Gone are the days when your options of betting on the ponies were limited to the local Tab or trackside with the bookies. With the Internet came corporate bookmakers who set up in tax havens around the world and stand behind terms and conditions most recreational punters wouldn't even know existed such as maximum payouts on quaddies and other markets. It is quite absurd that they can accept a highly risky bet from a punter then not have to pay out in full if that risk pays off. It's not like they ever have to part refund stakes when you lose. Being a highly competitive market and with so many meetings available to bet on however they do serve a purpose. They have also forced government controlled Tab's to be more competitive with there product which not that long ago was sadly missing. The trick is understanding and getting the most benefits from betting with the corporate bookies. Here at Lucky Duck Racing we have used several services and can help point friends in the right direction.
Smartphone Apps are vital in this day and age when life is too busy to stay glued to a computer. Nearly all have an apple compliant app with android versions becoming more available. Besides needing updating regularly I haven't had too many bad experiences except for Ladbrokes where I have had several issues with tech problems when placing a bet. My complaints on this issue also fell on deaf ears.
Sign up deals and betting promotions are the most popular form of advertising for business in a very competitive market. These deals especially sign up are often restricted to residents of certain states. If your from WA like me you aren't usually eligible due to Government regulations. However like a "good" lawyer there are loopholes most are more than happy to exploit. My advice is to join without depositing money and they will soon be offering you "exclusive" deals through your emails. I am yet to place a bet on a promotion such as bonus bet for 2nd and not have it honored due to living in WA. My advice is to test the water by placing a small bet first time and see what happens. As always with any deal there are term's and conditons and it is imperative you read them all before accepting. Most common is turnover requirements before you can withdraw winnings usually at minimum odds of $1.50. Bonus bets don't include original stake in winnings, one exception to this is Unibet who do include it.
Prices : The most common prices offered are fixed odds and top tote (best of three totes and starting price). I find Sportsbet the best for early markets, especially metro harness racing where they are about the only ones who open markets day before. Like all bookies fixed odds depend on what they are holding against each runner but some seem to be more generous consistently. I personally find Classicbet quite competitive from a price point and William Hill at the other end of the scale. Both Classicbet and Luxbet are also willing to take larger bets on their promo's compared to others. Top fluc is the best price from the on course bookies when placed 30 mins before jump. Most offer this on metro meetings but only a few including Classicbet, Luxbet and Palmerbet attach it in place of the starting price with their top tote product for certain metro meetings. Ladbrokes and now Sportsbet offer a boosted price on one runner anywhere per day. If you have seen the add with Gary Sweet's odds spiraling uncontrollably don't get too excited. I have been offered as little as 5c and no more than 20c on a favourite. Top tote often pays better. If you think it is a good price before you boost it and expect it to shorten or miss a price as it is supported then that is the time to use your quota.
Others to try and take advantage of there sign up deals, (why not, you don't have to use them all to have them open) include Crownbet, The Betting Club, Madbookie and many more. Please share any experiences good and bad with fellow ducks. Referring friends usually benefits both with bonus bets but always get their permission first.