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Established in 1992, Centrebet gets from its name from the fact that it was set up in Australia’s Red Centre by Alice Springs bookmaker Terry Lillis. In 1996, it became the first online bookmaker in the southern hemisphere and over the next decade became a household name in Australia for betting on not only mainstream sports events but also news and current affairs, particularly entertainment awards, television programs and, most famously, political contests.
Lillis sold Centrebet to Jupiters in 1998 and it has changed hands several times since then, its latest ownership switch occurring in 2011 when London-based Sportingbet bought the then publicly listed company in a deal worth $183 million.
For years Centrebet has been famous for the exhaustive range of its product offering and today is no different, with the bookmaker purporting to trade more than 8,000 international sports and racing markets per week. However, with the book not active in the Nordic region anymore, it offers fewer markets than it did before being purchased by Sportingbet.
The website has evolved since the bookmaker took its first bet online in late 1996. Now it has a predominantly black website that loads quickly at most Internet speeds and is easy to navigate, with separate sections for sports and racing. They also have a mobile betting website and apps that work really well on iPads and iPhones.
In the rest of this review, we will look at Centrebet’s gambling markets, its bonuses, its security and licensing, how it treats professional and recreational punters and its banking practices, before providing an executive summary.
With more than 8,000 international sports and racing markets per week, Centrebet clients have no shortage of betting opportunities, with all of the major events covered.
Naturally, the site is especially strong in sports that are popular in Australia – the top six are Australian Rules football, cricket, A-League Soccer, motor racing (especially V8 supercars), rugby league (NRL) and rugby union – but it does not drop the ball with the others, meaning that fans of all sports are serviced.
Centrebet’s trademark is its Pick Your Own range of markets – Pick Your Own Line, Pick Your Own Match and Pick Your Own Field. Pick Your Own Line allows clients to pick a line and price that suits their opinion on every Australian Football League and National Rugby League game. Pick Your Own Match enables customers to pair up their choice of AFL or NRL teams for each round. And Pick Your Own Field, also known as PYOF, empowers players to create a customized field of runners within an existing horse race. It is a particularly good initiative and one that is of significant interest to racing punters.
Live betting is a feature of Centrebet’s website and its various mobile applications are a pleasure to use.
Centrebet is licensed in Australia’s Northern Territory and, therefore, operates in one of the world’s most tightly regulated gaming environments. There are strict rules as to the types of bets that this and other NT-licensed bookmakers can offer and a long list of provisions that ensure that punters can bet with considerable confidence.
Sponsors of, among others, the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, North Queensland Cowboys, Penrith Panthers, St George Illawarra and St Kilda football clubs, Centrebet is a trusted name in Australian sport and betting and, fully regulated by the Northern Territory Racing and Gaming Commission, it is a very safe place to bet online.
Centrebet used to pride itself on taking on professional punters, with its original owner and start-up staff more than happy to pit their wits against sharps from all over the world. Limits were high and the bookmaker made a big deal about not closing the accounts of winning clients.
However, today it is a very different bookmaker to the one that started life 20 years ago and now its focus is on attracting recreational punters, spending millions of dollars in advertising in recent years to reach them.
Until only a few years ago it was, effectively, illegal for Centrebet to advertise anywhere in Australia outside the Northern Territory. It used media and public relations to build its brand in competition with the various state TABs. Now Centrebet and its corporate bookmaker counterparts can advertise freely and they are outlaying huge sums in an attempt to entice recreational punters to their website.
Depositing and withdrawing funds is simple, fast and secure. Centrebet supports only Australian dollars but it accepts deposits via Visa (instant), MasterCard (instant), Skrill/Moneybookers (instant), Neteller (instant), PayPal (instant), POLi (instant), BPAY (one to three days) and bank transfer (one to three days).
There are five withdrawal options. They are bank transfer, credit/debit card, Skrill/Moneybookers, Neteller, and PayPal. The process takes one to five business days, with most withdrawals being completed in 24 to 48 hours.
Centrebet may not be the trailblazer that it once was but it remains a must for Australian punters. Its website is easy to use, its prices on the mainstream sports are competitive and its Pick Your Own range of markets give it a genuine point of difference from its domestic rivals.
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