Licensed in the Northern Territory, the gigantic Irish bookmaker Paddy Power acquired a significant stake in Sportsbet in 2009 before completing the acquisition a year later. One of Europe’s biggest and most respected bookmakers, Paddy Power’s investment in Sportsbet not only adds a level of stability and financial security that is reassuring to all players, but also allows the bookie to offer a greater range, depth and variety of markets in comparison to some of their rivals.
With masses of markets on all the usual Aussie sports, it is in the international sports area that Sportsbet excels, whether you want to back a soccer team in Germany or a cricket match in India, these guys have it covered.
The initial bonus available to Aussie customers (except those who live in Victoria) is a 100% matched bonus bet of your first bet with the bookie. In order to qualify you need to open a new account – one per household and the usual rules – and deposit and wager at least $501 in a single bet.
Your bonus bet of up to $501 will be credited to your account as soon as you place your initial bet and will be visible in the bonus bet section on the top menu bar. The stake is not returned with any winnings from the bonus bet, you have 30 days in which to use it and you must turn over (bet through) the bonus bet winnings once in full before withdrawing (though this increases to five times for international customers).
As well as the opening offer, Sportsbet has a good number of promotions available to keep sports fans happy. With the offers and promotions changing all the time, check their website for the latest, but at the time of writing the following were all available: an AFL special whereby the bookie would refund your first bet on a particular match up to $100 if the attendance at the MCG was over 90,000; money back if a specific NRL player scored a try; cash back offers on specific horse races, every day of the week; and another AFL special whereby losing bets were refunded if the match in question went to extra time.
Add to that the protest payout for horse racing – where the bookie will pay out on the first horse past the post even if subsequently beaten in a protest – and their Top Tote Plus offer where you will always get the best return of all three TABs or the starting price on win bets on any Australian horse race on any day, and racing fans are well catered for too.
In addition there are a number of free-to-enter competitions that have prizes of $50,000 for NRL and AFL Fantasy Footy and even up to $100,000 for their Million Dollar Footy Tipping Competition. Who wouldn’t like a piece of that?
The website is set out in a coherent and non-flashy way that lends itself to presenting information in a clear manner to customers. Some bookies go for the flashing banners plastered all over their sites to grab your attention, but Sportsbet take a much more measured (and in our view, effective) approach.
The customer service at Sportsbet is excellent, and after conversing with them over their live chat service they even get someone to go to the trouble of emailing you a transcript of the conversation (okay, I know it’s automated really, but it was still impressive). You can also email or phone them (toll free) if you need any support or have any questions. It is not a 24/7 service, however, open from 8am-11pm Monday to Friday and 9am-9pm Sunday, and this is a rare black mark against them.
As mentioned, having Paddy Power behind them can only be a good thing in terms of the range of markets available, and hopefully they will give a little more cash to add even more promotions. Maybe we’re being greedy though as Sportsbet do have regular and generous promotions covering a range of sports, and especially the footy and racing.
You can access their betting services on the move by visiting m.sportsbet.com.au, or through the Apple App store, where you will have access to over 1,000 markets and all the promotions mentioned above.
All in all Sportsbet are a fine bookmaker who take their customers seriously and offer a meaningful and varied sports betting product.
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