From a long list of Australian bookmakers that are licensed to provide betting services throughout the provinces, Sportsbet has one of the longest-running relationships in the industry with Australian punters. The company was founded in 1993. After several changes in ownership over the next 15 years, the company was sold to the Irish gaming conglomerate Paddy Power. After a couple of initial investments, Paddy Power finally completed the purchase of all interests in 2011. Backed by one of the world’s largest and best gaming organizations, Sportsbet has been able to successfully maintain its position as one of the top online bookmakers in the nation.
Upon hitting the home landing page, one would get the impression that Sportsbet is an insignificant player in the online bookmaking arena. Why? The website lacks both colour and character. Fortunately, the website’s content and ease of use more than makeup for what the overall theme fails to deliver. While most Australian-based online bookmakers tend to favor Australian-backed sports, Sportsbet gets its influence from its parent company, which translates to a well-rounded menu of sports events and horse race for punters to wager on. Currently, Sportsbet maintains its iGaming and betting services license with the Government of the Northern Territory.
After scanning through the list of available sports wagering opportunities, it would be safe to say that very few sports and countries are missing from the list. They offer everything from the most popular sports (European football, U.S. football, cricket, Aussie Rules, NBA, MLB, rugby, etc.) to what most punters would consider to be novelty sports. This would include sports like darts, handball, e-sports and cycling. With events being offered from all over the planet, punters can literally enjoy punting on major sports events morning, noon, night and into the wee hours of the morning. Sports punters can choose between betting options such as straight bets, multi wagers, proposition bets on major sports events and future odds on things like which team will win the AFL or NRL. Finally, live betting has become extremely popular in Australia. Sportsbet not only provides live betting options, they also stream live events from some of the nation’s top sports venues.
The first thing a punter sees when they hit the home landing page is loads of horse racing information. Front and center is a list of next up races from Australia as well as from countries like New Zealand, Germany, France, England, Ireland, the U.S., Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, South Africa, and parts of South America. The site features fixed odds wagering on races in Australia and parts of Europe. From countries like the U.S. where horse punting is handled through pari-mutual pools, Sportsbet pays track odds on all wagers, up to a rather generous ceiling. The race book’s betting options include win, place, exactas, trifectas, superfectas and omni-swingers, plus multi-race wagers from America, South Africa, Asia and Canada.
Bonuses and Promotions
Sportsbet has never been the kind of bookmaker that refuses to reward its punters. Not only do they offer a nice welcome bonus and plenty of betting promotions, they also have a “VIP” club where punters can socialize among themselves and earn extra benefits such as rebates and free handicapping information.
Sports bet welcome offer is built around the punter’s first real cash bet. After signing up for an account and making an initial deposit, the punter is given the opportunity to earn a bonus bet allocation equal to the amount of their first live bet, up to a maximum of $100. Through some links, the offer stands with a max of $501. The punter has 30 days to use their bonus bet allocation in its entirety. Wagers are limited to win/place in the race book and straight bets and multi-event wagers in the sportsbook. Any winnings from a bonus bet will be given to the punter, less the original stake amount. Prior to requesting a withdrawal of any winnings derived from bonus bets, punters are required to turn their bonus bet winnings over 1X on any eligible wagering market.
Sportsbet has always had a reputation for being generous with its punters, especially in the racebook. The menu of betting promos would seem to be a guarded secret since enrolled members are they only ones who can see the offers. What is known is that each of the betting promotions has been designed to give punters extra value on their favourite teams and horses. In some cases, betting promos are used to protect punters from missing a multi by one game or losing a horse race due to a disqualification.
Over the last few years, Sportsbet has perfected its mobile app. The app, while not very attractive, is highly functional and easy to use. It provides punters with the opportunity to carry on with their normal punting activities while on the go. The app is available for free from iTunes for Apple devices and Google Play for Android users. If punters want a shortcut, links to those two sites have been provided at the bottom of the website’s home landing page. Without an app, punters are still welcome to access the mobile website with their mobile devices, using nothing more than their operating system’s standard web browser.
In order to make deposits and withdrawals, punters can choose from one of seven different banking options. They include BPay, PayPal, POLi, bank wire, Skrill, MasterCard and Visa. Upon requesting a withdrawal, punters may be asked to present certain documentation that will be used to verify things such as their name, age and residence. They may also be asked to wait through a pending period of up to 72 hours before the withdrawal is actually processed.
This reviewer made several inquiries of customer service and found the web site’s customer service representatives to be prompt and helpful. If questions can’t be answered through the site’s FAQ section, representatives can be reached through a live chat option or through the use of the phone or email.