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Australian Sports Betting Laws

Australians are the World’s biggest gamblers.  When measured on a per capita basis, the Economist illustrates that Australians lost over $1,000 per resident adult in 2013.  To put this in context, Singaporeans, also notorious gamblers lose over $900 per person.  New Zealanders lose only about $500 per person.  Canadians, Swedes and British lose about $400 per resident per year.  Although these numbers might indicate worrying behaviour, the infographic indicates that the bulk of losses achieved by Australians comes through non-casino interactive poker machines or pokies.  There are over 180,000 machines found throughout the country and can be found in all manner of pubs and clubs.  When you remove the money lost at pokies, Australians come in line with most of these other developed countries.  However, put simply Australians have far more access and exposure to gambling and gambling machines as most other countries do not allow this type of widespread gambling.  These pokies and the ubiquitous nature of their existence in Australia have been largely credited for the country’s problem gambling issues.   

The regulation of all gambling including these poker machines is done at the state and territory level.  The government is currently in the position of profiting massively through these poker machines, with billions in annual revenue, while concurrently maintaining legislation meant to prevent private companies from profiting from online versions of these games due to worries over ‘problem gambling’.  Usage of pokies in Australia have not been curtailed, but online sportsbooks are officially mandated to strip out all casino and interactive games from their offerings for Australians with special Australian sports-betting-only offerings.   There is certainly a measure of hypocrisy in this legislation given the number of pokie machines still in existence all around the country despite recommendations by official government sponsored studies that categorically recommend pokies be banned.

As a result of this legislation, several top-of-class international sportsbooks have decided not to accept registrations of Australian residents and preferred not to spend the money to develop a stripped out sportsbook-only solution just for the 16+ million person Australian market.  Hence, Australians’ freedom of commercial choice has been severely limited by this legislation.  As such they are left with the choice between two groups: those that have developed special Australian sports-and-racing-only betting services, and those that have ignored the Australian laws and still accept Australian registrants for play.

The latter group may risk Australian legal action.  Though it is unclear how this might manifest itself as the companies in this category all operate offshore from gambling havens.  Australia’s laws do not punish the individual consumer for registering or gambling with any of these companies.  The laws do not restrict the movement of money to these companies in the way that laws in the United States of America restrict such transactions.  Credit card companies in the USA will not process transactions to online gambling providers.  Furthermore, no offshore gambling or betting sites have been excluded from Australians’ view through blocking by your Internet Service Provider.  Several Muslim countries have taken to blocking certain websites from their citizens view in this manner.  Given the above, the Australian laws against online gaming are fairly toothless and the choice is down the consumer.

The best online sports betting sites for players in Australia

Pinnacle Bet operates as a reduced-juice sportsbook.  This means they do not pay for team sponsorships or ads & the savings is passed back to bettors with consistently higher paying odds on all sports.  They also offer very high betting limits.  Read the Pinnacle Bet Australia sports betting review.


Unibet, headquartered in Stockholm, provides some amazing coverage of sports betting.  It seems that no niche is left uncovered.  If you like a breadth of sports, Unibet must be considered heavily.  Read the Unibet Australia review.




Betting Site List Methodology

The goal of this site, is to provide Australians with information about the best few online sportsbooks from an Australian bettor’s perspective.  

Here is the full list of criteria that has been used to establish inclusion into the list of the best Australian sports betting sites.

It is key to understand that this is how each service is reviewed.  Many other sportsbook review sites list their reviews of every company they look at.  Even if they have a negative point to make, if not a fully negative review, they still post the sportsbook’s logos and banners which allows them to trade on the name of a sportsbook they don’t fully recommend.  Such sites also tend to use tools like bogus grades and star ratings to promote a sportsbook without reasons to justify the grade

I don’t approach reviews in this manner.  My list is in black and white.  A betting site is either in my list, or not in my list.  Recommended or not, and the list is in alphabetical order.  Plus there are only four sites.  Would you read through a list of the 30+ sportsbooks that I reviewed?  Would you then likely register and begin betting with site #17?  Highly doubtful.  Read the reviews, make your own choice, then please play responsibly only wagering what you can afford.

Key Australian Betting Issues