SA bookmakers online | best betting sites in South Australia
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South Australia is the country's fourth-largest state but has a very low population density. Despite this, it is successful in almost every industry, and betting – gambling is one of these industries too. Since 1991, betting has been legal in South Australia and for a long time, online betting is also allowed. In other words, if you are looking for a betting site Australia, you can be sure to find it in this state.
However, this may not be exactly the site you are looking for. While existing laws have practically no problems with the legality of gambling, the number of South Australian bookmakers is quite limited in practice. Your local option is limited to one, just like Queensland: TAB Corp. There are no other South Australian bookmakers in this state. However, as we will explain below, you can at least gain diversity due to the “interstate betting operators” feature. But as always, you can choose from among the South Australian bookmakers online we have selected for you: they offer you the best possible service with extremely advantageous bonuses.
If you want to know more about South Australian bookmakers, keep reading: below, we explain why you can get so many options when there is only one licensed online betting site, and we share important information about the SA betting industry.
Bookmakers licensed in South Australia
For licensed South Australian bookmakers, the situation is just like Queensland: According to ACMA bookmakers data, there is only one online bookie in this state: UBET SA (trading as TAB). You can also find bookies run by real people (about a dozen or so), but all of them only offer on-course betting, that is, they accept bets at booths at racetracks.
You may be disappointed because the situation looks like Queensland at first glance, but South Australia has an important difference: interstate betting operators. A separate license is not required to operate legally in this state, as long as that license is obtained from another Australian state. In other words, an operator licensed by the Northern Territory, for example, can also operate in South Australia and does not need a separate local license to do so. Predictably, this increases the number of South Australian bookmakers considerably. This practice has several requirements:
- The operator must offer betting services by phone or online only (must obtain a South Australian license if it wishes to offer these services physically)
- It must not be a part of any betting operation in South Australia
- The operator must offer betting services only for events organized by SA licensed racing clubs and bet types determined by the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner
Any operator that meets these requirements can join South Australian bookmakers without the need for a separate license. For the same reason, many brands are included in the South Australian newest bookies list. By 2022, local and interstate South Australian bookmakers include:
- Bet 365
- Flemington Sportsbet
- Pendlebury Bet
- WA TAB
- Scott Savala
- Southern Cross Bet
- Unibet Australia
- Bad Bookie
- Bet Right
- Aussie Wagering
- Bet Nation
South Australian sports betting
South Australian bookmakers have been operating legally since 1991. The “Bookmakers Licensing Rules”, which first came into force in 1991, made both horse racing and sports betting legal and set the basic conditions for the license to be issued for this business. Since then, many changes have been made to the relevant law, and the most important one was in 2000 when the “Authorised Betting Operations Act 2000” came into force. This law regulating South Australian bookmakers was last updated in 2020 and is still in effect.
Consumer and Business Services (CBS) is authorized to issue all South Australian bookmakers licenses in the state and the process is quite simple: a new South Australian bookmakers license application costs just 294 AUD. If your criminal and business background check is okay and you have the necessary financial resources, you can join the South Australian bookmakers. So, why isn't there a local online bookie other than TAB?
There are two reasons for this. The first one is similar to the situation in Queensland. TAB has been a federal government company since the 60s with a monopoly to offer bookmaking services in South Australia and other states. However, in the 90s, TAB was privatized and sold to a private company called “Tabcorp”. Tabcorp continued to operate under a different brand in each state where TAB operates, and UBET was the chosen brand for South Australia. In order to create competition and generate more income, the state enacted the above-mentioned law in 1991 and indeed succeeded in issuing new South Australian bookmakers licenses for on-course betting. However, these were limited to licenses given only to very small businesses.
When online betting became legal, no brand other than TAB applied for an online South Australian bookmakers license. The main reason for this was TAB's dominance in the market, as might be expected. But there was a second reason: the allowance of interstate betting operators. Unlike Queensland, South Australia allowed operators licensed from other states to join the South Australian bookmakers. In this way, it has become possible to serve in South Australia with a license obtained from other states with more practical and advantageous terms (e.g., Northern Territory), and as you can see from the length of the list we shared above, almost every operator preferred this option.
As a punter, this technical detail is not of direct interest to you: you can bet on sports either on TAB or at one of the interstate South Australian bookmakers. However, whichever you choose, you will face some restrictions due to federal laws, and, for example, the promotion ban will be one of them. So, no matter how long the list above is, we recommend that you take a look at the South Australian bookmakers we have selected for you: they can provide much more satisfactory service as federal restrictions do not apply to them.
Horse racing in SA
The "Bookmakers Licensing Rules" of 1991 also made horse racing betting legal and established the basic licensing terms. In general, the situation is not different from sports betting: you apply to Consumer and Business Services (CBS) to get a South Australian bookmakers license that can offer racing bets. Just like sports, interstate operators are allowed to offer horse racing betting too. But there is an important difference: for horse and greyhound racing, interstate betting operators can only offer bets on events organized by licensed industry bodies. In this context, licensed bodies consist of:
- South Australian Jockey Club
- Racing SA
- SA Harness Racing Club
- Harness Racing SA
- Greyhound Racing SA
In other words, interstate South Australian bookmakers are only entitled to offer a bet on races hosted by these organizations. The only exception is TAB: since it has a state license, it can also offer bets on races organized by different bodies. In practice, however, this doesn't make much of a difference: if you're a punter living in South Australia, you can choose interstate South Australian bookmakers for local races, and for other races, for example, you can use one of the operators on our list.
Races in this state are held on racetracks such as Balaklava, Bordertown, Mount Gambier, Murray Bridge, and Port Lincoln. In each of them, you can find booths of small-scale local operators too, but remember that none of them offers online services: if you want to place your bets online, you have to choose a name from the list of South Australian bookmakers we have shared here. However, keep in mind that you can only use the phone to place live bets, as long as you prefer operators with local licenses. Federal laws prohibit local South Australian bookmakers from offering live betting online and require phone use only. This is another reason to choose the South Australian bookmakers we recommend, as the brands we have selected allow you to do this online as well.
Gambling and betting laws in SA
South Australia has fewer gambling/betting laws than other states. The main reason for this is that they prefer to update existing laws rather than pass new laws. Therefore, as of 2022, there are two main laws concerning South Australian bookmakers:
- Bookmakers Licensing Rules (1991): Last updated in 2000, this law made all forms of betting (sports & horse racing and online - course) legal. South Australian bookmakers license terms are defined for the first time.
- Authorized Betting Operations Act (2000): This is the main law that has been affecting South Australian bookmakers since 2000. It was last updated in 2020 and includes more regulations on online betting.
Timeline of changes in SA legislation
- 1991 – The betting industry started to be regulated and both sports and horse racing betting become legal. It has been determined what the basic conditions of bookmaking licenses will be.
- 2000 – More regulations were made about online betting and interstate betting conditions were determined. Consumer and Business Services (CBS) is empowered to issue and audit all licenses.
- 2019 – Some updates were made to existing laws to comply with the National Consumer Protection Framework (NCPF).
Gambling licenses issued by the SA government
As we mentioned above, there are many names on the South Australian bookmakers list due to interstate operators being allowed. But there is only one license issued directly by the SA government: TAB (UBET). If this name sounds familiar to you, it's normal, as TAB has been a federal operator for over 50 years offering bookmaking services all over Australia. It is now a private company owned by Tabcorp, which is Australia's largest gambling brand. Every Aussie knows the Tabcorp brands: the Lott, Sky Racing, MAX, and KENO are other brands of this group. Tabcorp is a publicly-traded company, and its net assets are worth more than AU$6.7 billion. It also operates not only in Australia but also in the Isle of Man and Las Vegas.
There are other licenses issued by the SA government for on-course betting, but these are limited to five and given to small-scale sole proprietorships. These companies only have a booth at the racetracks we shared above and do not offer online services. It is interesting but expected that other global operators have not yet applied for on-course (physical) betting licenses: TAB has had a serious dominance in this part of the industry for decades and it is still very difficult to compete with it. So, we don't expect an increase in the number of South Australian bookmakers offering on-course services anytime soon.
Bookie bonus bets and other gambling promotions in SA
We've shared a long list of South Australian bookmakers above and we're sure you already know many of the names on this list. South Australian bookmakers include globally recognized brands, and you don't have to worry about their service quality. But there is one thing all these South Australian bookmakers, no matter how big or well-known, can't do: offer gambling promotions. This means that no online bookie can offer bonus bets or any other bonuses as long as they are licensed in Australia (no matter what state). So, if you play at local South Australian bookmakers, you won’t be eligible for any promotions: this includes welcome offers, free bet bonuses, and cashback schemes.
The main reason for this is the National Consumer Protection Framework (NCPF), which went into effect in 2018. This is actually a law enacted to protect consumer rights and has 10 principles set for this purpose. These include prohibiting promotions that encourage actions that may mislead or harm the consumer. This includes gambling bonuses offered for opening a new account or encouraging making deposits. Between 2018 and 2019, every state in Australia updated its gambling laws to comply with the NCPF, including South Australian bookmakers. However, since SA laws already had many regulations about responsible gaming, the number of updates made has been very few. In any case, the result remains the same: you cannot take advantage of bonus bets at South Australian bookmakers, whether they are local or interstate.