The Australian wagering landscape is very competitive with many online bookies offering a great punting experience. These include household names like Crownbet and Sportsbet but it’s obvious once you dig a little deeper that there are other options equally as good.
Often when you are betting on a specific sport or event a certain bookie will be targeting those punters, which means they will have some great promotions surrounding the said event. This could come in the form of cash back offers, bonus bets or whatever else they have dreamed up.
If you are talking about greyhound racing specifically, many punters are looking for early markets, but not all bookies will cater to these markets. Two of the better ones featuring futures for our sport are Bet365 and to a lesser extent Sportsbet.
More mainstream racing codes like horse racing will have a greater spread of bookies offering futures markets, with all the major online sites having extensive wagering on the thoroughbreds.
Sports betting is a different kettle of fish again with certain bookies focusing more energy on certain sports, like the AFL for instance, while others like Palmerbet treat horse racing as no.1.
Best online bookmakers for Australians
It is very subjective as to who is the best bookie site in Australia because there are so many good ones. Each of the following bookies has pros and cons and we will change who our current no.1 is from time to time, just like we’ll axe a bookie if they are doing something negative towards the punter.
As any experienced punter will tell you, it is well worth being a member at multiple bookies, which means you will have a better opportunity to get the best odds and use the promotions that suit the event your are punting on. Follow the review links for a more detailed explanation of each bookie or read about them in short below the table.
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Top six bookies in short:
Crownbet: Arguably Australia’s most popular bookie in 2017 with most people well-aware of this brand, which is largely owned by casino mogul James Packer. If that doesn’t turn you off the Crown Rewards program is a great initiative that can be used across different platforms (i.e. land-based casino and sports betting) and accrues points which can then be used for free bets or some great prizes. In terms of wagering Crownbet offer markets on everything from greyhound racing to American sports.
Sportsbet: An Australian-founded company that has a huge presence largely because it has been around since the early days of online sports wagering in this country. Sportsbet is one of the few bookies to offer some futures markets on greyhound racing. Another great feature is the boosted odds that can be used on the racing codes once daily. Sportsbet is a bookmaker you must be a member of if you regularly have a punt.
Bet365: Probably the most well-known wagering company in the world and has a huge global footprint servicing over 200 countries. Bet365 gets a high run on this website because they often have all-in markets up for greyhound events well in advance. This means you might be able to find some great odds prior to a dogs heat for them to win the event. The bookie has several promotions running that boost the bottom line, including a percentage odds boost on selected racing events.
Luxbet: Is the TAB’s online offering and Australian-owned which is a big plus. Luxbet offer a very competitive bookie service, particularly with the three racing codes. If it has a weakness it would probably be in sports betting, where they don’t invest as much time. Owners are well-served at Luxbet with a percentage boost on any bets placed at Luxbet on your own horse or greyhound. Luxbet will run weekly promotions surrounding greyhound racing, particularly if there is a big event on.
William Hill: If you are based in the UK, Canada or one of the many countries William Hill services they are a great option to wager on Australian sport and racing. In Australia the brand was brought in to replace Sportingbet, Centrebet and TomWaterhouse, which all formerly had a huge presence in Australia. While the William Hill brand has really failed to take off here, they do often have the best odds on events, but be aware they sometimes refuse bigger bets.
Palmerbet: 100% Australian owned and backed by the NSW Bookmakers Co-operative, Palmerbet offers an almost boutique service in comparison to some other online sites. This doesn’t mean it’s not good, but they simply don’t have as many markets as other bookies operating down under. Having said that, Palmerbet is extremely competitive in horse and greyhound racing and offers some unique promotions that make them a definite starter in bookies you should be a member at.
Payment methods at online bookmakers
This is the most important part about finding a bookmaker; what is the point of signing up if there is no way that you can deposit from where you are? For instance, in China and the USA many credit card companies, under instruction from their governments, block payments to gambling sites.
This is a huge inconvenience but it is not insurmountable for most with many different options available right across the globe. If credit cards don’t work for you there are web wallets or pre-paid cards like Union Pay or pre-paid Visas which are often exempt from payment blocking.
Popular deposit options
Credit cards – You can’t go wrong with internationally respected credit/debit card providers such as Visa and MasterCard. Deposits are processed instantly so you can start laying bets straight away. This is the no.1 deposit method for online bookies and most people will be able to use this method.
POLi – Based in Melbourne, POLi allows you to make real-time money transfers direct from your personal bank account. It is available on Windows PC and mobile devices at selected Australian financial institutions such as ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac.
Skrill – Formerly known as Moneybookers, Skrill is one of the leading Web wallet solutions with more than 36 million account holders worldwide. This is a great way to get betting funds in and out of your account at Australian real money gambling sites such as Sportingbet, BetEasy and Sportsbet.
PayPal – Founded in 1998, PayPal was among the first e-commerce companies to provide customers with an alternative to direct Net banking and credit card transactions. PayPal deposits are accepted at many of the best greyhound betting sites, although they are usually available only to Australian customers.
BPay – Better known as a convenient way to pay bills online, BPay is also supported as an AUD deposit method for online race betting and sportsbooks. Either go through your personal Internet banking account, or contact your financial institution via telephone to make this option available.
Neteller – A great method to get around payment blocking because it processes the payment to the bookie for you. All you need to do is sign-up for a Neteller account, link a card or use another method to fund the account. Is friendly to most countries around the globe, although US and China punters will need to look elsewhere.
Bank transfers – This method is facilitating a money transfer from your bank account, to one held by a bookie. Most Aussie-facing bookies will use this method which is great for those who don’t have a card, or are looking to deposit a large sum. The downfall of this method is that it can take up to 72 hours for the money to be cleared into your wagering account, or even longer if you are sending the money to an offshore bank account.
Cashout methods & withdrawal times
You can withdraw funds from your Internet gambling account using some of the above methods, as well as via cheque, telegraphic transactions and electronic funds transfer (EFT) and with e-wallets such as Skrill and PayPal. You usually have turn over your original deposit amount before you can cash out (even if you haven’t applied any bonuses).
While cash deposits with instant banking, Web wallets and debit/credit cards go through in seconds, withdrawals often take several days to process. This is purely a matter of security and commonsense, as the best Australian greyhound bookies go to great lengths to ensure that every legal requirement is met and all withdrawn funds go to the rightful account holder.
Withdrawal times can vary depending on what type of transaction you have requested, for instance if your bank has already cleared a payment from your bookie before it should go through over night. But if you have never made a withdrawal before it could take an extra night.
No bookmaker withdrawal within Australia should take longer than 72 hours unless you have requested a cheque. If you’re overseas in a place like the United States a withdrawal can take up to a week and their will be a limit on how much you can withdraw each month. They put this limit in place as to not raise suspicions with the government.
The three racing codes in Australia
Horse racing, greyhounds and harness racing make up a large portion of the Australian betting landscape. They also capture to the public’s imagination to varying degrees. Obviously horse racing is king pin with the Melbourne Cup and The Championship the jewels in the crown.
But greyhound racing has its moments with races like the Melbourne Cup and Golden Easter Egg gaining plenty of widespread attention and the recent emergence of Water Goat showing the potential the sport has to grow.
Harness racing is the third leg of the trifecta in terms of turnover, but it also has its time in the sun each year, with races like the inter-dominion making headlines in Australia and New Zealand and garnering significant betting interest.
Best bookmaker for each racing code:
Horse racing: In my opinion it’s a tough choice when it comes to the thoroughbreds, largely because Australian-registered bookies don’t like taking bigger bets and most will cut you off if you are too successful. At the time of writing this several pro punters, who are friends of ARG, are telling us that Crownbet is probably the pick at the moment with several recent bets of $10,000 o favourites showing they will take a chance.
Greyhound racing: We love betting all-in markets in greyhound racing. This is because you will be able to make a serious profit if you think you know the eventual winner of a series. For instance prior to a heat a dog might be $15 to win the entire series, but after blitzing that first run they might be wound into $3.50 to win the entire thing. Bet365 is the pick of the bookies offering all in market on greyhounds, but you might struggle to get more than $50 on your selection. From the perspective of betting on race day, Crownbet and Sportsbet are the most competitive with odds.
Harness racing: Really doesn’t get much love from the bookies but if you are smart with where you bet on a daily basis you can use the situation to your advantage. I’d recommend signing up at Sportsbet, Ladbrokes and Crownbet and keeping an eye on the promotions section.
Sports betting in Australia
The football codes in Australia are massive with the AFL dominating the southern states and growing rapidly in the northern parts of the country. The NRL is still king in NSW and Queensland and the success of the Melbourne Storm mean it has a foothold in Victoria.
From a punting perspective the two main football codes are what people wager on in the winter, with bookies offering many different futures markets. On game day, or in the days leading up to game day, there are 100s of different markets released on each match.
In the summer months the A-League, Austraila’s premier soccer competition, and cricket reign supreme with the Big Bash League the jewel in the crown in terms of punting for Australians.
Other major sports we punt on include the tennis, with the Australian Open and the three other grand slams, the major events for the year and some of our star players including Nick Kyrgios, Bernard Tomic and Samantha Stosur.
Australians also love punting on American sports with the NFL and the NBA two of the more popular betting sports.
How to bet on Australian sport and racing from overseas
It will often come down to where you are based in the world as to who you can wager with. For instance USA punters will have to look a lot harder than a someone based out of the United Kingdom because there are still many restrictions placed on punters in most of the United States.
Many of the bookmakers we endorse on ARG are United Kingdom-based, including brands like Sportsbet which was bought out a few years ago by Paddy Power. Others include William Hill and Bet365 which both have leanings towards the Mother Country.
With racing thriving in Hong Kong and wagering in the rest of China booming and a huge crossover between their landscape and the Australian one, it makes sense that there is huge interest in what is happening in Australia.
But if you are Chinese the strict gambling laws restrict you from betting at sites regulated in Australia, which means you are driven to other ‘offshore’ locations to place your wagers on Australian events. This doesn’t mean they are unsafe, it just means they don’t have the eyes of the law in Australia beaming down on them.
The following table is geo-targeted to YOUR location and only displays bookies you can sign up at, it pays to look at the individual reviews, to see whether the bookie will have a payment method to suit yourself.
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Simple tips for betting on greyhounds at online bookmakers
Real cash betting over the Web is easy as pie, and TAB veterans and trackside punters should have no problem picking it up. Nevertheless, here are few little slivers of advice to keep in mind when you’re having a punt on the dogs at our secure Aussie bookies.
Shop around for the best odds: One of the reasons we recommend several different racing and sports bookmakers is that they don’t all offer the exact same prices. Even if the first odds you find end up being the best, it never hurts to have a look around and see what the competition has to offer.
Track the money: Whether it’s greyhounds or horses, knowing which runners are drawing the mega bets is good intel to have at your disposal. Check out the ‘Follow the Money’ live update feature at Sportingbet, which allows you to track the big wagers as they happen.
Always look at the form: This is Betting 101 stuff right here, but it’s worth repeating. Always look into a dog’s recent record before you lay your money down. Where have they finished in their past few races? How do they go from a wide box? Have they won at this track before? Sportsbet offers a handy online form guide which covers all the upcoming greyhound racing markets in Australia and NZ.
Stick to your bankroll: Betting the big bucks is a lot of fun, but there’s no point digging yourself a big financial hole in pursuit of that dream winner. Have a laugh, shoot for the stars, but never stake more than you can afford to part with. Gamble responsibly, folks.
Customer security & support betting sites
When you gamble with real Australian dollars on the Web, you want to know that your cash and personal info are safe from the ravages of Internet fraud. Each one of our top-ranked Internet racing books treats customer security as a top priority and employs stringent banking security measures to protect all funds deposited by Aussie punters.
Chief among these safeguards is a 128-bit SSL (Secure Socket Layer) digital encryption — a sophisticated cryptographic protocol which protects all data sent between you and the bookmaker’s website. This is the same kind of online security system used by leading banking institutions in Australia and all over the world, so you can rest easy knowing every cent you transfer will get where it’s supposed to go.