Last Updated • October 2023

Bet via sms in 6 easy steps

How to Bet Via SMS

It can be said that betting via SMS isn't so common, but it provides a nice alternative to use. And it is an easy route to take, allowing you to place bets without specifically having a connection to the internet for it. Not everybody has a device that can connect to the internet, and connections themselves aren't always possible from all locations. So, using the SMS betting possibility is ideal for playing at online casinos in Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, and across the continent.

It can be said that all of the casinos that do provide this type of gambling have dedicated numbers to utilize. This ensures you can always place an SMS bet on your favored options. So, how do you proceed with this? Well, take a look at these simple steps to get ahead.

Step 1 create a casino accountStep 1: Create a Casino Account

It's always the case that when you want to place bets, you need to have an account. You may believe this requires you to open the account via a web browser. This is not always the case, though. Some African casinos also support SMS registrations, meaning you don't have to have an internet connection to proceed with such. It's quite a simple alternative to utilize.

Registering for an online account is simple enough, but SMS requires sending a specific word to the required SMS number. You can also send the word "GAMES" to be provided with the details surrounding the games you have available to place bets on.

Step 2 Verify the Account With a PINStep 2: Verify the Account With a PIN

If you have signed up via a web browser, then you will also need to verify that you are the one who has opened the account. A PIN will be sent to you via SMS, which you need to open. That PIN should then be entered into the provided box on the casino website. In doing so, you will activate your account instantly. It is also key to note that when you sign up and verify your account this way, you have chosen a password that you will always remember because you'll need this to log in at the site in the future.

Step 3 Top-up Your AccountStep 3: Top-up Your Account

To top up your casino account, you must follow a simple procedure. This requires you to visit the deposit tab on the online platform, where you will be asked to input the amount you would like to transfer across. Then, you will be prompted by a pop-up notification regarding the transaction on your phone. This asks you to confirm the payment and complete the top-up.

Alternatively, you can utilize an app on your device for paying bills, such as M-PESA. Select Lipa Na M-PESA and then choose to pay a bill. Enter the number relating to the casino as the business number and, if required, the casino name as the account number. Input the amount you want to deposit there, followed by your M-PESA PIN, and send. An SMS will then be delivered to your device to confirm the transaction.

You can also utilize alternative mobile payments, such as Airtel and Boku, or you may find some Pay by Phone casinos to join. These all work similarly, requiring you to either transfer money via your mobile device or have charges added to your next mobile bill.

Step 4 Check the Sport EventsStep 4: Check the Sport Events

If you intend to engage in sports betting, you can proceed with this in two ways. Should you have an internet connection, then you can navigate to the online sportsbook and see the events that are available to bet on. Alternatively, you may be able to have the information sent directly to your device by requesting such via a simple SMS to the relevant number. The same is true if you want to engage in the best casino games.

Step 5 Bet Via SMSStep 5: Bet Via SMS

Now that you're ready to start betting, you need to know how to proceed with this. It is simple to place a single bet, as you only need to have the details of the game ID or the sporting event. At the same time, you should choose an amount to stake on the chosen event and then divide it with the hash symbol. So, it would be ideal to bring up an example here to show what we're talking about.

Let's say you want to bet on a Champions League game between Manchester United and FC Barcelona. You're looking to back United in the game, and you want to bet 300 on it. You find that the game has been assigned the ID number 35001. So, your SMS message would look like this – 35001#1#300. The first number is the identity of the event; the second is that you want to back the first of the two teams, and the third is the amount you want to wager on the team.

What about multiple bets at once, though? You need to increase the number of game IDs and picks and then place the stake at the end of the SMS. So, again, let's use an example.

Let's say you want to wager on the aforementioned Manchester United versus Barcelona match. Still, you also want to wager on Liverpool winning against Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan losing to Borussia Dortmund. They have been assigned event IDs of 35001, 35006, and 35010, respectively. You want to place a stake of 200 on the accumulator, so your message would look like this – 35001#1 35006#1 35010#2 200.

You can also place double chance bets, with the codes of 12, 1x, and x2 being relative. So, if you wanted to back a draw or Borussia Dortmund win in the game mentioned above, you would use 35010#x2#200, for example.

It has also more recently become possible to bet on both teams to score or no goals via SMS. The codes for this would be GG or NG, respectively. The format for the message would be Game ID#GG/NG#200.

Step 6 Balance and WinningsStep 6: Balance and Winnings

So, if you're betting via SMS, how do you know what you may have won and how to collect your winnings when you want them? You can use a web browser to visit the betting site and log in with your sign-up information. You can then navigate to your bets and see all the open bets and settled bets this way. You can also look at your betting history this way.

You can then proceed with requesting a withdrawal should you wish to do so. You can do this in two ways, either by SMS or via the online website. From the website, you can select the withdrawal option from the menu and enter the amount you would like to withdraw from the account. Via SMS, you need to use the following code – W#Amount, and then send this to the relevant number. Many of the best Uganda online casino sites have this process available.

Withdrawal requests can be sent at any time and are usually processed instantly. Make sure you note the minimum and maximum withdrawal amounts possible and that carrier fees may apply when processing withdrawals.

A steadily growing way of betting

Reasons Behind the Success of SMS Betting

SMS betting has become highly popular across Africa, and there are multiple reasons why this is the case. If you want to get involved in it yourself, but you're not sure how it will benefit you, take a look at some of the reasons it has become so successful.

Service Without Internet

Today's gambling world is so commonly associated with the online scene. So many people around the globe have gotten on board with accessing online sites via a desktop computer or a mobile device, using an internet connection to do so. Yet through SMS betting, this isn't a requirement. Therefore, if you're in a location where there is no possibility of an internet connection or your phone doesn't have such capabilities, SMS betting is an ideal alternative.

The internet penetration in some African countries is still low but set to grow in the next years. Have a look at the share of internet users in Africa as of January 2022, by country, created by DafaReportal.

Share of internet users in africa as of january 2022, by country

Operational on Non-Smartphones

Not everybody possesses a smartphone that can connect to Wi-Fi or data connections. Therefore, SMS betting serves these devices perfectly. A simple SMS message can be sent, and the bets are easily placed on them.

Intuitive to Use for Beginners

Some can say that visiting an online sportsbook and seeing the plethora of sports and their associated markets is overwhelming. This is especially true if you're a newcomer to online gambling. And like anything, you may require a casino guide or sportsbook guide to get through the basics. When it comes to SMS betting, though, you're provided with a much simpler option to use, benefitting beginners perfectly.

With only a few different markets to bet on this way, you can get used to placing sports wagers in general. Potentially you may want to move on to other markets via the online world at a later time, but SMS betting is a perfect way to begin your sports wagering journey.

Very Cost-Effective

It can be very expensive in some areas of the world to use data connections on the phone, especially if you only possess a pay-as-you-go phone. Mixing this with slow and unreliable connections in some places and mobile data betting isn't a feasible way of proceeding with gambling. Instead, through SMS betting, you can look forward to using a cost-effective option, where you send off a simple message, and your wager is placed straight away.

Tailored to Emerging Territories

It can be said that some locations in the world are only just opening up to sports betting and casino gaming. Countries that have been providing such services for a long time are fully capable of working multiple ways of betting into their territories, and these usually operate without issue. But in those places where the markets are just becoming familiar with betting in modern life, they need to ensure they can provide a good service to users. 

If there isn't a stable internet connection available, then perhaps their servers are likely to go down, thereby knocking out their website. Through SMS betting, this is less likely to happen, and it allows the territory to grow and build itself up.

Some aspects to highlight about sms betting

Important Aspects of SMS Betting

If you are interested in getting involved in SMS betting, it may benefit you to learn about some of its important aspects. Here, we will look at some of those text messaging features.

Great Privacy

The subject of privacy is something that gamblers worldwide are concerned about when it comes to engaging in the activity. We have also discussed the safe online casinos on our website many times. Sometimes people refrain from placing bets online because they're afraid of how anonymous they are and how protected their data is. 

Fortunately, when it comes to the SMS betting scene, you benefit from a great level of privacy. Nobody else can see what you're doing, you don't exchange any of your payment details with the sportsbook, and your personal information is kept to yourself.

Bet with Minimal Effort

It doesn't take a long-winded effort to place a sports bet through SMS messaging, either. Rather than having to visit the online sportsbook, login, make sure you have funds in your account, find the event, then the market(s) you want to bet on, then place the bet, you get to go through a single process. Add the event ID, the outcome you want to back, and the stake into a message and send it to the relevant number. That's all. Your bet is placed, and you can proceed with your day.

73.4% of Gamblers in Africa Wager Via Mobile

Across Africa, more and more countries are opening up to the possibilities that sports betting can bring. And that's great. Most people engaging in betting are doing so via a mobile device, though. Again, that stands out as a great thing because it considers how popular this form of gambling is. 

That's especially true when you compare it to the 25.13% who are betting from a desktop computer and the 1.48% who are engaging in it via a tablet. SMS bets also make up a large portion of those wagers, making it one of the most popular methods of placing bets across the continent.

Strong Communities on WhatsApp & Telegram

Because you have the possibility of placing bets via a mobile device, it also gives you the chance to connect with other bettors across Africa. Many African players utilize the Telegram and WhatsApp options, meaning you can also get involved with the same community. In this respect, you can exchange betting information, talk about your wins, and get to know anyone else who partakes in SMS betting.

Conclusion on sms betting and our opinion

There is a lot to be said about engaging in SMS betting. It has a plethora of benefits, especially when it comes to being able to place your preferred wagers offline. Not only that, but because it is a private way of wagering and it doesn't take a lot of effort to do, SMS betting stands out for many people, beginners included. So, yes, we would recommend betting via SMS.

SMS Betting FAQs

Why use an SMS deposit to fund your online betting account? Arrow
What SMS deposit options are available for online betting? Arrow
Which sport betting sites accept SMS deposits? Arrow
What online sports can I bet on using SMS deposits? Arrow
How do you bet on SMS? Arrow
How do I register for Betway via SMS? Arrow
How do I bet via SMS in SportPesa? Arrow
How do I bet via SMS on ODI? Arrow
How do I withdraw from SportyBet by SMS? Arrow
Where is SMS betting available? Arrow
Giuseppe Faraone

Giuseppe Faraone

Author & Online Gambling Expert

1188 Articles
Being so close to the action in iGaming, Giuseppe is on top of any new developments the minute they come through the door, as his book is testament to. Published in October 2022, his first book; The Untold Story of Online Gambling is available on Amazon.
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