Competition and Survival of the Fittest dictate that the Australian online bookmaker environment shifts on a routine basis..
Some of the more recent contractions involve the latest bookmaker to join the battle for Australian punters’ attention and money, PlayUp.
PlayUp launched in 2019 as a combination of two bookmakers, ClassicBet and Mad Bookie that owning company PlayUp Interactive Pty Ltd acquired over the past two-plus years.
The newest bookie has offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Hong Kong but like most of the others, holds a license issued by Northern Territory.
Naturally, there is an office in Darwin.
PlayUp also owns TopBetta and there are plans in the works to merge that operation under the PlayUp umbrella.
The bookie is an official partner of the South Sydney Rabbitohs and News Corp. They are approved betting operators for the AFL, NRL, Rugby, FFA, Tennis Australia, Cricket Australia and PGA Australia.
Here is our review, subject as always, to the frequent change that seems to be increasing, rather than slowing down.
We were impressed on our first two visits by the no-nonsense dark grey, green, white and black colour scheme. We found it easier on the eyes than either Neds, with its bold, attention-demanding orange, or Ladbrokes, with its small text and garish red.
That may be more personal preferences than anything else, but we find the orange on Neds distracting and there is well-established research informing that red is used deliberately to arouse and stimulate in a manner that often leads to impulsive decisions.
The PlayUp website does not look like something that is being made up as they go along, though they do have some room for growth and improvement.
The website does use the traditional three-column arrangement, with the left column devoted to the significant leagues and codes, the centre column for odds and the right for the betting slip.
This review was prepared after the AFL and NRL had concluded so to get some idea of how PlayUp stacks up agasint some of the other bookies, we looked at the codes of NFL football and the EPL.
For the next round of the NFL, all we saw were head-to-head and line markets, which frankly, are enough for us, although we can understand some punters wanting more.
Neds, by contrast, were offering seven markets per NFL fixture. Ladbrokes offered seven markets as well.
Expecting an Australian bookmaker to provide the number of markets for an American code they supply for Australian sports might be a stretch, so we switched to the EPL.
For the upcoming fixture, along with head-to-head, draw, line and over/under markets, we counted 84 additional markets. We actually had to count them manually.
Neds had 151 markets for the same fixture. Same for Ladbrokes.
Edge to the more established bookies, but we can recall when Neds was new and had limited offerings.
For an odds comparison, we looked at the same NFL and EPL fixtures.
In both instances, we found Neds and Ladbrokes to have slightly better odds, but the differences were minimal and would be an issue only to those placing multiple bets on a regular basis. Still, price is an important consideration, so it would be hoped that PlayUp finds a way to be equally competitive.
Switching to racing in the week leading up to the Cox Plate, ahead of the final acceptances and barrier draw, PlayUp did not seem to have any all-in markets posted. They did have a futures market for the Melbourne Cup, where they had the favourite, Constantinople, quoted at $7. Neds was offering the identical price, as was Ladbrokes.
PlayUp seems to have adequate coverage of the racing codes, but for weekday racing, fixed odds were not provided until the day of the race.
Admittedly, this is an unscientific and limited comparison, but the conclusion might be that PlayUp is equal for racing, but lags a bit for sports.
It is also early in the going for PlayUp and there are always some initial growing pains to be expected.
The PlayUp bet slip was also not as full-featured as others we have seen, yet to declare it inadequate would be unfair.
PlayUp offers mobile betting apps for Android and iOS, but the mobile version of the site is not mobile optimised and that is our preferred method of access.
Our conclusion is that the website and mobile apps are adequate, but there is work remaining to be done, as has always been our observation when a new bookie comes along or mergers are involved.
The minimum deposit is $10. Online bets require at least one dollar. While telephone betting is offered, the minimum bet jumps to $10.
PlayUp accepts deposits via credit card, EFT, BPAY and POLi. That should be adequate for most people and they might add some other methods in the future.
For withdrawals, funds from a credit card must go back to the same card, which is the industry standard. Winnings above the amount deposited by credit card can be made directly to a bank account.
PlayUp seems to have the regular assortment of bonuses and promotions we have come to expect. Racing codes offer fixed odds, middle tote, best tote and Best of the Best.
Viewing other promotions proved problematic. When we tried to sign up, we were told our user name was being used, only to discover that we had filled out the sign-up form for no reason, as we were able to log in with our ClassicBet credentials, yet the site kept asking us to log in.
That may have been their glitch, or it could have been ours.
Less than a month old, PlayUp will evolve rapidly and it is a bit early to form any solid conclusions.
Many punters will appreciate that PlayUp is 100 percent Australian owned, the website loads quickly and is reasonably intuitive to use, customer service seems to be efficient and punters can set limits for three time frames for deposits, spend and loss.
Punters coming over from Mad Bookie or ClassicBet may need assistance to reset a password.
The biggest negative we found was a dormant account fee of $10 per month after 12 months of no wagering activity. We have discussed that before and can only wonder why someone would fund a wagering account, and then not use it, but the majority of Australian bookmakers have done away with dormant account fees, as they are viewed negatively by most clients.
We will be observing as time goes by, as it is obvious that PlayUp will be changing as it evolves. Join PlayUp Now » »