Sportingbet Australia was the Australian arm of one of the world’s top online bookmakers that services more than 700,000 active customers in 26 countries globally. In 2013 the Australian arm was acquired by William Hill in an acquisition where they still trade under the Sportingbet.com.au brand.
Founded by Mark Blandford in 1997, the sportsbook became listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2010 and is a constituent of the FTSE SmallCap Index. Ex-rails bookmaker Michael Sullivan is the high-profile Chief Executive Officer, with his image plastered all over its website, which claims that there is no better bet than a Sportingbet.
Sportingbet Australia has been a major player in its home country for many years and recently its London-based parent company bought Centrebet for $183 million, the acquisition establishing it as Australia’s leading corporate bookmaker.
The website has undergone several facelifts in recent years, every time resulting in a slightly better user experience. It has traded speed for usability – the navigational menus on its website do not fly out anymore but they behave more predictably, particularly for novices – not that its Internet service is at all slow.
Some of Sportingbet’s domestic competitors have, on balance, marginally superior websites but its portal is more than adequate and, if it continues to improve, soon there will be nothing to choose between the various firms.
The mobile betting market is covered from all angles, with Apple iOS and Android apps and a mobile website that has led the way in the Australian market.
In the rest of this review we will look at the book’s betting options, its bonuses, its security and licensing, how it treats professional and recreational punters and its banking practices, before providing an executive summary.
Sportingbet Australia’s product offering has grown since its London-based parent company acquired Centrebet in August 2011 and now there is almost no difference between them, with the sister bookmakers obviously sharing resources.
So, like Centrebet, Sportingbet offers more than 8,000 international sports and racing markets every week. Naturally it is especially strong in sports that are popular down under – the top six are Australian Rules football, cricket, football, motor racing, rugby league and rugby union – but it does not drop the ball with the others, meaning that fans of gambling on all sports are serviced.
The site has a version of Centrebet’s Pick You Own Line on Australian Football League and National Rugby League games. Its My Line markets mean that clients can, regardless of the main handicap spread, pick a line and price that suits their betting needs. So, for example, instead of backing Wests Tigers against the main handicap spread of 4.5 points at odds of 10-11, punters could back the NRL joint venture to beat a line of, say, 24.5 points at 15-2.
Live gambling is a feature of Sportingbet Australia’s website but it is not presented as well as it is by other bookmakers and, also, its in-play options are not as plentiful as some of it’s competitors.
Australian residents who do not live in South Australia or Victoria – those states have tough laws against bookmakers offering free bets and/or bonuses as inducements – and Kiwis get a bonus bet, up to a maximum of $200, when they sign up for a new account and place their first wager. Sportingbet Australia matches the stake of its new client’s first bet, up to a ceiling of $200. There are terms and conditions attached to the special offer, the most pertinent of which is the requirement for punters to turn over any proceeds from winning bonus bets at least once before they are able to withdraw them from their account.
They also run regular promotions across its core sports – it is a particular fan of 25 per cent bonus payouts on successful four-plus-leg multiple wagers on either AFL or NRL matches – and its clients-only cash competitions include the popular Last Man Standing.
Is it Safe to bet?
Sportingbet is licensed and regulated in every jurisdiction from which it operates. It is licensed in Australia’s Northern Territory and, therefore, operates in one of the world’s most tightly regulated betting 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. We point you in the direction to all regulated Aussie betting sites for more information.
Sponsors of, among others, the Brisbane Broncos and Carlton Blues football teams and the Melbourne and Moonee Valley racing clubs, Sportingbet 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.
Pro vs. Novice Punters
The bookmaker caters for both professional and recreational punters. It has not shied away from accepting large bets, particularly on racing events, with Sullivan reporting a series of whopping wagers on Australian racing legend Lonhro in 2004. A long-standing client won a total of $1.95 million in two bets on the Black Flash before dropping an incredible $5 million when Darren Beadman’s mount lost his 35th and final race, the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick, at a starting price of 1-5.
Deposit and Withdrawal Options
Sportingbet offers a range of instant deposit methods for its clients but only supports accounts in Australian dollars. The instant deposit methods include Internet banking through the POLi gateway, Moneybookers, PayPal (sorry to disappoint, but German players are excluded from this option) and credit/debit cards. Other deposit methods, which takes between 24 and 48 hours, are bank transfer and BPAY.
Getting money out of an account is relatively straightforward, with the bookmaker allowing withdrawals via bank transfer to an account in the name of the client, BPAY to a verified credit card, cheque, PayPal and Moneybookers.
Sportingbet Australia is almost the same as Centrebet these days, with the only significant differences between the sister bookmakers being their websites and promotions.
Websites are a personal thing but the majority of people are likely to prefer Centrebet’s online service, which is just that little bit slicker.
Promotions wise, Sportingbet would have the edge over Centrebet if one is more interested in racing, sports multiples and free competitions such as Last Man Standing.
All in all, there are sufficient good reasons to have a Sportingbet Australia account so open up one today.