As of September 2017 Marathon Bet no longer accepts customers who are residents of Australia.
The following is an in-depth review of the sportsbook Marathonbet. This Marathonbet 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
Marathonbet is a sportsbook operator that was established in 1997. The service may not be familiar to Australians, but internationally Marathonbet is a well-known brand, boasting a customer base of over 1.5 million people in 188 countries. The company is headquartered in Brighton, England.1
Marathonbet operates online through two internet gaming licenses. The dot com address is owned by Panbet Curacao N.V. (“Marathonbet”) and is licensed by the Government of Curacao. The .co.uk address is owned by Marathon Alderney Limited and is licensed by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission in the British Channel Islands. Marathonbet also operates retail shops in the UK, which are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.2 The company also has a retail presence in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Cameroon, and Kazakhstan.1
Marathonbet markets itself largely through sponsorship of football teams. At the time of writing Marathonbet was a partner with Fulham (England), West Ham United (England), Tottenham Hotspur (England), Derby County (England), Hibernian (Scotland), Dynamo Kiev (Ukraine) and Málaga (Spain).1
Services and Features
|Deposit turnover requirements||None that we’re aware of|
|Deposit options||For Australian residents: Visa, MasterCard (not recommended because they don’t offer withdrawals to Australian MasterCard accounts), Skrill (Moneybookers) (supports POLi), Neteller, bank transfer. When using an overseas bookmaker we recommend you use an e-wallet service like Skrill or Neteller.|
|Withdrawal options||For Australian residents: Visa (not all Australian banks supported), Skrill (Moneybookers),Neteller, bank transfer.|
|Minimum deposit||Visa: $8, MasterCard: $8, Skrill: $15, Neteller: $15, bank transfer: $15|
|Minimum withdrawal||Visa: $8, Skrill: $15, bank transfer: $288|
|Transaction fees||$50 withdrawal fee for bank transfers below AUD $1,450. For this reason when using an overseas bookmaker we recommend you use an e-wallet service like Skrill.|
|Currencies||AUD, EUR, USD, ARS, AMD, AZN, BYR, BOB, BRL, BGN, CAD, XAF, CLP, CNY, CZK, DKK, GEL, INR, JPY, KZT, KGS, MXN, MDL, NZD, NOK, PYG, PEN, PLN, GBP, RON, RUB, SGD, ZAR, KRW, SEK, THB, TRY, UAH, UYU, UZS|
|Languages||English, Azərbaycanca, Deutsch, Español, Français, Hrvatski, Indonesian, Italiano, Lietuvių, Magyar, Polski, Português, Srpski, Türkçe, Việt, Český, Ελληνικά, Ўзбек тили, Български, Русский, हिन्दी, ภาษาไทย, ქართული, 台灣繁體, 简体中文, 한국어|
|Odds formats||Decimal, American, Fraction, Hong Kong, Indonesian, Malay|
|Minimum bet||$0.29 for individual selections, $0.14 for multis, $0.03 per bet in exotic multis|
|Maximum stake||Maximum stakes increase towards match start times. We’ve observed maximum stakes that correspond to potential profits as high as $7,127 for EPL fixtures and as low as $285 for some AFL fixtures. For multis we’ve observed maximum stakes of around $28. For extremely high odds multis and exotic multis we’ve observed accepted stake amounts that correspond to win amounts in the tens of millions of dollars.|
|Bookmaker margin||3.0%, which is well below the median bookmaker margin of 5.2% in the latest bookmaker margin survey. Low margins are one of the strongest features of Marathonbet. From a punter’s perspective, the lower the margin, the better.|
|Quantity of markets||Averaged 91 markets per fixture in the latest bookmaker markets survey. This is above the median score of 61.|
|Credit facilities||Marathonbet offers a feature called Advancebet, which unlocks the potential of unsettled bets to place new wagers. They essentially enable you to place wagers using stakes higher than your account balance. In order to place an Advancebet, you must have at least one unsettled bet placed on events which are due to start in the next 48 hours. Bets on Starting Prices (SP) will not be used to calculate the available Advancebet balance. You can place Advancebets on live events and any event due to start within the next 48 hours. If any outstanding Advancebet stakes are not returned from any bet settlements within 48 hours, and/or from the settlement of bets placed using Advancebet stakes, the remaining Used Advancebet sum will be waived. You will not have any obligation to pay back the remainder of your used Advancebet amount. Marathonbet reserves the right to exclude customers from the Advancebet facility. Learn more.|
|Forbidden Jurisdictions||Any jurisdictions where Internet gambling is illegal|
|Mobile betting||Android and iOS Apps are available to download|
|Identity checks||If Marathonbet have concerns about the way an account is being maintained, they will proceed with enhanced customer verification procedures before processing withdrawal requests and also reserve the right to close a customer’s account.|
|Dormant account fees||A monthly administration fee of €5 (or currency equivalent) will be applied to your account if no betting activity has taken place on the account for a minimum of 12 months|
|Support||Phone (UK number), live chat, email, snail mail (UK postal address)|
Betting Interface and Website Layout
At first glance the Marathonbet interface looks dated, featuring a boxy layout and an amateur colour scheme, with the blue and grey odds and navigation areas clashing horribly with the bright green betting slip. Once you look past the visual appearance, however, it becomes apparent that the interface is in fact incredibly intuitive and easy to use.
The website uses the familiar three-column layout, with sports listed in a nested menu on the left, odds displayed in the centre and the betting slip on the right.
The sports navigation panel uses a drop down approach, where if you click on a sport the applicable leagues are displayed below it. Unlike most other bookmakers, Marathonbet doesn’t make use of nested sub-categories, so if you click on Football you get the full list of leagues rather than a list of countries or regions. The navigation menu has its own scrollbar so as you scroll down the long list of leagues the rest of the interface doesn’t shift.
At the top of the navigation panel are links to toggle between viewing all sports and sports for which live events are underway. If you click on All Events a full list of sports is displayed in the centre panel. You can then select multiple sports to display the odds for at once. You can also limit the timeframe of the sports if you only want to view fixtures that will commence within the next 2, 6, 12 or 24 hours.
The odds display is conventional. When you select a league from the navigation panel a list of upcoming fixtures is displayed in a table. A ‘+’ symbol is shown for each fixture along with a number, denoting how many additional markets are available for that fixture. When you add a selection to the betting slip it remains highlighted in the odds table.
The betting slip has three tabs at the top: Singles, Accumulators and Multiples. The singles table supports separate wagers on each fixture, the accumulators tab supports multi bets and specific leg lengths. For example if you have eight selections in your slip, you can opt for doubles, trebles, 4-folds, etc. The Multiples tab enables you to place an exotic (system) multis (Yankee, Goliath, etc.). Overall the betting slip has all of the functionality you could ask for. At all times the minimum and maximum accepted stakes are shown. The potential returns are displayed once you enter a stake amount.
The range of sports at Marathonbet is excellent, with everything from curling to sumo wrestling covered. For a bookmaker that offers such competitive odds, the number of markets per event is astounding. For example we’ve observed over 200 markets per English Premier League fixture. Australian sports are also well catered for.
A great feature in the Marathonbet futures (Ante Post) markets is for the shortest odds selections you can bet either for them to win or for them not to win. This feature also applies to win markets for events such as motor sports. For example in MotoGP betting you are offered 3.00 for Valentino Rossi to win the championship or you can take 1.40 odds on him not to win.
Horse racing is offered on various UK venues using Starting Price odds. It’s abundantly clear, however, that sports betting is the primary focus of the service.
Live Sports Betting
According to the Interactive Gambling Act, bookmakers aren’t supposed to offer live online betting to Australians. They’re only supposed to only live betting over the phone. International services either ignore or aren’t aware of this law, and continue to offer live betting services to Australians. Note that 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.3
Marathonbet offers a strong live betting service. The A-League, AFL, NRL and Super Rugby all covered, along with countless overseas leagues. Minimum and maximum accepted stakes are shown when you make your selections. The maximums will vary greatly depending on the popularity of the fixture and the odds of your selection.
A neat feature of both the standard and live betting interface is you can opt to enable “Bet in one click.” You pre-enter a stake amount and then if you make a selection the bet is automatically placed (subject to a delay for live betting). This enables you to skip the three-step process of making a selection, entering a stake amount and clicking ‘Place bet’ in the betting slip.
- Highly competitive odds (low margins)
- Broad range of sports
- Strong range of markets per event
- Strong live online betting service
- Marathonbet claims to honour withdrawal requests within 3 hours if made by Skrill
- Ability to bet against specific selections in futures markets
- Low minimum stake amounts
- The Advancebet facility is fantastic, especially given that Marathonbet will waive the debt for outstanding Advancebet stakes if your pending bets lose and the stakes placed using Advancebet funds also lose.
- Intuitive interface
- Dedicated help section
- Relatively low stake limits, particularly for Australian sports
- Known to limit the accounts of successful punters
- High minimum withdrawal amount of $288 for bank transfers and a $50 withdrawal fee for bank transfers below $1,450. For this reason when using an overseas bookmaker we recommend you use an e-wallet service like Skrill.
- MasterCard deposits accepted but MasterCard withdrawals to cards issued in Australia are not
- Not licensed in Australia
- Dated website appearance
- Dormant account fees
The combination of its highly competitive odds and the broad range of sports & markets makes Marathonbet a highly promising sportsbook. The interface isn’t the prettiest, but it is feature-packed, with the Advancebet feature and ability to bet against futures selections setting Marathonbet apart from the crowd. High stakes punters will find the stake limits to be disappointing, however, and we have heard of successful high stakes members getting their stake limits heavily restricted. For modest stakes punters, Marathonbet would make a good companion to an Australian-licensed bookmaker, however high stakes punters should consider Pinnacle Sports instead.