Corporate bookmakers in Australia - list of online betting sites

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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.

If you want to have a safe and reliable betting experience as well as enjoyable, corporate bookmakers may be exactly what you are looking for. These are businesses owned by globally recognized brands, not small-scale companies, and provide a much more secure service for many reasons. (If you want to see an up-to-date list of such corporate bookmakers, you can take a look at our best sports betting sites Australia recommendations.) In this article, we will focus on corporate bookmakers in Australia and give a legal definition first. Then, we will explain why they offer a more reliable service and share up-to-date lists. By the time you've finished reading, you will learn everything you need to know about AU corporate bookmakers: so let's get started!

What is a corporate bookmaker?

This is a good question because learning the difference between "a company" and "a corporation" will enable you to have a more satisfying betting experience. To put it simply, companies are small businesses or entities. Corporations, on the other hand, are big businesses limited by shares, guarantees, liabilities, etc. In other words, the main difference is the size of the business.

What constitutes a corporation in Australia is defined by law. The Corporations Act of 2001 states that a corporation can only be a 'proprietary' or 'public' company and specifies what type of liability it can have. In this context, corporate bookmakers are also subject to this law. Choosing a betting site owned by a corporation, not a company, ensures that you receive a safe and reliable service for the following reasons:

  • Corporate companies are regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).
  • ASIC checks the criminal records and backgrounds of the founders. It is not possible for people with a criminal history to establish a corporation.
  • Every corporation has a 9-digit Australian company number (ACN), which is used to oversee all its transactions (financial transfers, share changes, capital status, etc.).

In other words, every transaction made by corporate bookmakers is supervised by official authorities, which naturally ensures a much safer experience.

Who is the biggest bookie in Australia?

No one other than the ATO (Australian Taxation Office) can answer this question. The size of a bookmaker is measured by the annual income of the company it belongs to, but there are private corporate bookmakers in Australia who do not share their financial data with the public. In other words, no one but their owners (and the Tax Office) can know their true size, as they are not listed on the stock exchange. Therefore, it would be wrong to pick a single bookmaker and describe it as the "biggest"one in Australia.

But we are free to speculate, of course. Even if we don't know the financial data, there are many international corporate bookmakers operating in Australia, some of which are the biggest names in the iGaming industry. In this context, it would not be wrong to think that these brands are also the largest corporate bookmakers in Australia. We can say that the following corporations are the biggest:

  • Bet365: This is a large UK-based group that offers casino games in addition to sports betting. (In Australia, it only offers sports betting.)
  • Betfair: This brand owns the world's largest betting exchange.
  • Ladbrokes: The former owner of the Hilton hotel brand, this company was founded in the UK in 1886 and is one of the oldest corporate bookmakers in the world.

Does Australia have bookmakers?

Yes, there are bookmakers in Australia, and they operate legally. The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 determined how sports betting and horse racing betting services could be offered. It is possible to provide legal betting services by obtaining a licence from an authorised organisation, and there are close to 200 corporate bookmakers who do this (see a list of them below). The Interactive Gambling Act has undergone some changes in 2017 and 2019, and new provisions have been added to protect players.

It should be noted that although sports betting can be offered legally, it is subject to two important restrictions. The first one is that the required licence is granted only to corporations, not companies – we have explained the difference between the two above. The second is a rather interesting restriction: licensed AU corporate bookmakers cannot offer live betting (in-play or in-race) online. This service can only be offered by phone. Therefore, when you visit the live betting section of Australian licensed corporate bookmakers, you will only see a phone number: it is not possible to place live bets using the website.

We recommend that you keep in mind that corporate bookmakers outside of Australia can also accept Aussie members. Some licences (for instance, Curacao eGaming) have extraordinarily wide coverage, and bookies with that licence can accept members from many parts of the world (including Australia). You can see some of them on our website: we have already selected the new bet sites Australia that offer the best service, the most useful bonuses and the most fantastic betting experience for Australian players.

How many Australian bookmakers are there?

This is a simple question that deserves a simple answer: 45 of them. As of 2022, there are 45 licensed corporate bookmakers in Australia. You can check the most current list at the official website of ACMA bookmakers (Australian Communications and Media Authority). At the time of this article, this list contained the following brands:

  • Bet365
  • BetEasy
  • Betfair
  • BetM
  • Bet Nation
  • Bet Right
  • Betstar
  • BlueBet
  • Booki
  • Boombet
  • Buddybet
  • ClassicBet
  • CrossBet
  • Dabble
  • DraftKings
  • Draftstars
  • EliteBet
  • GetSetBet
  • Goldbet
  • Ladbrokes
  • Lottoland
  • Mad Bookie
  • Midasbet
  • MoneyBall
  • PalmerBet
  • Picklebet
  • PlayON
  • PlayUP
  • Pointsbet
  • Puntondogs
  • RivalBet
  • RWWA
  • SportChamps
  • Sportsbet
  • Swopstakes
  • Tabcorp
  • TAB Limited
  • The Bet Deck
  • TopSport
  • UBET
  • Unibet
  • World Lottery Club
  • Zbet

However, we need to make an important reminder here. Corporate bookmakers can also obtain a Racing Victoria licence if they only want to offer horse racing betting services. This licence does not apply to sports betting but covers all Victorian Thoroughbred Race Fields events in Australia. The number of corporate bookmakers licensed by Racing Victoria is much higher: there are over a hundred of them. We cannot share the full list here, but you can always find the most up-to-date version of it on the official Racing Victoria website. If we include them, we can say that there are nearly 200 licensed corporate bookmakers in Australia.

Another reminder to make is that your options are not limited to these. There are also great international corporate bookmakers that accept Aussie players even though they are not licensed in Australia. They still provide a great variety of the best betting offers along with licensed and legal service; they just have not been licensed by the Australian authorities. There is no provision in current laws that says Aussie players cannot play on sites of such corporate bookmakers. So, we can say that there are hundreds of online bookies that accept Australian players: don't feel compelled to play on one of these sites. As long as you make the right choices, international corporate bookmakers can provide a much more enjoyable and rewarding experience.

What are bookie peaky blinders?

Netflix viewers already know the answer to this question, but we are pretty sure that even they don't know that “Peaky Blinders” is real. First, let's answer the question simply: The Peaky Blinders show, which premiered on Netflix in 2013, tells the story of a gang of the same name that controls Birmingham. This TV series takes place in the late 19th century and also tells how the Peaky Blinders gang controls underground gambling. In this sense, the gang has an office called “The Shelby Parlor” on Watery Lane, and this office serves as an illegal betting shop. In other words, what is meant by "bookie Peaky Blinders" is this shop: the gang accepts horse racing bets for Kempton Races here.

However, this is not a fictional story. Long before corporate bookmakers emerged, betting and gambling were industries controlled only by gangs. In this context, a gang called the “Peaky Blinders” actually existed and controlled it in the Birmingham - West Midlands area. The gang's main source of income was illegal bookmaking, and it had a "monopoly" for Kempton Races, meaning it was the only gang that could offer bets on these races. (In that sense, we don't know if a shop called The Shelby Parlor actually existed, but the gang certainly did have a base.)

Over time, Peaky Blinders began to offer bets on horse races in other regions as well, starting a gang war that would last well into the 20th century. After a long war with another gang called the “Birmingham Boys”, Peaky Blinders disappeared from the scene of history: 1920 was the last year the gang was active. But the main reason for its disappearance was the establishment of an official organisation called the “Bookmakers' Protection Association”: the Jockey Club gave it the legal right to offer bets. In other words, legal bookmaking actually brought an end to illegal bookmaking. In fact, this is how corporate bookmakers appeared: over time, these organisations evolved into big corporations all over the world.

Why is bookmaking illegal?

When it comes to casinos and bookmakers, the question of their legality comes up all the time. So why are bookmakers illegal? Before answering this question, let's take a brief look at the current situation of legal gambling in Australia. Most sources that we can find on the net will claim that gambling in Australia is illegal, but is that really the case? This is a bit of a complicated subject, so let's explain it in order.

  • Online casinos and online casino games are still considered illegal in Australia as of 2022. So, it is not possible to find a local online casino licensed in Australia. However, there is one single exception to this: The Northern Territory can issue an interactive casino licence on the condition that it only serves players outside of Australia.
  • Online poker is specifically mentioned in Australian law and is considered completely illegal. It is not possible to get an online licence for this game in any way. Interestingly, however, many hotels and clubs in the country offer poker games and there is no licensing/supervision authority for this.
  • Online bingo can be offered legally. For this, the necessary licence must be obtained from the authority in the state where the service is provided. This also applies to online lottery.
  • Fantasy Sports betting can be legally offered online and offline in the country with the licence of the Northern Territory Racing Commission.
  • Sports and horse racing betting can be legally offered both online and offline under the licence of the Northern Territory Racing Commission. However, a corporate bookmakers licence is required for this: In other words, it is necessary to be a corporation-level company to obtain this licence.

So, it would be wrong to say that gambling is illegal in Australia: this only applies to online casino games and online poker. Other forms of gambling can be legally offered with appropriate licences. But why is online casino gaming banned? Moreover, why do some countries ban gambling altogether?

There is no single clear answer to this question. If you look at the official statements, the reason why gambling is banned is always to “protect the society”, but it is known that this does not work in practice. Because if there is no legal gambling option, players always turn to underground gambling. Moreover, by refusing to legalise bookmakers, a country voluntarily gives up another source of economic strength. In other words, banning does not make gambling disappear. We can say that these bans are imposed due to social rules, traditions, and even religious habits.