Earlier this year we took a look at international bookmakers that offer online in-play (live) betting and Australian dollar accounts. This follow-up article provides a more in-depth look at the services and live markets offered by each bookmaker. It should be noted that the focus here is on services that offer live online betting to Australian residents. If you live outside Australia then the best bookmaker for live online wagering is bet365. Note that bet365 does offer live betting to Australians but, as is the case with Australian bookmakers, in-play wagering is only available to Australian residents over the phone. The bookmakers discussed here offer live online betting to Australian residents.
This article consists of two surveys: (1) a survey of in-play betting features and (2) a survey of in-play markets.
What is In-Play Betting?
In-Play wagering, also called live, or in the run betting, is the act of wagering on a sporting event that has already commenced. In-play sports betting provides the excitement of having to make quick decisions. It also enables you to place counter bets if things aren’t going your way, or hedge your bets if you have backed the side that’s in the ascendancy. Furthermore, it is often hard to get a read on how a game will pan out until it is underway, so many punters prefer to wager once an event has started.
In-play betting isn’t huge in Australia, but it is massive in Europe where, according to Betfair, live betting accounts for 90% of wagers on cricket, tennis and soccer. View our guide to live sports betting.
Australian licensed bookmakers only offer in-play betting over the phone. The Australian Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA) makes it an offence to offer real money online “interactive” gambling services to Australian residents. The term interactive has been extended to include in-play sports betting. This law technically applies to all online operators, regardless of whether they are licensed in Australia. Interestingly, adherence to the IGA is the responsibility of the gambling operators and not Australian punters. An Australian resident is not breaking the law by betting live online.
Most offshore betting providers either ignore, or are unaware of the IGA, and continue to offer online in-play betting to Australian residents. As things stand, Australians are free to participate in live online betting because any infringements would entail penalties for the betting operator and not the punter.
Live Betting Features Survey
The following table summarises the online in-play betting features offered by bookmakers that support Australian dollar accounts. Below the table is an explanation of each of the features surveyed. The Y/N/P/M cells are interpreted as follows:
Y – yes – this feature is offered
N – no – this featured is not offered
P – partial – this feature is offered for some, but not all, fixtures
M – most – this feature is offered for most fixtures
|10bet||12Bet||Betfred||Blue Square||Stan James||Victor Chandler|
|Live betting schedule||Y||N||N||Y||Y||Y|
|Score breakdowns (i.e. quarter by quarter score in basketball)||N||N||N||N||Y||Y|
|Event details (tournament name, etc.)?||N||Y||N||N||M||Y|
|Animations / colour coding to highlight odds movements||Y||N||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Interface rating (1 – 5)||3||1||2||2||4.5||4|
Below are explanations of each of the features surveyed.
Live betting schedule
A diary that lists upcoming events for which in-play betting will be made available. This is incredibly handy because only a small proportion of sports offered for pre-game wagering are also available for in-play betting. Live betting is a labour-intensive service to offer, which is why bookmakers are selective with the events that they make available for in-play betting.
Stan James live betting schedule
A live score is invaluable when the event isn’t televised or when you aren’t close to a TV. It also saves you the hassle of navigating back and forth to a third-party live scores website.
10bet.com live score
Score breakdowns, such as game scores in tennis and quarter-by-quarter scores in basketball, provide added insights into how a game is panning out. This saves you from having to reference live scores from another website whilst betting.
Stan James detailed live score examples
Event details give you a better idea of what event the betting market is for. Many bookmakers will list a tennis match with two player names, but won’t tell you which ITF/ATP/WTA event they are playing in.
Stan James event details example
Animated odds movements
Animated odds movements give you a visual indication of which odds are shortening and which are lengthening. This makes it easier to understand what’s going on when there are rapid odds changes.
10bet.com odds movements
We have given each bookmaker a subjective interface score between 1 and 5. This rating is based on each in-play betting interface’s design and features.
Betfred in-play betting interface
Live Betting Sports & Markets Survey
Over a period of two weeks in late April and early May 2012, we recorded the in-play events offered by each bookmaker. Below is a summary of our findings. The Y/N/P/M cells are interpreted as follows:
Y – yes – this sport/league is covered
N – no – this sport/league is not covered
P – partial – some fixtures from this sport/league are covered
M – most – most of the fixtures from this sport/league are covered
For many of the Y, P and M cells you will see a figure in parenthesis. This number indicates how many markets were available for the surveyed event at the time of review. For example, if the following markets for a football match are available:
– Head to head
We would record three markets as being available for that event.
A figure such as (3) means we observed three in-play markets for each of the event(s) surveyed in that league.
A figure such as (3-5) means we observed between three and five in-play markets for the events surveyed in that league.
A blank cell means the bookmaker’s website was unavailable at the time of review. Below are the survey results.
|Sport||League||10bet||12Bet||Betfred||Blue Square||Stan James||Victor Chandler|
|Football||Asian Champions League||Y (19)||Y (2)||N||Y (28)||Y (34)||Y (29)|
|Tennis||ATP / WTA||P (1)||P (3-8)||P (3-8)||P (15-31)||P (15-20)||P (6-20)|
|Tennis||ITF / Challenger||Y (1)||N||N||N||P (4-19)||P (4-5)|
|Golf||European Tour||N||N||Y (1)||Y (1)||Y (1)||Y (2)|
|Australian Rules||AFL||N||N||N||N||P (3)||M (4)|
|Rugby League||NRL||N||Y (2)||P (14-17)||P (6-7)||P (6)||Y (4-8)|
|Rugby Union||Super Rugby||N||Y (1)||N||Y (34)||Y (6)||Y (7)|
|Rugby Union||Rugby Sevens||N||N||N||N||Y (2)||Y (1)|
|Football||Brisbane Premier League||Y (4)||Y (2)||N||N||N||N|
|Football||Victoria Premier League||P||Y (1-6)||N||N||P (29)||Y (27-28)|
|Football||South Australian Super League||P (11-12)||Y (2)||N||N||N||N|
|Football||Football West State League Premier Div||Y (22)||Y (6)||N||N||N||N|
|Basketball||NZ NBL||Y (5)||Y (2)||N||N||N||Y (14)|
|Basketball||NBA||P (6)||Y (10-22)||P (3)||P (21)||P (15-26)||Y (14-17)|
|Ice Hockey||NHL||Y (1-3)||Y (2)||N||Y (4)||P (5)||P (4)|
|Ice Hockey||AHL||Y (1)||N||N||N||N||N|
|Baseball||MLB||M (1-3)||M (2)||N||P (19-36)||P||P (3)|
|Football||MLS||Y (22)||Y (2)||N||N||N||N|
|Basketball||Philippines PBA||Y (3)||N||N||N||Y (30)||Y (16)|
|Baseball||Japanese Baseball||N||Y (2)||N||N||N||N|
|Football||Korean K-League||Y (13-15)||Y (5)||N||N||Y (17-21)||Y (18-19)|
|Ice Hockey||International||Y (3)||P (2)||N||P (35)||P (3)||P (9)|
|Badminton||Unknown||N||P (1-2)||N||N||N||Y (4)|
|Table tennis||Unknown||N||N||N||N||N||Y (4)|
|Volleyball||International||Y (2)||N||N||N||N||Y (7)|
|Snooker||Unknown||N||Y (1-5)||Y (14)||Y (11-16)||Y (16-17)||Y (17-25)|
We’ve been informed that because Australia “is not a targeted sportsbook region”, Stan James currently restrict sportsbook bets from Australian residents. No such restrictions are in place for their egaming products. If you are looking for an international sportsbook, we recommend you consider other services at this time.
For in-play betting features, Stan James and Victor Chandler were the strongest bookmakers. The Stan James interface was by far the best of the bookmakers surveyed. We encountered the occasional website bug and glitch, which prevented us from giving it a full 5/5 for the interface rating. 12BET has the weakest, least user-friendly interface. Its concise display of betting markets will please seasoned punters, but beginners will find the interface to be unintuitive.
None of the bookmakers surveyed provided a complete coverage of the sporting events we surveyed. The bookmaker that is best for your in-play wagering needs will depend on which sports you intend to wager on. You may find it necessary to sign up with two services to get sufficient coverage of the sports and leagues you follow. Betfred and Blue Square had the weakest in-play betting selection of the bookmakers we surveyed. 10bet.com and 12BET were the strongest for football and American sports, while Victor Chandler and Stan James offered the best selection on Australian sports.