The Australian sports industry is huge, spanning everything from global favourites like golf and cricket to home-grown sports like Aussie Rules football. In the 2016-17 season alone, it was found that sports contributed a mighty $14.4 billion to the nation’s GDP and supported over 120,000 jobs. It’s big business, but the sports industry doesn’t start and end at the stadium turnstiles.
While there have been several amendments to what is and isn’t permitted, online sports betting in Australia continues to thrive. However, due to said changes to the law, some Aussies aren’t entirely sure if they’re allowed to bet on sports, where they can, or how to do so. As such, to help golf fans and fans of all other sports, this guide is here to help you get to grips with how online betting works in Australia.
What’s the legality of Australian online sports betting?
As detailed in the Federal Register of Legislation, any service that relates to betting on, or on a series of, sports events and isn’t an in-play betting service is considered to be an excluded wagering service under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, and thus, they are permitted in Australia. What this means is that any platform that exclusively offers sports betting, as well as race betting, but not live betting, is legal in the country.
That said, while in-play and live betting is outlawed, making in-play bets in person or over the phone is allowed. So, sites won’t offer you the ability to directly place live bets through their website or app, but some do have a service that will cater to call-in betting, which can be placed with the money in your account. There aren’t too many platforms that exploit this loophole, but there are some available.
Can you get bonuses or promotions as a new Aussie online sports bettor?
Welcome offers are commonplace across the online gambling world, with most sites in competitive markets advertising themselves via these bonuses. Matched deposit bonuses, free bets, free spins, risk-free bets, and no-deposit bonuses are all commonplace. Still, in Australia, online bookmakers are strictly prohibited from offering and advertising newcomer bonuses.
Coming into effect in 2019, the Department of Social Services’ National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering banned licensed sites from offering new players promotions. As you’d expect, Australia’s betting sites adhered to these new rules, even though welcome offers have become one of the key battlegrounds elsewhere. Luckily, the ban has had a positive effect on the sites, with the areas of competition shifting from shallow welcome offers to the quality of the platforms and the odds.
The most important factors for picking an Australian bookie
Without welcome offers, there’s one less area of comparison between Aussie online bookmakers, but there are still several other factors to consider. According to the 2021 online betting hub SBO, the most crucial thing considered when grading and ranking sites is if the online bookmaker is trustworthy, reliable, and safe. As such, their recommendations for the best sites only include those licensed by Australia and are regulated under strong oversight to ensure fairness and an avenue for recourse should a dispute arise.
Disputes tend to be uncommon at reputable betting platforms, but there may be an aspect of betting, payment methods, or upcoming odds that you’d like to know more about. So, for disputes and support, the highest-rated sites have to have excellent customer support options and offer an enjoyable user experience. It may not be the aspect that immediately comes to mind when looking at odds and making a deposit, but a strong customer service team is essential to long-term enjoyment.
How to place an online sports bet in Australia
One of the main reasons why online sports betting is so popular in Australia is because it’s so quick and easy to find the odds that you want to back and place the bet. It’s easy via computers but even more seamless through betting apps. All that you need to do is:
- Find the online sportsbook that you want to use;
- Open an account by inputting your details and confirming that you’re of legal age (18-years-old);
- Make your first deposit through your preferred payment method;
- Find the sport, market, and odds that you want to back;
- Click on the odds to add them to your bet slip;
- Go to the bet slip, input the money that you want to stake per selection or across the whole slip;
- Press the ‘Bet’ button to lock in your wager.
The most popular sports to bet on in Australia
The most popular sports to bet on in Australia invariably follow the most searched, attended, and participated sports in the country. The most searched include the AFL, NRL, cricket, and golf, the most attended also includes the AFL, as well as rugby league, soccer, and motorsports, and the most participated sports list features golf, tennis, and netball. All of these sports are available to be bet on via Aussie betting sites due to their immense popularity in one way or another.
Of course, whenever professional golf comes to one of the nation’s incredible golf courses, bettors examine the attendees and weigh up who looks suited to tackle the challenges of each course. Being a nation of avid golfers, Aussie golf fans know exactly what to look for when examining the odds and picking potential winners. As noted above, though, golf isn’t the only wildly popular sport Down Under.
Aussie Rules is by far the most attended major sport in terms of weekly and grand final attendance. The uniquely Australian sport is why many people seek online sports betting sites, but there’s also a strong following for both lines of rugby, football (soccer), and cricket. Along with international matches, the country has gone big on its short-form tournament, the Big Bash League, with both men’s and especially women’s editions proving to be wildly popular.
There’re plenty of Australian and overseas sports to bet on, with several reputable online brands at the ready to offer you competitive odds.