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SportsBet Australia

Sportsbet, Australia’s online sportsbook, has the distinction of being the first Australian licensed bookmaker with its 1993 establishment date. That milestone was the first of many as this sportsbook has enjoyed steadily increasing success over its near 25 years in the business.

To give you an idea of that escalation, back in 2005, Matthew Tripp, a small bookmaker from Darwin Australia purchased Sportsbet for just a quarter of a million dollars. He took a small eight-person office and expanded it to 250 employees. To be fair, the mid-2000s ushered in immense popularity for online gambling and bookmakers shifted focus from actual shops to virtual locations, so the company was one of many online operators taking advantage of the boom.

Regardless, that quarter million dollar business investment certainly paid off as just four short years later, more than 50% of Sportsbet.com was procured by Paddy Power, prominent Irish sports betting operator, for approximately $200 million. The deal allowed for expansion into other gambling services as well as the acquisition of competitor “International All Sports Limited.”

The story continues as Paddy Power – now known as Paddy Power Betfair – finishes up the deal in 2011 buying up the remaining shares for an additional 132 million dollars. More than 300 million dollars may seem a bit exorbitant, but less than five years later and Paddy Power Betfair is boasting a 54 percent increase in profit from 2014 to 2015 through a 31% increase in their active betting customer base.

The site now has over 750,000 registered bettors, and profits have been well over $100 million the last few years. It runs pretty much neck in neck with closest competitor, TAB.com, for wagering turnover.

Australians have embraced this sportsbook for its vast number of markets, generous bonuses with low rollover requirements, and easy funding process with many options.

Device Compatibility : iOS Windows Android

A record number of Australian adults participate in some regular form of wagering making it big business down under.

In general terms, online sports betting is legal, and at least 50 percent of all online wagers are staked on the National Rugby League or Australian Football League. Just as Australians enjoy their gambling, they are devoted to their sports and can enjoy both through numerous online bookmakers that cater to this large customer base.

Australia licenses and governs its home-based operators such as Sportsbet, and allow them to pretty much have free reign in their betting services with one notable exception. Bookmakers cannot offer live, in-play betting as an online service.

This in-play betting restriction has been highly contested, but laws seem to be tightening up instead of becoming more lenient for online operators. As recently as March of 2017, gambling reforms passed in Australia that strictly outlawed online cards, roulette, and in-play betting.

These restrictions were previously in place to an extent, but the new legislation intends to close up any loopholes. Regarding in-play betting, it was banned since the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act that addressed concerns about problem gambling through live betting action. However, operators were able to duct tape a fix and implemented click to call features on their betting sites. As in-play betting is restricted online, live phone betting is allowable. The click to call feature allowed for bets to be routed through a phone line via an online selection from within the sportsbook.

The 2017 legislation prohibits that “fix” and, if you look on Sportsbet or other Australian-licensed bookmakers, you’ll note that anyone wishing to stake an in-game bet must do so via phone. Also notably absent are casino game areas, poker games, and pretty much everything aside from sports and race betting.

What the Overall Experience Is Like

This is a sports lover’s site. Players don’t have to bypass a bunch of introductory or promotional information to get right to the heart of things. Sports, Racing, Bet Live, and Live Videos are front and center with featured games graphically depicted and displaying a quick overview of the match that’s enticing enough to make you want to click “bet” immediately.

As online casinos and poker rooms are banned in Australia, the website is divided between the Sportsbook and Racebook only. For casino or poker action, Australians need to head out to their local gambling establishment and play in person. Of course, they also patronize offshore operators, but the government is publicly “hoping” that isn’t the case.

Without additional gambling available and bonuses being limited to select areas as Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and New South Wales residents are prohibited from participating, Sportsbet does a great job in enticing new players and engaging its loyal ones. Weekly specials, a Punters Club, money back offers, early and protest payouts, and justice decisions take this bookie to the next level. It’s not resting on its laurels, it’s giving the people what they want, and that’s added value.

We’re going to provide details on the various promotions, the Punters Club and the Million Dollar Tipping competition in the bonuses section but, needless to say, Sportsbet relies heavily on these types of offers and opportunities.

The left side menu is a listing of quick links for popular matches and leagues, upcoming racing events, and all general sports categories that then open up to detailed lists of games and tournaments.

On the right, the sportsbook lists its specials, bet slip, and multi-pick card. If you don’t even go beyond the homepage, you have a good picture of what this bookmaker is all about and why (or why not) you should be a registered player.

It’s not the most visually attractive website as it has few graphics and enhancements, but it is neatly organized and easy to navigate to the different betting markets or the contact and informational pages.

They Do a Great Job at

We especially like the fun atmosphere that Sportsbet attempts to promote for its customers which is fitting as its part of the Paddy Power family of gaming. Paddy Power is known for its humorous take on gambling. This website doesn’t have the same type of scripting but does create a more pleasurable environment through all of the value-add promotions and ways for players to bring their mates along for the ride.

The site also earns high praises for offering a high payout maximum of a million dollars without a lot of fine print to accompany it. There aren’t different limits based on the sport or the type of bet; it’s just a flat million dollar maximum payout per 24-hour period. Of course, if you had day after day of million dollar payouts, you would most likely not be wagering anymore but, then again, you’d have millions of dollars, and you probably wouldn’t care.

Along with the high payout comes the easy cashout. Unlike some other sportsbooks that tack on fees for depositing and fees for withdrawing as well as limited options, Sportsbet Australia allows for practically every type of financial funding method available to Australians and turns those payments around quickly. It’s frustrating for winning players to have to jump through hoops to claim the cash that should be coming to them, and it doesn’t seem as if there are many payment issues for the site’s customers. Keep in mind that it’s licensed and regulated by the Australian government, so it needs to comply with the rules.

Sportsbet gets good marks for being an all-around good bookmaker. Markets are plentiful, and video streaming is available to players despite in-play betting not allowable directly from the website. The bonus offers and promotions are fun and add value, and the website design is not the best we’ve come across but provides everything players would need for convenient navigation and wagering.

What’s There to Improve?

Recreational bettors, for the most part, should enjoy the entire concept including promotions, funding, payouts, and, of course, the sports selections. However, some high rollers who bet big to win big have experienced frustration in having their betting limits reduced or even pulled altogether. The $1,000,000 maximum payout is large enough to cater to this clientele, but Sportsbet could implement a “winners welcome” policy to keep those players coming back for the long haul.

Customer Service is available by phone, email or live chat and, by all accounts, provides excellent assistance for members. However, customer service is not available during the night, that is during the night in Australia.

It’s a bit odd for a 24-hour sportsbook that caters to global clientele as well as its home-based punters to be so limiting in its access. We would think it could be frustrating for players in other time zones to plan accordingly to get answers to their questions or assistance with cash outs or other issues.

What to Bet on Here?

We have previously mentioned that Australian punters put down about 50% of their stakes on Australian Football League (AFL) and National Rugby League (NRL), so a local book needs to go above and beyond with these markets.

Just as expected, AFL and NRL are right at the top of the quick links menu and, currently, AFL games cover more than 200 markets, and NRL offers 58 per game. Sportsbet self-proclaims that it “specializes in AFL and NRL and offers the most competitive odds.”

Playing Million Dollar Tipping also gets players in on AFL and NRL action without staking any extra bets. It’s a free competition with $5,000 in cash during each round of the season and $50,000 for the two season-ending winners.

Other favored sports on sportsbet.com.au include cricket, US basketball, and soccer, soccer, and more soccer. Soccer spans the globe from Australia to the United Kingdom to Asia and the Americas. It also includes Spain, Italy, France, Germany and the US. Bets can be made on UEFA competitions, club friendlies, and other soccer specials.

Futures bettors may get a slight edge in odds through Sportsbet, despite it having a slightly above average margin on most everything else. It has also been known to start out higher and then provides slightly better odds closer to the competition.

Betting Limits

Most bookmakers have a detailed menu of either their maximum betting limits or maximum payouts, and they can vary significantly depending on the sport itself.

The company has a very simple rule regarding this issue. It says that a player cannot win more than one million dollars (AUD) on sports betting within a 24-hour period. That’s about as straightforward as it gets.

Novelty betting such as politics or entertainment stakes may be slightly different, but the maximum should be posted in the odds. The website doesn’t expressly state any maximum payout for novelties in its terms and conditions but, instead, lists that it’s at the discretion of the bookmaker.

The website offers a one million dollar maximum payout but what about the minimum? It’s also one, but it’s one cent. Players need only wager one cent online for any sports betting. However, if their phone betting option is used, it’s bumped up to a $20 minimum and $5 specifically for live betting. As a reminder, players cannot participate in live online betting but can call in their wager.

How Much Will I Like the Betting Experience?

Barring the limitations imposed by the Australian government regarding live betting, the sportsbook offers everything that a recreational bettor would seek in a sportsbook and also provides for a hefty one-million dollar daily payout that anyone would be happy to claim.

Its bonuses and promotional programs are plentiful and combine that with a one-time rollover and players really can’t ask for much more. Unfortunately, their hands are tied once again with the governmental restrictions that are applied to bonuses. Welcome and refer a friend incentives are not available to Victorian, South Australian, Western Australian, and New South Wales residents.

Players from those four areas aren’t allowed the value adds that others are so the only way for them to receive the same types of perks is to utilize an offshore book, as all Australian licensed operators are all abiding by the same guidelines.

Despite the regulations on live betting, this betting site still offers live video streaming as a benefit for its customers. The schedule certainly isn’t as extensive as it could be, but it still provides some of the more popular games and matches currently encompassing soccer, tennis, baseball, ice hockey, e-sports, and US basketball. Players who enjoy being able to watch their favorites through their go-to sportsbook will enjoy the experience even that much more.

Betting isn’t just limited to computer access only as they also offer apps as well as the full site in a mobile format for betting on the go. 66% of their customers stake their bets via mobile devices, so it’s advantageous to have a quality mobile sportsbook.

All in all, players should enjoy the overall experience that this bookmaker provides. There’s only one exception to this rule, and it revolves around the limitations imposed on some of the more experienced players who have demonstrated extreme willing ability. Winners have stated that they’ve been limited or even restricted from future betting, so we’re fairly sure that they no longer enjoy the experience.

Sportsbook Bonuses and Promotions

Some bookmakers offer very limited bonuses if any at all. That’s not the case with Sportsbet. It’s not a traditionally bonus-heavy book in the sense that it matches every deposit or wager, but it does have expanded promotional opportunities and money back specials that provide additional value and make it more fun for its loyal players.

Before we kick it into high gear with the fun stuff, let’s start with the traditional offering, the Welcome Bonus. This sign-up bonus is the most common offer made by the majority of sportsbooks out there today, and Sportsbet’s deal is relatively standard. New players are awarded a 100% matching bonus bet based on their first stake, up to a maximum of $100. Again, this offer pertains to the first bet and not the first deposit as some books are known to require.

This offer is better than some of its competitors when it comes to rollover, though. Whereas many books require a three, five, or even a ten-time rollover for bonus play, the website does not list anything like those. It promotes that the new player must use the bonus bet within 14 days on any race or sports event bet type or multi-bet. The one main restriction is that players keep the winnings, but they do not receive the bonus stake. So, a $100 bonus bet at $2 odds nets $100 winnings and not a $200 payout.

Again, rewards are offered to Australian residents but only in certain areas. Anyone who resides in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, or New South Wales is not eligible to receive bonus bets or other similar promotional offers.

In fact, the company was involved in a legal dispute in Victoria regarding this very issue. The state law prohibits the issuance of bonuses given to players in conjunction with joining a betting site.

Another fairly traditional bonus, also not available for those four aforementioned restricted areas, is the Refer a Friend perk. Friend referrals provide the friend with a double bonus bet offer up to $150 as long as he or she deposits at least $50. It also provides the player who made the referral a $100 bonus bet, one of the highest referral offers around.

Sportsbet also provides some weekly specials that vary, but there are other perks for its dedicated players looking to increase their payout potential.

“Double your Winnings” – This offer pertains to markets the online sportsbook specifically promotes as being eligible at any given time. The site will double the profit on cash bets made on a qualifying market. The first win is credited to the player account and eligible for cash out, but the “doubled” portion is awarded in the form of a bonus bet.

“Win Boost” – A win boost will pop up from time to time, and the percentage of the “boost” will vary per promotion. Sportsbet will provide a bonus bet of the boost rate based on the winnings. So, if the boost is 50% and the winnings (not the stake) amount is $20, a bonus bet of $10 will be credited to the player.

“Money Back Specials” – The website states that they provide money back specials only on days ending in a “y,” a strict requirement. The promotions page lists all of the current money back offers and players can take advantage of them just by losing their bets. That should be relatively easy, right? Just to give you an idea of the extent of this money back program, the betting site gave back over $5,000,000 to its customers during one recent AFL season. Five million!

“Justice Refunds and Justice Payouts”
– If you’ve never heard of a justice refund or payout before, it’s pretty much as it sounds. The refund benefits the bettor if something extraordinary happens that changes the winning ticket to a loser. In this case, Sportsbet issues a refund on the amount of the bet staked and not on any potential payouts.

For justice payouts, punters are awarded an actual winning ticket even if it’s technically a loss by determination of an additional winner. In this case, the players are paid out as actual winners, and not just issued a refund on their stake.

We want to use the bookmaker’s own written example of a justice payout as we really just like this story.

In the finals of the Jeffreys Bay Open, Aussie surfer Mick Fanning had to actually punch his way out of a Great White shark attack. Julian Wilson, a fellow Aussie finalist, came to his aid in the encounter, so Sportsbet paid out on both Fanning and Wilson. Let’s hope that both Fanning and Wilson also benefitted as they probably need a good long vacation after that competition.

“Early Payouts” – If a selection looks like a sure thing, Sportsbet has been known to pay out early and then, even if that sure thing turns around, the bettors still reap the rewards. They’ve issued early payouts on an AFL Premiership win, and futures bet on the winner of the Daily M medal, that was actually issued three months in advance.

“The Punters Club”
– Not so much promotion, but a way to enhance the fun of betting by getting your group involved. The punters club allows a player to set up group betting with his or her mates. The group has its own betting account pooled from individual player accounts, and each club can set up its own rules and betting rounds.

“Tipping” – Tipping is a free contest in conjunction with the AFL and NRL seasons. Sportsbet members create profiles and then select the tipping competitions they’d like to enter, and a click of the Register button puts them in the running for $5,000 per-round prizes and a $50,000 final prize for each season-end winner.

How You Can Deposit to This Site

An additional benefit to legalized sports betting is more readily acceptance of payments for player account funding. In restricted countries where players are seeking to fund an account with an offshore operator, it can be quite challenging as many banks are not apt to approve transactions associated with gambling.

In Australia and through Sportsbet, depositing to and withdrawing from a player’s account should be relatively easy and even when restrictions are imposed by certain financial institutions, Sportsbet gives players a heads up so they can move on to plan B.

First and foremost, the website offers fee-free transactions in both directions and doesn’t impose any maximum limits regarding deposits. It leaves everything up to the individual funding source.

Credit and Debit Cards
Turnaround time: Instant
Desktop or Mobile?: Both
Notes: Sportsbet does not accept American Express and Diners Club; some Prepaid and Virtual cards will also be declined. Account holders of Virgin Money, Bank of Queensland, and Citibank are also not permitted to use this funding method.

PayPal
Turnaround time: Instant
Desktop or Mobile?: Both
Notes: Only available for Australian account-holders

POLi
Turnaround time: Instant
Desktop or Mobile?: Desktop only
Notes: POLi can be used for depositing and not as cash out method. POLi is only supported through ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, NAB, BankSA, BankWest, Bank of Queensland, Bendigo Bank, CUA, People’s Choice Credit Union, St. George Bank, Suncorp Bank, Newcastle Permanent, Bank of Melbourne, IMB, ING Direct, Citibank and ME Bank.

Skrill
Turnaround time: Instant
Desktop or Mobile?: Desktop only
Notes: also referred to as Moneybookers

BPay
Turnaround time: usually one business day if BPay Deposit is initiated by 5:00 pm (AEST) Monday through Friday
Desktop or Mobile?: Both
Notes: Can only be used for depositing to player account

Direct Bank Transfer
Turnaround time: usually one business day if Deposit is initiated by 5:00 pm (AEST) Monday through Friday
Desktop or Mobile?: Both
Notes: First deposit could take up to 48 hours

Cheque
Turnaround time: a minimum of five days
Desktop or Mobile?: Neither – cheques are mailed to PO Box 4755, Melbourne, VIC 3001
Notes: Timing will vary depending upon receipt of cheque via mail service

Sportsbet Cash Card
Turnaround time: Instant
Desktop or Mobile?: Both
Notes: Available to Australian residents only and it takes approximately 15 business days to receive the card via Australia Post. Card fees and load limits may apply, and this is not a credit nor a debit card but can be used at ATMs.

Deposits as low as $5.00 can be made into the player account.

…and How You Can Cash Out

Sportsbet is not a bookmaker that delays payout processing. It approves payments daily Monday through Friday until 2 pm each day. Sportsbet recommends bank account payouts to its players as it’s the fastest and easiest method. If a payout request is issued before 2 pm Monday through Thursday, the player could have his or her winnings the very next day.

Bank Transfer
Turnaround time: Next business day if initiated by 2 pm Monday through Thursday
Notes: Non-Australian banks could add on 3-5 extra business days to the original processing window, and smaller banks and credit unions may take up to three days regardless of location.

PayPal
Turnaround time: Could take up to one business day
Notes: PayPal can be used by Australian residents only

Sportsbet Cash Card
Turnaround time: Instant
Notes: Winnings can be accessed with ATM withdrawal

Cheque
Turnaround time: At least five business days
Notes: Timing will vary on cheque payouts as it’s not a frequently utilized method of withdrawal with Sportsbet

Skrill
Turnaround time: Instant up to one business day
Notes: Desktop request only

Sportsbet will process withdrawal requests as little as $10 and payouts are not subject to additional fees.

The Level of Service

Customer service at Sportsbet is typically highly regarded. We haven’t come across consistent complaints about incorrect responses or rudeness. They are usually considered to be quite helpful and considerate.

Despite the excellent service, Sportsbet’s customer service department is not available 24/7. It operates from 7 am to midnight Mondays through Saturdays and Sundays from 8 am to 9 pm. If the sportsbook doesn’t close, customer service shouldn’t either.

How Do They Compare to Others?

Australians looking to place bets on the sports that matter most to them will be very happy with Sportsbet. Its coverage of Australian Football and the National Rugby League is extensive, and the odds are competitive for these particular events.

Books like Unibet and bet365 can sometimes have better odds on international soccer, but Sportsbet typically takes a top spot in the range of futures offered in sports and non-sporting events.

As far as the overall menu of sports and markets, Australians would be hard pressed to find significant improvement on any direct competitor, these guys have good coverage and a broad range of markets.

In a comparison of bonus programs, we find that some books out there offer more match-type bonuses based upon deposits or the degree of wagering, but Sportsbet’s 100% first bet match with just a one-time rollover requirement provides one of the best value around. Its money back specials and other promotions that potentially increase the final payout amount also add to the value and make it a top contender in the promotions and bonuses arena.

The $.01 minimum bet and a $1,000,000 top daily payout maximum coupled with no-fee transactions for deposits and withdrawals provides one of the best overall financial packages offered to sports bettors.

We seem to be leaning heavily toward Sportsbet, but it does consistently put forth an overall good product and experience. Offshore operators catering to the Australian clientele can provide online in-play betting for its customers, though. That’s no fault of Sportsbet as they’re playing by the rules, but today’s punters enjoy the value and convenience in betting on live action from within the betting site.

…and Our Final Conclusion

A superior sportsbook to one player may not be to another, but we feel that Sportsbet does an excellent job of providing a good bookmaking operation for its players.

When we look at the elements that comprise a quality book, Sportsbet ticks most of the boxes:

*The in-play betting, again, is only available by phone and there is no “link to phone” available within the sportsbook itself. This is not an omission. It’s Australian law and actually abides by the most recent updates to legislation pertaining to in-play wagering. It would be helpful to have live action without the need to call, but we can’t fault the bookmaker in this area.

Sharp bettors who really study those odds will find some better opportunities on other books, but it will depend on the specific game being staked. Sportsbet is competitive in most areas but will come in high on occasion. However, by taking advantage of Power Play on AFL games, as well as win boosts, double your winnings, and money-back offers, Australian punters should find Sportsbet is a good bet.