After the succsess of my first article on the TAB.CO.NZ, I decided to follow it up, with a review of another fellow bookmaker: Crownbet
CrownBet may be a relatively young brand in the Australian online betting industry, but it by no means has a short history.
Memory lane starts in 2003 when Alex Kay, a bookmaker trading as AK
Racing, launched bestoddsbet.com. Two years later, in 2005, Kay rebranded to the catchier Betezy. The brand stuck and reverberated, but not often for the right reasons.
This went on until March 2014, when Matthew Tripp, another pioneer in the AU online betting microcosm who had successfully morphed a $250k Sportsbet buy into a $338m selloff in only six years, purchased Betezy assets.
Later in September, Tripp rebranded to BetEasy. Three months later, in December, gaming and entertainment behemoth Crown Resorts, bought majority stake (67%) in BetEasy in a joint venture. The deal saw Matthew Tripp retain his CEO position.
Eventually, BetEasy gave way for the CrownBet brand in March 2015, maintaining its posture as the largest Australian managed online betting site.
In this article/review, I’ll be doing a complete review of CrownBet, and why you should use it over the tab.co.nz! I’ll also be including a few sneaky sign up bonuses for new accounts to the site!
Going Forward: One Solid Step At A Time
Currently, CrownBet is the fastest growing online bookie in Australia, and its goal is simple and straightforward—to provide an enthralling, exceptional betting experience for Australian punters.
The competition may not be a cakewalk, but the only Australia-owned bookmaker in the premium segment of the online betting market is not resting on its oars either.
Focus is tote on the Australian market, as they only support AUD accounts and English. However, complementing their pinpoint focus is the unwavering drive to keep fine-tuning existing services, innovating, and making CrownBet irresistible to spielers.
Nothing best captures this drive than a statement by CEO Tripp in a recent interview. According to Tripp, “…The website is the first iteration of many. It will continue to evolve over the next few months.” “I believe it will be the best in the market in time…,” he said.
Furthermore, CrownBet has taken requisite actions that give more weight to words coming from their camp. Following its rebranding, Crown Resorts announced a partnership between CrownBet, and sister affiliate, Crown Signature Club. The loyalty program partnership would have CrownBet members earn Crown Signature points with each bet, which members can redeem across a variety of Crown experiences, ranging from Crown-owned and –managed hotels, restaurants to gaming offerings.
In 2014, CrownBet replaced TAB as the exclusive wagering partner of the Australian Football League ahead of William Hill and Sportsbet in an arrangement set to run until 2019.
In addition, CrownBet is the official betting partner of Country Racing Victoria and edged Sportsbet, TAB.CO.NZ, and betting.club to win the ClubsNSW tender. CrownBet is also an approved betting partner of Football Federation Australia, National Rugby League, Cricket Australia, Tennis Australia, and Netball Australia.
CrownBet’s gambling operations for residents of South Australia are governed by the South Australian Responsible Gambling Code of Practice Pre-Commitment Limits.
CrownBet’s headquarters is in Melbourne, Victoria, with offices in Sydney and Darwin.
Design and Interface: Simplicity is Key
Design, Interface, and Layout
Design and Layout: First Impression
The designs of top-level Australian betting sites typically fall into either of two broad categories:
- A fully featured design with most of the features in your face. And on first glance, you’d find yourself having to dart your eyes frantically across the entire webpage to soak up all the information thrown at you.
- A basic design that sends you on a hunt for requisite information.
The CrownBet website takes an on-the-fence approach, seeking to combine the pros of both design philosophies for the ultimate fluidic betting experience.
The design is modern, flat, and clean. It is easy on the eyes with a sublime colour scheme. And very importantly, you’d have a near-immediate ring of familiarity on taking a cursory look in the first couple of milliseconds.
You just get it!
I mean cmom, let’s just compare the differences in the racing card pages, slide the slider to the right to see how poor the TAB.co.nz one is:
With CrownBet I can easily access each of the days races within a few clicks of a button. TAB.co.nz just has huge long lists of each racetrack. Not exactly easy is it.
Most of the requisite information you need to get started stare right at you above the fold, without you having to scroll. It has the right blend of non-distracting design and feature-rich layout that practically does not require a learning curve.
Layout: In Detail
Appearance is important, but looks aren’t everything.
A top-class betting website should check three boxes:
- Easy to get started with
- Intuitive to navigate
- Makes betting a cinch
The CrownBet website doesn’t just tick these boxes, it redefines how each entry should be interpreted. The aggregation, colour selection, and legibility of everything from icons to wordings are pitch perfect.
The prominent placement of the Live Chat button on the top right is touché. And right next to it is a feature that is surprisingly rare on top-flight betting websites—a Search Box. With it, you can search the entire website, from a team you want to place a bet on to recent promo offers.
Little things like this with expert execution matter.
Still, it wouldn’t feel like you’re being choked if you are more of a sports person. You could either use the drop-down ‘SPORTS’ link on the left vertical nav bar, click on the ‘Sports’ link on the main horizontal nav bar, or simply use the search bar.
That’s how intuitive it is to navigate the website.
And the adept use of space is amazing to make the layout appear uncluttered.
Keeping true to the tried and tested three-column design language, the CrownBet website has a right column almost exclusively dedicated to aggregating your bets. After all, that is your #1 objective.
Extra information that you may find useful such as links to the T&C and mobile apps are at the bottom of the site.
Race punters would feel right at home at CrownBet. Racing gets its own fully featured section on the site and app for easy navigation and betting. CrownBet supports all three major types of racing:
- Horse/Thoroughbred racing (from venues in Australia, New Zealand easier much better then TAB.CO.NZ racing, and around the world—from the UK to South Africa),
- Harness racing, and
- Greyhound racing; you may also place bets on Racing Futures
The usual popular markets are available on most races—Exacta, First Four, Quinella, Trifecta, and Win/Place. Furthermore, on most venues you may also get doubles, quaddies, and trebles.
CrownBet really goes to town on the features front. For starters, there’s a copious amount of information provided for each race ranging from a race synopsis with predictions, a speedmap, comments, breeding info, to record. You could even watch some races live or replay races on demand on the site or app.
Even better are the special features, such as:
- Best Tote and Best Tote+; while the former gives you the best win dividend of the three TABs, the latter offers you the best win dividend of the three TABS and the official Starting Price. It is available on all AU horse races.
- Protest Pay Up; sucks when your horse gets past the post first but loses out because of an upheld protest. With the protest pay up feature, you never have to pull your hair out in frustration when next that happens as CrownBet will still pay out your bet as the winner.
CrownBet Sports, Markets, and Odds
The CrownBet Sports section consists of a broad list of supported sports/options, ranging from traditional AFL, NRL, and Cricket to exciting selections like Financials, Politics, and Novelties. It is that diverse.
Odds available are typically at or above industry average, ditto for available markets. Of course, the number of markets available depend on the sport, event, and time of fixture.
Over time, CrownBet has increased the depth of markets available. For instance, you can get more than 200 markets per AFL event.
This exclusive feature has to be near the top of your CrownBet pros column. Only CrownBet has the rights to live AFL streaming, thanks in part to their deal with the AFL as its official wagering partner.
All regular season and finals matches are available on CrownBet’s AFL Live Vision, so you never get to miss a second of any match. AFL Live Vision is an app exclusive, thus all you really need is the CrownBet app on your mobile device and your CrownBet account of course.
To watch an AFL match, simply open the CrownBet app on your phone, log in, then swipe once to the “All Live” page. You’d find a list of upcoming AFL matches under the “Watch Live Sports” tab.
Alternatively, tap on “Sports” at the bottom nav bar of the app, then swipe twice to or tap on “Watch Live” (at the top). You’d find a list of upcoming AFL matches on the “Watch Live” page.
In addition to AFL matches, you can also watch select Soccer matches live, typically from the Japan J League and Brazil Serie A; and all NBL matches.
CrownBet Live Vision
Live Vision is CrownBet’s live streaming service available for racing, AFL, soccer, and NBL. Of the four, the last three are app exclusives (you can only watch their matches live on the CrownBet mobile app).
You can watch live racing on both the CrownBet site and mobile app.
Note that while you would be able to watch matches on your iPhone using the native video player, on Android, you’d have to download and use Hook Player.
In accordance with the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA), CrownBet does not offer online live betting. You’d have to phone in (the number to call is 13 5483)to place a live bet. This isn’t the most convenient option, but here’s to hoping the government considers the appeals from several betting companies including CrownBet.
However, within the ambit of the IGA, CrownBet does offer an exciting line-up with support for most sports, events, and markets. All live events are available on the “LIVE CENTRE” page. Navigating to the page is easy. Simply open the “SPORTS” dropdown on the left vertical nav bar, and click on “Live Centre” (the second link).
Whilst its a little inconvenient to have to call to place a live bet (I’d say this would be one of Crownbet’s biggest failings) the fact it still offers the option is fantastic. As I mentioned in my previous TAB.CO.NZ article, they don’t even offer the option to bet on live events!
In sports and racing, anything can happen before the end of the game or race, and especially with multi-bets; a smile can quickly turn into a frown when one game or race ruins your selection.
With the Cash Out feature, you take control over your bet, and lock in returns rather than have it all potentially fritter away agonizingly, in line with the proverb, “Half a loaf is better than none.” Cash Out is available on both the site and app.
How to Cash Out on the CrownBet Site
- Log into your account and navigate to your “Betting Statement” page by opening the “MY ACCOUNT” dropdown on the left vertical nav bar and clicking on the “Betting Statement” link.
Alternatively, click on “My Account” on the main horizontal nav bar, and then click on “Betting Statement” in the Account page that opens.
- On the Betting Statement page, scroll to any bet with the “Cash Out” ‘parachute’ icon. Click on “Pending” on the bet’s row and under the ‘Returns’ column to reveal Cash Out Information. Afterwards, click the “Cash Out” button and confirm.
Alternatively, you can switch to the “Pending” or “Cash Out” tabs to cash out bets, more convenient when you have numerous bets to wade through in your “All” tab.
How to Cash Out on the CrownBet App
- Open the CrownBet App on your mobile device and log into your account
- Tap on “My Account” on the bottom nav bar
- On your account page, tap on “Cash Out” ‘parachute’ icon in the “My Betting” section
- Tap on “Details” button of the bet you intend to cash out
- Afterwards, tap on “Cash Out” button and confirm
Privacy and Security
It may only be a betting site, but thanks to legal requirements, you’d have to enter sensitive personal information to register and financial information to make a deposit or withdrawal.
CrownBet implements industry security standards including the use of top-grade 256-bit SSL/HTTPS connection protocol for secured and encrypted web connections and compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
CrownBet also follows industry best practices in the management of confidential customer data, to ensure that using CrownBet does not compromise your personal and financial safety and security.
Supported payment methods include:
- Credit Card
- Bank Deposit & Transfer
CrownBet accepts deposits through any of the aforementioned payment methods.
The minimum deposit amount with all methods is $5, Considering that the TAB.CO.NZ have a minimum deposit of $20 this is fantastic if you want just a small flutter!
CrownBet charges NO FEES for deposits via any method. However, depending on the payment method (for example, credit cards), you may be subject to standard institutional charges from your financial service provider.
Furthermore, the processing time for deposits vary, again depending on the payment method. The table below lists estimated processing times for supported methods.
|Payment Method||Typical Processing Time|
|Bank Deposit and Transfer||1-2 business days|
|Cheques||4 business days|
How to make a Deposit on CrownBet
- Log into your account and click on the “My Account” tab on the main horizontal nav bar. On the “Account” page that opens, click on “Deposit Funds.”
Alternatively, open the “MY ACCOUNT” dropdown on the left vertical nav bar and click on “Deposit Funds.”
- On the “DEPOSIT FUNDS” page, you’ll find tabs for each payment method. Simply follow the instructions clearly stated in each tab to deposit effortlessly.
To deposit using cheque, follow these instructions. Note that although the normal processing time for cheques is FOUR (4) business days, processing times may extend to as much as TWO (2) and THREE (3) weeks respectively for AUD-denominated and international-currency-denominate cheques respectively.
Like with deposits, CrownBet does not charge any fees for withdrawals. However, you may have to pay charges depending on payment method (for example, telegraphic transfer to banks outside Australia).
The minimum withdrawal amount with all methods is $5.
Processing time may be instant or as much as TWO (2) business days depending on payment method.
How to Withdraw on CrownBet
- Log into your account and click on the “My Account” tab on the main horizontal nav bar. On the “Account” page that opens, click on “Withdraw Funds.”
Alternatively, open the “MY ACCOUNT” dropdown on the left vertical nav bar and click on “Withdraw Funds.”
- On the “WITHDRAW FUNDS” page, you’ll be able to make a withdrawal using any of the available payment methods.
Bonuses and Promotions
CrownBet’s flagship promotion is its Bonus Bet program. The program typically runs all year round with bonus bets offered for a number of reasons—a signup offer, reward bonus, loyalty, social media competitions, or any of the several weekly promotions.
CrownBet Bonus Bets are exactly that, free bets with a fixed stake that you use without contributing any cent from your pocket (or account). If your bonus bet prediction turns out to be incorrect, you lose nothing; but if you are correct, you keep the winnings.
Things to note about CrownBet’s Bonus Bets
- Bonus Bets are fixed and you can only use them ONCE (you CANNOT split the bet amount); for instance, you may receive a $20 free bet that you would have to use in its entirety.
- The winnings you keep is NOT inclusive of the original Bonus Bet stake; for instance, if you correctly bet on $5 odd stake using a $20 free bet, you’d keep $80.
- The minimum turnover odds requirement before you can withdraw your bonus bet winnings is $1.50 odds regardless of the bet amount.
While Australian and New Zealander punters only need to turn over winnings ONCE, CrownBet’s international account holders have to turn over winnings FIVE times (that is minimum turnover winnings requirement is 1x for AU and NZ punters and 5x for non-AU/NZ punters, although you do not have to turn over the winnings in a single bet).
- You MUST use a bonus bet within 7 days of being credited to your account, else you will lose it.
- Bonus Bets are NOT available to residents of New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, and Western Australia, due to state government regulations.
How to Redeem a Bonus Bet
- Log into your account
- Add your bet to the bet slip
- Click the “use your bonus bet” button on the bet slip
- The stake box of the bet slip would reveal the bonus bet amount and calculate the odds
- Afterwards, click the “Place Bets” button and confirm.
How to Redeem a Bonus Bet Voucher
- Log into your account
- Click on “My Account” on the main horizontal nav bar and on the Account page click on “Reward Codes” under the ‘My Bonuses’ tab.
Alternatively, open the ‘MY ACCOUNT’ dropdown on the left horizontal nav bar and click on “Reward Codes.”
- On the ‘REWARD CODES’ page, enter the Bonus Bet Voucher Code in the space provided and click the “Redeem Reward” button.
The general terms and conditions for Bonus Bets are liable to change, check out the Bonus Bet Rules section to stay on top of changes.
In addition, CrownBet may stipulate different T&Cs for specific free bet promotions, check specific promo info for more details on applicable T&Cs.
Aside Free Bets, CrownBet also offers various forms of promotions, such as the annual NRL Tipping Competition, as well as several weekly and monthly promos.
To keep track of current promotions, visit the regularly updated Promotions page.
CrownBet shares more than just part of its branding with its parent group. It integrates with other services in the Crown Empire. The CrownBet Rewards program is the poster child of this integration.
The CrownBet Rewards program is a loyalty program that offers you the opportunity to accumulate points while wagering and participating in CrownBet competitions and promotions.
You may then redeem accumulated Crown Rewards points for a variety of benefits, ranging from free bets to AFL experiences to gift cards to entertainment options (such as a food voucher or Spotify subscription) to experiences at casinos, restaurants, retailers, hotels and bars at any Crown Resorts Location (such as Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth). You could even redeem points for parking or charitable donations.
This isn’t a makeshift loyalty program, but an extension of the acclaimed Crown Signature Club and Crown Rewards program. Becoming a part of the program puts your foot in the door of the wider Crown Rewards program that allows you to accumulate points for activities you engage in at other Crown establishments. You’d also get a Crown Rewards Membership Card at a Crown Rewards desk.
An entire section of the CrownBet site is dedicated to the Rewards program with all the information you’d need.
How to become a CrownBet Rewards member
- Log into your account
- Click on “Rewards” on the main horizontal nav bar and on the CrownBet Rewards page click on the “CrownBet Rewards” image.
Alternatively, open the ‘REWARDS’ dropdown on the left horizontal nav bar and click on “My Rewards.”
- Follow the instructions on the My Rewards page to join the Rewards program.
You can get more information, including FAQs, T&Cs, Crown Rewards Membership Tiers and Privileges, how to redeem points, about the CrownBet/Crown Rewards program on the dedicated CrownBet Rewards page.