January 2017 UPDATE:
The following is an in-depth review of the betting agency Centrebet. 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.
Note that the following review is on the Australian, not UK, version of the Centrebet website.
History, Location and Licence
Centrebet originated in Alice Springs in 1992. It was the first bookmaker to be licensed in Australia and in 1996 became the first bookmaker in the Southern Hemisphere to offer online betting. Centrebet was acquired by the SportOdds Group in 2003. In 2005, SportOdds merged its Centrebet, SportOdds.com and SuperOdds.co.uk businesses into a single entity, branded as Centrebet. The company was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2006. In June 2011 the company was purchased by Sportingbet, making the combined entity one of the largest operators in Australia. In March 2013 Sportingbet Group sold its Australian business – consisting of Centrebet and Sportingbet – to William Hill, one of the largest bookmakers in Britain. This was followed by the acquisition of Tom Waterhouse in August 2013. The three websites were then modified operate with identical markets and odds.1, 2, 3, 6, 7
William Hill re-branded Sportingbet as William Hill in February 2015. The parent company merged William Hill with Centrebet and Tom Waterhouse in 2016. The brand William Hill may be unfamiliar to Australians, but the publicly listed giant has been around since 1934 is well known in the UK for its 2,300 betting shops around the nation. The company employs over 17,000 people.
After previously announcing that Centrebet would not be accepting new customers in June 2016, William Hill relaunched Centrebet in January 2017 as a higher-stakes service that offers better odds and doesn’t limit winners.
Services and Features
|New member offers||None|
|Deposit options||For AUD accounts: credit card (Visa & MasterCard), Skrill (Moneybookers), bank transfer, BPAY, Paypal, POLi 5, MasterPass|
|Withdrawal options||Bank transfer, Skrill (Moneybookers), Paypal, BPAY|
|Transaction fees||None. The only transaction fee Centrebet may charge is a 1% administration fee in cases where authorisation of a deposit is required from a financial institution.|
|Currencies||AUD (for the Australian website)|
|Languages||English (for the Australian website)|
|Odds formats||Decimal (for the Australian website)|
|Minimum deposit||No minimum for bank transfer, $1 for POLi, $5 for credit card, $30 for Paypal, $30 for Skrill (Moneybookers)|
|Minimum bet||The minimum wager via the Internet is $1.00 for all wagers, with the exception of Centrebet Exotics which are $0.25. The minimum cost of a Centrebet Exotic using Pick Your Own Stake on the Internet is $0.01. Unless otherwise agreed, the minimum cost of a Centrebet Exotic on the telephone is $50.00.|
|Maximum payout||Unless otherwise agreed, the maximum amount that may be paid out on any win wager via the telephone (either single or multiple wagers) is $500,000. The maximum amount that may be paid out on any win wager via the Internet (either single or multiple wagers) is $50,000. In addition, all multiple wagers are subject to a maximum win of 2,500 times the Client’s wager. The maximum payouts for Pick Your Own Field (PYOF) wagers are $20,000 for Horse Racing and $10,000 for Greyhound and Harness Racing.|
|Deposit turnover requirements||None|
|Bonus credit turnover requirements||1x at odds of 1.50 or greater|
|Bookmaker margin||5.9%, which is above the median bookmaker margin of 5.2% in the latest bookmaker margin survey. From a punter’s perspective, the lower the margin, the better.|
|Quantity of markets||Averaged 104 markets per fixture in the latest bookmaker markets survey. This is well above the median score of 61.|
|Credit facilities||Credit betting ceased in March 2012.|
|Forbidden Jurisdictions||Belgium, China, France, French Overseas Territories, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Macau, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States of America|
|Mobile version of the website?||Yes. You can place bets, deposit and withdraw funds, view bet history and more. iPhone and iPad Apps are available.|
|Identity checks||You must verify your identity before making a withdrawal. Australian residents can do this either online (using Edentiti) or at an Australia Post office.|
|Dormant account fees||None|
|Support||Online chat is available. You can also contact support by phone 24 hours a day (toll-free in Australia) or by email.|
Betting Interface and Website Layout
The Centrebet website interface was given a major overhaul in June 2012. The new website is less harsh on the eyes than the previous design and the interface is now extremely responsive.
Sporting leagues for a selected sport are dynamically displayed when a sport is selected. When a league is selected all sub-markets are displayed in the centre column. Below these sub-markets are the key odds (head-to-head, line, margin and handicap) for the upcoming fixtures. A (+) button is displayed next to each fixture which enables you to view all markets for that event. The only criticism we have of the layout is the fact that the events are spread out. You have to scroll up and down the page to view all upcoming fixtures for the weekend.
The betting slip is intuitive. Once your bets are selected they are added to your slip much like an online shopping cart. Placing multibets is easy. You can tab between single bets and multi bet options within the betting slip. The multibet tabs display every multi bet available, including Yankee, Lucky 15, etc. As you input wagers the potential payouts are displayed automatically.
Overall the new betting interface is excellent. The new design has propelled Centrebet from the back to the front of the pack.
When Centbet was relaunched in January 2017, the press release stated: “In a nod to sports punters, CENTREBET is committed to market leading book percentages and will aim to bet the best prices on AFL, NRL, NBA, NFL, Grand Slam Tennis and Big Bash Cricket. On head to head and line markets, CENTREBET will be betting all punters to win at least $10,000. CENTREBET will be the only bookmaker in the marketplace to guarantee limits on any sport.”
We have yet to see evidence of this, however. Centrebet had an average margin of 5.9% in our latest bookmaker margin survey, which is above the median bookmaker margin of 5.2%.
Centrebet offers both a great range of sports markets and a good depth of betting options for each fixture. Fans of NRL, AFL and Super Rugby won’t be disappointed; neither will be followers of the likes of handball. As is always the case with bookmakers, football (soccer) is well covered, as are boxing, golf and cycling. Centrebet also provides plenty of betting markets for popular American sports such as the NHL, NBA, MLB and NFL and NCAA competitions. The selection for entertainment betting is strong as well. At the time of review, markets for American Idol, the Eurovision Song Contest and Australian Dancing with the Stars were available. We have noticed that Centrebet is also often the first Australian bookmaker to make odds available for upcoming weekend fixtures. For example Super Rugby fixtures are made available early on Wednesday, as opposed to late Wednesday or early Thursday for other bookmakers.
Centrebet offers betting on horse racing, greyhounds and harness racing in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. Form guides are available for Australian races. Win, Place, Quinella, Exacta, Trifecta, First Four wagers are supported. The racing interface is intuitive and you can combine sports and racing wagers into the same betting slip.
In October 2011 Centrebet launched a Pick Your Own Field feature, which enables you to create your own customised field of runners within an existing race. You can bet on which runner will win in your race at odds dependent upon the runners you choose.
Live Sports Betting
Due to Australia’s Interactive Gambling Act 4, live online betting is not available for Australians. 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.
- Low minimum deposit for most methods
- Good range of deposit options, including Paypal and POLi 5
- Low turnover requirements
- Strong betting selection
- Fantastic user interface
- New members can opt to pre-commit to deposit and/or loss limits.
- Live online betting is not available to Australian residents (due to Australian law).
- No sign up bonuses or odds promotions
- Uncertainty over how the new business model will work out
- Higher than average bookmaker margins
The relaunch in 2017 as a higher stakes, higher odds service that doesn’t limit winners makes Centerbet unique in the Australian betting landscape. The new business model of offering these features instead of weekly promotions is strongly reminiscent of the well-regarded international bookmaker Pinnacle. The key differences are that Centrebet is licensed in Australia and it offers horse racing. It will be intriguing to see how the new approach works out. If Centrebet genuinely sticks to it’s promises then it will become a must-have service for serious Australian punters.
Notes and Sources
- 1 http://centrebet.com/cust?action=GoAdmin&content=About
- 2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centrebet
- 3 Sportingbet approves Centrebet deal
- 4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interactive_Gambling_Act
- 5 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.
- 6 http://www.williamhillplc.com/media/press-releases/2013pr/2013-03-19.aspx
- 7 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Hill_%28bookmaker%29