Australia has a horse race that stops the nation. The people gamble more per capita than any country in the world. Whether it be horse racing, sports betting or casino gambling – we love the thrill and risk associated with laying down our own money on a variable outcome.
The Australian sports and racing betting landscape is fully regulated, with Tabcorp and Tattsbet holding a monopoly of land-based punting in this country, through their totalizer options. Many online betting operations also operate in Australia with some of the biggest gambling brands in the world having firm footholds in the billion-dollar industry.
Australia has 13 brick-and-mortar casinos with several more (in Brisbane and Sydney) in the pipelines. The most well-known land-based casino in Australia is Melbourne’s Crown Casino which is part of the global James Packer-owned Crown Resorts.
While table games like blackjack and roulette are restricted to operating in casinos, pokies are hosted in many pubs, clubs and some government run pokies venues, which are generally found in bigger cities. While pokies popularity reached its climax in the ‘90s there is still big money involved, including in the online world of slots.
Online casinos have been popular with Australians for almost 20 years now, with year on year growth making the industry big business, especially considering the lack of regulation surrounding gambling on the Internet in Australia. While we will discuss the laws surrounding online casinos in greater depth down the track, in 2016 it is 100% legal for Australians to gamble at online casinos.
Best sports betting sites online for 2016
Australians have an abundance of bookies available to cater to their every whim and Gamble.com.au has the inside running with many of them. We only recommend bookmakers of the highest calibre to our readers and they must have passed our guidelines to be considered for promotion on this site.
They must be licensed in a reputable region, whether that be in Australia, or ‘offshore’, they must have easy deposit options for the AUD, the bookie must have a good reputation among punters and of course be plentiful with their bet options.
Gamble.com.au vows to cover the big events in sport and racing betting in Australia and always present you with the most generous odds when you are reading a preview or looking for the next winner.
Our previews of sports are written by media professionals, who take an interest in their topic and, most importantly, they must love to gamble. We set them the task of finding the best odds and making realistic predictions on the outcome of sports and racing.
Mobile sports betting
It is estimated over 50% of sports betting in Australia is now done from mobile device, including smart phones and tablets. It is extremely common to witness people at a TAB venue with their phone out cross checking and ultimately placing their bet via their handset.
Our chosen bookmakers have apps available for both iOS & Android devices and allow many deposit methods via these mediums. They also have mobile websites, meaning it’s as simple as visiting these sites, signing up, making an easy deposit and placing your bets.
Sports to bet on in Australia
Australians love sports betting with huge interest in many domestic competitions like the Australia Football League (AFL), National Rugby League (NRL), A-League (soccer), Sheffield Shield (cricket) and the Big Bash League (the national Twenty20 competition).
International sports like tennis (the four majors in particular), the NBA and other football leagues from around the world, also get plenty of attention from Aussie punters. The Australian Open, played in Melbourne in January, draws the world’s attention and is a huge betting event with the Aussie public and those abroad.
The English Premier League is our adopted major soccer competition, with many Aussies including Harry Kewell, Tim Cahill and Mark Viduka forging impressive careers in this competition. The NBA is another International competition with huge appeal to Australians with names such as Luc Longley, Patty Mills, Andrew Gaze, Matt Dellavedova, Andrew Bogut, Dante Exum and Mark Bradtke putting Australia on the map in this predominantly American dominated sport.
In Australian punting on the thoroughbreds is the main event with our racing the best in the world. Many of our current day stars of the track are the the world’s best sprinters and middle distance class horses, while our jockeys, like James McDonald, who rides for Godolphin, are some of the most revered in the game.
Australia’s prominent middle distance runners goes against the grain of Australia being a premier breeding ground for stayers. For a long time the Melbourne Cup has attracted the best two milers from all over the globe and slowly but surely have began to dominate our great race.
But our success and ability to breed the middle distance horses, who have done brilliantly against the best at home and abroad, has Australia at the forefront of racing, with Flemington, Randwick, Caulfield and Rosehill being some of the biggest race tracks in the country.
In total there are 72 group 1 races in Australia each year, with Victoria hosting 30 of them, NSW holding 27 of them and Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia with the remaining 15 group 1s.
Every Antipodean knows names like Bart Cummings, Damien Oliver, Phar Lap and Makybe Diva, with much of our fascination with gambling being able to be traced back to the early days of Australian horse racing and the greats of the Australian turf. Gamble.com.au hopes to become part of the next branch of modern gallops history by providing you with free, up to date and relevant racing content and tips.
Betting on Australian sport overseas
With many of Australia’s biggest sporting events having a strong international focus, there are many online betting sites offering an abundance of markets from down under.
USA friendly: 5Dimes, Bovada, BetOnline
UK friendly: Bet365, William Hill, 10Bet
China friendly: Bodog88, 32Red
Online casinos – pokies, blackjack & more
It is impossible to estimate just how much Australians wager at offshore gambling sites, but it is estimated to be in the billions of dollars. There are literally thousands of online casinos willing to accept Australian bettors and it is perfectly legal for us to play at them.
The problem that arises is there are many sites that will rip you off after securing your business, whether it be through dodgy bonus deals, refusing to pay out or running rigged games – many one time players will never even know they have been dudded. That’s where we come in.
Gamble.com.au has at its disposal a team of experienced industry experts who have been around long enough to spot a scam a mile off. We set certain standards and won’t even consider promoting sites that don’t meet them. Here are our recommended casinos for Australians.
SlotsMillions.com – Pokies only casino.
RoyalVegas.com – Leading Microgaming casino.
GdayCasino.com – Multiple software providers.
Thrills – Unique website design.
32RedCasino.com – English gaming giant.
LeoVegas.com – Award winning casino.
JackpotCityCasino.com – Leading high stakes casino.
Each of the above casinos has easy deposit options for AUD deposits, including Visa, Neteller, PaySafeCard, MasterCard, bank transfers and wire transfers.
Best casino software
When it comes to casino gaming it all comes down to which software provider your chosen site uses. There are varying levels of licensing and auditing associated with each and every software provider, so it pays to do your homework before beginning your iGaming journey.
Here are some of the more common software providers with good reputations that provide the platforms for Australian facing casinos:
Microgaming: The biggest real money gaming software company in the world, Royal Vegas and hundreds of other online casinos use the downloadable and instant-play MG platforms. Is audited by eCOGRA and has an outstanding reputation for both pokies and table games.
NetEntertainment: Largely known for its brilliant array of pokies, NetEntertainment in the last 18 months has stamped itself as a major player in the online casino industry.
BetSoft: Another young pokies developer with flair, BetSoft also deals in table games and is audited by independent bodies.
Playtech: One of the oldest and biggest software companies and provides outstanding live dealer and graphics based games. Also has a downloadable suite available.
This is just a small sample of the software developers available and trustworthy, we cover this topic in far great detail on our online casinos page.
If you have visited an Australian casino you would have been taken by the sheer volume of tables and variety of games on offer. While they do not have quite the atmosphere of Melbourne’s Crown Promenade, many real money online casinos boast far more games than their land-based counterpart.
From virtual casino to casino you will find a huge range of games and Australians are spoilt because there are few restrictions, barring Aussie company Aristocrat Gaming not being allowed to offer its games to Aussies, on what games we can play.
Now that you know about the gaming companies to look for, here are some of the standout games to play online.
Pokies: Aussies love pokies and the online element has added a new twist to the old pub classic. These days you can play 3-reel classics, 5-reel video pokies, progressive jackpot pokies, 243, 1024 3125 and many more types of games. Did we mention multiplier pokies? Or 3D pokies? You get the drift, if you are playing pokies online you will have plenty of choice.
Gamble.com.au will cover online pokies extensively, including the best places to play, review the games and in time offer hundreds of free games via this website – so you can try before you play for real money.
Blackjack: The no.1 casino game in Australia translates beautifully to online casinos, with live dealer making it one of the most sought after options when gambling at online casinos.
The beauty of playing 21 online is that there are many more versions and you won’t struggle to find a low limit table with favourable rules, unlike the treatment we get dished out at land-based venues.
Roulette: The ultimate game of chance. Roulette is another game that is largely played via live dealer online. You will find both European and American roulette easily.
Baccarat: Usually the game of high rollers, online baccarat has opened it up to a new audience who don’t want to spend big bucks every hand. Tables are available in both graphical interface and live dealer.
Poker: The variations of casino poker are plentiful including Casino Hold’em, Caribbean Stud and Video Poker. Some casinos will have poker variations available in live dealer.
Bingo: Available at both online casinos and dedicated Bingo sites, this scout hall classic has been given new life by online enthusiasts.
Australians are unable to download real money casino apps because of legislation, with one notable exception, Royal Vegas having snuck an app through the system (Available to download as ‘Regal Vegas’ in the iOS and Android stores).
Despite these restrictions we are free to gamble at online casinos mobile websites. The mobile sites are generally stripped back versions of the desktop site and have less games and deposit options.
Pokies are easily the highlight of mobile casinos, with live dealer table games only beginning to be available on mobile devices. Table limits don’t vary when gambling on a tablet or smartphone or your desktop computer.
Leo Vegas is our no.1 mobile casino for Australians to play at, courtesy of their instant play interface and huge selection of mobile pokies.
The poker boom certainly took hold in Australia and it’s now easily the most played card game. Texas Hold’em is most peoples game of choice with literally millions of AUD dollars wagered on the virtual felts of sites like 888Poker, PokerStars, Full Tilt poker and World Series of Poker websites.
Online poker is fully legal in Australia an there are plenty of safe options to play games ranging from Hold’em, to 5-card stud and draw, Razz and Low card.
- Full Tilt Poker
Gamble.com.au is Australian-owned and operated and is proudly biased to our great country. We vow to cover the biggest and best sporting events on our shores and abroad, all the while with our green and gold polo tops firmly in tow.
We aim to become the biggest gambling portal dedicated solely to the Australian people and report gambling news and tips in a timely and accurate fashion.
Our writing team has varying levels of journalism qualifications but we all have one thing in common – we love gambling and we feel privileged to work in this industry.
As such this passion is reflected in our authors’ work and we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoy presenting it to you.