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Betting agencies in Australia βœ”οΈ Best of 2022

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Table of contents
Meet our author
Betting expert Elizabeth Winnie

Through a ranking system and serious and consolidated standards, we make a point of evaluating the best authorized betting sites in Australia. This information will not only allow you to have access to the best bonuses, but also to the best conditions to make the best sports bets online.

A betting agency is a legally operating company whose purpose is to offer bets on a particular event (match, race, or any kind of outcome). In this context, betting operators set odds for their proposal and all players are free to accept this offer if they wish. If you deposit money into an offer made by betting operators, you are signing a contract. According to this contract, if you win the bet, the betting agency pays you in accordance with the odds it has previously determined. Let's explain this process step by step:

  • A betting agency creates a bet with 2.00 odds for the outcome of "Team A will win the match" (proposal)
  • Player deposits 10 AUD for this offer (acceptance of proposal & signing of contract)
  • The Player gets paid 20 AUD if he wins (contract expiration)

Throughout history, there have been many people and organisations that made betting offers, but a betting company first appeared in the United Kingdom in 1795. Over time, many countries have made sports betting legal, and betting companies that are controlled by governments and/or private companies have emerged. Betting was legalised in Australia in the 19th century.

The short history of betting agencies in Australia

Australian betting companies first emerged in Sydney and New South Wales in the early 1800s. In this period, betting operators were only interested in horse racing and there was no authority regulating this market. In the 1960s, the Australian government, which made sports betting legal, also established a federal government company called TAB, making it a monopoly. As we will explain below, TAB was the only authorised betting operator in Australia until the 90s.

TAB was privatised in 1994 and online betting became legal in 2001. This led to the emergence of many Australian betting agencies in a short time. By 2022, sports and racing betting services can be legally offered in all Australian states, provided a licence is obtained. In this regard, the biggest problem for betting agencies in Australia is that a different licence must be obtained for each state. There is no federal gambling licence that covers all states. Betting companies can only offer their services in that state in which they are licensed. For example, according to official statistics, the vast majority of Australian betting agencies are licensed by the Northern Territory Racing Commission and Liquor & Gaming NSW. This means that only residents of these two states can benefit from the services they offer.

However, Aussie bettors can still play on the websites of international betting operators: there is no provision in current law that prohibits this. If you cannot find a licensed betting agency in your state or if you are not satisfied with the service quality of the agency you find, you can also play at betting companies that offer global service and accept members from Australia. Below, we'll share a list of such websites so you can do this quickly.

Best 15 betting agencies Australia

This Australian betting agencies list we have prepared for you includes both local and international operators. We have prepared this article to provide you with the best possible betting experience and we believe you can find this at all the betting companies listed below. Note that we have not highlighted any operators from this list: every bettor is different from the next and therefore they must decide for themselves what the best Australian betting agencies will be. In other words, our advice to you is to visit all these betting operators one by one and find out which one suits you best.

  • PlayUP
  • Leon Bets
  • Mad Bookie
  • Classic Bet
  • Unibet
  • Topbetta
  • Bambet
  • Joo Sports
  • Play AMO
  • BitStarz
  • SportsBet
  • NEDS
  • Sportsbetting.com.au
  • Betfair AU
  • bet365 AU

You can always access the most up-to-date version of this list, which we have prepared for the best betting agencies in Australia, on our website. We regularly make changes to the list and add new betting operators, so we encourage you to visit us regularly. So, how did we choose the Australian betting agencies we talked about here? Below, we briefly list the criteria we use in our evaluation process of betting companies: using them, you can find the most suitable bookmakers for yourself.

  • Start with a licence check. Whether you play at local betting agencies in Australia or international betting operators, always make sure the website is licensed by a reputable agency. This allows you to achieve both legality and security.
  • Evaluate bonuses. It is not unexpected for betting companies to offer a bonus, but the content and limits of these offers should be able to give you a real benefit. In this regard, make sure you get a low wagering bonus for your first deposit. In addition, after you become a member, you should be able to benefit from bonuses such as free bet, odds boost, insurance bet, and cashback.
  • Browse markets and betting options. Most Australian betting agencies offer both sports betting and racing betting markets. Try adding esports betting to these: the more markets, the better. In addition, check classical and exotic betting options and choose betting operators that offer a wide variety. Moneyline and parlay bets are good, but you should also have alternatives such as Asian handicap and system betting.
  • Odds and margin are important. No betting agencies in Australia always offer high odds. So don't judge by whether the odds offered for a particular event are high or low: this alone is not enough to give an idea of ​​the odds quality of that bookmaker, you should check the overall values. It is also best that the betting margin does not exceed 5%. If you can't calculate these yourself, get help from us: the Australian betting agencies we've selected for you offer both the lowest margins and the best average odds.
  • Check the payment options and their limits. Betting agencies in Australia have dozens of payment options you can use for deposits and withdrawals, but the important thing is whether these options are right for you. We recommend giving priority to betting companies that support Australian-specific methods (e.g., POLi, Trustly, etc.). In addition, you must be able to benefit from many different options such as credit cards, e-wallets, prepaid cards, and voucher codes. Needless to say, the bookmaker must also support AUD payments.
  • Try the games on mobile. Even if you don't currently use mobile devices and apps to place bets, you may want to try it in the future. Therefore, prefer betting operators that work seamlessly on mobile platforms (iOS and Android) and offer the same performance & features. The easiest way to do this is to visit the bookmaker site with different mobile devices and try out the basic services (e.g., bets, payouts, bonuses). A native app is a big plus but not mandatory: if the website works on mobile browsers without a problem, that will be more than enough.

What are betting companies?

There is no difference between betting agencies and betting companies in terms of the service offered. A betting company is also an organisation that offers a certain odds on a certain outcome. The only difference is that betting companies are considered "management". In other words, betting agencies are the branches of betting companies. A betting company may have dozens of agencies, but they are all owned by a single company. Imagine seeing two bet365 booths in a row. These are agencies, but both are owned by the same company (bet365).

If we examine this term in terms of Australian betting agencies, we come across four different business models: corporate bookmakers, TABs, betting exchanges, and on-course betting. Each of these has a different structure from the other, so we need to examine them separately.

TAB

TAB is the abbreviation of the word "Totalisator Agency Board". The term has long been used as the name of an organisation operating as a monopoly in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The Australian government established this agency in order to control totalisator and fixed-odds betting in the 60s and created a chain of booths belonging to the federal government that accepts both sports and horse racing bets in every state in the country. TAB booths were present on the streets and racetracks of almost every major city until the '90s: bettors had to go to these booths when they wanted to place a bet. In other words, for a long time, there were no betting operators in Australia: there was only a single operator owned by the government.

In the '90s, TAB started to be privatised and the first TAB chain in Virginia was transformed into a private company called "Tabcorp" in 1994. Other Australian states did the same, and soon a different private company emerged in each state (Tab Limited, TAB Queensland Limited, South Australian TAB, etc.). In 2004, these private betting companies merged under the "Tabcorp" brand to form the largest gambling company in Australia. Tabcorp is a privately held company with annual revenue of more than 5.2 billion AUD and still has a monopoly in most states when it comes to totalisator betting. It is one of the rare betting agencies in Australia that offers both on-course and off-course (online) services. The company also owns the SKY Racing and MAX brands.

As of 2022, Tabcorp is still one of the largest Australian betting agencies and, having served for over 60 years, is still the first choice for most bettors. Since it still uses the betting booth chain from the TAB period, it can be used even in remote corners of Australia.

On-course betting

Some betting agencies in Australia are just a booth at a racetrack. The term "on-course" means that the betting service is offered directly on the racetrack. Betting operators in this category do not have a website and they do not have a branch anywhere else. The majority of them are small-scale operations run by individuals, not betting companies. And since their licence requirements are simpler, they are quite numerous.

Corporate bookmakers

This is the type of bookmaker that should come to mind when you think of Australian betting agencies. For the sake of practicality, you can simply think of them as online betting websites. Local Australian individuals or international companies can offer this type of service, but both require a licence. For most bettors, corporate betting companies are the only type of bookmaker they will use. The services of such bookies are available online, but as we mentioned above, this is subject to many restrictions.

Betting exchanges

A betting exchange is a business that does not use the classic bookmaker formula. We mentioned above that the common feature of betting operators is to offer a bet for a particular outcome. In other words, the owner of the site you place your bet is also the person who made this offer to you. In exchanges, it's much different: on these sites, bettors create and list their own betting offers. Other members are free to deposit money into any of these offers.

In other words, the site owner is not a bookmaker: it simply creates a marketplace where betting offers created by bettors can be listed and gets a commission in return. For example, let's say a bettor creates a bet of 1,000 AUD that "Team A" will win a match. The exchange takes 10% of this as its commission and only acts as an intermediary. Exchange betting companies cater to advanced bettors, but they provide much higher odds and lower margins compared to classical betting.

Who is a betting agent?

In markets where gambling is legal but restricted or considered completely illegal, a betting agent means a person who places wagers on behalf of others. People who do this job are no different from agents in other business lines. For example, in the movie industry, agents are people who represent actors and find new roles for them. It's pretty much the same in the betting industry: an agent collects bets from bettors and makes wagers on their behalf to a particular bookmaker. In other words, it "represents" bettors in a way.

You may not understand why an agent is needed. This is natural because agents are few in number in countries where betting is legal, and they play a very specific role: placing very large bets on behalf of customers. Sports betting is legal in Australia and the vast majority of bettors can try their luck through Australian betting agencies without the need for an agent. However, there will always be bettors willing to place bets that betting agencies in Australia will not accept and/or offer very high odds. Legal and licensed betting operators are bound by ethical rules due to responsible gambling and do not accept bets that may cause the bettor to suffer a heavy loss.

For example, if you want to deposit 200,000 AUD on a single bet, you will not be able to find betting agencies in Australia that will accept it. Even if you do find one, it will most likely be a one-time thing and you will not be allowed to place a similar bet in the future. This is not just to protect the bettor: very high bets mean that Australian betting agencies may have to pay huge sums if they are won. So maybe you can find betting companies that will accept a bet of half a million Australian dollars, but it will be difficult to find an operator to pay that bet. If you read the terms and conditions of use, you will see that all betting agencies in Australia have a maximum payout limit, which is usually 100,000 AUD.

This is where agents come into play. They find bookmakers for bettors who want to play with very big amounts and/or higher odds. These are almost always offshore betting operators, and it is not possible to say that they offer legal services. Acting as an intermediary, the agent receives the wagering money from the bettor, places a bet on the bookmaker, and receives a certain commission in return for this service. The bettor does not know who the bookmaker is. If he wins his bet, the payout is made by the agent.

Betting agents also operate in countries where gambling is considered completely illegal and subject to severe legal sanctions. In this option, it is considered a crime to bet in that country and it is not possible to send money to or accept payments from betting operators by methods such as bank transfer, credit card, e-wallet, etc. The local government strictly monitors all these payment options and makes it a crime to use them for gambling purposes. In this case, the agent accepts bets from bettors and sends the money collected to the bookmaker with its own methods. In this scenario, the betting agent still does an illegal job, but this time it accepts all kinds of bets, not just very high ones. It is like a kind of "unlicensed bookmaker", but it is not possible to say that it is a real bookie because an agent only acts as an intermediary.

There is one final scenario in which betting agents can be seen: betting on behalf of famous people. In this option, the agent serves only famous people (actors, politicians, athletes, etc.) who do not want it to be known that they are betting. The agent selects a very limited clientele and accepts business based on how famous the bettor is, not on the amount of bets. For example, if an athlete wishes to place a bet on a match that he will be a part of, he cannot do so under his name. He gives the betting money to a third party and asks him to make a wager on his behalf. This is also illegal and raises many problems not only legally but also ethically.

How many betting agencies are there in Australia?

The short answer is 150. Simply put, there were 150 licensed betting agencies in Australia at the time of this article. Actually, answering this question is easier than you might think, because all betting companies that want to provide service in Australia must obtain a licence. These licences are tracked and publicly shared at local and federal levels. In other words, if you want to know how many licensed betting operators are in Australia at any given time, all you have to do is check official government websites.

You can do this in two ways. Each state publishes a list of betting companies that are legally authorised to provide services within that state's licensing authority website. For example, by visiting the website of the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission, you can see all betting companies that operate within the borders of this region.

However, this is not a practical approach because it means you have to visit around a dozen sites. Instead, you can simply visit a federal site that lists all betting operators in all states. The Australian government's ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) website can be used for exactly this purpose. All licensed interactive betting agencies in Australia are listed on this site, and the list is updated regularly.

There are two types of bookmakers in this official list of Australian betting agencies: first, TABs, betting exchanges, and corporate bookmakers. Above, we explained what these mean separately, and for practical purposes, you can think of them as online betting operators. The second is on-course bookmakers. As we mentioned above, these mean bookies that do not offer their services online.

The main difference between both lists is that you can only see corporate names in the first one, while you can also see personal names in the second one. This is due to the simpler conditions required for on-course bookmaking. So, anyone can get a permit to offer betting services in a small booth at a racetrack: such a permit can be obtained from the local government.

Such small businesses do not need to be owned by a company. Below, we will give some examples from this list, and you will better understand what we mean. Note, however, that this list will not include all Australian betting agencies (because it is too long), is subject to change, and does not include the best betting operators. It simply shows the official betting agencies in Australia, it doesn't give an idea as to whether these sites are good (or bad). You can always find the most up-to-date version of the list on the ACMA website.

Licensed online betting companies in Australia

The number of betting companies that also offer their services online is 52. These include corporate bookmakers, betting exchanges, and TABs, as explained above. Below you can see some of the betting operators on this list, but keep in mind that each of them is licensed in a different state. So, for example, bet365, as a Northern Territory licensed bookmaker, can only offer its services to bettors in this state. So don't assume you can join any of the websites on this list: you will need to choose a bookie that is currently licensed in your state. For your convenience, we have included the licence information they hold next to the names of betting operators.

  • bet365 - Northern Territory Racing Commission
  • BetEasy - Northern Territory Racing Commission
  • Betfair - Northern Territory Racing Commission
  • Bet Nation - Liquor & Gaming NSW
  • Bossbet - Liquor & Gaming NSW
  • Buddybet - Northern Territory Racing Commission
  • DraftKings - Northern Territory Racing Commission
  • Draftstars - Northern Territory Racing Commission
  • Swift Bet - Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission
  • Tabcorp ACT - ACT Gambling & Racing Commission
  • Tabcorp Wagering - Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission
  • UBET Qld - Queensland Office of Liquor & Gaming Regulation
  • UBET SA - South Australia - Consumer and Business Services
  • UBET Tas - Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission

Licensed on-course betting operators in Australia

Not surprisingly, there are 98 names on the list of on-course betting operators. In other words, the number of on-course betting agencies in Australia is much bigger than online bookies. This is due to the fact that on-course betting licences can be obtained more easily and given to individuals, as we have mentioned before. Once again, we share some of the names on the list below, but this time we do not provide licensing authority information, because you need to go to the booths in the state they are in to benefit from the services of these betting companies.

  • Actionbet (Adrian Dowdle) - NSW Liquor & Gaming NSW
  • Alati, Mark - NSW Liquor & Gaming NSW
  • Hess, Russell - Queensland Racing Integrity Commission
  • Joyce, Damien - Queensland Racing Integrity Commission
  • Barrington, Warren - South Australia - Consumer and Business Services
  • Beazabet - Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission
  • Windle, Mike - WA Department of Local Government, Sport & Cultural Industries
  • Awesome Bet - Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission

What are the biggest betting companies?

It would be best to answer this question based on multiple factors. If we were to make an evaluation according to Australia-based and Australian-owned betting operators, Tabcorp would be the biggest one. As we mentioned above, this company has an annual revenue of over AU$5 billion and manages the largest betting booth chain in the country.

However, we can also prepare a different list for betting agencies in Australia, depending on the size of global brands. In this option, betting companies are owned by international operators and only have a branch in Australia. Such a list would look something like this:

  1. bet365: This private company operates in Australia under the "bet365 AU" brand and had a revenue of Β£2.98 billion in 2019.
  2. Entain: Formerly GVC Holdings, this company also owns the "Ladbrokes AU" brand and has an annual net income of over €260 million.
  3. Flutter: This London-based group owns the "Betfair AU" brand, and its annual revenue is close to Β£400 million.
  4. Unibet: With annual revenue of more than Β£750 million, this brand is part of the Kindred Group. It operates under the brand name "Unibet AU" in Australia.

We could add more names to the list of the biggest Australian betting agencies, but consistency beyond these will be questionable. Because a large part of local businesses are private betting companies that do not have to share their financial information with the public, and therefore there is no way to estimate their size other than educated guesses.

What betting agencies are Australian-owned?

All betting companies owned by an individual are Australian-owned. This means that almost all on-course betting companies fit this definition. The same can be said for TABs: this formerly federal government enterprise is now one of the Australian-owned betting operators. What remains are online corporate bookmakers and betting exchanges. Most of them are international companies and operate under their own brands in Australia. Laws and licensing conditions sometimes require this local company to be owned by Australian citizens. For example, bet365 is not an Australian brand, but there is a company called "bet365 AU" that it has established to serve in Australia, and it is a licence requirement that more than 50% of this company belongs to an AU citizen. However, we cannot say that even then, these (and other similar) brands are Australian-owned.

The vast majority of online corporate bookmakers are global brands managed outside of Australia. However, some betting agencies in Australia are actually owned by AU citizens, and they are almost as famous as these brands. To give some examples:

  • BetEasy
  • BetM
  • Bet Right
  • BlueBet
  • ClassicBet
  • PlayUP
  • GetSetBet
  • Mad Bookie
  • Neds.com.au
  • PlayON
  • RivalBet
  • World Lottery Club

In today's global world, it is not an easy task to understand who the real owner of a company is: almost all betting companies have a multinational structure. However, these betting operators are at least owned by companies founded by Australian citizens and therefore fit the definition of Australian-owned. However, keep in mind that this may change at any time: for example, a global operator may decide to purchase any of these Australian betting agencies to enter the local market. Non-public companies are not required to report a share change. Therefore, we recommend that you do not get too hung up on who owns the Australian betting agencies. The important thing is how good and satisfactory the service is: the owner of the bookmaker can be any person or company.