The following is an in-depth review of the betting agency Bookmaker.com.au. This review covers the history, features, interface, sports & racing markets, upsides and downsides of the service.
This review is part of our comprehensive Bookmaker Reviews section. The Betting Agencies page provides information and reviews for other sports betting agencies that are suitable for Australians. The following details are updated periodically to keep them up to date.
History, Location and Licence
Bookmaker.com.au is a newcomer to the Australian online betting scene, having commenced operations in February 2012. The service was originally licensed and regulated by the Norfolk Island Gaming Authority but switched to become licensed in the Northern Territory in September 2016. The head office is in Brisbane. Bookmaker.com.au was acquired by the UK gaming giant Ladbrokes plc. in September 2013 as part of their expansion into Australia. Bookmaker.com.au and Ladbrokes plc. operate using the same markets and odds, but with different templates and sign up promotions.
The website design and user interface are brilliant. Our first impressions were that the site is more geared towards race betting than sports betting, however the sports betting selection has since expanded be on par with other bookmakers. The service is very much a local bookmaker, with only Australian and New Zealand residents permitted to wager on sports.
Services and Features
|New member offers||New members receive a 100% first deposit bonus as bonus bets up to $250. The bonus may be used as a single bet or divided in to 2, 3 or 4 equal-sized bets. Bonuses can only be wagered on markets with 1.50 odds or greater. Only available to QLD, NT, TAS and ACT residents.|
|Deposit options||Visa, MasterCard, bank transfer, BPAY, POLi 2|
|Withdrawal options||Bank transfer|
|Transaction fees||None, however fees may be charged if you attempt to deposit and withdraw funds without betting.|
|Minimum bet||$0.50 online, $20.00 by phone|
|Maximum payout||Between $10,000 and $50,000 per day, per sport. Learn more. For horse racing, the maximum daily win limit depends on the venue and bet type, and peaks at $100,000. Learn more.|
|Deposit turnover requirements||1x|
|Bonus credit turnover requirements||2x at odds of 1.50 or more within 90 days. Note that, unlike with other bookmakers, this applies to both the bonus credit and any winnings accrued from the bonus. For example, if you have a $25 bonus bet that you successfully wagered at 2.40 odds (for a $35 profit), then you must turn over 2*($25 + $35) = $120 at odds of 1.50 or more.|
|Bookmaker margin||5.5% (see below for more details)|
|Credit facilities||Members may apply for a credit level between $200 and $5,000.|
|Forbidden Jurisdictions||United States of America. Racing and sports wagers will not be accepted if you are physically present in Hong Kong. Sports wagers will not be accepted from any residents of any countries other than Australia and New Zealand.|
|Mobile betting||A mobile version of the website is available|
|Identity checks||Australian residents can verify their identity online by entering details from sources such as a driver’s license, Australian passport, Medicare card, tax file number and more. We found the process to be quick and easy. If you are unable to verify your identity online, you can send in certified copies of identification. If you make a deposit by credit card, you must provide a legible copy of both sides of the card. Learn more.|
|Dormant account fees||An account management fee of $25.00 may be debited from any account that is dormant (inactive for six months or more).|
Betting Interface and Website Layout
The Bookmaker.com.au interface is one of the best we’ve reviewed. The website loads quickly and the numerous dynamic features make betting quick and easy.
Users of other agencies will find the interface intuitive. On the left is a sports navigation panel. Sports with active markets available are marked in bold. Markets, odds and the betting slip are displayed on the right in the main panel. You can navigate from sport to sport without reloading the page.
The markets and odds displays are intuitive. When you select a sport (i.e. soccer), the primary sub markets (i.e. various European leagues) are dynamically displayed in the left column, with a full list of sub markets (leagues and fixtures) displayed in the main column.
When you select a specific market the odds are displayed in the main column with all related sub categories displayed in the left column. This makes for rapid navigation around the sporting markets.
The service boasts the provision of ‘Quickbet’, which is a ‘betslip-skipping’ betting device that enables punters to swiftly bet a pre-configured amount with just three mouse clicks. Even without Quickbet pre-configured, whenever you click on the odds for a selection you have the option of instantly placing a wager or adding the selection to your betting slip. Quickbets can be made without clearing existing items in your betting slip.
The betting slip itself is feature-packed and dynamically displayed at the top of the screen when a selection is added. You can toggle the betting slip display on and off while browsing other markets. When entering a wager amount, you can either input a stake amount or input the amount you aim to win, with the stake amount automatically calculated. Where applicable, multi bet options are displayed at the bottom of the slip, featuring every combination of the selections in your slip.
Overall, it’s hard to find fault with the betting interface. The same goes for the account area and dashboard. The website has a very polished, professional look about it.
In our most recent bookmaker margin survey, Bookmaker.com.au had an average bookmaker margin of 5.5%, which is higher than the survey median of 4.9%. From a punter’s perspective, the lower the margin, the better.
The sports betting selection has expanded drastically since Bookmaker.com.au was first launched. Their offerings on the popular Australian sports are now on par with the largest Australian bookmakers. For example in July 2013 we observed up to 24 markets per Super Rugby fixture, up to 47 markets per NRL fixture and up to 142 markets per AFL fixture. The popular American codes are catered for, although not with the same depth of markets as the Australian codes. As seems to be the case with all bookmakers, football (soccer) is heavily covered, featuring numerous leagues across the globe. Tennis is also well catered for. A good selection of other sports, including cycling, golf, snooker, surfing, boxing and motor racing are also covered.
The selection has now reached a point where Bookmaker.com.au has become suitable as a stand-alone bookmaker membership for casual punters.
Bookmaker.com.au offers a range of markets including best tote, top fluctuation and fixed price on all racing markets including thoroughbreds, harness and greyhounds.
Win, Place, Quinella, Exacta, Trifecta and Quadrella wagers are available on most race days.
The interface is intuitive and looks beautiful. Race betting beginners will appreciate the website’s ease of use. One nice feature is that when you select a racecourse all upcoming races at that venue are displayed in the left column, with the time to run dynamically updated without the need for page reloads.
Live Sports Betting
Due to Australia’s Interactive Gambling Act 1, live online betting is not available. Australian customers must phone in to bet live. If live online sports betting is what you’re after, be sure to check out our survey of betting agencies that offer live online betting.
- Good selection of deposit options, including POLi 2
- Excellent web design, easy sign up and verification process
- Slick betting interface
- Low $0.50 minimum online bet
- Can split bonus credit into up to four bets
- Good multi betting functionality
- Owned by the respected gaming giant, Ladbrokes plc.
- Members can opt in to receive a Bookmaker.com.au prepaid VISA Card that is linked to their betting account
- No live online betting (due to Australian law) 1
- Dormant account fees
- Fewer promotions than sister site Ladbrokes
- Doesn’t yet offer the QuickCall live betting feature that Ladbrokes offers
- Higher than average bookmaker margins
Bookmaker.com.au is a promising new entrant to the Australian online betting scene. The website design and state of the art interface are top draw, with excellent betting functionality and a well-designed account management area. We also like the fact that bonus credit can be split up into multiple wagers rather than forcefully wagered in one hit. When we first reviewed the site we lamented the depth of betting markets, however their sports betting selection has since improved out of sight, with the popular Australian codes in particular well catered for. It’s worth noting, however, that Bookmaker.com.au offers fewer promotions than its sister site Ladbrokes.
Notes and Sources
- 1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interactive_Gambling_Act
- 2 POLi facilitates online bank transfers that are acknowledged by the bookmaker instantly. This enables you to log into your banking provider, transfer money to the bookmaker, and place bets immediately.