What is it that distinguishes a great online bookmaker from its competitors? How do you know if a bookie is legal, licensed and safe? Which operators offer the best odds and all-round service?
BettingSite.com.au is here to answer those questions and show you what to look for when selecting the best online bookmaker for you.
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Top Australian online bookmakers
The recent boom in online betting means Australians now have myriad options when having a flutter over the Web. Not all bookmakers are equal, however, and there are a special few that provide better odds and all-round customer service than the competition. These, in our opinion, are the very best online bookmakers for Aussie punters in 2019:
Dean Shannon, the former boss of Ladbrokes, founded this young Australian-owned and operated betting site in October 2017, after rumours had been swirling for months about a pending launch. Many of the team at Neds are also from Ladbrokes and from the outset you can tell the site is run by pros; it is easy to move around and place bet on both their desktop and mobile sites. Unlike other young operators in Australia they have also immediately launched both iOS and Android Apps for their product. It is licensed in the Northern Territory, while it also clearly states that South Australians will be dealt with in that state. Overall it looks like Neds is going to be a winner.
After buying CrownBet and WilliamHill, the Star Group consolidated their purchases by combining its investment under the BetEasy banner. After originally creating BetEasy in 2015, former Sportsbet genius Matt Tripp is still running the show. The BetEasy interface for desktop and laptop is easy on the eye and even easier to use, as are the bookie’s dedicated betting apps for smartphone and tablet devices. Punters can explore an enormous range of sports and racing markets via intuitive menus and quick links, while the odds and bet specials on offer are consistently among the best in the business. BetEasy is the official AFL wagering partner and offers live streaming of all matches for the 2018 Premiership season.
Owned by Irish betting giant Paddy Power since 2010, Sportsbet.com.au is Australia’s most recognisable Internet bookmaker. It has helped pioneer the mobile betting boom with innovative app features such as the Multi Builder – a special betting interface for Android and iPhone that makes it easier than ever for punters to combine several different sporting events into one mega multi. Besides the near-infinite spread of sport and racing bets on display, Sportsbet is also a trend-setter in novelty markets for current affairs, entertainment, music, politics and more.
The Ladbrokes brand dates all the way back to 1886 when it was first formed in the United Kingdom. After more than a century of success and growth, the bookmaker launched its Australian operation in 2013 and has quickly become a significant player in the industry. The first bookmaker to introduce services like cash-out cards, Ladbrokes has built a reputation on competitive odds, best tote prices on racing and a number of promotions and weekly specials on sporting events all around the globe. Ladbrokes uses its status on the world stage to invest heavily in promotion and advertising in Australia and offers punters a popular ‘perfect round’ betting option, on which you can compete against other punters for big pools and jackpot cash.
The Palmer brothers’ bookmaking legacy reaches back more than 30 years to the days when their grandfather, Ted Palmer, was among the most prominent figures in the Sydney betting rings. Having carried on the family trade with trackside shops both in New South Wales and interstate, Andrew and Grant Palmer took their business online in 2013 with the aim of providing a fresh and more balanced approach to the punter-bookie relationship. As it says on the website: “Palmerbet is determined to offer a more youthful, interactive and fairer betting experience for all punters, with a commitment to offer better odds and bigger limits.”
Bet365.com is one of Britain’s great 21st century success stories. It now ranks among the world’s largest online betting networks, providing services to an appreciative audience of millions. Football fans will be hard pressed to find a better bet than Bet365, where you can feast on a veritable smorgasbord of soccer betting markets while watching live streams from the UK, Europe, Asia, South America and the United States. This is definitely a bookmaker you should be a member of if you are based in Australia and enjoy International sports.
Originating from Europe, Unibet.com.au entered the Australian market in 2012 after acquiring BetChoice. The bookmaker can certainly claim to be one of the biggest in the world, boasting more than 14 million members across 100 countries.
The advantage of its size and reach is Unibet’s ability to offer competitive odds in racing and sport, while its bookie rewards program is among the best in the industry.
TopBetta has established itself as a respectable brand in Australia since being formed in 2010. The company used to be licensed by Norfolk Island but Australian authorities stripped them of the right in 2016. This forced Topbetta to become licensed in the Northern Territory, which is the same top-of-the-line licensing companies like Sportsbet and BetEasy have.
The thing that makes TopBetta different is the betting tournaments they host. This means you can buy into a variety of tournaments and be given a set amount of funds to bet with. You then place your bets and the winner, or leaders, are given the pool that accumulated through entries. Topbetta also has competitive sport and racing odds with strong promotions surrounding the big events in Australia. They also made a splash with their Global Tote Product which launched in 2016.
MadBookie.com.au markets itself as the bookmaker created and run by normal Aussie blokes – just like you. A new player on the Australian bookmaker scene, MadBookie sets itself apart from the competition with its unique player prop markets – a fun and interactive betting service. Established in Melbourne, MadBookie still provides all the every day markets for racing and sport both domestically and abroad and offers members ‘mad lays’ every week – which guarantee odds above market value on featured events every week.
Customers can take or lay odds on an enormous array of sports betting and racing markets from all over the globe. You can choose from a variety of different prices and pools for the same bet – a luxury not afforded at regular online bookies.
Betfair is the only online betting exchange licensed to operate in Australia, which makes it a must-try for the discerning gambler who wants more options and maximum flexibility.
Best bookmaker promotions and specials
The top online bookies run dozens of weekly betting promotions to ensure their customers enjoy the best value on the biggest sport and racing markets. These can include cashback specials for AFL and NRL matches, multi insurance for A-League and European soccer, and any number of bonuses, boosts and top-price guarantees for major horse racing and greyhound meets. You will also find big value deals on marquee events such as the Olympics, the FIFA World Cup, the US Masters, Wimbledon, Tour de France and more.
Better still, Aussie punters can score hundreds of dollars in bonus bets and other rewards simply by creating a new account at one of our recommended betting sites. For example: if you sign up at BetEasy.com.au today, the bookie will match your first deposit with a free bet up to $500. Check the fine print and make sure you are eligible for such deals beforehand, however, as welcome bonuses of this kind are not permitted in certain states.
Best horse racing bookmakers
The Australian horse racing industry makes up a huge percentage of all betting that takes place in Australia. While the Melbourne and Sydney racing scenes are regarded as the cream of the racing down under, every state in Australia has vibrant racing industries.
Traditionally all horse racing bets were placed via on-course bookies or via the various Totes across Australia, which have largely been a monopoly for Tabcorp and Tatts, who are now a merged entity, making even bigger betting pools.
This merger came about because of their market share being eroded by the gluttony of online bookmakers that are licensed to take bets on Australian horse racing.
What is the best online bookmaker for horse racing? It’s really hard to look past Sportsbet in Australia, although BetEasy and Neds both provide sensational services to both seasoned and novice punters.
Which bookmaker has the best odds for horse racing? This largely comes down to each individual race, rather than being able to determine which has the best odds in a sweeping statement. Use odds comparison services and hold multiple accounts to get the best racing odds.
What bonuses and promotions are available on horse racing? Because of laws in NSW, BettingSite.com.au chooses not to promote bonuses and promotions on this website. Read Horsebetting.com.au for more information about bonuses.
What are the biggest races in Australia? The obvious one is the Melbourne Cup, but the entire Melbourne Spring Carnival is hard to top. The Championships in Sydney and the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast are other massive carnivals.
Best AFL bookmakers in 2019
The AFL is the centrepiece of sports betting in the Southern states of Australia, running from March through to the last Saturday in September every year.
With 10 teams in Victoria and two in each of Western Australia, NSW, South Australia and Queensland, the AFL has successfully expanded right across the country and the punters have followed.
The AFL has approved a number of licensing bodies to allow their operators to take bets on this competition, and has named BetEasy as their official betting partners for the 2019 AFL season.
Major fixtures on the AFL calendar that draw increased betting interest include the finals series, grand final and blockbuster matches like ANZAC Day when Collingwood play Essendon, or two team states like Adelaide and Port Adelaide clash.
What is the best bookmaker for AFL? We get asked this question a lot and again it’s hard to not name Sportsbet as the no.1 betting site for AFL bets. Having said this they don’t always have the best odds. If you are serious about turning a profit betting on Aussie Rules it’s smart to hold multiple bookie accounts, with BetEasy, Neds and Bet365 all providing a super-service.
What bookie has best AFL odds? Again this will come down to individual matches, but you will generally find only small fluctuations across the different bookmakers in Australia. Some bookmakers have things like enhanced or inflated odds, where you choose a game to make the odds more in your favour.
Best NRL bookmaker sites
The National Rugby League competition is arguably the most hard-fought league competition in the world, with it running during the winter months in Australia.
While the AFL dominates in the northern states, the NRL rules in the southern states, with Sydney and Brisbane the centre of all things league.
Betting on individual NRL matches is highly possible, with 100s of markets launched on gameday, or when the teams are named, which is usually a few days before kickoff.
There are also NRL markets all year round, which can include things like a market for ladder leader at the end of the home and away season, premiership winner and even on individual awards like the Dally M Medal (league best and fairest) and the Clive Churchill Medal (best on ground in the grand final).
What is the best bookmaker for NRL? Sportsbet and Ladbrokes both have outstanding products for NRL betting and a huge slice of the market share in NSW and QLD.
What bookmaker has the best odds for NRL? Again this comes down to the individual market you are looking for. There is often a few percentage difference between bookmakers markets which can make all the difference in the long run when wagering on the NRL.
Other major sports at Australian online bookmakers
Australians truly are spoilt for choice when it comes to betting with online bookmakers, with our regulated industry among the most advanced in the world. This means we can bet on everything from the latest reality television series from right around the world, to the various domestic and international sporting leagues.
The A-League is the no.1 soccer league in Australia and features many world class players, including imports from overseas. In terms of betting, all of the bigger Aussie online bookmakers do take bets on this competition, with Sportsbet, BetEasy and Unibet and Bet365, through their strong ties to Europe, all featuring a first class betting experience.
Competitions like the Super Rugby, which Australia has five teams in, also draw extensive betting interest, not just down under, but in New Zealand, South Africa, Japan and the United Kingdom, where there are teams based. All of the best regulated bookies will feature markets on this competition.
It would also be remiss not to mention the NBL and basketball betting at Aussies bookmakers. For starters the NBL is the national competition, which does get some betting interest. However it’s the NBA which has truly captured the Aussie public’s imagination, with Melbourne’s own Ben Simmons among the best players in the world.
Read our guides to betting on sports at Australian online bookmakers:
Legal online bookmakers in Australia
The two defining differences when choosing an online bookmaker to wager with in Australia, are whether they are based here, or they are based offshore. You should always choose the former option if you want to stay within the confines of the law.
Australian states all have different Liquor and Gaming or Racing and Wagering departments which regulate gambling in their jurisdiction, which has provided plenty of problems for both the Government, hell-bent on taxing the industry, and online bookmakers, who are finding it increasingly hard to make a profit after the introduction of the Point of Consumption bookmakers tax being slowly rolled out right across Australia.
The majority of Australia’s online betting sites are licensed in the Northern Territory, although some hold multiple licenses. BetEasy, Sportsbet and Bet365 are all regulated by the Northern Territory Government, while Palmerbet holds gambling licenses in the Palmer brothers’ home state of New South Wales.
If a real money bookmaker site isn’t registered with an Australian state or territory, it isn’t worth the risk. To find out more about online bookmakers and their legal obligations in your state read our guides.
Deposit methods at Aussie online bookmakers
There’s no point joining an online bookmaker if it doesn’t offer a selection of convenient and secure online payment solutions. The best Australian bookmakers, such as those we endorse at BettingSite.com.au, support a number of trusted methods for making instant deposits and fast withdrawals in AUD currency:
All real money transactions at our bookmaker sites are safeguarded by certified SSL (Secure Socket Layer) digital encryptions, which means your cash and identity are protected by bank-standard safety measures. Processing times may vary depending on which payment option you choose, so check the bookmaker’s FAQ section for more details.
Mobile betting apps for iOS and Android
The advent and ongoing advancement of mobile betting technology has made it easier than ever for Australian punters to make real money wagers on the go. Each of our approved online sports bookies has fully integrated iOS apps for Apple iPhone and iPad betting, available for free download at the App Store. If you use a Samsung, Sony, Motorola, LG, HTC, or any other smart device that runs on open-source software, you can get the Android app directly from the bookie by tapping the links below:
You don’t need an app to have a flutter on your smartphone or tablet device, as all of our trusted mobile betting sites have sophisticated HTML5 browser platforms optimised for all major operating systems. If you are a BlackBerry or Windows Phone user and want the convenience of a one-touch application, you can make a Web app in a jiffy by visiting any of the mobile bookie websites above and selecting ‘Add to Home Screen’ from your in-browser settings.
New Australian online bookmakers
August 26, 2018, BetEasy:The Australian online bookmaking scene has undergone something of a solidification in recent times, with global gambling giant Pokerstars buying both Crownbet and William Hill in Australia, merging them under a new entity BetEasy.com.au. Boss Matthew Tripp wanted to use the SportingBet.com.au brand, but was stopped in the courts by Sportsbet, who claimed copyright infringement. Aussies will be familiar with BetEasy because before their merger with Crown Resorts and branding as Crownbet, the company used this name.
October 27, 2017, Neds.com.au: Former Ladbrokes boss Dean Shannon launches his new project, Neds.com.au, with a huge budget advertising campaign kicking off proceedings just in time for the 2017 Melbourne Cup. Under 12 months later Shannon was to sell the brand to Ladbrokes, making a sizeable profit and further enhancing his reputation as a man with a midas touch in the gambling industry. Neds still operates independently to Ladbrokes and has a big sports betting and racing following.
November 30, 2015, BlueBet.com.au Legendary Aussie bookie Michael Sullivan launches a new brand in Australia aimed at taking on the biggest of the punters. The bookie only features horse racing and has not really become a mainstream bookie, but many of the biggest whales in Australia do hold an account there, as they look to get one up on the former Sportingbet boss.
Customer service and support
The big difference between the best bookies and the rest is how they treat their customers. The leading Australian betting sites have built their reputations on providing punters with outstanding service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round. Whether you are troubleshooting a technical issue, or you want to request a bet market that isn’t listed, you should be able to get in touch with friendly and professionally trained support staff day and night via live chat, toll-free telephone, or email.