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How to Choose the Best Online Bookmakers
Choosing the best bookies and online bookmakers is a perfect example of a bad news/good news scenario.
First, the bad news: there are so many choices that you might feel overwhelmed.
Next, the good news: the substantial number of choices means that the best bookies and online bookmakers are in a fierce competition to win punters’ business.
Here are some objective criteria that may assist anyone mulling the idea of setting up a membership with one of the online bookmakers.
All of the best online bookies scrupulously cultivate their reputations. A bad experience for any punter will be passed along to many others through word of mouth and social media. Negative reports will cause many potential clients to dismiss an online bookie out of hand, and those clients are probably lost forever.
Online bookies in Australia are heavily scrutinised by governments, other wagering related agencies and anyone with an interest in online punting.
A good approach is to examine the reviews of the best bookies, keeping in mind that most reviewers fall into two categories: disgruntled customers who are looking to shift blame for a bad punt; and reviewers who are compensated by online bookies for referring new clients.
Even in this era of modern technology, the best way to evaluate the reputations of online bookies in the quest to identify the best bookies is to speak with current clients, whether they are acquaintances or family members. They have a stake in supplying trustworthy information.
Sign-up bonuses are no longer permitted in Australia by the Online Bookmakers. Although all the bookies disclosed that sign-up bonuses were available to almost no one, this fact was displayed in such a manner that many people did not notice.
Bonuses for existing clients are still permitted. These mainly fall under the category of free bets or boosted odds and they are a valuable aspect of the offerings of online bookies. Punters considering any of the best bookies will want to look for bonuses that they find appealing. The best bonus in the world for racing is useless to someone who wants to wager primarily on football.
Online bookies are creative with their promotions, which generally fall into three categories.
One-off promotions come along when there is a major event, such as the Melbourne Cup and Grand Finals.
Weekly promotions can be associated with an entire sports fixture, a big game, such as a Grand Final rematch, or a major race.
Finally, some promotions are in effect all the time. Examples include boosted odds on selected races and fantasy betting that spans an entire season, such as a jockey premiership or AFL flag, where futures markets throughout the season supply quotes for every club in a competition.
Range of Sports
Most people will want to bet on the major codes, but for those who are interested in fringe sports, such as badminton, darts or snooker, it is a simple matter to scan the left column of online bookies to see if they offer the desired sport.
In this category, a valuable aspect of the best bookies is the number of markets per fixture. Most new punters might want to concentrate on win/place betting for racing and head-to-head or line betting for sports codes, but creative exotic wagers will be found, as well.
There are times when it is necessary to communicate with your online bookmaker. The best bookies offer a variety of contact methods. The ability to speak with someone directly is important when FAQ sections fail to provide good answers. Online chat can be very helpful for simpler questions.
The best bookies have chat and live representatives available 24 hours, every day of the week, because there are punters who seek out international markets and the last thing anyone wants to hear is, “Your call is important to us, please call back during business hours.”
As with the reputation criterion, people you know are more than willing to offer an opinion. If you hear lots of whinging about someone calling an online bookmaker to place an in-play bet or resolve an issue saying that they were on hold for any very long time, right there you have the best insight into the customer service of any of the online bookies.
Ease of Access
The last thing you want, when it is two minutes to the jump of a race and you want to get a punt on, is to see a spinning timer while you are waiting for an online bookie’s page to load.
Look for online bookies that seem to have robust technology to handle any high volume of clicks when it is imperative to have nearly instantaneous access.
Another aspect of ease of access is how well an online bookie’s mobile apps or mobile websites function. The best bookies have mobile offerings that are practically indistinguishable from the experience encountered on the bigger screens of a desk or laptop computer.
Some of the best online bookies have mobile versions of their websites that do not require an app download, take up phone storage space, or insist upon intrusive permissions.
The best bookies offer at least four funding methods and many go far beyond that amount. Punters typically express a preference for e-wallet type funding methods, as these provide instant access to placing wagers. Online bookmakers who offer PayPal, ApplePay, Skrill, Neteller and other instant funding options have a definite edge.
Most online bookies offer enough funding methods that anyone who cannot find a way to deposit money is simply not trying.
When it comes time to collect winnings, the best bookies offer a branded credit card that makes it possible to go to any cash machine and make withdrawals. Funds credited to this sort of card can also be used for regular purchases.
There are still a few online bookies that pay winnings only by bank transfer. Most do not have any fee associated with this method, but a punter’s bank may impose a fee.
The Bottom Line
The summary of these criteria is that most of the Australian online bookies are good and reputable. If they offer a website and mobile betting that appeals to you, they have the sports you want to follow and they have dedicated phone support, you will probably be entirely satisfied.
Finally, with low funding requirements and low wagering minimums, it might be an ideal opportunity to start memberships with two or more online bookmakers and do your own comparison over the course of time. Use the criteria from this article and test a bookie or two from the chart above that will best satisfy your needs.
This tactic is subjective, but in the final analysis, your opinion is the only one that truly matters.