This page provides a one-stop reference for betting agencies that are suitable for Australians. The agencies listed here all offer Australian dollar accounts. Agencies fall into two categories: bookmakers and exchanges. Bookmakers are agencies that set the odds and you bet against the agency. With exchanges, the odds are determined by fellow users within a marketplace, so you bet against fellow users. Bookmakers are recommended for beginners, while an exchange membership is a must have for serious enthusiasts, because it enables you to bet against outcomes.
Some useful features and articles:
- The Bookmaker Reviews section features comprehensive reviews of the top betting agencies that are available to Australians.
- Bookmaker Ownership Structure in Australia outlines which companies own which bookmakers and which bookmakers are locally or foreign owned.
- Bookmaker Membership Combos That Reduce Bookmaker Margins looks at the impact of bookmaker membership combinations on effective bookmaker margins and which combos are best.
- Betting Agencies that Don’t Ban Winners surveys which betting exchanges will not limit or close the accounts of winning members.
If you’re in a hurry…
If you don’t wish to spend too much time choosing an agency, below are our picks for the best in the following categories:
- Best for promotions and competitions – Sportsbet
- Quick to post odds for upcoming fixtures – Sportsbet, bet365
- Best for live (phone) betting – bet365
- Best betting selection on international sports – bet365, Unibet
- Best betting selection on Australian sports – Sportsbet
- Best for beginners – bet365, PlayUp
- Best for spread betting – PointsBet
- Best for fantasy sports – Draftstars
Frequently asked questions
- Q: I’m a beginner, should I go with a bookmaker or an exchange?
A: Go with a bookmaker
- Q: What benefits are there to using an international bookmaker?
A: The Interactive Gambling Act makes it an offence to offer live online wagering to Australian residents. Operators are only permitted to offer phone betting during live events. International services either ignore or aren’t aware of this law, and continue to permit Australians to bet live ‘in-play’. Adherence to the Act is the responsibility of gambling operators and not individual Australians. It is not an offence for Australian residents to bet live ‘in-play’ online. Another upside is offshore bookmakers typically offer a greater betting selection on international sports.
- Q: What benefits are there to using an Australian bookmaker?
A: Australian agencies offer superior betting selections on Australian sports. They also offer a better range of deposit and withdrawal methods for Australians.
- Q: How many memberships do I need?
A: Just one if you’re a casual punter. If you’re looking for additional memberships, view our recommended bookmaker combinations.
If margins are what drive you
UPDATE: Marathonbet, Pinnacle and SBOBET no longer accepts Australian members.
The margin is a measure of the bookmaker’s profit for an event and can be regarded as a hidden transaction fee for punters. From a betting perspective, the lower the margin, the better.
The table on the right displays the fixture results from our latest bookmaker margins and markets survey.
Pinnacle came out on top of the general survey with the lowest margins of 2.9%, with Marathonbet close behind at 3.0%. Betfair, Unibet and bet365 had the lowest margins of the Australian-licensed services at 5.0%. The average margin when combining the best available odds was 0.7%, which highlights the value of shopping around for the best odds.
Marathonbet had the best combination of low margins and quantity of markets per fixture. Keep in mind,
however, that they have lower limits than Pinnacle. The caveats of the survey are discussed in detail in the survey results article.
Marathonbet topped the results for offering the best odds for particular selections. bet365 also performed well, finishing second, well ahead of the rest of the pack. Sportsbet performed well too, despite finishing far further down in the margins survey. This highlights the fact that operating with higher margins doesn’t preclude a bookmaker from offering the best odds for particular selections.
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Bookmakers that are suitable for Australians
Below is a list of the best Australian-licensed betting agencies.
Notes and explanations of terms
- Live betting – due to the Interactive Gambling Act, bookmakers licensed in Australia cannot offer live online betting to Australian residents. Australian customers must phone in to bet live.
- Key deposit methods – other deposit methods such as cheques and Ukcash may be available, but only popular methods have been listed.
- POLi – enables you to make online bank transfers that are acknowledged immediately by the bookmaker. This feature is only available for Australian bank accounts.