The first that should be noted about Mad Bookie, the Australian Bookmaker, is the name of the site is a work of marketing artistry. As the website’s about section states, “we’re just a group of normal Aussie bookies,” and that exactly the vibe one gets when they hit the home landing page. It’s kind of refreshing to visit a site that is directed more towards the everyday punter as opposed to the big mega-bookies that have everything geared towards the high rollers and professional sports gamblers. A quick look through the site shows Mad Bookie offers everything a punter could want, given with a personal touch. As one of the newest (2015) online bookies in the region, Mad Bookie has an opportunity to bring something a little different to the industry. It should be noted this site only takes wagers from residents of Australia and New Zealand. The website’s home office is registered in Melbourne and they operate under providing by the Norfolk Island authority.
Through the use of a classic black/red/gray motif, Mad Bookie conveys a very masculine message. With the landing page menu across the top and the wagering options on the left-hand side, the website is laid out in a logical manner, making it easy for punters to get where they want to be. What seems to be missing from the home landing page is much of the administrative information punters seek before they join a particular bookmaking website. They do provide links to most of the relevant information, but it always nice to have easy access to the really important stuff, all in one place. Under the “sports zone” tab, punters have access to much of the day’s sports and racing news, as well as handicapping tips that can help them identify a few winners. As relative rookies in the industry, Mad Bookie has put together a decent website.
In a highly competitive industry, it’s always important for new bookmakers to use aggressive bonus promotions to corral new customers. That is exactly what is transpiring at Mad Bookie. The welcome bonus is rather generous with some rather restrictive terms and conditions. Punters get a 100% bonus match based on their first deposit, up to a maximum of $333. Any winnings, minus the original stake amount, must be wagered 3X at odds of +1.50 or greater in order to qualify for withdraw. That rollover requirement is a bit higher than industry standards in Australia. Other betting restrictions are also a bit more aggressive than some of the bigger bookmaking operations.
Under the betting promotions tab, Mad Bookie tends to list about 5-6 different promotions at any given time. Its promotions are evenly distributed between sports and horse racing and seem to always be targeted towards punters who have experienced a bad beat or poor luck. The current “Doomben Special” is a very interesting and innovative promotion. On specified races, punters get deescalating rebates if their horse runs second, third and fourth, up to a max bet of $100. That’s the kind of promotion punters truly enjoy.
As a truly Aussie online bookmaker, most of the wagering opportunities are focused on Aussie sports such as the NBL, rugby, cricket and Aussie Rules Football at both the national and regional levels. That doesn’t mean the website ignores international sports, it’s just that most of the international wagering events are somewhat restricted.
Mad Bookie does accept bets on most of the major soccer league across Europe, as well as taking bets on special events and unique sports being played in Britain. From the U.S., punters can wager on most of the major sports leagues, including the MLB, NBA. NFL, NHL and MSL. Betting options include straight or single bets, multi-event wagers, prop bets on selected events and future odds wagering on selected sports. On occasion, punters might also get a chance to wager on special events like elections and the Olympics.
The racing menu from the race book features fixed odds wagering with the best available odds on races from most of the racing venues from down under. The book even offers wagering opportunities from major racetracks throughout parts of Europe, plus greyhound and harness racing. What the racing menu doesn’t offer is racing from North America. That puts a major hole in the racing schedule and is sure to create a bit of disappointment among punters who are used to betting on the ponies in the U.S.
Based on the information provided on the home landing page, the website’s mobile app is only available for Apple device users through the iTunes App Store. Punters can use mobile devices that are compatible with other operating systems to access the general website with nothing more than a standard web browser. The mobile app appears to be a pared down version of the website with a functional interface.
Mad Bookie maintains an excellent customer service department that seems to always be fast and efficient. After offering up several questions about wagering and the site, the answers always came back spot on. Customer service representatives are available via email, phone and live chat during extended business hours.
Without a Visa or MasterCard account, Aussie punters could have difficulty making deposits and withdrawals. The only other available options are POLi, BPay and bank transfer. This is one area the website needs to seek improvement. Based on terms and conditions, withdrawal requests are subject to pending status for a brief period of time. At the request of a customer service rep, punters may be required to fax in documentation to be used to verify their age, name and residence.
In the early days, Mad Bookie struggled to gain momentum. After a few minor changes, they seem to be doing fine. The real appeal of this site is its focus on every punter without regard for the punter’s bankroll. In the future, it would be nice to see them expand the international betting options in the race book to include North American racing. At the end of the day, Mad Bookie is as advertised, just a “normal” Aussie bookmaker.