Best online bookmakers Australia in 2021
Welcome to our guide to the best online bookmakers in Australia, which will run you through everything you need to know about the top bookmakers down under and where you should be betting. The top online bookmakers in Australia will be regulated by a state or territory government, be mobile friendly, have extensive customer support options and of course have thousands of daily betting markets on sports and racing events at home and abroad.
The best AU online bookmakers for 2021 are:
Top online bookmakers in 2021
In this section of our top online bookmakers guide we will run you through our favourite betting companies and give you a brief description of each.
The biggest online bookmaker in Australia, Sportsbet has an unparalleled reputation amongst punters, with their iOS and Android apps clearly market leaders, not just in Australia but globally. Owned by Flutter Entertainment, Sportsbet turns more money over than the Australian TAB, although they still have a reputation for cutting off successful punters, which means if you are a bigger punter you might be better off looking elsewhere.
Accepting punters from over 200 countries, Bet365 is remarkably still owned privately by the Coates family. This UK bookie is licensed in the Northern Territory and excels in most areas, including horse racing, esports betting and football. Bet365 has some really unique markets that you won’t find at other Aussie online bookmakers in 2020, with these including things like maps betting in esports and AFL exotics. Bet365 has more live streaming than almost all other bookmakers in Australia.
Another big International online bookmaker, Unibet Australia is hosted on a .com.au domain which doesn’t feature the online casino or gambling portion of the company. With some great boosted odds promotions on racing and extensive football odds on competitions right across the globe, Unibet sits comfortably among the best online bookmakers in Australia.
PlayUp is still a relatively new online bookmaker in Australia, but they have already proven themselves as a credible option for punters. 100% Australian owned, PlayUp has a black theme and oozes cool, although their depth in betting markets is limited in comparison to other bookmakers like Bet365 and Sportsbet. PlayUp Australia has got a strong reputuation for having the best odds for NRL and AFL matches, with some great promotions surrounding the COVID-19 impacted season. PlayUp review.
TopSport is not the most well-known online bookmaker in Australia, but they have been around for a number of years. Owned by NSW bookies the Merlehan family, TopSport is a great horse racing betting site that also has a serviceable sports betting section. TopSport is probably the pick of the smaller online bookmakers in Australia. TopSport review.
Ladbrokes Australia is arguably our favourite online bookmaker for horse racing, with their extensive promotions, such as their daily odds boosts. Ladbrokes is particularly prominent in the northern states of Australia, with rugby league another sport they focus on when setting markets. Owned by GVC Holdings, one of the largest gambling companies in the world, Ladbrokes will always pay winning punters, while they are also renowned as a bookie that is not afraid of taking a bigger bet.
PointsBet has quickly found a niche in the Australian betting landscape, while still focussing heavily on overseas expansion, particularly into the lucrative and fast-growing US market. PointsBet Australia has a strong emphasis on lines and spread betting, although punters not used to the US way of doing things won’t be lost if they choose to bet here. Some boosted odds on select events, great apps and friendly customer service put Pointsbet as a top bookmaker option for punters in Australia.
The Palmer family have been features of the bookmaking scene in NSW or many years, firstly as an on-course bookie and then later for their online betting offering. PalmerBet is backed by the NSW Bookies Co-Op which can give you confidence they have the liquidity to take bigger bets, while their focus on horse racing is also refreshing. While we wouldn’t recommend PalmerBet as a top online bookmaker for sports we do think they are a must have for racing fans, with some really juicy odds up for grabs.
BetEasy has had more name changes that Puff Daddy, but they continue to be a fixture on the Australian bookmaker scene. While in 2020 rumours persist that BetEasy will be rolled into Sportsbet, this has yet to be enacted by parent company Flutter Entertainment. BetEasy has a deal with Sky Racing which means you can stream all racing events from around Australia. Also features some of the more extensive AFL betting options.
SportsBetting.com.au is an Australian-owned online bookmaker that focuses largely on horse racing, although it does have some sports betting markets. While the website and general feel of SportsBetting is kind of old school, it’s their odds and reputation for taking any bet volume that make them one of the best Australian online bookmakers. Often SportsBetting.com.au’s lines on sports events will be significantly different to other online bookmakers, which makes them well worth checking out.
Australia’s only and #1 betting exchange, Betfair gives punters the ability to be the bookie. This means you can lay off on horses you don’t think can win, which gives you a new angle to your betting. Betfair has a heavy emphasis on horse racing, although cricket and other sports are well catered to. Make sure you read up on how betting exchanges work before taking the plunge with this leading AU bookmaker.
BBet has been an on-course bookmaker for going on 20 years and they have recently expanded to the online realm because of the COVID-19 crisis. Owned by The Behrmann Group Pty Ltd BBet Australia has a strong emphasis on horse racing and often their odds are very good. If you are looking to wager on sports we recommend going elsewhere, with only about 4 sports having markets at the time of writing our best bookmakers guide.
Started by SportingBet supremo Michael Sullivan, BlueBet is one of the new breed of Australian online bookmakers that are owned locally. BlueBet has competitive racing odds, extensive sports betting markets, including futures on Australian and International sports. In 2020 the company has also expanded its bet types to include Same Game Multis on NRL and AFL matches, with this feature first found at SportsBet Australia.
PickleBet is an Australian-owned and esports focused online bookmaker that has quickly became a favourite of punters down under. PickleBet purely features esports betting, meaning if you’re not looking to bet on professional video-gaming use another betting company on our best online bookmakers Australia list. Often you will be able to bet and watch esports events via PickleBet giving them a cool point of different to other bookmakers.
Sports betting at Australian bookmakers
Australian online bookmakers are some of the best in the world, with their technology and betting markets available putting them head and shoulders above bookmakers from other countries. But without a doubt online bookmakers in Australia do focus more on the massively popular domestic sports like Aussie Rules and rugby league. In this section we’ll break bookmakers down by sports and where you are best served betting on them:
Best AFL bookmakers in 2020
The AFL or the Australian Football League is the top-flight Aussie Rules competition down under, with it running from April to September every year. Every Australian bookmaker with sports betting will feature betting on the AFL, but undoubtedly some are better options if you take your punting seriously.
For sheer depth of AFL odds, Sportsbet is the no.1 bookmaker in Australia for the AFL, with their almost unlimited resources making their tech and odds market leaders. Having said this we don’t rate Sportsbet that highly as an AFL bookmaker because they have cut us off several times for being too successful at betting — not what you want when you’re on a winning streak. Having said this if you are a casual punter and want a great betting experience Sportsbet is a great AFL bookmaker.
Other online bookmakers that we rate for AFL betting include Bet365 and BetEasy, although both of these bookmakers can also be trigger happy in cutting off winning punters. We have however had a good run at new boys on the block PlayUp and Unibet who have both taken big bets and allowed us to keep betting on the AFL when we’re winning.
Top NRL bookmakers
The NRL or the National Rugby League competition is the professional rugby league competition in Australia and probably the highest standard in the world. NRL bookmakers will include futures odds on things like who will finish on top of the ladder, who will makes finals, who will win the Dally M Medal and The Players Champion Award. NRL betting in Australia is extremely popular.
Match day betting markets at bookmakers in Australia include first try-scorer, penalties over/under betting, total score over/under betting, outright winner betting and even line betting, which essentially is handicapping matches. Overall coverage of the NRL at the best online bookmakers in Australia is outstanding, with it a highly popular sport, particularly in the northern states.
Much like the top bookmakers for the AFL, the big names like Sportsbet and BetEasy provide an outstanding service for the casual punter, but will cut you off if you land some big wins on the NRL. We have found some of the smaller online bookmakers like PalmerBet and PlayUp are more likely to take bigger bets NRL games, with high value customers especially being looked after.
The NRL has already been involved in several betting controversies in 2020, with these including potentially illegal bets on the Dally M Medal (which is the best and fairest award for the entire NRL) and on coaching changes at clubs. Pro punters were also left reeling after the NRL increased its tax rate on betting on the sport, greatly increasing fees for bookmakers to offer markets on marquee matches such as the State of Origin and the NRL finals.
Best A-League football bookmakers
The A-League is the no.1 soccer league in Australia, with the world game growing significantly in recent times down under thanks largely to the Socceroos positive showings on the internatioanal stage. While the A-League pales in skill level in comparison to established competitions like the EPL and La Liga, it continues to develop and is a popular competition for locals to bet on.
The A-League runs from around mid-October to May every year, although the 2019-2020 season has been heavily interrupted and delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic that has disrupted sport all over the globe. The competition features 11 teams that play each other three times before a finals series.
Australian bookmakers feature the A-League extensively with punters loving it as a medium, while some games are available to watch on free-to-air TV and via Foxtel’s Pay TV services. Several AU bookies also have live streaming of some A-League matches available, and it is also common to have other football leagues from around the globe live streamed.
Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory are the two most successful ALeague teams with both being crowned champions four times, while the Brisbane Roar have won the title three times. The Central Coast Mariners, Adelaide United and Newcastle Jets have also won the A-League.
Top Aussie cricket bookmakers in 2020
While AFL and League might take centre stage in the winter months, without a doubt the no.1 summer sport in Australia is cricket. The top online bookmakers will feature odds on both Australian domestic cricket and all International matches. The World Gambling List will cover all of Australia’s international games.
The best bookmakers online will have plenty of futures markets on cricket, with these including odds like who will win the Test Championship, T20 World Cup and the 50 Over World Cup, not to mention the various ODI and T20 tournaments that International teams often fight out. These include tournaments such as the Big Bash League and the Indian Premier League.
Betting markets on cricket on match day will include leading run-scorer for both teams, top wicket-taker, man of the match and plenty of lines (total game runs, individual player run over/under and many more). Of course there will also be match markets like outright winner and series winner.
Without a doubt the T20 cricket scene has proven the most popular with punters, with the short matches and often erratic results proving to be a hit. Australia and New Zealand were expected to be hit with the world’s T20 fans later in 2020, but the scheduled World Cup is likely to be delayed because of the coronavirus.
General online bookmakers for sports
While the top online bookmakers for various sports have been highlighted above, Australians bet on many more sports and events from right around the world.
The good news for bettors is that the best bookmakers in Australia will feature betting markets on pretty much every professional sport, and even some not-so professional sports.
Online bookmakers like Sportsbet, PlayUp and Unibet Australia provide a seamless wagering experience for the casual punter, including offering markets on things like Entertainment (Master Chef, Survivor etc), Politics (Australian, US and others) and even minor soccer leagues from right around the globe.
A good Australian online bookmaker for US sports is Pointsbet, with their focus on spread betting suiting events like the NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball.
Other popular sports at Australian bookmakers include:
Top horse racing bookmakers in Australia
Horse racing is probably the biggest wagering sport in Australia, with all online bookmakers down under, barring a few speciality operators taking bets on the sport of kings. Most weekends of the year racing fans attention is on the Sydney and Melbourne racing scene, with these two states hosting the best Australian races.
Victoria’s racing scene is spearheaded by the Melbourne Racing and the Melbourne Cup Carnivals, with big group 1 races including the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup and the Cox Plate. The best horse racing tracks in the Melbourne metro region include Flemington and Caulfield, while regularly night racing is held at Moonee Valley and Pakenham.
The NSW racing scene is also flourishing with The Everest and related races probably the biggest drawcard, while the Golden Slipper and Queen Elizabeth Stakes are other races that usually see heightened betting at the top bookmakers online. Randwick is regarded as headquarters in NSW, while Rosehill and Warwick Farm also host quality racing year round. As a general rule you will find online bookmakers will have extensive markets available on horse racing, with futures markets usually up months ahead of the biggest group races in Australia.
In the days leading up to and on race day bookies will have odds released on entire races, with these including the ability to place trifectas, quaddies, win and place bets and pretty much anything else you can think of. The best online bookmakers will also have racing markets available on the country race meetings, with many of the smaller towns and cities in Australia boasting a race track.
Bookmaker promotions in Australia
One aspect of online bookmakers that has deteriorated significantly in recent years are the bonuses and promotions up for grabs. This is largely because of the regulation surrounding Australian online bookmakers being updated and banning new acount incentives.
Basically without going into too much detail bookmaker promotions can only be marketed to punters who are already members, or the promo does not involve you making a deposit to get something for free.
There are still some promotions running, with these usually taking the form of cash back offers and paying out winning bets early. The World Gambling List highlights each bookmaker’s promotions in our betting site reviews.
Mobile bookmakers in 2020
One of the best things about betting with online bookmakers in 2020 is that you can do it via your mobile phone, with most companies now being fully compatible across Android and iPhone apps, while they will also be accessible via mobile websites.
Online bookmakers openly admit that over 50% or more bets are taken via mobile devices such as phones and tablets, which is why such great emphasis is put on developing apps. The two main online bookmaker app types in 2020 are Android and iOS with these clearly the two most used
The best mobile bookmakers in Australia will allow you to do everything that you could on your desktop computer when betting, with some companies rolling out mobile only features such as streaming or live scores. Below we’ll break down the three different types of punters who use mobile online bookmakers.
Mobile bookmaker sites
For punters who want to bet on their mobile but they don’t have an Android or iOS device or simply don’t want to download an app, the best online bookies in Australia will have mobile sites, meaning you can punch in your bookies address and sign in via your browser on your mobile device.
Many of the best bookie sites will have Android bookmaker apps available. With Android bookmaker apps you need to download them after you have created an account at your chosen betting company, with Google not having gambling apps available in the store. Despite having to download the apps directly from bookmakers, they are still heavily regulated and fall under the same AU laws and rules as online betting companies.
Users of Apple phones will know that their operating system is called iOS and the good news is in Australia you can download bookmaker apps for these devices. The best iOS bookmaker apps are free, allow you to bet on sports and racing events in Australia and will even feature live streaming. Read our online bookmaker reviews to find out which of the Australian online bookmakers have iOS apps available in 2020.
Online bookmaker laws in Australia
Online bookmakers in Australia are governed by the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001, which was introduced to regulate online gambling companies. This piece of legislation makes it illegal for online casinos and gambling sites, both in Australia and overseas, to offer their services to residents.
The legislation however does have an exemption for sports betting as long as the online bookmaker has a license from the Australian Government, with these being issued by the state and territory gambling and liquor departments. In Australia the biggest and most well-known regulator is the Northern Territory Gambling Commission, with this body the first and most common bookmaker license in Australia.
The IGA is more targeted at stopping offshore online gambling companies from targeting Australians, rather than fining individuals for betting or gambling with operators overseas, with no Aussies fined for betting with an offshore online bookmaker.
In 2017 the IGA was given an extensive update with this largely stamping out offshore online casinos and for online bookmakers it changed the landscape significantly too. Incentives for opening new online bookmaker accounts were scrapped which means sign up offers, welcome packages and matched deposit bonuses are largely a thing of the past.
The NSW regulator initiated a “racing carveout” which effectively allowed sign up bonuses to be advertised again in this state, but only if it was on purely a thoroughbred site and only visible to residents of this state. This however was short lived and despite a few one-off bonus offers being made available by certain bookmakers, these were stamped out too. It remains to be seen what loopholes will be found by online bookmakers to offer punters incentives in the future.
The other big change that came to Australian bookmakers following the updated IGA was a crackdown on live betting, which critics say encourages problem gambling and gives too many options to losing bettors. Now Australians can only bet live on sports and racing events if they do it via the telephone. Several betting operators still have a service where you can sort your live bets out via their website, before calling and giving a code to place the bet over the phone.
Online bookmaker deposit options
Australians have plenty of options when it comes to depositing to online bookmakers, with these including credit and debit cards, web wallets and payment processors. As a general rule funding your online bookmaker account will be a straight-forward and instant process, although there are payment methods like bank transfers that may take a few days to be processed and be accessible. Our table below highlights some standard deposit options you would find at AU bookies, including an estimated minimum and maximum deposit amount for each payment type. Some of the more common Australian bookmaker deposit methods in 2020 are:
|Deposit Type||Fee||Process Time||Min Deposit||Max Deposit|
|Click to pay||Free||Instant||$10||$10,000|
|Cash Top Up||Free||Instant||$100||$50|
|Bank Wire||Free||2-10 days||$100||$300,000+|
Online bookmaker withdrawal options
Online bookmakers are more limited in the options when it comes to withdrawing any winnings or cashing out your balance. This is because not all payment methods are available to withdraw with, such options as Visa and debit cards often only allowing you to deposit.
The most common withdrawal options at online bookmakers include bank transfers and moving money back to a web wallet, while others will also allow you to withdraw via a cheque, bookmaker cash out cards and mail service.
It’s important to note that often there will be withdrawal fees at Australian online bookmakers, with these sometimes being billed by the bookmaker and more often by the payment service that you are using. For instance depositing with Neteller is free at AU online bookies, while withdrawing will often have a small percentage charge, with it capped at around the $10 AUD.
Our table below will give you some insight into withdrawal options at Aussie bookmakers, and includes some details about bookmaker fees.
|Withdrawal method||Fee||Process Time||Min||Max|
|Bank Wire||Free||2-10 days||$20||$200,000|
|Neteller||Free||Under 12 hours||$20||$50,000|
Bookmaker licensing in Australia
To operate a bookmaker service in Australia you need to hold a license from a state or territory government. In Australia the biggest regulator is the Northern Territory Gambling Commission, which is a state backed body that was the first of its type to allow remote betting.
For instance if you are an on-course bookmaker in NSW you will need a license from the NSW Gaming and Liquor Department to operate. But if you are an online bookmaker licensed in the Northern Territory you will just need approval from the NSW body to operate in the state.
There has been growing calls for a unified gambling regulator in Australia, which would handle all online gambling licenses and give a clear concise framework for both bettors and bookmakers to operate under. This body would also be in charge of licensing online casinos and poker, two forms of gambling that are outlawed completely.
The full list of Australian betting regulators for each state is:
|NSW||Liquor and Gaming NSW||liquorandgaming.nsw.gov.au/|
|Victoria||Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation||vcglr.vic.gov.au/|
|Queensland||Office of Liquor & Gaming||justice.qld.gov.au/about-us/services/liquor-gaming|
|Tasmania||Tasmanian Liquor & Gaming Commission||treasury.tas.gov.au/liquor-and-gaming/|
|Western Australia||Racing, Gaming & Liquor||dlgsc.wa.gov.au/racing-gaming-and-liquor|
|South Australia||Liquor, Gambling & Lotteries||cbs.sa.gov.au/liquor-gambling-lotteries|
|ACT||ACT Gambling & Racing Commission||gamblingandracing.act.gov.au/|
|Northern Territory||NT Racing Commission||justice.nt.gov.au/regulatory-services/licensing-boards-committees-and-advisory-councils/racing-commission|
Online bookmakers Q and A
If you are new to online bookmakers or looking to learn more about the online betting scene in Australia, the team at the World Gambling List is qualified happy to answer your questions. You can contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the box below.
Paypal is a payment juggernaut and it’s no exception at Australian online bookmakers, with this web wallet accepted by almost all of them. Paypal online bookmakers in Australia include PlayUp and Unibet.
Australian bookmakers show odds in a decimal format, generally with a $ sign in front of the price. Some online bookmaker AU will also have fractional and American odds available, with it possible to toggle through the different types.
Unfortunately following an update to Australian betting laws in 2017, online bookmakers can no longer offer sign up bonus or incentives for opening new accounts. Several AU bookies have got around this rule, but the loopholes were closed quickly.
Sports betting and horse racing wagering is 100% legal and regulated in Australia, with the only stipulation being that it must be done via an Aussie licensed bookmaker. Popular sports to bet on at bookmakers in Australia include the AFL, NRL, A-League and horse racing.
Nearly all of the bigger brands promoted on the World Gambling List have both Android and iOS betting apps available in 2020. If an online bookmaker does not have downloadable apps available, you will be able to bet via their mobile bookmaker services.
Withdrawal times at online bookmakers in Australia can vary depending on the operator and the method that you use. For instance a bank transfer is the most common way, with it taking anywhere from overnight to five days in our experiences. Some bookies like Sportsbet and Bet365 have their own Visa card, which essentially allows you to withdraw money from your betting account instantly.