Palmerbet.com.au was launched in August of 2013. Prior, the Palmer family had a 30-some year on-course presence at the Sydney metro tracks. The main office is at Canterbury Racecourse in NSW and Palmerbet is licensed by the state of NSW - something out of the ordinary, as most online bookmakers hold licenses issued by Northern Territory.
It is also worth noting that Palmerbet has managed to remain independent for all these years, while other Australian bookmakers were absorbed by international corporate bookmakers.
Below is information compiled mainly from the Palmerbet website and the Palmerbet operation as it is presented as of early 2020.
Palmerbet Website and Mobile Wagering Applications
Over the course of the years we have been routinely watching the online bookmaking industry, websites and mobile applications have risen to the top of our criteria for evaluating a bookmaker. We give high marks to bookies with websites and mobile wagering platforms that stay out of the way and do not distract from the primary task of locating a market and finding a wager with good potential.
The Palmerbet website is as much as we found it when the site first went live, and that sort of familiarity is something we consider valuable. That being said, the Palmerbet website is not as sophisticated as some - but that simplicity appeals to us.
The site uses the familiar three-column layout. Clicking on “Sports” in the left column opened a centre section that provided icons and text for the sports Palmerbet supports; the place where many bookmakers, Palmerbet included, typically show markets and odds.
We selected “Cricket,” as the current season is in full swing.
We found the code subdivided into Upcoming Matches, Australia Sheffield Shield, Australia Twenty20 Big Bash, England County Championship Division Two and England County Championship Division One. As writers, ourselves frequently guilty of typographical errors, we could not help but noting that the first mention of English County cricket was mislabeled as “England Country Championship…” but we are willing to overlook that little mistake.
There was an arrow to the right of England County Championship Division One that took us to markets for nine other cricket competitions. We selected the tab for the BBL and found two upcoming fixtures. We picked the Hobart Hurricanes to beat Sydney Thunder, which opened the bet slip in the right-most column. We entered a stake in the bet slip and were provided with an estimate of the potential return.
We liked how unobtrusive the website was and the ease of placing a wager. In fact, it took only seconds.
Shifting over to the mobile version of the website, we found the mobile version closely replicating the desktop version, although we could not actually make the claim that the mobile version was small-screen friendly. In fact, we typically prefer mobile websites to dedicated applications, but in the instance of Palmerbet, this was not the case.
Turning to our new android mobile, we were able to download and install the Android version of the app easily, but the overriding impression we came away with is that the Palmerbet mobile app is very similar to what we saw on our screen when we simply used our web browser to look at the mobile version of the website.
We were not particularly impressed, but we do want to disclose that we are not adept at manipulating apps on smartphones, so others might find it quite easy to adapt to the mobile app.
Bookmakers use promotions to drive traffic to their websites and convince visitors that better value can be had with them than with other bookies. Think of them as the big sign in the window of a store promoting a limited time sale.
On our most recent visit to the Palmerbet website, late in January of 2020, we saw nine actively running promotions.
The Palmerbet promotions were easy to find. There could be more promotions tomorrow. There could be fewer. In fact, one of the Palmerbet promotions was based on the Australian Open. This promotion will go away after the tournament concludes, as will a BBL promotion that is currently in effect.
That is par for the course. The two promotions just mentioned will be replaced by different promotions.
Our view on promotions is that we enjoy them. They supply entertainment and reasons to visit the website more often. Palmerbet had a couple of ongoing promotions that apply to racing, one offering to boost fixed odds by 30 percent on Palmerbet selected runners. This is not to say Palmerbet intends to steer punters in the direction of a hopeless cause, but only that the promotion does not apply to every horse in every race.
The other racing promotion seemed like the sort of the thing Palmerbet could offer all the time. It is not exclusive to Palmerbet; many bookies have similar promotions. The Protest Payout will pay a winner relegated due to a protest as though the result were upheld.
The most critical thought to keep in mind when looking over promotions is that all promotions have terms and conditions. These must be understood thoroughly in order to derive the most value.
Palmerbet’s Protest Payout for example, applies only to Thoroughbred and harness racing. Only the first fixed odds bet is eligible and the amount of the bet is capped at $2,000.
The important thing to remember is that promotions shift frequently, so it is worth looking at what is being offered when the intent is to place a wager, in order to see if a promotion will offer any edge.
Odds and Markets
As the Palmer family has a long history, over three decades, of rails bookmaking experience in Sydney, dating back to the days when the internet was in its infancy, it is easy to think that Palmerbet if focused on racing. But, while they certainly do offer a large array of markets for domestic and international Thoroughbred racing, Palmerbet also supports plenty of sports codes (we counted 22 different supported sports) for the convenience of punters who prefer a one-stop approach to online wagering.
Ad for racing, we were glad to see that Palmerbet offers separate sections for Thoroughbreds, Greyhounds and Harness. Some bookmakers cram all three codes onto one page.
We observed all the domestic tracks with upcoming meetings displayed prominently. Underneath, we saw international meetings.
As of the time of this review in late January of 2020, there is no major domestic Thoroughbred racing being held, so in order to have a look at odds, we switched over to the NFL Super Bowl.
It is said that the Super Bowl attracts more wagers than any other single day sports event in the world and here is what we found on Palmerbet.
We give less weight to odds these days, as years of comparison have demonstrated time and again that the difference between bookies is seldom dramatic. The analogy here is that of traditional brick-and-mortar stores to online merchants. Early on, the online merchants held a decided advantage in pricing, but traditional merchants rather quickly caught up.
What we learned in this instance was that Palmerbet had the game Kansas City $1.78 to $2.05 San Francisco. Ladbrokes had the prices as $1.75/$2.10.
It is so often the case when reviewing or comparing bookmakers that we see one offering a slightly better price on the favourite, while the other offers a better price on the under.
All the same, we are also accustomed to seeing price differences so minimal that we no longer would use odds quotes to make a choice of one bookmaker over another. Ladbrokes had the better line, one point, as opposed to 1.5 with Palmerbet. Again, hair splitting of a high order.
We found that both bookies had about the same number of markets, but beyond head-to-head and line bets, all bookies could eliminate the rest without us having any worries.
With regard to horseracing, we used to lean toward bookmakers offering the most bet types, but that distinction has disappeared over the years.
Palmerbet Racing Bet Types
Palmerbet offers Fixed Odds Win Betting, Place Betting, Each Way, Flexi Betting, Quinellas, Exactas, Trifectas, First Fours, Quaddies, and Jockey Challenge.
In the Palmerbet terms and conditions, they identify a Racing Sub Market that includes Head To Head, Odds versus Evens, Favourite versus Field, Inside versus Outside.
In summation, bookies, with Palmerbet being no exception, offer plenty of racing bet types because all bookies adore racing punters, for obvious reasons.
Funding and Withdrawal
The Palmerbet website lists Visa, MasterCard, BPay, POLi and Bank Transfer as their funding methods.
We prefer digital wallet payment systems. They are quicker and less cumbersome. Be advised that bookmakers will pay out winnings to the method used for funding in most instances.
Palmerbet is entirely adequate for the number of funding methods.
They are limited to Direct Bank Transfer for withdrawals, which they list as requiring one to two business days. It is critical to know that while Palmerbet does not impose any fees on withdrawals, it is critical to know what charges, if any the recipient bank might impose of a punter receiving funds from Palmerbet.
Palmerbet is Australian owned and operated, so they conduct business in Australian dollars only. They support only English.
As for minimum deposits with Palmerbet, credit cards carry a $10 minimum. POLi is the same. Bpay is $25 and funding via bank transfer is set by the bank, not Palmerbet.
Punters must withdraw a minimum of $10.
A source we consider reliable indicates that the minimum online bet with Palmerbet is $1 online and $10 by phone. Bets must be made in $0.50 increments.
Punters are required to make a 1x turnover, a keen argument for not depositing anything more than is necessary. This is a fairly common turnover requirement. We did notice that Palmerbet mandates a 2x turnover for bonus credit bets, higher than some bookies, at odds of $1.80 or greater. That is higher than we are accustomed to seeing.
The bottom line with regard to banking is that with every bookie offering low entry points in order to join and participate, there is no argument against and many arguments for having multiple bookmaker memberships.
Palmerbet Customer Service
Palmerbet has one phone number dedicated to helping clients in the general sense and another for placing bets. They supply the email address of firstname.lastname@example.org and they actually supply a physical mail address in the form of a post office box in Cronulla.
We did not observe a live chat option, but we are mixed, based on some of our chat interactions, over whether we consider that a good or a bad thing.
The existence of a phone number for placing a bet leads us to think that Palmerbet offers live betting, but we never saw anything specifically mentioning live betting on any of numerous visits to the Palmerbet website. We would not rule Palmerbet out for not supporting live betting, but many people might.
First, the information here presented should not be viewed as an inducement for anyone to join Palmerbet. That decision is the sole responsibility of the person who intends to engage in wagering.
Next, bookies change rapidly as the industry shifts. What is true and accurate as of late January 2020 could change by early February, possibly sooner, so always rely on the information on the website for the latest information.
With those two pieces of advice, we would conclude by saying that in light of the regulations and government oversight with which Palmerbet must comply in order to maintain its license, there is nothing that suggests to us that Palmerbet would not make an excellent choice for a bookie.