The following is an in-depth ClassicBet review. 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
ClassicBet is an Australian-owned, Northern Territory licensed bookmaker that was founded in 2014. The service was originally licensed in New South Wales until the original owning company ClassicBet Pty Ltd was sold in March 2018 to Victoria-based PlayUp Interactive Pty Ltd (ABN 79 602 262 644)1. The company’s offices are located at Penrith Paceway in New South Wales. The customer service postal address is a PO Box in Potts Point, NSW 2011.
ClassicBet markets itself as “Australia’s first premium betting agency”, with its point of difference being that every member is given a dedicated account manager. Upon opening an account we were called less than 24 hours later by an account manager who introduced us to the service and enquired about our betting interests and habits.
Services and Features
|Deposit options||Visa, MasterCard, bank transfer, POLi 3, paysafecard, BPAY, cheque|
|Withdrawal options||Bank transfer|
|Transaction fees||None that we’re aware of|
|Currencies||AUD, NZD, USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, INR|
|Minimum deposit||None that we’re aware of|
|Minimum bet||$1.00 online, $10.00 over the phone. The minimum wager for flexi betting is $1.00.|
|Deposit turnover requirements||1x to avoid any fees up to a maximum of 3%|
|Bonus bet turnover requirements||For any promotion where bonus bets are received, the corresponding deposit must be turned over three times at odds of 1.50 or greater on racing (or 1.90 for sport if sport allowed by your client manager) before a withdrawal can be processed. All winnings from bonus bets must be turned over three times before being withdrawn unless agreed with account manager prior to placing bonus bets.|
|Bookmaker margin||5.6%, 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 79 markets per fixture in the latest bookmaker markets survey. This is above the median score of 61.|
|Credit facilities||Members can apply for a credit facility (see terms of trade)|
|Forbidden Jurisdictions||ClassicBet appears to accept wagers from all countries where online betting is legal|
|Mobile betting||A mobile version of the website is available as well as an iPhone App|
|Identity checks||ClassicBet accepts 100 points of ID, which can be emailed or faxed in. Should you have any difficulties a customer service rep can assist the process with an automatic verification check such as VEDA|
|Dormant account fees||None that we’re aware of|
|Support||Email, phone (1800 number for AU and a 0800 number for NZ as well as standard numbers), fax, post|
Unless otherwise agreed, the maximum payout on any telephone wager (single, exotic or multiple wager) is $100,000
Unless otherwise agreed, the maximum payout on any Internet wager (single, exotic or multiple wager) is $50,000.
ClassicBet accepts multibets from 2-10 legs with a maximum dividend of $10,001.
ClassicBet reserves the right to restrict the maximum dividend paid out for Win and Place bets to $101.
ClassicBet has the following maximum payouts per race for racing exotics:
First Four $20,000
Quaddie $50,000 Gallops, $20,000 Greyhounds, $20,000 Harness
Crucially, ClassicBet does set its odds independently from other bookmakers, which makes a membership highly useful for those who like to shop around for odds. At the time of writing, for two head-to-head selections out of seven upcoming Super Rugby fixtures, ClassicBet offered higher odds than any of the 13 bookmakers surveyed in the Odds comparison section.
The ClassicBet sports betting selection is well suited to those who bet on the major Australian leagues and the top level international codes.
While a wide range of sports and international leagues are covered, the depth of markets is far superior for Australian leagues and top tier international tournaments than it is for lower divisions. For example, we observed upward of 120 markets per fixture for the A-League and 153 for the English Premier League, but only 3 markets for fixtures in the second tier of English football. Punters who enjoy specialty markets in the more obscure leagues should look to a larger bookmaker.
Typical AFL fixtures have up to 183 markets to bet on, while NRL games have around 109 markets close to kick-off and Super Rugby fixtures have 29 markets. As with most bookmakers, the number of markets for a fixture increase closer to kick-off.
We’ve observed that some markets appear later in the week for ClassicBet than at some other bookmakers. At the time of writing over/under markets for the AFL & NRL were only made available on the day of the fixture. This may well change as ClassicBet grows in size.
At the time of writing the NBA and NCAAB were in full swing. Typical NBA games had up to 68 markets while NCAAB games had 3 markets, which underlines the drop-off from top-tier tournaments to codes that are less popular with Australian punters.
Betting Interface and Website Layout
The ClassicBet website uses the ubiquitous three-column layout, with sports and leagues listed on the left, markets and odds in the centre and the betting slip on the right.
When a sport is selected the navigation menu expands to show a list of leagues. If future markets are available they are listed below the sport name, so you will see “Rugby League”, which can be expanded to view the leagues that have head-to-head fixtures, and below that there there is “Rugby League Futures”, which can be expanded to view the leagues for which futures markets are available.
When a league is selected the popular markets and odds are concisely displayed for the upcoming fixtures. For sports like the AFL the head-to-head, line and over/under odds are displayed, while for the EPL the win, draw, line and over/under 2.5 goals markets are shown.
If more markets are available for a particular fixture a “Show/hide X additional markets” link is displayed below it. Rather than show all of the odds for those markets at once, when you click on the link you are shown a list of markets for that fixture. When you click on a market you are shown the odds for that specific market only. Some users will like this feature because it avoids navigating away from the primary list of upcoming fixtures, while others may prefer to see all of the odds at once for a particular fixture, which you can’t do with ClassicBet.
The betting slip contains all of the features you would expect of a modern sports betting interface.
When you enter stake amounts the total bet cost is shown at the bottom of the slip. When more than one selection is added all of the available multi betting options are displayed in a manner that enables you to place single and multi bets at the same time. If you have, say, four items in your betting slip you can opt to place 4 single bets, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and/or 1 4-leg multi. The odds for the maximum leg multi are automatically displayed when selections are added.
Overall the ClassicBet interface is fast, intuitive and easy to use. What we like best is it doesn’t try to be clever. There aren’t any layout innovations or features that are intended to impress but only serve to confuse punters.
ClassicBet offers tote and fixed odds betting on Australian horse racing, harness and greyhounds. Thoroughbred racing is also available at selected overseas venues.
Fixed odds betting appears to be available at all venues, however for harness, greyhounds and overseas events the fixed odds market is typically only made available shortly before each race start.
Depending on the status of the race meeting, differing products are available:
- Best of the Best Premium (BOB) – This product is the Best of either, “Best of 3 Australian TAB prices” or the “Official On-Course Best Fluctuation”. Bets must be placed 30 minutes prior to the advertised starting time on selected meetings as displayed on the Classicbet website.
- Best Tote Plus SP – This product is the best of either the “Best of the 3 Australian TAB Prices” or the “Official On-Course Starting Price (SP)”. SP only applies to the Win Portion of the bet. For Place bets and Each-Way bets the place portion is paid at middle tote. If the race is at an Australian venue that does not send official Bookmaker’s prices via the APN, then Classicbet will pay Best of 3 Totes as opposed to Best Tote plus SP.
- Best of 3 Totes – This product is the best of the 3 Australian TAB prices. For Place bets and Each-Way bets the place portion is paid at middle tote.
- Best of 2 Totes – This product is the better of the dividend declared by either NSW TAB or the Victorian Super TAB. For Place bets and Each-Way bets the place portion is paid at middle tote.
- Middle Tote – This product is the middle dividend of the 3 Australian TAB prices.
- Win & Place Tote + 5% – Classicbet will pay a dividend 5% higher than the Victorian TAB (STAB) (On profit portion of dividend, not stake). For Place bets and Each-Way bets the place portion is paid at middle tote.
- Exotics – All Racing exotics (Quinella, Exacta, Trifecta, First Four and Quadrella) are paid at the dividend declared by the Victorian TAB (STAB).
Best Fluctuation – This product is the Best Price declared by the official On-Course Bookmakers Fluctuations.
- Starting Price (SP) – Is the official final bookmaker’s price when the race jumps.
- Fixed Odds – Fixed Win & Place odds are available on the Classicbet website and once confirmed are not subject to fluctuation. For each way fixed odds bets the place is paid at middle tote. The client should place a win and place bet for fixed odds on both portions of the bet.
Flexi betting is available on Quinella, Exacta, Trifecta, First Four and Quadrella wagers.
The racing interface closely resembles what you see at other bookmakers, which makes the service easy to use. Again, ClassicBet doesn’t try to be unique or clever with the interface, they have stuck with a tried and tested layout.
Unfortunately the predicted Tote odds aren’t displayed like you see at some bookmakers like Ladbrokes.
Live Sports Betting
Due to Australia’s Interactive Gambling Act 2, live online betting is not available. It doesn’t appear that live phone betting is available either.
- ClassicBet is Australian owned
- More personalised service. We can’t think of another bookmaker that phoned us shortly after signing up
- Intuitive, easy to use interface
- Higher first deposit matched bonus bet than other bookmakers (excludes NSW, VIC, SA and WA)
- Odds independently set from other bookmakers – great for odds shopping
- Concise display of main odds for each round of fixtures
- Flexi betting is available on Quinella, Exacta, Trifecta, First Four and Quadrella wagers
- Offers POLi as a deposit method3
- Good range of markets per fixture
- No live online betting (due to Australian law)2 or in-play phone betting
- Stake amounts can only be in $0.50 increments
- Bonus bets cannot be used on sports unless specified by your client manager
- Bonus bet turnover requirements are more arduous than some other competitors
- Predicted tote odds aren’t displayed
- Higher than average bookmaker margins
- For harness, greyhounds and overseas racing events the fixed odds market is typically only made available shortly before each race start
- No online means of verifying your identity
- At this stage we know very little about the owners
- E-wallet services like Skrill / Moneybookers and Neteller aren’t offered, which makes the service less suitable for overseas users
- ClassicBet was fined in 2015 for its failure to apply for enrolment on AUSTRAC’s Reporting Entities Roll within the timeframe required after commencing operations in 20144
ClassicBet is part of a new wave of smaller Australian-owned bookmakers that are trying to mix it with the large foreign-owned entities that currently dominate the Australian betting landscape. The markets and odds offered are pretty standard, but the point of difference is the more individualised service, with ClassicBet assigning an account manager to each member. ClassicBet encourages you to give them a call if there’s anything you need. Even the bonus bet terms can vary depending on the arrangement you’ve made with your account manager. Our own experience appears to hold true to their claims, with an account manager calling to introduce himself soon after we signed up. Crucially, ClassicBet sets its odds independently from the other bookmakers, which makes a membership highly useful for those who like to shop around for odds. We were easily able to find selections for which ClassicBet offered better odds than every bookmaker surveyed in the Odds Comparison section.
Notes and Sources
- 1 https://abr.business.gov.au/ABN/View/79602262644
- 2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interactive_Gambling_Act
- 3 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.
- 4 http://www.austrac.gov.au/media/media-releases/online-bookmaker-fined-and-ordered-comply