Betstar Review
Introduction

Betstar betting interface

The following is an in-depth review of the betting agency Betstar. This review covers the history, features, interface, sports & racing markets, upsides and downsides of the service.

This review is part of our comprehensive Bookmaker Reviews section. The Betting Agencies page provides information and reviews for other sports betting agencies that are suitable for Australians. The following details are updated periodically to keep them up to date.

History, Location and Licence

Betstar (originally Eskander’s Betstar) was founded in 2007 by father and son bookmakers Michael and Alan Eskander. They operated through offices in Melbourne and Darwin and were bookies to high profile clients including Kerry Packer.1

Citing a tough operating environment due to the influx of foreign investment, Alan Eskander sold Betstar to the UK gaming giant Ladbrokes plc in April 2014.2

Ladbrokes plc., whose origins date back to 1886, employ over 15,000 people across the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Spain and Australia. They also have a physical presence in Europe, with over 2,800 retail-betting shops. Ladrbokes plc is publically listed and trades on the London Stock Exchange.3

In addition to Betstar, Ladbrokes owns and operates the Australian licensed bookmakers Ladbrokes.com.au and Bookmaker.com.au. The three websites share the same odds and markets but vary in promotions. All three services are licensed and regulated in the Northern Territory.

Like it’s parent site Ladbrokes, Betstar now offers a pre-paid VISA card. The card is linked to the member’s betting account with winnings available to be withdrawn from an ATM somewhere between 20 and 40 seconds after a bet has been concluded. Customers can use the debit card to withdraw up to $1,000 cash per day from ATMs or complete EFTPOS transactions of up to $2,500 a day. One caveat is that to prevent money laundering, customers can only withdraw winnings. You can’t transfer money into your betting account and then withdraw those funds straight away.

Services and Features

New member offers New customers receive a 100% first deposit bonus up to $250. The bonus may be used as a single bet or divided in to 2, 3 or 4 equal-sized bets. Bonuses can only be wagered on markets with 1.50 odds or greater. Only available to QLD, NT, TAS and ACT residents.
Deposit options Visa, MasterCard, bank transfer, BPAY, POLi 5
Withdrawal options Bank transfer
Transaction fees None, however fees may be charged if you attempt to deposit and withdraw funds without betting.
Currencies AUD
Languages English
Odds formats Decimal
Minimum deposit $10
Minimum bet $0.50 online, $20.00 by phone
Maximum payout Between $10,000 and $50,000 per day, per sport.. For horse racing, the maximum daily win limit depends on the venue and bet type, and peaks at $100,000.
Deposit turnover requirements 1x
Bonus credit turnover requirements 2x at odds of 1.50 or more within 90 days. Note that this applies to both the bonus credit and any winnings accrued from the bonus. For example, if you have a $25 bonus bet that you successfully wagered at 2.40 odds (for a $35 profit), then you must turn over 2*($25 + $35) = $120 at odds of 1.50 or more.
Bookmaker margin 5.5% (see below for more details)
Credit facilities Members may apply for a credit level between $200 and $5,000.
Forbidden Jurisdictions United States of America. Racing and sports wagers will not be accepted if you are physically present in Hong Kong. Sports wagers will not be accepted from any residents of any countries other than Australia and New Zealand.
Mobile betting A mobile version of the website is available
Identity checks Australian residents can verify their identity online by entering details from sources such as a driver’s license, Australian passport, Medicare card, tax file number and more. We found the process to be quick and easy. If you are unable to verify your identity online, you can send in certified copies of identification. If you make a deposit by credit card, you must provide a legible copy of both sides of the card.
Dormant account fees An account management fee of $25.00 may be debited from any account that is dormant (inactive for six months or more).

Betting Interface and Website Layout

Betstar sports markets display

Betstar uses the same interface structure Bookmaker.com.au and Ladbrokes, but with a different colour scheme. The interface is one of the best we’ve reviewed. The website loads quickly and the numerous dynamic features make betting quick and easy.

Users of other bookmakers will find the interface intuitive. On the left is a sports navigation panel with the number of active markets displayed to the right of each sport. Quick links are provided at the top of the left panel. These provide convenient access to the most popular markets.

Betstar odds display

The markets and odds displays are concise and intuitive. When you select a sport (i.e. soccer), the primary sub markets (i.e. various European leagues) are displayed in the left column, with a full list of sub markets (leagues and fixtures) displayed at the top of the main column. When you select a specific fixture the odds are displayed in the main column with related sub categories displayed in the left column.

Betstar quickbet

The service boasts the provision of ‘Quickbet’, which is a ‘betslip-skipping’ feature that enables punters to swiftly bet a pre-configured amount with just three mouse clicks. Even without Quickbet pre-configured, whenever you click on the odds for a selection you have the option of instantly placing a wager or adding the selection to your betting slip. Quickbets can be made without clearing existing items in your betting slip.

Betstar betting slip

The betting slip itself is feature-packed and dynamically displayed at the top of the screen when a selection is added. The betting slip can be minimised while your browse other markets. When entering a wager amount, you can either input a stake amount or input the amount you aim to win, with the stake amount automatically calculated. Where applicable, multi bet options are displayed at the bottom of the slip, featuring every combination of the selections in your slip.

A really nice feature of the interface is that for any selections with promotions attached, those promotions are displayed both alongside the odds and on the betting slip.

Overall, it’s hard to find fault with the betting interface. The same goes for the account area and dashboard. The website has a very polished, professional look about it.

Bookmaker Margin

Betstar offers the same odds as its sister sites Bookmaker.com.au and Ladbrokes. In our most recent bookmaker margin survey, Betstar had an average margin of 5.5%, which was higher than the survey median of 4.9%. From a punter’s perspective, the lower the margin, the better.

Sports Markets

The Betstar sports betting selection is identical to Bookmaker.com.au and Ladbrokes. The depth of markets for the popular Australian sports is on par with the largest Australian bookmakers. In 2013 for Bookmaker.com.au we observed up to 24 markets per Super Rugby fixture, up to 47 markets per NRL fixture and up to 142 markets per AFL fixture. The popular American codes are catered for, although not with the same depth of markets as the Australian codes. As seems to be the case with all bookmakers, football (soccer) is heavily covered, featuring numerous leagues around the globe. Tennis is also well catered for. A good selection of other sports, including cycling, golf, snooker, surfing, boxing and motor racing are also covered. A novelty section is also available, featuring current affairs, elections and entertainment (reality show winners, etc.) betting.

The selection is strong enough and odds competitive enough that Betstar is suitable as a stand-alone bookmaker membership for casual punters.

Horse Racing

Betstar racing interface

Betstar offers a range of markets including best tote, top fluctuation and fixed price on all racing markets including thoroughbreds, harness and greyhounds.

Win, Place, Each Way, Quinella, Exacta, Trifecta, Quadrella and First Four wagers are available on most race days.

The interface is intuitive and looks great. Race betting beginners will appreciate the website’s ease of use. When you select a racecourse all upcoming races at that venue are displayed in the left column, with the time to run dynamically updated without the need for page reloads.

Betstar racing interface

One interesting feature is the ‘Pick Your Own Odds’ option where you can choose a winning minimum margin for the runner with the odds updated dynamically to reflect your selection. This enables you to opt for more risk and reward by selecting a winning minimum margin between 1/2 a length and 6+ lengths. The options are offered in 1/4 length increments.

Form guides are available for each race and racing wagers can be combined with sports wagers on the same betting slip.

Live Sports Betting

Due to Australia’s Interactive Gambling Act 4, live online betting is not available. Australian customers must phone in to bet live. If live online sports betting is what you’re after, be sure to check out our survey of betting agencies that offer live online betting.

Upsides

Good selection of deposit options, including POLi 5
Easy sign up and verification process
Slick betting interface
Low $0.50 minimum online bet
Can split bonus credit into up to four bets
Good multi betting functionality
Owned by the respected gaming giant, Ladbrokes plc.
Can opt in to receive a Betstar pre-paid VISA Card that is linked to your betting account
Downsides

No live online betting (due to Australian law) 4
Fewer promotions than sister site Ladbrokes
Doesn’t yet offer the QuickCall live betting feature that Ladbrokes offers
Higher than average bookmaker margins
Dormant account fees
Bottom Line

Ladbrokes plc’s 2014 takeover of Betstar represents yet another expansion of a UK betting giant into Australia, with the UK parent now owning three Australian licensed bookmakers. With the same markets and odds, Betstar is effectively now a clone of Bookmaker.com.au and Ladbrokes, but with different promotions and a different colour scheme. The website interface itself is state-of-the-art, with excellent betting functionality and a well-designed account management area. The betting selection is strong, with an especially large range of markets for the popular Australian codes. We also like the fact that bonus credit can be split up into multiple wagers rather than forcefully wagered in one hit. A key downside of Betstar, however, is the fact that it offers fewer promotions than its sister site Ladbrokes.

BETSTAR REVIEW
Betstar is a bookmaking operation licensed and based in an Australian territory and has been in operation since 1984. It was set up by Michael Eskander originally as a rails bookmaker – the biggest in Melbourne. The internet brand was set up in 2007 and Betstar is now under the umbrella of Ladbrokes Australia.

The Betstar website is neatly designed and easy to use. You will find odds on horse racing, harness racing and the major domestic sports with competitive odds available with focus also on the international sporting scene – although not as in depth as they are on Australian sporting markets.

Betstar offer a great sign up with $250 available for new customers as well as fantastic weekly promotions with regular double the odds offers on the big horse races.

New Customer Offer
Betstar offer up to $250 in bonus bets for residents of Australia and New Zealand joining the bookmaker. They will match your first deposit with bonus bets up to $250, meaning if you deposit $200 you’ll get $200 or $150 if you deposit $150. You will get the free bet within 24 hours of making your first deposit.

Due to legislative requirements, Victorian, New South Wales, South Australian and Western Australian residents are not eligible to receive the matched deposit Sign-Up Bonus.

Wagering Requirement
To be eligible for the Betstar sign-up bonus, your first deposit must be turned over (i.e. bets placed to the value of the deposit on an eligible product) within 30 days of the account being opened. If your initial deposit is greater than $250 you only need to turnover the first $250 to be eligible for the sign up bonus.

Eligible Product: qualifying turnover must be placed on eligible Betstar products at a dividend higher than $1.50 and does not include turnover on $2 Fav’s, Double Fixed Odds, two sides in the same match/event or any Betstar promotional product.

Background
Betstar is a bookmaking operation licensed and based in an Australian territory and has been in operation since 1984. It was set up by Michael Eskander originally as a rails bookmaker – the biggest in Melbourne. The internet brand was set up in 2007 and Betstar is now under the umbrella of Ladbrokes Australia.

Betstar offers competitive odds and guarantees a personalised service no matter how big or small the bet size (the smallest possible is $1 via the internet and $20 via telephone betting).

They bet on Australian and international racing and are renowned for offering massive feature doubles, Best Tote, Starting Price Guarantee and Top Fluctuation are just some of the products available via the internet or telephone betting. They offer sports markets on AFL, soccer, basketball, golf, tennis, rugby league, rugby union, baseball, motor sports, cricket and cycling.

Betstar also offers live betting in the run on a number of different sporting events.

Odds and Markets
You will find most things you are looking for available at Betstar – unless you like betting on the most obscure of sports.

If racing or harness racing is what you are looking for then Betstar is the place to be because not only will you find an abundance of markets but you get big payouts thanks to promotions like double the odds and top fluctuation. You’ll be getting some of the biggest odds available in the marketplace.

The major Australian sports of AFL, NRL, rugby, cricket and the global offerings of soccer, tennis, American football, golf and motor racing are covered in depth too. What you won’t find is more obscure markets offered by some rivals, things like novelty betting on Big Brother for example or sailing or surfing events.

What you do get is competitive odds across the board on the markets they do offer.

Website
The Betstar website is one of the best designed and functional out there. Carrying the familiar royal blue and orange company colours, you will find a quick links menu down the left hand side separated into racing, sports and live markets. The home page also features quick links to the next races to jump and sports events to start along with highlighted promotional offers. Down the right are a neatly arranged set of options to take you to offers, promotions, live support, credit betting and a link to live radio broadcasts.

Placing a bet is simple too with your betting coupon appearing in the top right hand corner once a selection has been made. You will get your bet on pretty quickly once you’ve chosen an amount you wish to stake. You will also get a swift payout when backing a winner!

Customer Service
Betstar offer excellent customer services with a number of options to get hold of them with your query. They have a variety of departments to answer your questions or alternatively you can reach them by email or through the live chat facility on the website.
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BETSTAR BONUSES

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$250 in bonus bets with promo code MAXIMUMBONUS
$250
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Betstar
Bonus: $250

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BOOKMAKER FACTS

Type of Bonus: Welcome Bonus
Bonus Value: $250
Loyalty program: No, but you can still bet
Live streaming sport: Yes, Watch live racing and sports
Currencies: Australian Dollars, New Zealand Dollars
Languages: English
Pros: Cash card available to withdraw winnings, Daily Free Bet Challenge and Bonus Bets, Impressive promotions
Exclusive Code : Yes, there’s a promotion code
Live In-Play Betting: Online and Telephone In-Play Betting
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