PointsBet Review

PointsBet is one of Australia's newest online bookmakers. It offers all the usual fixed odds racing and sports markets but specialises in 'Spread Betting' which, unlike traditional fixed odds betting, is where your winnings or losses depend on how close your bet is to the final results.

PointsBet also claims to offer more markets in the NBA, AFL and NRL than “any other bookmaker in the world”. Its AFL offering is particularly comprehensive with up to a thousand markets for each game, including novel options for both fixed odds and spreads. And the PointsBet product offering also includes up to 300 markets per NBA game, a collection of markets that they claim are not available anywhere else on the planet!

PointsBet’s online services are available all day every day via their website as well as their iPhone and Android mobile apps.

A Wide Product Selection

PointsBet offers bookmaking markets on the usual Australian, New Zealand and international thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing events, but you can also access thousands of local and international sports markets including ‘Financial’ and ‘Novelty’ markets as well as:

  • American Football
  • Aussie Rules
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Cricket
  • Cycling
  • Darts
  • Entertainment
  • Financial
  • Golf
  • Ice Hockey
  • Mixed Martial Arts
  • Motor Sports
  • Name A Bet
  • Novelty
  • Politics
  • Rugby League
  • Rugby Union
  • Snooker
  • Soccer
  • Tennis

Promotions

PointsBet offers various promotions including ‘Money Back Failed Multis’ (if one leg fails they refund up to $50 in bonus bets), ‘Elite Odds’ for specific events, ‘Name-A-Bet’ markets for the current World Cup, and ‘Protest Payout’ where relegated thoroughbred winners are still paid out.

PointsBet’s approach is to send promotions to clients via text messages, email and phone - a unique method, as many bookies require clients to log in to their accounts to learn about the latest promotions.

Spread Betting

PointsBet differentiates their bookmaking business from their fixed odds competitors with an emphasis on their ‘spread betting’ offerings.

With spread betting, your potential winnings, as well as your losses, are not fixed but will vary depending on how close you are to the final results. Which means that your bet’s odds are ‘live’ and changing while the game is on, and right up until the final whistle.

What this more or less means is that if your bet wins by one point/goal/unit, you will win 1 times your stake. If you win by 10 units, then that’s 10 times your stake and so on.

On the other hand, if your team loses massively then unfortunately so do you. To us, it looks like a wonderfully dynamic and involving way to gamble on sports!

PointsBet, in the course of accepting spread bets, will allocate a variable portion of the client’s funds to a monetary figure they describe as “Withheld Amount.” This complicates things for the average punter accustomed to traditional wagering. Investors and financial market speculators will immediately recognize Withheld Amount as identical to the financial term “margin.” PointsBet even borrows directly from the realm of the financial market with the term “Stop Loss.” At the time of placing a wager on a spread market, the punter has the opportunity to declare a maximum loss.

PointsBet does this to account for the potential risk of a spread bet and the possibility that a member’s funds might drop below zero. They base this amount on previous statistics and historical results.

There could be instances when a wager is declined by PointsBet because the player does not have sufficient funding to stay in a punt if the punt goes against them by a substantial amount.

A possible example of this scenario might be the 2019 AFL Grand Final, where most bets would have backed Richmond, but no one expected GWS to be held to 25 points, or for the final margin to be 89 points.

The takeaway from this is that PointsBet will also function as a traditional bookmaker, while the addition of spread betting for variable stakes might be unfamiliar territory to the bulk of punters. The key thing to keep in mind for anyone who has the nerve to bet against a bookie for variable stakes is that it would be prudent never to risk more than two percent of a wagering account on any one bet.

Another element that will be new to most punters is that PointsBet will accept a bet, but for an amount different from the quoted price. Traders of currency will recognise this as “Requoting,” and it was a foul practice of Forex brokers that has been mostly stamped out.

PointsBet discloses on their website that all bets will be examined by their risk assessment system prior to being accepted. It might lead to the question of why a price was quoted, only for the bet to be declined or accepted for a different price. The practical implication is that it is not possible to place wagers 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

Other Market Types

Aside from fixed odds and spread bets, PointsBet also offers an interesting range of other betting markets based on time, player stats and other multipliers.

Time of markets: Here, your odds are based on time, in minutes or seconds, as your bet multiplier but only for specific nominated events.

Player Stats Markets are available for all of the major sports including:

  • NBA player shooting percentages, rebounds and assists.
  • AFL player points and disposal totals.
  • NRL and Rugby Union player try minutes.
  • Cricket batting and bowling strike rates.

Multiplier markets are also available for specific statistics or points markets across most of PointsBet’s major sports products.

To help you understand and keep on top of your potential wins and losses, PointsBet also provides several useful online functions such as:

  • Market Caps— that show your maximum possible wins or losses on the betting slip.
  • Market Info— that explains how each market works along with examples.
  • Withheld Levels— are funds withheld to cover your bet displayed in the betting slip.
  • Stop Losses— are an option to limit your potential loss (and thus your winnings).

PointsBet’s Website

The PointsBet website has a very clean, stripped down and ultra-modern design in black. Built to be completely mobile responsive, it easily adapts to even the smallest resolution screens.

The desktop site’s navigation is very intuitive and easy to use, featuring a thin header with left and right drop-down menu buttons. It looks like a made for mobile website, which it is, but it also functions perfectly well for the desktop.

Selecting the left-hand drop-down menu button will list links to ‘Home’, ‘Promos’ and all of the racing and sports products. Selecting one of those products, such as ‘American Football’, lists all the ‘Next Up’ current games, then click on one of those and you get a box with easy to choose markets. Select a bet and your betting slip pops up over the top of the page ready for you to enter your wager and finally click on the ‘Place Bet’ button.

The right-hand drop-down menu contains login links to your current balance, account and banking details, pending and settled bets, and transaction history, all easily available with a minimum of navigation fuss. This is a very well designed, very compact and very modern interface.

Log In Or Sign Up

Signing up is, as you might expect, a seamless exercise and all you need to provide is your name, address, birthdate (18+ only of course), and a credit/debit card to transfer money into your account.

The only other funding option, for now, is POLi.

Mobile App

The mobile app is designed pretty much exactly the same as the desktop version, which is to be expected with such a modern build.

As already stated above, the PointsBet online website and apps are obviously built for our modern mobile internet era. The app loads fast, looks great and like its desktop variant is very easy to use and navigate.

Android Users

For Android users, there is a link to download the PointsBetAndroidAppapk file with point-by-point installation instructions, four of them in fact, including how to set up your mobile device to accept ‘unknown sources’.

This can be slightly daunting for the less adventurous Android user and a fully-fledged Android app for the Google Play Store would definitely lower the tech-savvy threshold for installation.

iPhone Users

For iPhone users, as usual, the process is much, much simpler with a direct link to the Apple App Store.

It should be noted that both the Android and Apple mobile apps are of course free to download.

Secure & Responsible Betting

Once you've signed on you can use your Visa or MasterCard debit/credit card to deposit money into your account via the handy ‘Deposit’ link in the right-hand drop-down menu.

PointsBet follows the South Australian Independent Gambling Authority Codes of Practice and the Northern Territory Code of Practice on Responsible Gambling, both of which apply in their respective states.

PointsBet also provides plenty of information and assistance for their patrons to ensure that their gambling does not become a problem. This assistance includes functions such as setting a time-based account funding limit, as well as a ‘self-exclusion’ option to temporarily lock your account for a predetermined length of time.

PointsBet is an approved betting provider for the Australian Football League, Australian Rugby, National Rugby League, Australian Tennis, the Football Federation of Australia, and Cricket Australia.

PointsBet Support

PointsBet has a live chat window on the desktop website for immediate support along with a telephone support number 13-PBET with their Customer Service Team available from 6AM to midnight 7 days a week. Email support is also available via support@pointsbet.com.

They also maintain a Facebook page where you can message staff who will typically reply within the hour, and a Twitter account for useful updates. Interestingly, PointsBet also has a YouTube Channel you can subscribe to, although there are only a few videos uploaded over the last year demonstrating spread betting, only one playlist and no channels. It’s nice to see a presence in this format and hopefully, they will develop it in the future!

Contacts

PointsBet can be contacted via:

  • Email — support@pointsbet.com
  • Telephone: 13-PBET (13-72-38)
  • Live chat (website only)
  • https://www.facebook.com/pointsbet
  • https://twitter.com/PointsBet_AU

For any additional information please contact PointsBet’s Customer Service Team.

Conclusion

We like the PointsBet website in terms of design and function. The same is true for their mobile platforms.

One negative in our view is that to our knowledge, PointsBet has a dormant account fee. As these types of fees go extinct, we hope that PointsBet eliminates theirs. Objectively, the dormant account fee only comes into play when a wagering account has been inactive for 18 months. The fee is $10 per month.

A big plus is that PointsBet assigns a dedicated account manager to every client. This could prove highly useful as long as it is remembered that the account manager does indeed have the obligation to put the needs of the bookie above those of the punter and that it is conceivable that an account manager might be assigned a number of clients that is beyond the number that can be efficiently serviced.

PointsBet and spread betting is best left to the experienced and disciplined punters. It is hard to watch a decent punt go sour and hit a Stop Loss.

It would be a nice addition to their offerings if they were to somehow supply clients with a simulated betting platform, where bets could be observed and teach punters the ins and outs of spread betting.

We could say the same about all the bookies, regardless of how they operate, but we do not know of one solitary bookie that will permit practice punting.

The lack of live, in-play betting might be a huge negative to some punters, but Australian law is as much responsible for this, with the prohibition of online in-play wagering.

The PointsBet website indicates that they will be introducing live betting, “sometime shortly in the future,” which is sufficiently vague to suggest that if live, in-play betting is important, another bookie might be a better choice.

Still, despite the extra risk of spread betting and some of the other elements of the PointsBet operation, this could be a good choice for some punters, those who understand risk/reward and want something beyond the traditional.

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