If you are Australian haven’t heard of sportsbet.com.au, you’ve probably been living under a rock or have no sense of humour.
Sportsbet sets the mark among the corporate bookmakers for both exposure and inventiveness, the company’s brilliant parodies and innovative specials always drawing at least a laugh and certainly giving the punters good reason to place their bets.
Kicking off as a little Aussie battler way back in 1993, Sportsbet shot to prominence when bookmaking master mind Matthew Tripp bought the ailing Darwin based bookie in 2005 for just $250,000.
Sounds like a lot of money, but fast forward to 2009 and Irish betting giant Paddy Power zoomed in with an offer believed to be worth as much as $200 million, giving it a controlling interest in Sportsbet. Two years later, it bought the rest of the company for a further $130 million – you do the math on the mark up from Tripp’s little investment.
Tripp’s influence was massive on the company. It developed from an eight person operation to a monster machine that employs more than 250 Australians. He was a pioneer of the online betting movement in Australia, reaching out to a waning face to face betting public and using the internet to let people bet from the comfort of their own home.
Paddy Power men Patrick Kennedy (chairman) and Cormac Barry (CEO) now shape the direction of the company.
The bookie has a super little app that works on your tablet (iPad), Android and iPhone smart phone systems. There’s also a mobile website if you don’t want to download the app.
It’s promotions, like money back offers and specials, are second to none in the gaming world.
While you can phone your bets through, it’s easier to jump on the website, where all the markets are at your fingertips.
And that’s the focus of our review.
Layout and Interface at sportsbet.com.au
Since its 2011 overhaul, sportsbet.com.au’s website has been at the forefront of the online betting market.
Put simply, the site is so easy to use, one of the dishlickers you just punted on would be able to place a bet.
Sign up and get your bonuses in the menu across the top.
There, you can follow Sportsbet’s social media, find out about the bookie’s promotions, get helpful tips on responsible gambling and get help from Sportsbet’s customer service representatives.
Just below that on the right hand side is where you enter your username and password to log into your account.
Below that are tabs that will take punters directly to racing, sports, bet live, mobile and specials and comps.
You could say there are three columns on the web page.
The central column is the widest column and the main base, which features a scrolling picture menu which touts the bookie’s latest promotions.
Under that is a quick link to the next three thoroughbred, harness or greyhound races on the day’s card, with the top six runners in the market and their odds on display.
Within that second menu, you can access bet live, live videos, or NRL and AFL multis.
Racing coverage, which you can watch live on the site, is below that, with both Australian and international meets available.
You’ll then find custom menus which focus directly on one particular sporting event.
Usually they will be the popular ones of the week, or weekend, such as The European Champions League or AFL game of the week.
The left hand column kicks off with a quick link access to similar events, with the most popular or biggest money spinners all listed.
Below that is a menu for racing that features access to the next five races, horse, harness and greyhound racing, as well as a tab for watching live racing.
Once you’ve skimmed the racing, the sports are next, before a bet live menu.
Then you can find results for both sports and racing, which is a very handy little tool if you’re trying to find out exactly why your bet has failed, or why your account is flush with big dollars.
The last stop on the left hand menu are the contact details for Sportsbet.com.au.
The right hand menu is pretty much packed with links to promotions. All the good stuff on the website, just a click away.
A fun little menu on this column is the multi pick, which lets you scroll through sports and events and provides the markets that people are punting on, putting them in a custom multi so you don’t have to think about it much.
Down the bottom are helpful links to the site’s apps, betting tools help and questions, predictor hub, bet products, help centre, million dollar tipping and Sportsbet’s cash card.
If you missed the social media at the top, this section gives you another crack at it.
Across the bottom of the site, if you scroll down far enough, there are more results availabel, information about the company and contact details, an external link to parent company Paddy Power and more social media links.
Below that are sportsbet.com.au’s official partners and betting partners and details of payment methods.
Sports, Horse Racing and Available Betting Markets
if you want it, sportsbet.com.au has probably got it.
You won’t find a more comprehensive set of sport and racing markets in Australia.
sportsbet.com.au has it all covered, from the biggest events in the world, like the FIFA World Cup, to the park gridiron matches in the suburbs of Melbourne.
And if you can punt on a race meet in Australia – or overseas – Sportsbet will have it.
From the Mickey Mouse country meets on a Monday night, to the Melbourne Cup and Kentucky Derby, Sportsbet has it covered.
Available sports: American football, Australian Rules, baseball, basketball, boxing, cricket, cycling, golf, ice hockey, mixed martial arts, motor racing, netball, alpine skiing, badminton, beach volleyball, biathlon, cross country, darts, electronic sports, Gaelic football, hurling, handball, lacrosse, snooker, surfing, swimming, volley ball.
As we’ve also mentioned, there are many novelties available, aside from the funny sport ones. They include current affairs, entertainment, financial, Hollywood, music, novelty bets, pageant and politics.
Live streaming of sports and racing
One of the best things about sportsbet.com.au is the ability to watch Victorian racing and selected sports, streamed live on the website.
That means no need for pay TV in a lot of instances.
All you need is a sportsbet.com.au account and have deposited funds to access the races.
The bookie has 1.8 million customers and it has an agreement with the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry to stream all metropolitan and country race meetings on the its website and mobile accompaniments.
Sportsbet CEO Cormac Barry says due to the live streaming, the bookie is a “one stop shop” for Aussie punters to bet on Victorian racing.
“It will put live racing in the hands of punters on the device of their choice – any where, any time,” Barry said.
Further to the racing, the bookie’s website also offers live streaming of several different sports, including soccer, tennis, cricket and basketball.
Similar to the racing, all punters need to do is sign up with the bookie and have a positive balance in their account. You’ll find the available live events in the live betting section.
Some of the events include:
Soccer: Serie A, Carling Cup, Ligue 1, Liga Sagres and the Scottish Premier League.
Cricket: One day internationals and other minor leagues
Tennis: ATP 250 events.
Basketball: The Spanish league and VTB United League
sportsbet.com.au’s cash out feature
Other bookies are starting to come on board, but sportsbet.com.au was a pioneer, yet again, with this feature.
We like to call it the multi saver.
Basically, you can decide when your multi ends. If you’ve nabbed several legs, but are worried about the others getting up, you can get a price from the bookie and cash it out.
We’ve heard of eight leggers falling at the final hurdle.
Well here you can forget about the heartbreak, sit there and cash it in once you’re ready.
The cash out feature is a breath of fresh air for punters everywhere. You can construct your multi, hope for the best, but pull some coin out without the worry of getting that last leg or two home.
Minimum and Maximum Deposit, Wager and Pay Out Amounts
Try and get a ridiculous multi up and whack 1 cent on it for a laugh. That’s the minimum bet online, but you’ll need a pineapple ($50) if you’re going to do it over the phone.
Your minimum deposit is just $5, but you’ll need to negotiate with the bookie if you want to collect more than $500,000 for the day – we envy you if you’re in that position.
Sportsbet Deposits and Withdrawals
Sportsbet has a card which operates like a bank card, allowing Sportsbet customers to withdraw funds from their betting account at any ATM in the country, or eftpos machine.
All you have to do is transfer your funds to the cash card, then use the ATM or eftpos to withdraw it.
All account holders have to do is request a cash card.
Other withdrawal options include Skrill (moneybookers) bank transfer and the trusty Paypal.
As far as deposits go, Sportsbet has plenty of options, with Paypal, POLi and credit card deposits the most popular, due to the immediate availability of funds.
if you don’t need to place your bet straight away, there’s always bank transfer and BPay, but just be aware that these options take a day or two to go through, so you’ll have to wait for the funds to clear.
Sportsbet Safety and Funds Security
True to its reputation as a bookie that likes to have a bit of fun, here is what it says of its internet security on its website:
“Apart from a big team of beefy guys outside our offices and an army of ninjas patrolling the corridors, we also use a number of high-tech security measures to protect your information from access by unauthorised persons and to prevent unlawful processing, accidental loss, destruction and damage.”
The bookie uses the much vaunted SSL encryption, which makes it near impossible for it to be read across the world wide web.
It’s 128 bit and it’s used on every transaction and every page of the website at sportsbet.com.au – you’ll see a little padlock in the bottom right hand side of the page that tells you it’s encrypted.
The bookie has its own firewall that controls access to its server, protecting the site.
Mobile Betting Apps and Website
If you have a mobile device, be it smart phone or tablet, Apple or Android platforms, you can either download the Sportsbet app or use your browser at access the mobile website.
The app copped a major overhaul in 2013 and is now one of the best on the market.
Everything you can access on the desktop is available on the app and it’s super easy to touch on your preferred betting options and lay your bets.
Say you’re not on the Apple or Android bandwagon, or you don’t want to download the app, the mobile website is also nice and simple to use and seems to load nice and quickly – especially for those using Blackberry or Windows enabled devices.
Customer Service Phone and Contact Details
Got a dispute over your bet?
It’s at hand through one or more particular mediums, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with Sportsbet.
Apart from the typical phone, post, fax and email contacts, you can also use the live chat, which is accessible through the website.
Below are details where you can get in touch with the bookie and what times.
Racing Betting: 1800 132 387
Sports Betting: 1800 138 238
International: +61 8 8982 6300
Email: Visit the website and click the ‘email us’ link
24 Hours, 7 Days a week
Customer Service (Phone)
Customer Service: 1800 990 907
International: +61 3 8613 9600
Fax: 1800 131 238
Fax (International): +61 3 9654 1999
GPO Box 4755, Melbourne, VIC, 3001
If you haven’t realised it, sportsbet.com.au is a superb website.
The bookie is backed by Paddy Power – Ireland’s biggest bookie – so you know it’s genuine.
It has more markets than just about any other bookie in the country and its website is both attractive and functional.
The variety of deposit and withdrawal options are comparable with other bookies and the cash card for withdrawals tips them over.
Add to that the live streaming, the cash out option and the plethora of promotions and bonus bets and you have yourself a bookie that means business.
Get started at sportsbet.com.au and get a first bet bonus of up to $100 (excludes Victoria, New south Wales, Western Australia and South Australia).