The following is an in-depth review of the betting agency Sportingbet. This review covers the history, features, interface, sports & racing markets, upsides and downsides of the service. Please note that this review pertains specifically to the Sportingbet Australia website, and not Sportingbet’s European 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
Sportingbet is a Northern Territory licensed bookmaker with offices in Darwin and Sydney. The Australian service was launched in 2003 by the UK-based Sportingbet Group, which itself has been in operation since 1998. The Sportingbet Group acquired Centrebet in 2011, with Sportingbet and Centrebet since offering the same markets and odds but separate promotions. In March 2013 William Hill – one of the largest bookmakers in Britain – acquired Sportingbet Group’s Australian business, which consists of Centrebet and Sportingbet.1, 2, 3, 6, 7.
Thanks to its TV advertising and event sponsorships, Sportingbet is one of the biggest brands in Australian bookmaking. In March 2014 it announced Shane Warne as its new ambassador.
Services and Features
|Deposit options||Credit card (Visa & MasterCard), Skrill (Moneybookers), Paypal, bank transfer, BPAY, POLi 4|
|Withdrawal options||Bank transfer, Skrill (Moneybookers), Paypal, BPAY|
|Minimum deposit||No minimum for bank transfer, $1 for POLi, $5 for credit card, $30 for Paypal, $30 for Skrill (Moneybookers)|
|Minimum bet||$0.01 online, $20 by phone for sport, $50 by phone for racing.|
|Maximum payout||The maximum payout for a telephone wager is $500,000. The maximum payouts for single and multiple online wagers are $50,000 and $100,000, respectively. In addition, all multiple wagers are subject to a maximum win of 20,000 times the wager. The maximum permitted odds on a free (bonus) bet is 101.00.|
|Deposit turnover requirements||1x|
|Bonus credit turnover requirements||1x|
|Bookmaker margin||4.8% (see below for more details)|
|Credit facilities||None that we’re aware of|
|Forbidden Jurisdictions||Italy, United States of America|
|Mobile version of the website?||Yes. You can place sports and race wagers, view the day’s race results and view your recent transaction history. Apps for iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones are available.|
|Identity checks||Australians can quickly verify their identity online. If you have two of the following documents the identity check is a piece of cake: tax file number, Medicare card, Australian passport. Alternatively, you can verify yourself through a 100-point check at your local Australia Post Office. Customers outside Australia will have to post a certified copy of proof of identity to Sportingbet Australia. Customers who make a deposit by credit card will have to verify ownership of their card prior to making a withdrawal.|
|Dormant account fees||None|
Betting Interface and Website Layout
The Sportingbet interface has been given a number of facelifts since we first reviewed it, with the most recent overhaul made in March 2014. The changes have resulted in a cleaner, simpler interface with the popular odds displayed more concisely than in previous versions.
Sportingbet has followed the lead of Luxbet and its parent William Hill by using a horizontal rather than a vertical menu to display the list of sports. Clicking on the ‘All Sports’ link displays the full list. The sports are listed using a combination of by popularity and alphabetically, which is confusing at first, although we like the fact that the alphabetised sports are listed from left to right rather than top down with Luxbet.
In place of the usual list of sports on the left are a few small quick links, which has freed up space for a wider central column. When you click on a sport the sub-categories are displayed below the sports navigation panel, followed by a concisely displayed list of odds. Clicking on the title of a fixture displays all available odds for that fixture alongside a list of other fixtures for that round.
Unlike previous versions, the betting slip is not automatically displayed when you select a bet. Instead, when you make a betting selection a yellow number appears over the Bet slip link to indicate how many items are in your slip. When you click on the Bet slip link the betting slip is displayed on top of the odds rather than beside them. You have to close the betting slip again to make more selections, however this arrangement does provide additional space for the display of market and odds.
The betting slip itself is highly functional, providing you with the ability to place single and multi wagers together. A toggle icon on the left of each single selection enables you to select which items to include in the multi and a full range of exotic multi options such as Trixie, Patent and Yankee are made available. The total stake and estimated returns are automatically displayed as you input stake amounts.
Round Odds display
Fixture Odds display
Overall we really like the interface for its concise display of odds, intuitive navigation and betting slip functionality.
In our most recent bookmaker margin survey, Sportingbet had an average bookmaker margin of 4.8%, which is slightly lower than the survey average of 5.1%. From a punter’s perspective, the lower the margin, the better. Note that Sportingbet and Centrebet have identical odds.
Sportingbet offers both a great range of sports markets and a good depth of betting options. Its biggest strength is Australian sport, with the likes of NRL, AFL and Super Rugby heavily catered for. International punters will appreciate the wide coverage of international sports. To illustrate the depth of coverage, at the time of review, betting on domestic Italian, German, French and Spanish basketball fixtures was available. The other major international sports like the major US leagues, cycling, golf, motor sport, surfing and tennis are well catered for. As is always the case with bookmakers, football (soccer) is well covered, with a vast range of world leagues on offer. In addition to sport, entertainment and politics betting are available. The betting selection easily surpasses the needs of most Australian punters.
Sportingbet offers a strong racing line-up that covers horse, harness and greyhounds events across Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK and Ireland. Selected races from Hong Kong and France are also covered. Win/Place, Quinella, Exacta, Trifecta, First 4, Multi and “Super Exotic” markets are offered. Best Tote+5% (Tatts, NSW, Vic), fixed odds and best fluc odds are available on most horse races, tote and fixed odds are available on harness events and the totes are available on greyhounds.
The race betting interface is excellent. The initial racing card is stock standard, however when you select a race a concise list of all upcoming races is listed to the left of the odds. This enables you to toggle the display of more than one race at a time. The markets for your selected races are stacked on top of each other as new races are selected. This enables fast and convenient navigation around the racing markets.
Odds fluctuations are displayed for each runner and the track conditions are displayed for each race. A new innovative feature of the racing service is a “Sullo says” box, which provides trader comments on most horse races.
Racing navigation menu
Live Sports Betting
Due to Australia’s Interactive Gambling Act 3, 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.
- Excellent sports and race betting interface with concise display of odds
- Low minimum deposit for most methods
- Good range of deposit options, notably including Paypal and POLi 4.
- Very low turnover requirements
- Strong betting selection, particularly for Australian sports
- Frequent betting promotions on popular events
- $0.01 minimum bet
- Live online betting is not available to Australian residents (due to Australian law)
- Basic help section (although a live help feature is available)
- Withdrawal amounts can only be in $1.00 increments.
- Have been known to suspend or limit the accounts of successful punters
- Sign up bonus not as generous as some competitors
As one of Australia’s largest locally licensed bookmakers, Sportingbet is an excellent betting service. The new interface is top of the line and the website offers a good range of deposit methods to go with a strong betting selection. Despite being foreign owned, the service is very much catered to Australians. The Australian sporting codes are heavily catered for and only Australian dollar accounts are available. Sportingbet caters well to a range of punters. Beginners will enjoy the frequent betting promotions while enthusiasts will appreciate the betting selection and interface.
Notes and Sources
- 1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sportingbet
- 2 http://www.sportingbetplc.com/about-us.aspx
- 3 Sportingbet approves Centrebet deal
- 4 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.
- 5 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interactive_Gambling_Act
- 6 http://www.williamhillplc.com/media/press-releases/2013pr/2013-03-19.aspx
- 7 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Hill_%28bookmaker%29