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QLD bookmakers online | best betting sites in Queensland

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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.

Queensland is Australia's second-largest state and home to a population of over five million people. Despite this potential, we can say that it lags behind other states in some industries and online betting is one of them. While there are many brands in the state that could make it to the best online betting Australia bookmakers list, the majority of them are land-based only. As we will explain in more detail below, unfortunately, you don't have many options when it comes to QLD bookmakers online.

You can avoid this problem by choosing one of the QLD bookmakers online that we recommend and list below: all these brands accept members from Queensland and offer a much more satisfying experience compared to local operators. We will start this article by sharing that list, but we will also explain in detail why QLD bookmakers online on our list would be a better choice.

  • Betsevo
  • Joo Sports
  • Betway
  • Betfair Australia
  • Sportsbetting.com.au

Queensland is quite different from other states in terms of online betting and if you want to have a pleasant experience, you need to know about the laws and regulations here. Below, you can find all the information you need.

Bookmakers licensed in the Queensland

The good news is there are close to 80 licensed bookmakers in Queensland. The bad news is that only one of them has a QLD bookmakers online license. In other words, there is only one operator licensed for online betting. This operator is listed on the ACMA bookmakers (Australian Communications and Media Authority) site as follows:

  • UBET QLD, trading as TAB

There are multiple reasons why there are no major operators in this state that have obtained QLD bookmakers online licenses. First of all, Queensland legalized online betting quite late compared to other states: until 2016, bookmaking was a service that could only be offered at physical booths and in the form of on-course betting. In other words, legal online betting is still fairly new. Another reason was that TAB already had an almost monopoly dominance of the local market for decades. So, the best new betting sites in QLD online found it very difficult to seize the market and most operators did not take such a risk.

In order to understand the dominance of TAB, we need to briefly talk about the bookmaking history of Queensland. TAB is actually an abbreviation of the word “Totalisator Agency Board”. It was a government establishment and had a monopoly on bookmaking from the 60s. Between 1960 and 1990, no one but the government could offer betting services in Australia except for TAB. TAB began to be privatized in every state in 1994, and this is how the publicly-traded company known today as “Tabcorp” emerged. TAB was transformed into the “UBET” brand while being privatized in Queensland and today it does not belong to the government, it is a completely private company. But for over 40 years, it was the only brand in Queensland to offer legal bookmaking, which allowed it to achieve a natural monopoly. This continues today and other operators still have not applied for new QLD bookmakers online licenses. This may change in the future, but there are currently no other online operators licensed in Queensland.

But don't worry, that doesn't mean you have to use TAB. If you use our QLD bookmakers online list, you can find dozens of operators ready to offer you the best possible odds and bonuses, and you can have a much more rewarding experience.

Queensland sports betting

Sports betting has always existed in Queensland, but for a long time, it was not regulated in any way. It has been possible to place bets, especially horse racing bets, in this state since the 60s, and you can see a TAB betting booth on almost every street. However, since TAB was an official institution at that time, the state government was hardly interested in regulating it, and it was not possible for a private operator to offer the bookmaking service anyway due to existing laws.

This situation lasted until TAB was privatized and turned into a private company as “UBET”. This development in the late 90s forced Queensland to review its local laws. Now that the monopoly of TAB has disappeared, it has been possible to generate income from the betting industry. Therefore, in 2002, sports and horse racing betting were made legal for the first time. Perhaps, it would be more accurate to say that the legal basis of an already existing industry was determined because, as we mentioned above, betting was an activity that already existed in the state.

The “Racing Act”, which came into force in 2002, was a law for land-based operators and mainly concerning horse racing bets. There was hardly any mention of online betting, other than some simple regulations on "telephone betting". This situation continued until 2013. The “Racing Regulation”, which came into force this year, updated many provisions of the old law and brought some actual regulations on online betting. The "Racing Integrity Act", which came into force in 2016, was the last law to be released on sports and horse racing betting. After this date, only some updates have been made to existing laws due to federal laws.

It is possible to get a QLD bookmakers online license since 2013, but as we explained above, only the TAB group has so far done it. This group is run by Tabcorp, the largest gambling company in Australia, and due to its size, small-scale operators cannot compete with it much. The service offered by the TAB group is not bad, but it is subject to many restrictions due to federal laws and not having more than one option is not a good thing. If you're a Queensland punter, we highly recommend checking out our QLD bookmakers online list for a better experience. All the QLD bookmakers online on our list will offer a much more satisfactory service than local brands.

Horse racing in QLD

All our explanations about sports betting also apply to horse racing betting. Betting on horse racing has been legal in Queensland since 2002 and there are almost 80 different brands you can choose from for land-based betting. You can find most of them on Queensland racetracks, as only 11 of them are authorized to offer off-course betting. The number of local QLD bookmakers online that offer horse racing services is limited to one, and it is the TAB Group we mentioned above.

Actually, getting a new QLD bookmakers online license is not a difficult task as The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) manages the whole process from start to finish. The license granted by this commission, which was established in 2016, is valid for both sports betting and horse racing betting. The application fee for a QLD bookmakers online license is only 320 AUD and there is hardly any bureaucracy. However, despite this simple procedure, QRIC can be very strict about issuing licenses to new QLD bookmakers online. For example, the "honesty and character" of the applicant is one of the license requirements. So, even if you meet all others, QRIC may reject you for not being "characteristic" enough.

One of the reasons for this is the “live baiting” scandal that emerged in 2015: this scandal in greyhound racing has been discussed in the media for a long time. As a matter of fact, it turned out that the 2002 law did not work, and the new legal regulation we mentioned above was created in 2016 to bring a racing industry reform. Therefore, QRIC can be very strict in issuing new QLD bookmakers online licenses, as it fears a new scandal.

You can find thoroughbred, harness, and greyhound races in Queensland. These races are held on many different racetracks such as Burrandowan, Cunnamulla, Eagle Farm, and Augathella. If you're looking to bet on one (or all) of these, we recommend checking out our QLD bookmakers online list to find a bookie that will offer you the best odds and bonuses.

Gambling and betting laws in QLD

There are not many laws regarding gambling and betting in Queensland and they have all been enacted in the last 20 years. The laws are quite short and clear, but they are quite different in terms of strictness before and after 2015. The law that came into force in 2002 has quite liberal provisions, but the laws that came into force after 2015 are more stringent due to the greyhound racing scandal we mentioned above. Currently, local laws governing QLD bookmakers online include:

  • Racing Act (2002): Horse racing and sports betting have gained a legal basis with this law.
  • Racing Regulation (2013): This law included some regulations about online betting and updated some provisions of the 2002 law.
  • Racing Integrity Act (2016): This law came into force after the greyhound racing scandal in 2015 and made a racing reform. The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) was established by this law.
  • Racing Integrity Regulation (2016): This law introduced very strict provisions for the regulation of the sports and horse racing betting industries. New QLD bookmakers online licenses have become significantly more difficult to obtain.

Timeline of changes in QLD legislation

  • 2002 – The betting industry, which was already active but lacking a legal basis, has been legalized and started to be regulated. During this period, land-based betting licenses were issued by the Minister of Racing, and apart from “telephone betting”, there was almost no provision in the law on online betting.
  • 2013 – The law that mentioned and regulated online betting came into force. The rules that QLD bookmakers online must follow were determined for the first time.
  • 2016 – The “Racing Integrity Act” and “Racing Integrity Regulation” entered into force, updating all existing laws, and making their provisions much more stringent. Due to the live baiting scandal that took place the previous year, it became more difficult to get new QLD bookmakers online licenses. The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) has been set up to issue new licenses and regulate the industry.
  • 2019 – Due to the National Consumer Protection Framework (NCPF) in 2018, many local laws were changed, and QLD bookmakers online were prohibited from offering promotions.

Gambling licenses issued by the QLD government

As we mentioned above, there is only one QLD bookmakers online license issued by the Queensland government, which is owned by TAB Corp. We talked about the reasons for this: Since TAB has almost a monopoly in the local market, new QLD bookmakers online are hesitant to enter the market, and getting an online betting license can be quite difficult due to strict legal provisions. Usually, operators who already hold a land-based betting license apply for an online license too and there are many in Queensland. However, when we look at land-based betting licenses, we see names such as “Damien Joyce”, “Russel Hess”, and “Pat Kynoch”. In other words, on-course betting license holders are mostly small-scale businesses owned by a single person, and these avoid competing with a big brand like TAB.

We do not expect this situation to change any time soon. Global brands active in other Australian states do not seem interested in entering Queensland. But you don't have to wait for a change to happen: even now, you can start betting right away by choosing a name from the QLD bookmakers online list we have prepared.

Are bookie bonus bets legally available in QLD?

You cannot take advantage of bonus bets at any bookmaker in Queensland, and this includes QLD bookmakers online too. In 2018, the National Consumer Protection Framework (NCPF) went into effect across the country, banning all promotions that could mislead the consumer. These included bonuses offered for opening a new betting account. NCPF is interpreted broadly and is considered to include gambling promotions offered to exist members too. Therefore, due to current federal law, QLD bookmakers online cannot offer bonus bets or any other promotions (welcome package, free bet, cashback, etc.).

Fortunately, you don't have to put up with this: the QLD bookmakers online we've selected for you are free from NCPF restrictions and are still able to offer advantageous promotions. You can choose one right now and start playing with a bonus bet or free bet bonus.