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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.

    Are offshore betting sites legal?

    Aussie punters are fortunate to have so many reliable sports betting sites at their disposal. For starters, they can legally bet at over 85 online bookmakers accepting Bitcoin that possess Australian licenses. There are plenty of reasons why a lot of Aussie punters prefer domestic sites. Sports betting companies with Aussie licenses offer loads of features, and some valuable bonuses and promotions. Perhaps the biggest advantage punters enjoy is that they know they will get paid. Despite these advantages, many Aussie sports bettors prefer betting with offshore bookmakers.

    One of the most common questions that prospective sports bettors from Down Under ask is whether it is within the law to play at offshore betting sites. The answer to this question isn’t exactly black and white, but it is by no means confusing. We must begin by telling you that Australia’s online sports betting industry is mainly subject to the Interactive Gaming Act. This piece of legislation was implemented in 2001 with the aim of streamlining gambling laws in Australia to fit the modern internet age. However, the Interactive Gaming Act mainly focuses on operators as opposed to the customers.

    One of the IGA’s most significant takeaways is that all horse racing sites and online bookmakers must have an interactive gambling license in Australia to lawfully accept bets from Aussie bettors. One of the prerequisites for obtaining an Aussie license is having an office in Australia. They must also be registered Down Under and they must pay Aussie taxes. Of course, they are also obliged to abide by the local laws.

    So, is it still lawful for Aussie punters to use offshore gambling sites that aren’t licensed in Australia? Let’s put it this way: There are no laws that prohibit punters from finding and betting with unlicensed offshore bookmakers. With that said, even the top offshore sports betting sites are barred from overtly offering their services to Aussies. In other words, it’s perfectly legal for Aussie sports bettors to seek out and bet with the best offshore sportsbooks, but it isn’t lawful for those offshore gambling sites to advertise their services in Australia.

    How to select the best offshore sportsbooks

    It’s easy for Australians to find some random foreign best online betting site Australia that offers sports betting and horse racing betting. With that said, they must proceed with caution because offshore bookmakers without an Aussie license aren’t subject to Aussie laws and regulations. For example, there isn’t a lot an Aussie punter can do if an unlicensed offshore site refuses to pay. If such a scenario played out with a domestically-licensed bookie, the punter would be able to recruit the assistance of the applicable Aussie regulatory authority. There is an enforceable avenue of recourse available.

    This isn’t meant to paint a negative picture of offshore betting sites. The reality is that there are plenty of trustworthy offshore gambling sites out there. Many of the top offshore sportsbooks are operated by big international brands that have earned solid reputations. While they may not be licensed in Australia, the best offshore betting new bookies AUS do have licenses in other jurisdictions. If you are considering betting with a foreign bookie, there are a few key things you need to consider.


    The first thing you should look for in an offshore bookmaker is a license. And not just any license. Some regulatory authorities provide much stricter oversight than others. For instance, the Malta Gaming Authority is one of the most respected regulators while Costa Rica has a reputation for lax oversight. The most reputable regulators include:

    • United Kingdom Gambling Commission
    • Malta Gaming Authority
    • Kahnawake Gaming Commission
    • Government of Gibraltar
    • Isle of Man

    We can’t stress the importance of avoiding unlicensed sites altogether. If the offshore betting site you’re looking at does not have a license, then we strongly advise you to move on to the next one. Betting with an unlicensed bookie is playing with fire.


    Consistently making money through sports betting relies heavily on getting the best ones. Imagine you want to place a $100 two-way moneyline bet on Fremantle to beat Brisbane in an AFL match. One bookmaker has the Fremantle moneyline set at 2.00 which means you stand to profit $100 if Fremantle prevails. You then check out another bookie and see that the Fremantle moneyline is 1.95. This would net you a profit of $95 if your bet wins. Now, that $5 difference might not seem like a lot, but those $5 bills will certainly add up over time.

    Bookmakers earn their keep by charging a commission on each bet. Paying a higher commission equates to losing out on potential profits. The best offshore betting sites offer more betting options which is one of the main reasons why so many punters are attracted to them. They also like the enhanced ones and profit boosts that so many of the top offshore sportsbooks offer.


    The best offshore betting sites work diligently to build trust and earn a first-rate reputation. This has been the foundation of the bookmaker-client relationship since bookies became a thing. Some of the top offshore sports betting sites have earned and maintained high esteem in the sports betting business for over a century. They are known to offer fast withdrawal and coveted features like live streaming, and cash out.

    Any punter can check out the volumes of expert bookmaker reviews and customer feedback. This allows them to gain insight into the top offshore sports betting sites. If you read a lot of positive things, then you’re likely dealing with a reliable operator. On the flip side, a lot of justifiable complaints against an operator may raise a few red flags. Seeing a few industry awards in the site’s virtual trophy case is a good sign.

    Betting Markets

    There’s not much point in signing up with a foreign bookmaker if it doesn’t offer the opportunity to bet on the sports that you like betting. The best offshore sportsbooks cover nearly every sport under the sun along with eSports, entertainment, and politics. This means that Aussie punters who follow small-market sports and leagues will always find action too.

    Beyond the excellent coverage, top-tier offshore betting sites offer a huge range of betting options for each event they offer. The standard sides and totals are just the tip of the iceberg. The best offshore sportsbooks serve up hundreds of unique bets for mainstream soccer matches and many other major sports. This puts punters in a better situation in terms of finding the most advantageous propositions. It’s worth mentioning that there is a new trend emerging at the best offshore betting sites. A lot of them will let you propose custom bets that don’t appear on the site’s betting menu. The possibilities are virtually limitless.


    Our favorite offshore betting sites support a variety of wonderful features that greatly enhance the sports betting experience. Any online bookie worth its salt now has the cash out feature. This lets them close their bets before the match ends. As a result, they can lock in profits and minimize their losses. Furthermore, our recommended offshore horse racing and sports betting sites give you the option of fully cashing out or only cashing out a portion of the bet.

    Additional features such as Bet Builder, Auto Bet, and enhanced odds are also quite attractive and can help add to your bottom line. However one of the most sought-after features has to be live streaming. Being able to watch the live action adds a new dimension to the experience. This is particularly true for live bettors.

    Bonuses and Promotions

    A huge barrier that Australian-based bookmakers face is that they are not allowed to offer sign-up incentives. If you have visited a few offshore betting sites, then you already know that almost all of them offer welcome bonuses along with other promotional deals. Now, we should clarify that bookmakers with an Aussie license may not offer bonuses as a means of attracting new customers, but they can offer promotional incentives to existing customers.

    You must be aware that some bonuses are better than others. Some offers are very generous and come with punter-friendly conditions like low rollover. Beware of any offer that has a high rollover, lots of restrictions, and other limitations. You might end up cashing in that $100 bonus, but you don’t want to end up paying $200 to do it.

    Country Restrictions

    Even though a foreign sports betting site may be everything you’ve ever wanted in a sportsbook, you need to make sure it accepts punters from Down Under. One could be easily tempted to do something like use a VPN or provide a fake address to sign up. Don’t do it. Making false representations is grounds for banishment, and you may have your funds confiscated. You may fly under the radar for a while, but it just isn’t worth the risk.

    If the site you’re considering doesn’t accept Aussie punters, then you should leave it behind and find one that does. This will ensure that you can enjoy your sports betting without worrying about your account and funds being frozen. Remember, you have little recourse if you find yourself in a dispute with an offshore sports betting site.

    Customer Service

    To a lot of sports bettors, customer service is a mere afterthought. Regardless of whether a site is based in Australia or offshore, you want the comfort of knowing that help is available 24/7. Furthermore, you should find a betting site that provides live chat, telephone support, or both. You shouldn’t have to wait for regular office hours to have your questions answered and your problems resolved by a friendly and knowledgeable agent.

    Currency and Payment Methods

    The ideal site for any punter Down Under will support the Aussie dollar. This in itself saves them money and the hassle of calculating bet amounts in foreign currency. Top offshore sportsbooks also support a wide range of fast, secure, and Aussie-friendly payment methods. In addition to credit cards, debit cards, and online banking, superior offshore betting sites also support vouchers, eWallets, and Wire transfers. Some even accept cryptocurrency.

    If possible, punters should choose a payment method that facilitates instant deposits and the fastest withdrawals. Leading offshore betting sites take pride in offering the fastest withdrawal times. Be leery of bookmakers that require long pending periods and slow withdrawal times.

    The benefits of Aussie and offshore sportsbooks

    As you would expect, deciding between an Aussie bookie and an offshore betting site involves considering a few key pros and cons. Let’s start with Aussie bookmakers. The most significant benefit of betting with an Aussie bookmaker is that you are afforded the highest degrees of player protection.

    As mentioned earlier, bookmakers with Aussie licenses must abide by Aussie laws and adhere to the local gambling regulations. If you have a grievance with an Aussie online bookie, then you can take it up with the regulatory authority. The decisions of that authority are enforceable. This is one of the main drawbacks of unlicensed sites. Aussie authorities don’t have any jurisdiction over foreign operators that don’t have an Aussie license.

    There are a few other benefits too. For example, Aussie bookmakers accept the Aussie dollar and popular payment options. If you are patriotic, then you can feel good that you are keeping the money within Australia and helping to provide local jobs. You’ll also be pleased to get in touch with professional customer service reps who know the language.

    Even though Aussie bookies are prohibited from offering welcome bonuses, don’t forget that existing customers can take advantage of a variety of bonuses and promo offers. Some of those Aussie bookmaker offers may as well be welcome bonuses. Punters can claim all sorts of perks like risk-free bets, bonus cash, and free bets along with cashback and VIP benefits.

    Offshore betting sites have a few advantages of their own. To begin with, the top offshore sports betting sites offer live betting. This is something that even the best bookmakers Australia has to offer can’t do. Well, they can accept live bets, but they can’t do it over the internet. Instead, live bettors must call in their bets. This makes the process rather impractical considering the lightning-fast nature of live betting.

    It’s also fair to say that the most reputable foreign bookmakers are reliable and will pay you your winnings. They aren’t subject to Aussie laws or regulations, but they are licensed and regulated by respected authorities. They maintain and even exceed the highest standards. As long as you pick your bookmaker wisely, you shouldn’t encounter any distressing issues.

    Offshore sports betting welcome bonuses

    We have referred to welcome bonuses a few times already. We will now expand on the types of welcome bonuses that offshore betting sites offer.

    • Bonus Cash Bonus cash is one of the most popular types of bonuses around. And offshore betting sites have plenty of it on offer. With bonus cash welcome bonuses, the bookmaker matches a certain percentage of your first deposit. If you claim a 100% match bonus up to $100, then you will earn $100 in bonus cash for depositing $100. The thing is, you won’t be able to withdraw your bonus cash until you’ve satisfied the bonus’s terms and conditions.
      These T&Cs usually involve using your regular account balance to wager the bonus amount so many times within a specific time frame. If your $100 bonus required a 10X rollover, then you need to spend $1,000 to make the bonus cash eligible for withdrawal. Keep an eye on those wagering requirements because they can make or break a bonus.
    • Risk-Free Bet Risk-free bet welcome bonuses are becoming quite popular at offshore betting sites. To get one, you must create a new account, claim the bonus, and make a qualifying deposit. You can then place your first real-money bet. If it’s a winner, then you will collect your winnings as you normally would and that’s the end of the welcome bonus. However, if your risk-free bet loses, then the bookie will refund the stake amount.
      Typically, the refund is credited to your withdrawable balance although some credit your bonus account. If that happens, then you’ll need to satisfy bonus cash wagering requirements as described above.
    • Free Bet You may encounter a free bet welcome bonus at your offshore betting site. With these, the bookmaker will credit your account with a certain amount of free bets. The total value of these bonus bets often depends on the amount of your first deposit. Say you come across a $30 in free bets offer and you find out that you qualify for the free bets as long as you deposit at least $100. After you make your qualifying deposit, the free bets will be waiting for you. For our purposes, we’ll assume that the $30 in free bets is broken down into three single $10 free bets.
      If your free bet wins, then the bookie will pay the win amount to your regular account. The returns will not include the free bet stake amount. So, if you win a $10 of free bet, then you will receive $10.

    Dangers of betting with offshore bookies

    We have already mentioned the main disadvantage of betting with offshore bookies. They simply don’t offer Aussies the same levels of player protection as their domestic counterparts. If a foreign bookmaker refuses to pay an Aussie punter, then there is little they can do. On the flip side, decisions made on disputes involving Aussie sites are enforceable. In other words, an unscrupulous offshore betting site can get away with ripping you off while a domestically licensed operator won’t.

    Deposits and withdrawals at offshore sportsbooks

    The leading offshore betting sites give Aussie punters a great selection of safe and secure payment options. You can make instant deposits using an array of methods such as:

    • Credit Card
    • Debit Card
    • eWallet
    • Online Banking
    • Voucher and Pre-Paid Cards

    While Visa and Mastercard are the most popular credit card and debit card brands, many of our recommended bookmakers also accept Discover, AMEX, Maestro, and even Diners Card. Those bookies support a range of popular eWallets like Skrill, ecoPayz, Paysafecard, and Apple Pay. Then there are all of the convenient online banking solutions including direct electronic bank transfer, Neteller, and Instadebit. Unless you’ve been totally out of the loop for the past decade, you know that cryptocurrency has become an immensely popular option.

    Premier offshore betting sites process your withdrawals quickly. However, you need to realize that you will be required to verify your age and identity before a respectable bookmaker can process your withdrawal. Even Aussie sites require this. The verification process is necessitated by law to help prevent issues such as money laundering, fraud, and underage betting. We urge you to get verified as to avoid any withdrawal delays.

    We should also point out that most foreign operators reserve the right to pay out your winnings using the same method as you used to deposit. This is why it’s a good idea to use a payment solution that allows deposits as well as withdrawals. Of course, this isn’t always possible. Many vouchers and other pre-paid options only let you deposit. The same can be said of some digital wallets like Apple Pay. In these instances, offshore betting sites will be happy to offer an alternative method. This can sometimes lead to slower withdrawal times.

    Mobile offshore betting

    Do you have a mobile device and a wireless internet connection? If so, you can immerse yourself in a thrilling sports betting adventure while you’re on the go. Top offshore sportsbooks offer free apps for iOS and Android. They are 100% free of charge and they only take about a minute to download and install. Once you launch it, you have access to everything the bookie offers including features like cash out and live streaming.

    If your mobile device does not support the site’s native app or you don’t want to download one, then you can simply use your mobile browser. To be honest, you’ll find that a top bookmaker’s app and mobile version are nearly identical. These modern mobile betting platforms are user-friendly and very responsive. Even the most inexperienced user will have no troubles getting used to the smartly designed interfaces. When you use these apps, everything you want to find is just a tap or two away.