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Can Australian punters use bonus bets at online bookies?

The National Gaming Framework Australia
Can Australian punters use bonus bets at online bookies?

Australians cannot use bookie sign up offers at online bookie sites as it is considered illegal. This rule came into effect from May 26th 2019. The National Gambling Framework officially banned incentives to open new betting accounts. This means as a punter you won’t be able to use the various matched deposit bonus offers at sports-bookies.

There are still some great bonus offers going on at online bookie sites for new players but to use them it is all at your own risk and discretion. The bonus bet ban is nationwide meaning for the first time in a long time the regulations surrounding bonus bets are uniform across Australia.

The National Gaming Framework

The National Gambling Framework was rolled out following the update to the Interactive Gambling Act in 2017, which also banned online poker and casinos to operate in Australia. The National Gambling Framework is aimed at curbing many problem gambling issues, and believes that punters bet more because of such free bets advertisements and promotions. While the bonus bet ban is everywhere in Australia, here we bring to you state wise horse races and their regulations on bonus offers.

Bookie Bonus offers in Victoria

All sports bettors in Victoria now follow the official banning of all new account incentives under the National Gambling Framework, which was enacted in May of 2019. This updated national legislation means that no punters in Australia can claim sign up bonus bets, free bets or any of the various other deals you have received for opening new bookie accounts over the years. For a long time Victoria had flimsy laws surrounding sign up offers, which stated that you could not claim them, but they were never enforced and up until May 26, they were readily accepted by many sport and racing bettors.

The reason behind this initial legal clampdown is the Victorian Government’s push to stop bookmakers from enticing new punters to sign up with certain advertising and promotions, so you’ll always be told that technically, you get nothing for joining.

Victoria is the home of sport and racing in Australia. The state plays host to the biggest thoroughbred racing carnival on the plane, the Melbourne Cup Spring Carnival and is home to some of the richest and most-prestigious group races on offer around the world.

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation is responsible for controlling the Victorian gambling industry. Wagering is regulated under the Gambling Registration Act of 2003. This legislation decides who is allowed to offer wagering services, what people are allowed to bet on and any other outlines bookies must abide by, like the ban on marketing free bets as an enticement to sign up. For more information visit here.

Bookie offers in NSW

NSW punters, as of July 2, 2018, can no longer have incentives marketed to them to sign up to a bookmaker regulated in Australia. In fact in NSW it is illegal for websites like this one to even display bonuses that punters from other Australian states can claim.

Also there are harsher restrictions around advertising sports betting during prime time on television and even in print publications, where gambling advertisements were frequent in NSW publications.

Sydney is home to some of Australia’s biggest Group 1 races, including The Championships, which is an annual race festival set up to compete with the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

The best tracks in Sydney and New South Wales include Rosehill, Randwick, Warwick Farm and Newcastle. While there are also many smaller regional tracks that host quality horse racing like Wagga, Goulburn and Albury.

The Liquor & Gaming NSW controls gambling laws in New South Wales. Wagering is regulated under the Betting and Racing Act 1998 with this legislation deciding who is allowed to offer wagering services, what people are allowed to bet on and any other outlines bookies must abide by, like the ban on marketing free bets as an enticement to sign up. For more information click here

Bookie offers in Queensland

Queensland bookie sign up bonuses have been banned following the introduction of the National Gambling Framework. Basically the NGF made it illegal to offer sign up bonuses or any other type of incentive to open a new account. This means from May 26, 2019 it is no longer possible to claim a welcome package at one of the many online betting sites in Australia.

Queensland gambling is governed by the Office of Liquor and Gaming with this body looking after everything from sports betting to keno. Casinos and electronic gaming machines, or pokies, is included under its jurisdiction.

The main horse racing tracks in Queensland are Doomben, Eagle Farm and the Gold Coast. Several prominent Group 1 races are held, including the Doomben 10,000 and the Magic Millions.

Sports betting, in particular ,is controlled by the Wagering Act 1998, which has had very few updates since its inception, meaning it is largely outdated. Despite other states cracking down on bookmaker incentives and bonuses, Queensland legislation still allows residents to take advantage of these offers. For more information visit here

Bookie offers in South Australia

Like all states in Australia, punters in South Australia are excluded from any bookmaker deals that promise rewards for signing up. Any kind of advertising or promotions selling the concept of sign-up offers are illegal.

Gawler and Morphetville are two of the state’s biggest racing tracks and the Adelaide Cup and Gawler Cup are two of the biggest race days of the thoroughbred calendar.

South Australia’s Consumer and Business Services is responsible for administering the Authorised Betting Operations Act 2000, Casino Act 1997, and the Gaming Machines Act 1992. The Authorised Betting Operations Act of 2000 encapsulates the laws and betting operations conducted by racing clubs, bookmakers and agents. For more information click here.

Bookie offers in Tasmania

Bookie bonus bets or new account incentives were banned under Australian law from May 26, 2019. This legislation falls under the National Gambling Framework and effectively means Tasmanians can no longer get a free bet when they open a new betting account. Horse racing is also a huge deal down in Tassie. Located just 3km from the heart of Tasmania’s second largest city, Launceston hosts multiple group races throughout the year including the Group 3 Hobart and Launceston Cups.

The other big racecourse in Tassie is Devonport, which is home to the Group 3 Devonport Cup. Such is the prestige of the event that residents of the Devonport area get a public holiday.

Tasmania does not have a state-specific online gaming guideline, instead using the soon to be updated 2001 Interactive Gaming Act. For more information click here.

Bookie offers for Western Australia

Bookie Western Australia

Punters in Western Australia can no longer claim bookmaker sign up or new customer incentives because of changes in federal regulations.

Horse racing is also a massive staple of Western Australia’s sporting diet, with the Perth Racing Carnival its yearly gala event. Hosted at the picturesque Ascot course, a trio of group ones across November and December peak the interest.

Western Australia’s Department of Racing, Gaming and liquor is the overarching body that is responsible for The Betting Control Act 1954.

On its website, this is how the regulator touts the act: “authorises, regulates and controls betting and bookmaking on horse and greyhound racing, and sporting events. It also authorises, regulates and controls the operation of totalisators and bookmakers, and sets out the procedures for the assessment and payment of the betting levies.”

The Gaming and Wagering Commission of Western Australia administers the act, along with the Bookmakers Betting Levy Act 1954 and several other pieces of legislation that govern gambling and casinos in the state. For more information click here.

Bookie offers in Northern Territory

Bookie offers in Northern Territory

Bookie sign up bonuses are banned under the National Gambling Framework which means that you won’t find advertising for new account sign up bonus offers, matched deposits or free bets. Held over eight days in the July and August dry season, the Darwin Cup Carnival is one of Australia’s most popular horse racing events and a major tourist attraction. The main race – now a 2000m handicap with a prize pool of over $200,000 – has been run at Fannie Bay Racecourse since 1956.

Racing of a different kind takes place at Hidden Valley, where the V8 Supercars Championship musters once a year for the Darwin Triple Crown – a much-loved fixture on the Australian motorsports calendar.

Bookie offers in Australian Capital Territory

Bookie offers in ACT

Here also any punter living in the Australian Capital Territory, in accordance with the National Gambling Framework are unable to open a new account at an online betting site and take advantage of things like first deposit bonuses, first bet matched bonuses and any other promos the bookies are prepared to offer up.

Held in March, the $275,000 Black Opal Stakes is the premiere race in Canberra. The group 3 race was first run in 1973 and is recognized as a must-attend event in the ACT. The state also has greyhound and harness racing tracks which both host nationally televised race meets.

The ACT does not regulate online gaming services. Instead, they leave that to the federal government.

However, the ACT does regulate online wagering services (e.g. sports bookmakers). For more information click here.

So which bonus bet is available at online bookies for Australian punters?

Odds boost - Ladbrokes

The most prominent online bookies like Ladbrokes, Sportsbet, BetEasy, Neds, Unibet, Betfair, Topbetta, Palmerbet and others in Australia offers now boost bets known as odds boost as bookie bonus.

An odds boost is when you back a horse or place a wager, your odds, either by your own actions or automatically on a selected runner are increased. You are offered one boost per day, which increases the odds on a runner or team of your choice. Ladbrokes has its own version of the odds boost, while sites like Sportbet and Neds as well as several others also have variations on increased odds.

If you live in New Zealand and are a resident in NZ then you are lucky as you can still avail the bookie offers from various bookmakers.  Also the only full regulated NZ and AU betting site is the TAB which has its own bonus offers for punters from both countries.

But Kiwis are free to sign up at any bookmaker located offshore. You can then use these bonus amounts on anything you wish, with far fewer restrictions placed on them by than Australian bettors.

Before you use any bookie bonus note that you should read all the terms and conditions associated with these bonus offers. Also note that even if you are in an Australian state which has banned bonus offers for new players many online offshore bookies still offer bonus bets to regular punters on their email. As said above you can use or not use these bookie offers is entirely upto your own will and risk.


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