Sports betting is difficult enough to learn. You’ve got to know how betting works, the different bets you can make, how to do sports betting math, and loads more. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time winning any money.
So, the last thing you need to worry about is finding a trustworthy betting site. An online bookmaker that you’ll have an enjoyable experience with. One that you can trust will pay you when you win.
Well, we have some good news for you. You don’t have to worry about finding a trustworthy sports betting site because we’ve done all the research for you. Provided below is a list of our top recommendations for Australians who want to bet on sports online in 2019.
Choose one or more sportsbooks from the list below and start betting now.
We are able to recommend these sites because they meet our high standards. They can’t pay or in any other way bribe us to be there.
We’ll show you in a minute how we go about choosing which betting sites to recommend to our Australian readers. More than that, we’ll show you how our approach differs from other sites.
What’s also important to understand about this list is how it can change on a dime. If we see or hear of a sportsbook ripping a customer off or any kind of roguish behavior, we’ll remove them from the list.
In fact, let’s dive deeper into our process of how we select bookies to recommend. You’ll also see how our process differs from other gambling review sites on the web.
How We Recommend Sportsbooks (Compared to Everyone Else)
Let’s take a few minutes and talk about how we selected the sites we recommend to our sports bettors in Australia. Instead of only showing you how we did it, though, let’s start out by showing you how a lot of other sites go about it.
The goal is to show you the (often times) stark difference in effort that we put in compared to others and what it can mean for you.
Here’s how we’ve seen other sites approach their reviews, ratings, and recommendations.
They Accept Money for Recommendations
A sportsbook will approach a review site and will offer to pay for a spot on the site’s list of recommended sportsbooks. They might also ask/pay for a more prominent spot compared to where they already are.
The problem here should be clear. A betting site should earn their recommendation, not pay for it. They shouldn’t be able to pay for a higher spot, either – they should have to earn it.
The exception is if it’s made clear that they paid for their recommendation. That way, the reader knows what they’re getting into beforehand.
They Give Every Sports Betting Site a High Rating
This isn’t terribly common, because even the shadiest of people know that there’s no way people will believe their recommendations if they give every sportsbook a 10/10 rating.
Still, some review portals do this – they give each and every sports betting site their best rating. Every single sportsbook on their site is apparently worth your time and money.
Obviously, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Very few sports betting sites deserve a perfect score, if any at all.
There are a few gambling sites that deserve an 8-9/10 rating. Just about everyone else is average or below.
They Don’t Actually Review the Sportsbook
You can often tell when a site doesn’t actually review an online bookmaker. The review has no depth to it, nothing unique included (like firsthand experience), and it’s relatively short (a thousand words or less).
Are you going to trust the recommendation given by someone who never bothered to create an account at the bookmaker they’re reviewing? That makes no sense. You’d be better off finding a betting site on your own.
The biggest issue with sites not performing in-depth reviews is that it’s easy to miss information that’s only available once you login. This could be deposit options, betting opportunities, website glitches, important terms and conditions, and so on.
Continue to Recommend Bookies Despite Rogue Behavior
This is AWFUL, yet we’ve seen and heard of many sites doing this over the past decade. Because they’re paid, these sites or forums will continue to push rogue operators onto their readers. This is in spite of multiple reports of players not getting paid, unfair account closures, and other shenanigans.
Nothing else needs to be said about this.
Anyway, these are extremes, of course. We don’t know of any review portals offhand that engage in every single activity listed above.
That said, you will find that a lot of them – dare we say the majority – commit one of these errors above. The result is that they often recommend average betting sites – and sometimes outright dangerous sites – instead of the absolute best.
Some people will do anything for a buck.
Here’s how we go about reviewing, rating, and recommending online bookmakers.
We Check for a License
One of the first things we do during the review process is double check that the site is licensed and the jurisdiction(s) they’re licensed with.
A license doesn’t guarantee that your information or money will be safe, or even that you’ll have a good time. But it is a barrier to entry that keeps some crooks out.
Even though a license doesn’t guarantee anything, if the licensor is one of the more reputable gambling commissions, you will have options for recourse if the sportsbook ever pulls a fast one over you.
We Check Their Reputation
Another thing we look at before we get too deep into a review is how everyone else in the industry views them. Are bettors happy with the sportsbook, including their markets and prices? Are they happy with their offers, support, and overall experience?
So, where do we find this information?
We usually check forums and sometimes even review sites we trust since it’s hard to get enough firsthand experience in such a short period of time.
We Test Their Customer Service
We’ll send an email to the bookmaker’s support to see how fast they respond (if they respond at all) and how helpful they are in answering our questions.
It’s hard to recommend a site that has crappy customer service.
We Create an Account
We create an account at every betting site we review. The reason we do this is so that we can get an accurate picture of what the site has to offer that you just can’t get without an account.
The things we look for include their promotions, banking options, the sports and markets you can bet on, betting features, and so on.
We Comb Through Their Terms and Conditions
There are a lot of things we look for here. We look for their betting limits, banking limits, and whether they limit how much you can win. We also look for terms that may be predatory. For example, outrageous bonus terms, the right to close your account without question/discussion, the right to change terms as needed, and so on.
And…that’s it. That’s what we look for in each sportsbook we review.
Once we have all the information we need, we then write up our review. Our reviews include both the good and the bad. We do this because we want you to have all the information you need to decide where to spend your hard-earned money.
Each sportsbook also receives a rating. We base this rating on what we found during our review and how that sportsbook compares to other sportsbooks we’ve reviewed. The best of the best are recommended in our top-list tables, like the one above.
We do not accept payments for recommendations or a specific ad placement, nor will we move a sportsbook up or down unless they earn it. We can’t be bought.
Importantly, we routinely re-review each site we recommend. We won’t hesitate to pull them off their list if their standards fall below ours.
The bottom line – we don’t recommend betting sites lightly. We’d never recommend a bookmaker we wouldn’t bet with ourselves.
You can trust our ratings and reviews.
9 Ways to Spot a Rogue Sportsbook
We just wrote 1,000+ words explaining to you how some less-than-reputable review sites recommend sportsbooks. We’re sure that you’ll agree that how they do things is less than optimal in a best-case scenario. Maybe even criminal in a worst-case scenario.
We’d also be surprised if all that didn’t lead you to asking a very important question.
If you can’t trust every site to tell you the truth about which sportsbooks to join, how do you do this on your own? How can you tell the bad guys from the good ones? How do you spot a rogue sportsbook before it’s too late?
This can be hard to do without being an unfortunate customer of a rogue sportsbook. You usually don’t find out until it’s too late.
That said, here are a few tips that might help you steer clear of shady betting sites. In a worst-case scenario, they may help you to minimize your losses.
Avoid or cashout of sportsbooks if they ever do any of the following.
1. Lose Their License
A license is a small yet important barrier to entry. Without them, online gambling would be the Wild West.
If a sportsbook was once licensed, but then lost it, you have to wonder why.
What did they do to lose their license?
Did they rip someone off?
Are they running an unfair operation?
What’s going on?
The reasons ultimately don’t really matter. All you need to know is that whatever they did was severe. That’s reason enough to steer clear of them.
2. Retroactively Change Their Terms
Another sure sign that you should steer clear of a sportsbook is if they ever retroactively change their terms.
Some shady bookies will do this because they want to support their case against a customer. Maybe a player won too much on a free bet promo or won a lot of money on a parlay bet. The sportsbook will say that the bet or winnings are invalid, and then they’ll go back and change their terms to support this.
The problem isn’t that the betting site changed their terms. There’s no problem there. The problem is that they did it so that they could avoid paying a player what they’re rightfully owed.
It’s hard to think of a better example of a sportsbook who doesn’t care about integrity, honesty, or fairness – and a sportsbook that you should avoid at all costs – than one that’s willing to change their terms.
3. Try to Force You (Or Forces You) into a Bonus
No gambling business wants you to cash out – within reason. Because the longer you keep your money in your account, the more likely it is that you will make bets with it and lose it to the bookie.
That makes sense. It’s totally fair. We have no qualms with this.
However, some sportsbooks will go as far as to force you into a bonus when you request to cashout. They will often do this because they don’t have the funds to pay you.
The reason this “works” is because, if you claim a bonus, you’re now obligated to follow their bonus terms and conditions. This usually means you need to complete a play through on the bonus before you’re allowed to cashout.
In the meantime, there’s a good chance you’ll lose your money back to the sportsbook.
4. They Can’t Pay Customers Until They Get to a New Season
This can be any sports season, or the simple fact that you found out somehow that the sportsbook cannot pay you.
We actually heard of this from a customer who spoke with a sportsbook on live chat. The support rep told the customer that they couldn’t cash anyone out until the new football season rolled around. The reason – this is when they expected an influx of deposits.
Any gambling company that doesn’t have the money to pay their customers is more or less insolvent.
Only join a betting site that’s struggling to make payments if you hate money.
5. The Betting Site Is Offering an Unrealistic Bonus
If you have a look at the best online bookmakers, you’ll notice that their offers are usually pretty small. They offer a free bet here or a $100 bonus there.
Shady sportsbooks go the opposite direction. They’ll offer something like a $1,000 bonus, 300% match bonus, or something else that’s uncharacteristic of trustworthy sportsbooks.
Sure, the offer looks good on the surface, but it’s unlikely you’ll get your hands on any of it. You might as well be betting with fake money.
6. Randomly Voids Bets
Sometimes a bookmaker has a legitimate reason to void a bet. There might’ve been a glitch in their software. It could be obvious that they made a mistake setting their lines, and their terms say that they can void these bets.
Whatever. No problem there.
Shady bookmakers will void winning bets while claiming there was an error or that the bet wasn’t at market value. But if the bet wasn’t terribly different than what you could find at other sportsbooks, then you know that they’re trying to take advantage of you.
Shady bookmakers also void bets far more often than legit sportsbooks do.
7. Slow Pays
There are times when a sportsbook runs into payment issues. It’s not that they don’t have the money to pay players;they’re just running into issues with their payment processors.
You don’t have anything to worry about here, assuming you know the sportsbook is legit.
Other than that, a slow pay is a sign that a sportsbook is having financial issues. They don’t have much, if any money, so players are only getting paid if and when the sportsbook receives deposits.
Waiting a couple of days doesn’t mean a sportsbook is slow paying you. If you have to wait a couple of weeks or even a couple of months, that is a slow play…and that is a sportsbook you should avoid.
8. Parent Companies or Sibling Sportsbooks
Another way to spot a rogue sportsbook is to look at the company that runs them. Does the parent company have a history of running their sportsbooks into the ground? Do they have a history of rogue behavior?
This doesn’t always mean that the sportsbook you’re thinking about joining will follow in their footsteps. That said, we’d rather be safe than sorry.
It’s not like there aren’t dozens of other sportsbooks you can join instead, right?
9. Loads of Customer Complaints
Before you join a sportsbook, you should do a little bit of research on them. More specifically, you should comb online betting forums to see what others think about them.
Don’t worry too much about the occasional complaints. Even if it’s something about a “no pay” or that the sportsbook ripped them off. The sportsbooks resolve these issues more often than not. Other times, it’s the customer’s fault.
What you’re looking for are consistent, perpetual patterns of customer complaints.
Some betting sites will receive the same type of complaint over and over again. Common complaints are about the issues such as unfair, retroactive terms, slow/no pays, etc.
It’s much easier to see what we’re talking about once you start looking through forums. It’ll be a little more obvious when the sportsbook is the problem or when the customer is.
As we mentioned earlier, sometimes you’re not going to spot a rogue sportsbook until it’s too late. You won’t know it until you are the person who’s waiting on their withdrawal that they requested 3-4 months ago.
That sucks. We totally understand. You’re not the only person that’s in or that has been in this situation before, either. That probably doesn’t make you feel better, but the point is, you’re not alone.
Though it’s hard, it is possible to spot rogue sportsbooks before it’s too late. If you use our tips above, do your own due diligence, and simply keep your ears to the ground – while using a sprinkle of common sense – you can usually avoid getting sucked into one of these shady money pits.
There are plenty of challenges when it comes to sports betting. There’s a learning curve to it all for one thing, between reading odds, using online bookmaking sites, learning the terminology, and so on.
But those are all easy to do compared to weeding through the cesspool of nonsense. Things like fake reviews and dodging rogue sites in an attempt to find yourself a decent sportsbook to join.
That’s one of the reasons why we’ve gone ahead and done the work for you. Instead of spending days or weeks of your time trying to find a legitimate sportsbook, we wanted to help our Aussie readers find a trustworthy sportsbook in a matter of minutes.
If you’d rather do things the hard way, feel free to find a sportsbook on your own. But if you’d rather do things the easy way, and maybe even make your first bet in the next 5 or 10 minutes, scroll back to the top and select one or two of our recommended sportsbooks.