History of sports betting in Australia
Pretty much the moment Australia was discovered by James Cook, gambling and sports betting became a local thing.
It’s not too surprising to find out that sports betting and gambling were introduced by a bunch of Brittish sailors. Pretty much any country that used to be part of the commonwealth has Brits to thanks for their betting industries.
There are even some Australian online betting websites that pay homage to James Cook for finding the continent.
Nevertheless, the moment settlers started constructing their colonies on Australia, was when they immediately started spreading their wagering hobbies.
But, the official date where sports betting became a thing in Australia is believed to be 1810, during which the first organized Australian horse racing was held in Hyde Park.
Considering how horse racing is immediately associated with betting, it’s safe to say that’s when the first Aussie punters placed their bets on their favorite animals.
The skyrocketing popularity of horse racing
Considering that most of the settlers were of British origin, there was nothing new for them about horse racing, which is why the sport became wide-spread across the continent within just a few years.
The moment a location for a new settlement was decided upon, space for horse racing was immediately considered. We could consider the 19th century as the time Australian betting began and became what we know and love today.
First cases of commercial sports betting in Australia
Although the activity was more than popular within the first decades of Australian civilization, it needs to be noted that simple friendly matches and bets placed on them can’t be considered as the pioneers of Australian betting culture.
The culture first began around 1890 when the first-ever betting terminals were sighted.
The terminals would be installed near every race track for punters to simply approach, place their bets and hope they won.
The tradition is still alive today if you decide to visit an offline sports betting event. Naturally, it’s still very digitalized thanks to computers, but the archaic feeling of living in the moment is still there.
The sports betting terminals are pretty much what the best betting sites Australia has to offer are based on. It’s a singular place where people can go, place their bets and not worry about the calculations for the potential winnings. The people working on the terminal do all of the numbers. They’re the ones responsible for paying out their punters after a match.
No wonder that these terminals were always full of violence and upset bettors.
The first inclusion of technology
The inclusion of technology in the betting industry occurred not long after the race tracks had become a stable commodity for Australian cities. Operators and organizers had to rely on very quick-witted individuals who’d do the counting for the bettors and let them know about their chances of winning something, and the amount of money they’d win in the first place.
These types of people quickly became very expensive as the industry was continuing to grow and the supply was getting lower and lower. Thankfully though, there was a man named George Julius, who revolutionized the who betting scene.
George Julius is pretty much the founder of online sports betting in Australia. Not in a literal sense though. He was simply the first to introduce technology to the industry and thus encourage future generations to develop it further. However, the story is quite funny as Julius was simply trying to make Australia a more democratic place than it already was.
Julius had developed a machine that would calculate the number of votes relative to the number of times it was used and the number of voting-age Australians in the country. This was done in order to prevent any kind of election fraud in the future, but Julius’s invention was rejected by the government after he presented it to them.
Well, nobody likes his or her ideas rejected and needs some time to accept it. Julius decided to do so by attending a local horse race with a friend. During that same horse race, he came to the conclusion that his machine could be used for calculating the odds and payouts for bettors.
Sooner than people could even find out about the idea, it was installed in nearly every horse racing track in the country, thus perpetuating the development of digital gambling, which would eventually lead to us having some of the top betting sites.
The second phase of digital betting
As already mentioned, Julius’s invention simply perpetuated the development of digital gambling, therefore it was most definitely not the form before switching to websites.
The second form of “online” sports betting in Australia was introduced by radio and telephone. Yes, people were actually calling bookies to place bets on their favorite teams and racers.
The reason why this became so popular was due to the legal landscape of sports betting at the time. You see, only registered and licensed operators could offer betting opportunities to spectators, which many believed had way smaller payouts than they were supposed to.
Because of this, Aussies started to search for better options, which they found through illegal bookies taking bets through phone calls and radio transmittions. There’s even a story of a pundit placing a bet through morse code.
The legal salvation of the 1980s
As surprising as it may sound, online sports betting Australia was largely illegal until 1980 when the parliament introduced a regulatory commission alongside a whole slew of guidelines for those wanting to have a legal betting company.
The conditions were very simple. Be based and licensed in Australia, but don’t cater to Australians online. Be based outside of Australian and hold an Australian license, then you can have Australian customers.
It’s quite a weird set of rules, but if it works it works. And judging by how popular betting in Australia is nowadays, it seems to be working quite well with more than 80% of the population having placed a bet at least once in their life.
And since we’re already on the legal side of sports betting, let’s find out what the law looks like today.
How to find the best Aussie sports betting websites
Finding a good Aussie sports betting website is quite easy. All it takes is to simply read a review about them and see what their existing customers have to say. However, there are cases when the website is so new or unknown that there is no additional information.
Because of this, you need to be aware of the key points that make a betting website good and what distinguishes them from either scammers or below average bookies.
The first thing we will discuss is the legal landscape. What types of sports betting websites can operate within the country, and which of them have what it takes to offer the best conditions.
What types of sports betting is allowed in Australia
Sports betting is legal in Australia, meaning that any citizen willing to involve themselves with the activity can indeed do so under two universal circumstances. The player needs to be 18+ years old and needs to disclose their personal information to the operator for things such as KYC (Know Your Customer) guidelines and AML (Anti Money Laundering) policies.
As long as a sports betting operator can ensure these two demands are met, they are free to cater to the local population. However, this set of laws applies only to offline operators. AU betting websites have a whole slew of different guidelines to adhere to. In fact, they can’t even adhere to them as they’re largely not allowed within the country.
Interactive Gambling Act of 2001
The IGA (Interactive Gambling Act) of 2001 rules that no sports betting websites whether or not they are located in or outside of Australia have no legal right to promote their services to the Australian population.
This means that any advertising attempt that these platforms undertake will either be completely blocked by the Aussie firewall or will be fined if it managed to slip through.
However, here’s the trickiest part about it. Australian citizens themselves will face absolutely no legal repercussions if they are discovered playing on betting websites. The law does not consider the actions of an individual to be in any way violating the guidelines whatsoever.
However, the brunt of the punishment will be faced by the website itself.
Is live betting possible?
Live betting is when pundits are able to place bets when the match has already begun. For example, if you’re placing a bet on a horse race, you have the opportunity to place a bet before the last lap of the race. There’s a whole list of Australian sports betting websites that allow this type of betting, but it is considered illegal under the IGA of 2001.
The Gambling Commission of Australia may tolerate the existence of unlicensed sports websites on its territory, but it’s very unlikely for them to accept such a clear violation of the IGA.
Because of this, it’s best to be a bit more careful with a betting website that has this option. They may get discovered and shut down at any time.
How to tell if the odds are fair
The odds are usually determined according to the sport. Sports that don’t tend to end with a tie have a much higher payout policy than those who have it.
The average percentage of placing a winning bet on various platforms all over the world is between 83-95%, which is directly referred to as RTP. This stands for Return To Player, but please consider that this is an average calculation, meaning that it’s never that simple.
The game type may say the probability is 90%, but the reality could be much different. All it takes is to simply choose the wrong team for your bet.
However, let’s focus on the payout rates and what you should be looking for.
Every Aussie betting website has a minimum payout rate which they will never go below for. In most cases, it’s around 1.4 but only for winning bets. For example, if you place a bet on a match between underdogs and five-time champions, the odds will most likely favor the champions, thus giving them a far lower payout rate than the underdogs.
But, there have been numerous cases in history where the rookies managed to win and earn their bettors as much as x25 of their initial bet.
In order to understand the number of winnings you will get, all you need to do is multiply your bet by the payout rate. If the minimum is 1.4 and you’re betting AUD 100, then you should expect at least AUD 140 if your prediction was correct.
We advise not to use platforms that have anything less than 1.4 payout rates on the platform, as it’s nothing but a waste of time. Even the most obvious match should have a fair payout rate.
Make sure to always look at the RTP. Even though it’s largely inaccurate, it still has the potential to help you filter through the games you want or don’t want to place your bet on.
Even though it’s an artificial calculation, it’s obvious that even an inaccurate rating saying the average chance of winning is 80% is far worse than a chance of 90%. The RTP is usually displayed right under the sports type of top AU online betting websites and is in plain sight.
Deposits & withdrawals
Now we need to discuss the intricacies of making and receiving transactions from these platforms. Due to the fact that they’re completely digitalized, it’s absolutely essential that website operators have as many online payment methods as possible.
The most common ones you will find are Wire transfer, credit/debit card transactions, Skrill, Neteller and maybe PayPal.
However, pundits are now preferring to pay with cryptocurrencies as it helps them hide their identities online. Although the KYC rules imply that every customer needs to be identified, it’s not necessarily a good thing for the players themselves.
You see, if your bank finds out that you’re gambling online, they could decrease your credit score, meaning that your applications for future loans will be less likely to be approved.
Therefore, if you’re looking for the best Aussie online sports betting website, it’s important that you choose one which has at least a dozen different options for depositing and withdrawal.
It’s also important that both withdrawals and deposits have no fees attached to them, and you get the exact amount you indicated on the platform. But be careful with the payment methods though, some of them do come with fees that can’t be avoided.
Most popular sports on Aussie betting websites
No matter how hard you may try, Australian betting websites will always have a clear preference for sports they want to give the biggest payouts or odds to. Therefore, don’t expect to have a lot of options or good money-making opportunities with sports like American Football or Baseball, or pretty much anything that isn’t too popular in Australia.
We will list the sports that are the most popular on betting websites down below. Maybe it will help you choose a perfect provider as well.
Regardless of where one may live, Football is guaranteed to be a popular sport there. This is thanks to the incorporation of various nationalities in Football Clubs, thus introducing every nation to the sport and helping the popularization.
Some of the best betting sites in Australia like to choose a specific player from Australia and dedicate their support towards them. This is usually referred to as social responsibility marketing.
It helps paint the company as nothing but a fan of a specific sport or player, thus giving them a more relatable brand for potential customers.
Such campaigns can be seen with almost every brand all over the world as they try to score sponsorship deals with popular football clubs.
Why football clubs? Because it’s very popular and spans across the whole world and not only within a specific nation.
Even though the participation of sports for legal adults in Australia isn’t as high, the involvement in spectatorship is surprisingly high. Around 63% of the whole population watched football matches on a weekly basis when there’s no season.
During the season though, that indicator grows to around 68% on a daily basis.
Therefore, it’s easy to understand why several betting companies would like their logos to be displayed on players’ uniforms. It helps with brand recognition as loyalty. Also, it’s pretty much one of the only legal ways they can promote their services.
Unfortunately, though, it’s very unlikely to see Aussie online betting websites to sponsor these football clubs due to their size. However, betting websites from abroad don’t have to adhere to these guidelines. So, as long as Aussies can access a specific brand’s platform, it’s more than worth it to sponsor popular football clubs, especially since the viewership is so large.
Another reason why Football is such a popular sport for betting in Australia is because of the numerous betting options. Players can bet on who will win, how they will win, how many corners kicks there will be, how many fouls, red cards, yellow cards, penalties and etc. Almost everything can be a gamble in this sport.
Tennis is also a very supported sports-type on Australian betting websites, especially for Sydney folk. It’s unclear why, but it seems that most Tennis fans come from this city particularly. There are about a million people in Australia that enjoy the sport on a weekly basis, but this is a number for active players.
This means that the number of spectators is even larger. It’s sometimes hard to understand what helps Tennis be such a popular sport considering the lack of unpredictability with it.
Yes, it may be a very controversial thing to say about the sport, but it’s pretty obvious. Tennis is not very action-heavy, nor is it very suspenseful. It’s a very calm and routine sport that people enjoy, which cannot be criticized.
However, when it comes to how well Tennis merges with the betting industry, several “corrections” need to be made.
For example, there are bets just on who’s going to win or lose, how they’re going to win, the probability of an injury or foul, and the probability of net hits.
It’s usually quite random and looks like options were jammed into the sport just to have them. But again, online sports betting sites in AU tend to list Tennis as their top priority, even basing several promotional materials on it.
Considering that there are a lot of famous Australian tennis players it helps the companies rake in a lot more punters than other sports.
Furthermore, due to the lack of betting options, the most simple ones such as a bet on who’s going to win, tend to be very profitable compared to other games.
One of the most controversial moments of Tennis betting was when a website allowed players to bet on whether Kyrgious would shoot a ball at Nadal deliberately again. Naturally, though, it was not too welcome for most Tennis fans.
The next most popular sport in Australia is basketball, which is nothing to be surprised about. Basketball is always considered as the second most popular sport in the world, considering how most of the world enjoys watching the NBA.
Although the basketball world cup is nothing similar to the football world cup in scale, it’s still a sight to behold as various nationalities gather in a large stadium and enjoy the sport. Basketball was largely popularized thanks to American culture, but it managed to spread almost everywhere in the world.
The reason why AU betting sites like to feature basketball as one of their most supported sports is the complete lack of guidelines when it comes to promoting one’s brand with these teams. The NBA may have to adhere to several US laws when it comes to online gambling, but they can at least be flexible depending on where the games are taking place.
Don’t forget that the USA has different types of laws depending on which state you are in. And on a federal level, sports betting tends to be largely overlooked.
Furthermore, the NBA also features a number of Aussies in popular teams that help integrate the population into the sport as well.
And lastly, it’s about the weather as well. Although this is a very silly “bonus” for a popular sport like basketball, the fact that it’s mostly played within a closed-off stadium gives Aussies the opportunity to run away from the scorching heat the country is usually subjected to.
What’s better than eating some popcorn in a nicely air-conditioned location and watching a game you enjoy?
Although this doesn’t give the top betting sites in Australia any real advantage directly, it does help convert Aussies to the sport indirectly.
How the registration process usually looks like
Usually, whenever you access an online betting website, the registration process may look a tad too complicated. It always feels like the operator is demanding way too much information from you than you’d rather give up.
Things like a personal address, credit/debit card details, personal ID and various other documentation are a bit too pushy when you think about it.
However, not all websites are like this, which is why it’s important to choose an operator that keeps the demanded personal information to the minimum.
What is the minimum you ask? A phone number and email is just about everything the operator requires you to be honest. This type of information falls well within the KYC guidelines and doesn’t require any further complications.
The only time an Aussie online sports betting site has the justification of asking for your ID or any other personal information is when you’re looking to withdraw more than AUD 10,000 from your account.
Why? Because of the new laws which dictate that any payment above AUD 10,000 needs to be declared through a bank check or at least a digital transaction that can be traced directly to you. But considering how that’s usually not the number of funds people withdraw, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
Whenever you register on a platform, make sure to have a very complicated password. Something that you don’t use pretty much anywhere else. Treat it like a bank account, because it’s essentially what it is. You’ll most likely have a significant amount of funds located there and you definitely don’t want any unauthorized access.
The best way to do it is by generating a complex password, writing it down on a piece of paper and keeping that paper in a dry and dark place so that neither the sun nor any water can damage it.
Sure it’s a very involved process, but better safe than sorry.
Are there any free Aussie betting websites?
Believe it or not, sports betting online Australia likes to enjoy come in various forms. Both paid and free. But what does free betting actually mean? Does the website allow you to bet for fun but not withdraw anything? Or does it allow you to bet as much as you want without having to deposit anything?
Well, it’s a bit complicated. There’s essentially no such thing as a free betting website. Not literally at least. Although you can have the option to do so, it’s usually thanks to a previous deposit or two.
Let’s try to explain the process of betting for free in the next few paragraphs by talking about the various bonus offers that people can use.
No deposit/welcome bonus
The first option that we need to discuss is the no deposit aka welcome bonus. Through this offering, the betting website is pretty much guaranteeing the acquisition of new customers.
This is how it usually goes. The Australian betting site will announce that they will give any new customer AUD 200 if they simply register on their website. They then give them terms and conditions about withdrawing the said amount. That’s the easiest way to explain it, but we need to get really deep into it so that you understand fully.
Let’s imagine that you just found out about a website that happens to accept Australian players. The website also has a promotion about registering with them. To be exact, it is offering AUD 200 to everybody who creates an account.
The bonus funds are only transferred to you the moment you verify your account. However, there’s a trick.
These AUD 200 cannot be withdrawn. What this means is that you can only use them for bets. If the casino allowed withdrawals it would pretty much be giving away free cash, right? It wouldn’t be a healthy business decision.
Anyway, these bonus funds don’t come without their own terms and conditions. In most cases, you will see the website requiring you to perform a certain set of actions.
AU online betting sites usually require bonus recipients to wager a specific amount. For example, if you’re given AUD 200 as a bonus, in order to withdraw them you need to place AUD 2000 worth of wagers. How do you do that? Well, imagine you just placed a bet with that AUD 200 and won 200 more.
Your total wagered amount is now AUD 200. However, now you can place a bet with AUD 400, let’s imagine you do exactly that. Your wagered amounts go up to 200+400=600. You then repeat this process as many times as you want before your total is AUD 2000. Pretty simple right?
Keeping track may be a bit hard so always pay attention to the email as websites tend to notify you once you cross that threshold.
Other conditions may be things like specific sports you can bet on or the maximum bet you can place. This is all to ensure that the free funds given to you are still a challenge to earn completely and not make it seem like a handout.
Also, always remember that these bonuses have a deadline. If you fail to reach the required amount before it, all of the winnings and the bonus you’ve had so far will be taken away.
The deposit bonus is the most common promotion you’ll find on all the best AU betting sites available right now. It’s not even a promotion anymore as much as a stable feature. Every operator knows that their customers want to experience that extra gambling sense when placing a large bet on a risky match.
But no matter what happens, the websites tend to give out relevant warnings to not over-do it with the bets.
The deposit bonus is very simple to explain. Imagine that you’re being given AUD 200 as a gift, similar to how it was in the previous explanation, but this time you have to deposit something for it.
This is the most common bonus feature with betting websites of all sizes. The bonus is usually 100% or 50% of the deposited amount.
For example, if the bonus is 100% and you deposit AUD 100, then you will get an additional AUD 100 as a gift. If it’s 50% then you’d get AUD 50 and etc.
However, the fact that you needed to deposit something does not free you from having to meet several requirements here as well. Much like with the no deposit bonus, Australia sports betting websites need to stay profitable somehow, so they can’t just let people withdraw the bonus cash immediately.
The good news though, is that you’ll basically have double the funds to meet the same requirements. For example, if the minimum requirement for AUD 200 bonus was AUD 2000, an AUD 100 bonus would have AUD 1000 as its minimum.
But you’d have AUD 200 available instead of just AUD 100. Why? Because on top of the bonus you received, you also have the funds that you deposited.
This makes meeting the minimum requirements much easier, which is why website operators tend to balance it out with other restrictions like maximum betting caps and restricted sports.
Regardless of the restrictions though, a deposit bonus is still one of the best to have when looking for a way to maximize profits.
A freebet bonus is pretty much self-explanatory. The betting website will hand out several options to their players, allowing them to choose a specific sport they’d like to receive the free bet bonus on.
The freebet bonus is the second most popular type of bonus one can find on the best Australia online betting websites nowadays as they’re much easier to manage and calculate the wagering requirements.
Why? Because the wagering requirement is much lower for the withdrawals. For example, if the requirement was x10 of the bonus in previous versions, with a freebet bonus it’s usually x5 or even x2 at times.
This means that if you place the bet on a game that has odds of 2.0 or more, there’s a great chance that you’ll meet the requirements within just one bet.
The way you can find these promotions is usually through newsletters from the operator, or just gambling blogs that promote the codes that can be used to get the bonuses.
This is why it’s important to be subscribed to as many betting websites as possible. This gives you a guarantee that you’ll always be informed about a potentially amazing promotion in the making.
Once you have the promo code, most websites will simply give out “coupons” for the free betting options allowing you to choose which sport you want to use it on. However, several Aussie online betting websites restrict your choice to just one sport. In this case, make sure to look at the odds of each sport and try to calculate the average. Football usually has the highest odds, while Tennis has the lowest.
But regardless of what you do, there’s no way you can’t benefit from such a user-friendly promotion.
Is that all you need to know?
All of this information may be a bit overwhelming if you’re a beginner in the betting industry. But there’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s not like there’s a deadline of when and where you can place bets.
As long as you take your time, learn the intricacies of the industry and have a little bit of knowledge about the sport you’re going to bet on, you’ll be much more successful than any other gambler on the same platform.
There’s no direct formula of success here though, as it varies from person to person. Some like to listen to match analysts and base their bets on their recommendations, while others like to do it themselves. But we all know that sport is unpredictable. An amazingly successful team may stumble and lose to an underdog, thus taking millions of people’s bets down with them.
Make sure to always weight the risk relative to the reward. Is that AUD 40 worth it to risk AUD 100 for? No, of course not. Try to place bets only on matches that would pay you at least the amount you’re betting. Anything else is a larger risk than it’s worth.
When it comes to choosing a company from the vast list of Aussie online betting websites, make sure you take a look at where they’re located, what type of operations they have, who’s the founder, what’s their licensing situation and how much it requires the player to deposit at a minimum.
A license or lack thereof could determine your overall experience with the website. Remember that there are always scammers praying on beginners as they try to simply steal the funds without the victims even noticing.
Make sure you have a good pattern on what you bet on. Have at least one sport that you’re really good at and know how to decipher. That will be your go-to for small winnings over time, and maybe a different sport for the extra gambling sense.
Make sure to give the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 a good read to determine just how exactly it works. Although we did explain it in this article, it never hurts to read the source material by yourself.
Once again, better safe than sorry when it comes to the legal aspect of gambling because there’s more than enough risk in the process itself.