SportChamps isn’t just another Australian sports betting portal. It is, in fact, not a conventional bookie at all, instead offering the kind of tournament-based fantasy betting that other sites like TopBetta have helped to popularise in recent years.
Even TopBetta, though, actually has conventional cash betting markets for fans of sports or racing, whereas at SportChamps – which was established in 2016 – the focus really is on the tournaments.
So, is that focus a good or bad thing? As far as we’re concerned, it appears to be a good thing.
The SportChamps website’s colour scheme combines orange with various shades of grey, and it’s not a bad thing to look at.
The area of the site where you are likely to spend most of your time is the lobby, which has quite a simple design incorporating a left-hand sidebar with links to the likes of promotions and help resources.
On the right-hand side of the page, meanwhile, you’ll find an activity feed and in the centre, the main section listing the various tournaments presently open for entry across a variety of categories – as we explain in further detail below.
The site basically looks the same when you access it through a mobile web browser, except that it has been beautifully optimised for the smaller screen. Indeed, you even have the option of downloading the site’s smartphone or tablet app, provided that your device runs on iOS or Android.
You may not be able to access conventional sports betting markets through SportChamps, but given the site’s relative youth, the selection of sports on offer for tournaments is impressive.
The categories that you can browse for your own next tournament include racing, AFL, NRL, NBA and soccer.
It would be nice to see some more obscure sports in that list, and we wouldn’t be surprised if that came to be the case anyway over the coming months and years, once the ‘standard’ offerings have become sufficiently popular.
It’s not that hard to get a bit of extra help at SportChamps. There’s a lot of information all over the site about how its distinctive tournament-style betting approach works, including a decent database of Frequently Asked Questions such as “How’s tournament betting different?”, “Can I play a private tournament with my friends?” (the answer’s yes) and “How do I win?”
If you’re on the lobby page and have a query, simply click ‘Need Help?’ on the left-hand sidebar to open up a support box, through which you can ask a question via ‘live chat’ or look up pre-existing advice and answers made available by the SportChamps team.
Alternatively, you might want to send the support staff an email; the relevant details can be found on the Contact Us page of the site.
SportChamps doesn’t serve up a huge number of extras besides the tournaments that it specialises in, although it does have a blog section.
The site also has a wider range of promotions than you might expect given its unusual format.
If you’re interested in knowing the most effective strategies for tournament betting, you might also want to check out the free downloadable eBook that is written in the same offbeat style as the rest of the site.
It’s also worth drawing particular attention to the option that the site gives you to create a private tournament, which really helps to ramp up the fun of betting here. You can clone any of the existing tournaments, pick a cool name for the tournament and then invite your friends so that you can banter them to within an inch of their lives in Trash Talk.
Such ‘matey’ competition is, in many ways, what SportChamps is all about.
Signing up to such a relatively new and unconventional sports betting site may understandably be intimidating, so you will want to see every possible sign that SportChamps is reputable.
Such evidence is provided in part by the fact that the site is licensed and regulated by Australia’s Northern Territory Government, while – if you are a South Australian resident – the site’s gambling operations are subject to the governance of the South Australian Gambling Codes of Practice.
In case you’re at all confused about how SportChamps works, it’s all laid out on the ‘How It Works’ page of the site. But in a nutshell, it’s a format based not on betting on a single game or outcome, but instead on competition over a number of legs against other punters.
You pay an entry fee for a tournament and receive virtual cash – called ChampCash – that you can then use to bet. There is a five-bet minimum requirement in each tournament, which means no one can win an entire tournament with a single lucky bet.
Whoever in the tournament is most successful with their ChampCash gets to enjoy the largest share of the cash pool. It’s that simple really, with tournaments usually paying out to the top 40% and 25%, although you might also want to take a look at the ‘Double Up’ and ‘Winner Takes All’ tournaments.
While the actual process of adding money to your SportChamps account is straightforward, the site doesn’t offer a huge range of payment methods. Nonetheless, you can deposit with a credit card or bank transfer, although the latter has the disadvantage of potentially leaving you waiting several days before your funds actually appear in your account.
You won’t be able to take any money out of your account until you have become fully verified on SportChamps’ system – this being a government regulation, rather than a demand by the site itself.
In addition, the Anti-Money Laundering Act requires you to turn over your money once before you will be permitted to withdraw it.
Once you’ve sorted out those aspects, you shouldn’t have too many problems retrieving your money. All that you have to do is go to the ‘My Account’ section, enter your account details and choose how much you would like to withdraw.
Whether you’ve already sampled the tournament betting experiences of other sites or you’re completely new to this form of gambling, SportChamps will leave you with a good impression.
There’s not much about SportChamps that we can complain about. A more in-depth range of sports on which to base a tournament would be nice to see, as would a greater number of deposit methods. However, we wouldn’t necessarily expect either of those to already be offered by a site as young as this.
All in all, SportChamps delivers a fair, fun and unique betting experience to its steadily growing membership base. With the desktop site and mobile app also looking good and the selection of promotions providing a good foundation for continued growth, we reckon this is a site very much in the ‘one to watch’ category.