A sport betting in Australia has become an entrenched part of the gambling industry, although its overall share of the market is perhaps not quite as great as might be assumed given its prominence in the media and its close association with high profile sports. Nevertheless, online sports betting has grown significantly as a result of a shift away from traditional offline channels (e.g., TAB, on-course bookmakers, telephone betting) to a greater use of online sites as the ease and convenience of online wagering has increased, and in line with the trends in other retail sectors which have also seen high levels of online growth.
That online sports betting is so popular in Australia should come as no surprise to anyone with even a passing acquaintance with the country. It has been shown that 70% of Australians engage in some form of gambling every year, while studies by The Economist suggest that the country as a whole loses over $22 billion annually, an average of just under $1300 for every adult. These figures give some indication as to the extent to which gambling is part of the Australian culture.
Modern online sports betting really began to take off in Australia in 2008 during the Global Financial Crisis, when other industries and sectors began to cut back drastically on their advertising budgets. Online sports betting sites stepped in to fill the gap, and have continued to maintain their prominent position. Since this time, the size of the industry in Australia has continued to grow, with well over $100 million dollars in product fees being paid per year to racing and sporting bodies, while the industry contributes over $100 million annually in taxes.
Rugby League And Sports Betting
The NRL has been one of the most successful sporting codes in Australia in terms of its association with sports betting. The Australian rugby league fan has a wide variety of wagering options, both pre-season and once the regular season has commenced. Before the season begins, for instance, it’s possible to bet on:
• who will be the NRL winners
• who will be the minor premiers
• which teams will make the Grand Final
• the player who will win the Dally M Medal
• which region the premiers will come from
• the teams who finish top 4
• the teams who finish top 8
• the top non-NSW team in the regular season
• which team will have the most losses
• who gets the wooden spoon
During the season, it’s also possible to bet on the result of each match, as well as who will be leading at half time and full time, the points spread and leading try and points scorers, in addition to more ‘exotic’ bets, such as the first scoring play, the first player to score, and the percentage of successful kicks for goal during a game.
The NRL has close links with sports betting and has sought to have some say in its regulation and operation. Integrity is of course a great concern, and as such there are some strict codes of conduct in place for anyone within the game regarding betting, especially about the provision of information that isn’t publicly known and might be of assistance to someone wanting to bet on a match.
For the everyday punter, the NRL has approved sports betting sites that are regulated within Australia and who provide revenue back to the league. These sites have all committed to best practice and enter into Integrity Agreements with the NRL, the most important element of which regards information sharing, This means that you can bet on an NRL game and know that you are getting odds that have not been influenced by private or confidential information that the bookmaker has but a regular member of the public can’t get access to. In this sense, you can rely on a level playing field if you bet with one of the NRL’s approved sports betting sites:
• ACT TAB
• TAB Touch
• TAB Sportsbet
• Tom Waterhouse
• Tote Tasmania
• Flemington Sportsbet
Setting up an account with an online sports betting site requires that they can verify your identity, in accordance with the Anti-Money Laundering & Counter Terrorism Financing Act 2006. Therefore, in order to avoid a delay in being able to operate your account while your identity is verified, it’s a good idea to prepare the relevant documentation in advance.
You will need to be able to confirm your name, date of birth and residential address and so the quickest and easiest way to do this is to supply a certified copy of a Primary Photographic Identification Document (e.g., driver’s license or passport), or a certified copy of a Primary Non-Photographic Identification Document (e.g., birth certificate) and a certified copy of a Secondary Identification Document (e.g., Medicare card, rates or utility bill).
In terms of funding your account, online sports betting sites in Australia will accept VISA and MasterCard, direct bank transfer and BPay, with some also accepting POLi, an Australian real-time online payments system, and Skrill, an international e-wallet that is widely accepted by online gaming sites.
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Rugby League World Cup Final
In the 2013 Rugby League World Cup sports betting sites had the Kangaroos as red-hot favorites, and there was little value available for those looking simply to back Australia to win, with the best price to be found around $1.35 (or about 4/11).
There were some better bets on offer, with either side winning by 12.5 points one of the most potentially lucrative (although, as it turned out, the bookies were right, the Kangaroos romping away by 32 points), while there was some good value to be had by betting on the half-time and full time scores. The short odds on an Australian victory did mean, however, that there was a lively market in spot bets: for instance, it was possible to bet on which player would score the first try, to back a particular player to score multiple tries, to bet on the goal kickers converting every chance or which of the two goal kickers would have the highest conversion rate, as well as which team would score first and what the first scoring play would be. These sorts of bets are becoming increasingly popular in regular season NRL fixtures as well.
Australia’s overwhelming favoritism also meant that a number of online sports betting sites tried to entice punters with some more exotic bets that offered good value. BetButler, for instance, were offering money back on half time and full time bets if New Zealand won; at sportsbet, wagers would be refunded if Australia lost by 10 points or less; while betezy offered a refund if the side you backed was ahead at half time but then lost the match. NRL games, however, rarely feature such a clear-cut favorite and so the rugby league punter in Australia is unlikely to find too many generous offers of this type available during the regular season.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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