BlueBet is far from the most familiar name on the Australian sports betting scene, with this bookmaker having only launched in late 2015. It’s a different story for the company’s founder and CEO, however. Michael Sullivan has been a fixture of sports betting in Australia for more than three decades now, having formerly led William Hill Australia, Sportingbet and Centrebet.
Why, then, did Sullivan start BlueBet? The short answer is that he felt the English-owned bookmakers that are so dominant in Australia don’t always understand the Australian punter’s needs, which led him to launch a rival that would offer a more personalised experience.
Our reviewers thought they would test this claim – and the early signs are certainly good ones.
The BlueBet website seems to have been designed for simplicity and straightforwardness above all else, which we think is the perfect approach. The colour scheme – incorporating various shades of blue – is easy on the eye, while the navigational system is also as easy as you like.
When we visited the homepage for this review, a left-hand sidebar showed the various most popular sporting categories on the site – which we’ll explain in greater detail later – while the centre of the page showed the events coming up that day and the most popular markets.
On the far right-hand side of the page, meanwhile, was the bet slip which detailed activity, tips and alerts and pending bets. Across the top of the page was a darker blue bar, with convenient links to the likes of the user’s social settings and currently available promotions.
All in all, the look is of a very slick site. The mobile version of BlueBet is also nicely optimised, and you’ve got a choice between accessing the site through your smartphone’s web browser or by downloading the Android or iOS app.
There are probably bookmakers in Australia with a broader range of sports to choose from than BlueBet, but given the site’s relative youth, the choice on offer is hardly shabby, either.
You’ve got both obvious and more unsung sporting options here, encompassing everything from Australian rules, rugby league, baseball and cricket to motorsport, netball, snooker and soccer. You can see all of the available sporting categories by clicking the ‘Sport’ tab on the left-hand sidebar.
It’s higher up the same sidebar, though, where you’ll see some of the current sporting highlights, which – at the time we visited for this review – included the NBA playoffs, the AFL, MLB matches, the Champions League Final and the WTA Rome singles.
Like most of the leading Australian sports betting portals that it competes with, BlueBet has a comprehensive FAQs section, with answers to such questions as “How do I open a BlueBet account?”, “How can I deposit funds into my BlueBet account?” and “What are the minimum and maximum bet limits?”
Even if your question isn’t answered there, though, there are various sources of help, including customer support phone numbers, an email address, fax details and even a postal address.
These are all fairly swift sources of support, but if you really do want an instant response, you’ve also got the option of clicking on the blue ‘Live Chat’ box in the bottom left-hand corner of the page. After providing a few simple details – including your name, email address and UserID – you’ll be able to talk to a member of the site team who should be able to give you all of the help you need.
BlueBet isn’t trying to be ‘just another’ place to bet on sports in Australia – it aspires to be one of the very best, which is why any extra goodies the user can find are so important to its appeal.
One thing that you might not have known about BlueBet, for example, is its social aspect. You can invite friends to connect with you on the site as if it was a social media platform – which it basically is. You can also share bets with your mates, rate runners and share the form with your connections.
Another distinguishing feature is something known as BlueBoost, which enables you to boost your racing odds on a fixed odds win bet, once a day. It’s a feature that you can take advantage of on the site – whether the desktop or mobile version – when betting on Australian thoroughbred racing.
There’s also a frequently updated blog on the BlueBet site, outlining various tips, previews and predictions for major events in the AFL, NFL, rugby union, rugby league, horse racing and more.
In normal circumstances, you might have good reason to be circumspect about using a still relatively young bookmaker when there are so many more established options for Australian gamblers. Of course, the involvement of Sullivan – or ‘Sullo’ – in the project should reassure you, but BlueBet also goes to many other lengths to reassure its members.
These efforts include its membership of the NSW Bookmaker’s Co-operative, which guarantees the payment of all winning bets placed with its members. Security is also enhanced by all conversations with BlueBet representatives being recorded on a government-approved voice logging system, while online wagers are given real-time scrutiny by the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.
BlueBet’s gambling operations for South Australian residents are also governed by the South Australian Gambling Codes of Practice, which should make you even more confident about the site’s reputability.
You’ve got a good range of methods from which to pick when you are putting money into your BlueBet account.
As you’d expect, Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards are accepted, and not only are there no fees for using them, but the money will also appear in your account immediately and there’s no daily limit.
Other options for depositing funds on the site include BPAY, POLi and a bank electronic funds transfer (EFT). It’s important to note that not all of these will result in funds being added to your account straight away, so you should pay close attention to the processing times.
You won’t be permitted to withdraw funds from your account until you have verified your ID and payment method.
If you made your first deposit with a credit or debit card, this process will entail sending a legible copy of the front and back of the payment card, while covering up the eight middle digits on the front of the card and the CCV/CVV on the reverse.
Meanwhile, in the instance of POLi having been used for your first deposit, you’ll need to show the site team the deposit located on your bank statement before they will agree to accept and process a withdrawal request.
BlueBet has only been around for a few years, but it doesn’t exactly feel like that a lot of the time. The site design is pleasing to look at and slick to get around, while the mobile app is also sophisticated, the range of sporting markets fairly broad and the extras numerous.
In short, ‘Sullo’ has delivered the goods, which augurs well for BlueBet’s prospects of remaining a feasible alternative to the longer-established Australian bookies for many years to come.