NSW bookmakers online & list of best betting sites in New South Wales

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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.

Gambling/betting is legal to some degree in every state of Australia. The extent of this can vary and, for example, some states may have chosen to legalize only on-course betting, but it is possible to find betting agencies Australia nationwide. This is also true for New South Wales: you can find many NSW bookmakers online in this state as well.

The problem, as always, is choice. Local NSW best online betting sites Australia cannot provide a satisfactory service because of many reasons, which we will explain below. The internet offers many options but finding the best NSW bookmakers online can be quite difficult, especially for beginners. We decided to make this guide to help you get started as fast as possible. We'll first share a list of NSW bookmakers online we recommend, and then share important information for punters living in New South Wales. Let's start with our list first, what do you say?

List of NSW Bookmakers

  • Leon Bets
  • Betsevo
  • PlayUP
  • Unibet
  • Ladbrokes

But before you pick one of the NSW bookmakers online on this list and start playing, we suggest you read on, as below we'll cover everything you need to know about the gambling/betting industry in the state of New South Wales.

New South Wales sports betting

Sports and horse racing betting has been around in NSW since the 60s, but the laws that began to regulate this industry began to take effect in the 90s. In 1996, Racing NSW was established with the “Thoroughbred Racing Act” and authorized to issue licenses for horse racing betting. The "Totalizator Act", which came into force in 1997, also allowed for licenses for sports betting but gave this right to the Minister of Racing. The same law provided an exclusivity for on-course race betting to a company called “TAB Limited”. As we will point out below, this situation still continues.

The "Betting and Racing Act", which came into force in 1998, updated both laws, determined what the license conditions would be, and decided to establish a commission to regulate the process. This commission is now known as “Liquor & Gaming NSW”. Originally established to issue liquor and land-based casino licenses, this commission was also authorized for sports and horse racing betting.

As of 2022, TAB Limited's exclusivity for on-course race betting continues and we can say that it has almost become a monopoly. This greatly hinders new NSW bookmakers online from entering the market. To get a new NSW bookmakers online license, you need to apply to Liquor & Gaming NSW, but at the same time, permission must be obtained from the relevant sports controlling bodies too. For example, NSW bookmakers online also require separate authorization from the AFL when they wish to offer Australian Football League (AFL) bets on their website. In addition to the Liquor & Gaming license, new NSW bookmakers online must also get authorization from the following bodies:

  • Australian Football League (AFL)
  • Australian Rugby Union (ARU)
  • Basketball Australia
  • Bowls Australia
  • Cricket Australia
  • Football Federation Australia (FFA)
  • National Rugby League (NRL)
  • Netball Australia
  • Tennis Australia

This much bureaucracy makes it very difficult for new NSW bookmakers online to enter the market. Apart from a few local brands, we can say that TAB Limited still dominates the online sports betting sector too. Even when new companies enter the market, they are subject to many restrictions. For this reason, we recommend using the international options rather than the local bookies to place sports bets from NSW. You can choose any of the NSW bookmakers online we have selected: you can be sure of a more satisfying and productive experience than local brands.

Horse racing in NSW

Like almost every other Australian state, NSW distinguishes between betting on horse racing and betting on sports. This is because betting on horse racing has been legal for almost the last 50 years: sports betting became legal much later. In the '60s, before the internet, companies that got bookmaker licenses had a certain monopoly. Legally, new NSW bookmakers online can apply for a new horse racing betting license too, but it is extremely rare for new NSW bookmakers online to hit the market as the approval process is handled by industry controlling bodies.

The best example of this is TAB Limited. This is actually a publicly-traded company but has been operating in NSW since 1964 and has almost become a monopoly for horse racing betting in this state. When new NSW bookmakers online wish to obtain a license, they must follow this process:

  • There must be at least one, at most four directors in the applicant company, and all of them must have at least 5% of the shares,
  • The applicant must show Racing NSW a trading guarantee. (What that will be and how much is decided by Racing NSW.)
  • The applicant must complete an interview with Racing NSW, which reserves the right to refuse approval for any reason.

Because of all this, the introduction of new NSW bookmakers online to the market is extremely rare. Liquor & Gaming NSW is authorized to regulate this process, so it can step in if an unfair decision is made, but Racing NSW basically determines whether you can get a license for horse racing bets. Even then, new NSW bookmakers online that successfully complete the process are subject to many restrictions. For example:

  • NSW bookmakers online must adhere to the minimum betting limits set by Racing NSW.
  • NSW bookmakers online cannot accept live bets from their website. It is possible to accept live horse racing bets by phone only and this requires a separate authorization.
  • As we will point out below, it is not possible for NSW bookmakers online to offer any promotions (free bets, bonus bets, etc.).

As you can imagine, these restrictions make it extremely difficult to achieve an ideal experience. Therefore, we recommend that you choose one of the international NSW bookmakers online we have selected for you. The bookmakers we have chosen also offer a licensed & legal service and accept members from the state of New South Wales. But most importantly, they are able to provide a much more satisfying service as they are not subject to Racing NSW's restrictions. If you play at one of the NSW bookmakers online we recommend, you can place your live bets online, claim useful bonuses, and get many more advantages.

Gambling and betting laws in NSW

Compared to other Australian states, New South Wales has fewer gambling/betting laws. NSW bookmakers online are responsible for complying with all provisions in these laws. Below you can see all the laws governing the betting industry in this state.

  • Thoroughbred Racing Act (1996): With this law, horse racing betting became legal and started to be regulated for the first time. It was obligatory for bookmakers to provide this service to obtain a license.
  • Totalizator Act (1997): A year later, sports betting was also legalized, and it was decided that the licenses for it would be given by the Minister of Racing. However, the most important regulation of this law was the granting of exclusivity to TAB Limited for on-course race betting.
  • Betting and Racing Act (1998): This is the law that still applies to betting on sports and horse racing. NWS bookmakers online are still regulated by it. The law clearly defined the license terms and authorized the Liquor & Gaming commission for them.
  • Unlawful Gambling Act (1998): As the name suggests, this law established the penalties for unlawful gambling/betting acts.
  • Harness Racing Act (2009): This law introduced special provisions for harness racing bets and established a body called “Harness Racing New South Wales”.
  • Greyhound Racing Act (2009): Similarly, this law introduced special regulations for betting on greyhound racing.

Timeline of changes in NSW gambling legislation

  • 1996 – Horse racing betting was legalized and TAB Limited, which entered the state in the 60s, became the first operator to apply for a license. Racing NSW was established by this law and authorized to issue licenses for horse racing betting.
  • 1997 – Sports betting became legal the following year. Sports betting bookmakers are required to obtain a license issued by the Minister of Racing. TAB Limited has been granted an ongoing exclusivity for on-course racing. In addition, it has been decided that this company will be the only operator that can offer services for "computer-simulated racing" (virtual races). This is why no NSW bookmakers online are currently able to offer virtual races.
  • 1998 – The terms of licenses for sports and horse racing betting are clearly defined and a commission (Liquor & Gaming NSW) is authorized for these licenses. In the same year, another law was enacted on how to punish unlawful gambling acts. Although some changes have been made in the meantime, the law concerning NSW bookmakers online came into force in 1998.
  • 1999 – All existing laws are updated to comply with the federal gambling law.
  • 2009 – New legal regulations for harness racing and greyhound racing came into effect.
  • 2018 - Existing laws have been updated in line with The National Consumer Protection Framework (NCPF) and NSW bookmakers online were required to make the necessary changes.

Gambling licenses issued by the NSW government

According to data from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA bookmakers) and Liquor & Gaming Commission, NSW bookmakers online with a government-issued betting license as of 2022 are:

  • Bet Nation
  • Elite Bet
  • Goldbet
  • Midasbet
  • PalmerBet
  • Puntondogs
  • TAB Limited
  • TopSport

Note that there are NSW bookmakers online on this list that offer both horse racing and sports betting. So, some may only offer horse racing bets. Others may not have bets on certain sports & leagues (e.g., NRL) because they have not received the necessary permits. This is due to the fact that the NSW bookmakers online licensing procedure is complex and subject to numerous restrictions, as mentioned above. If you are looking for an operator that supports both all races and sports leagues in Australia, we recommend you take a look at our NSW bookmakers online list. We reviewed all bookies that accept members from Australia – New South Wales and selected the best NSW bookmakers online.

Can you claim bookie bonus bets in NSW?

Let's give the short answer first: no, you cannot take advantage of any of the gambling promotions at NSW bookmakers online such as bonus bets, free bets, welcome packs, and cashback. This applies to all of Australia, not just NSW bookmakers online. There are two reasons for this: first, the federal The National Consumer Protection Framework (NCPF) law, which went into effect in 2018. This law introduced several provisions to protect consumers, one of which was the prohibition of bonuses that could encourage gambling. Because of the NCPF, all Australian states had to make changes to their laws, and gambling promotions were banned throughout the country.

But New South Wales was one of the states that made the fewest changes because of the NCPF, as the laws binding on NSW bookmakers online were already strict enough. In other words, even before the NCPF, NSW bookmakers online could not offer any gambling promotions. But in 2019, one of the licensed bookmakers started offering a bonus called "odds boost". New online bookie described this bonus as a “product” and claimed that it would, therefore, fall outside the scope of current bans.

Unfortunately, the New South Wales government was thinking differently. In August 2019, the "Gambling Legislation Amendment (Online and Other Betting) Bill" was passed by the NSW Parliament and very clearly stated that "enhancements" are also prohibited. Currently, NSW bookmakers online cannot offer any promotions that can encourage opening a betting account, inviting other players to open an account, or ensuring that an account is not closed. In this regard, New South Wales has even stricter regulations than the NCPF. If you play at local NSW bookmakers online, you won't get any kind of bonus - period. Therefore, as we mentioned above, we recommend that you take a look at our list of NSW bookmakers online, as the brands on our list can freely offer bonuses to their members. This is very common practise for them to lure in some new players.