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Centrebet Review

Centrebet were a trailblazer in online betting, until the brand disappeared in 2015. Now they’re back!

 

History

Centrebet certainly has a long and varied history in Australia. There’s been many changes in ownership, and the brand has even been retired before being brought back to life in 2017.

Centrebet was originally founded way back in 1992 in Alice Springs – the ‘centre’ of Australia, hence the name.

A few years later, Centrebet became the first bookmaker in Australia, and indeed one of the first in the world, to offer online betting. After a successful decade or so, which included a couple of changes in ownership, Centrebet was listed on the ASX in 2006.

In 2011, British outfit Sportingbet launched in Australia, and acquired the Centrebet business. They elected to keep the brand separate, operating under both the Centrebet and Sportingbet banners in Australia.

In 2013, William Hill came to Australia and made major acquisitions of TomWaterhouse.com, Sportingbet and Centrebet. Sportingbet itself remains active in the UK and other countries, though they handed over their entire Australian operations – including Centrebet – to William Hill.

From here, William Hill embarked on merging its newly-acquired Australian brands under its own banner. In 2015 Sportingbet disappeared in Australia, rebranded as William Hill, with TomWaterhouse.com and Centrebet experiencing the same fate in 2016. This was the end of the line for the iconic Centrebet brand in Australia… or so it was thought!

Centrebet suddenly reappeared without notice in 2017. Though no ‘official’ marketing was done, the new Centrebet offer is promoted as a no-frills, lower percentage, high limits bookmaker for more serious punters. Punters are required to open a new Centrebet account – separate to any old account, or current William Hill account – to use the site.

So why did William Hill do this? Theories vary. Since William Hill launched in Australia, they’ve built a fairly unfavourable reputation for themselves among more serious or regular punters, due to their eagerness to limit or ban anybody who experiences any success. This is thought to be largely a function of ‘head office’ – the way that the company operates in the UK. Reopening Centrebet as a product for more serious punters may be an olive branch that the Australian operation is offering to the local market. Whatever the motivation, it’s great to see local management taking this approach.

 

Website Layout, Mobile Usability and App

Part of the ‘new’ Centrebet approach is a low cost mantra, and it shows on the website.

It’s the old Centrebet site which has remained unchanged for many years, which is hardly surprising given the brand was actually discontinued.

Having said that, it doesn’t mean there’s anything particularly wrong with the site. Change isn’t always a good thing!

It’s very functional, and given the ‘new’ Centrebet isn’t into money-back or free bet promotions, you’re not bombarded with advertisements and inducements.

This extends to the racing pages, which are easy to navigate. Placing a bet is simple, with the betslip quick to respond and appear.

In true Centrebet style… everything is black on black. Even at a glance, there’s no mistaking which site you’re on!

If you had to make one criticism, it’s probably that the text size on everything - including the prices – is a bit small. This may bother some punters with eyesight that isn’t as good as it once was.

The Centrebet app is a similarly dated piece of kit, though again, that doesn’t mean it’s not functional. It’s just a shrunken down version of the desktop site. It can be a little slower to respond, which is a minor annoyance, but all in all… it does the trick.

Given Centrebet is being used as a low-cost, low margin operator, it’s thoroughly understandable that they’re not investing in new bells and whistles for the website. That would only increase costs for the business. As long as everything is easy enough to find and functional – which it is – it’s more than fit for the purpose.

  • Website Layout 3.5/5
  • Mobile App 3.5/5

Why Bet With Them

Why bet with Centrebet? Because they offer exactly what they say they will: good prices and high limits.

It’s a rare approach in the contemporary bookmaking scene, and it’s fantastic to see somebody taking on a more traditional bookmaking role: betting all comers to decent limits and simply trying to beat them with proper form and bookmaking skills.

Centrebet relaunched with a very compelling offer on racing:

  • Bet to win $5,000 on all Saturday metro racing
  • Bet to win $2,500 on all midweek metro racing
  • Bet to win $1,000 on all country and provincial racing
  • Best tote quaddie dividends on Saturday metro racing
  • Higher limits on selected feature races

These apply for all Australian racing, not just those states which have minimum bet limits. That’s a fantastic offer and unmatched throughout Australia.

Price-wise, while not having a specific policy on market percentages, Centrebet is committed to betting competitive prices, and are also clearly building some of their own opinion into their markets – you’ll often see one or more runners in a race with a Centrebet price quite different to other bookies.

In terms of sport, Centrebet operate through the ‘Powerbet’ section of their website. This is where they keep their unique sport offers, which include higher limits and better prices on core markets for many popular sports. They tend to announce before a season or event when they’re betting a sport through ‘Powerbet’. So far, they’ve taken on:

  • AFL
  • NRL
  • NFL
  • NBA
  • MLB
  • Selected cricket matches
  • Selected soccer matches
  • Selected high-profile boxing bouts

If you’re looking to bet any of these markets, you’re sure to get on for more at Centrebet than basically anywhere else. It means the range of markets available with Centrebet is a bit limited, but all the major bases are covered.

One thing to be aware of: there is a full suite of sports markets available on Centrebet, however they’re simply a copy of Williams Hill’s markets – you may not get on for as much and the prices won’t be as good. If you want the unique Centrebet markets, make sure you click on the ‘Powerbet’ options in the menu.

  • Competitive Odds 5/5
  • Amount of Markets 3/5

Bonuses and Promo Generosity

There’s nothing to speak of in this area. Again, it’s the new Centrebet approach – they’re not wasting money on promotions and sign-up offers. It’s all about better prices and higher limits.

  • Promos 0/5

Live Betting

Again, this isn’t something Centrebet is dabbling in. William Hill have the Live Betting call centre, which covers all the major sports: AFL, NRL, cricket, NBA, NFL, soccer and rugby.

  • Live Betting 0/5

Client Profiling & Account Restrictions

Centrebet have relaunched promising to take on punters on racing and certain sports, and they’ve been true to their word.

There’s been no reports of punters not being afforded the generous limits offered, no matter what their profit or loss record.

Again, just keep in mind that the limits on sport are only applicable to those markets in the ‘Powerbet’ section of the site. Head there for Centrebet markets – the rest of the site is just a photocopy of William Hill.

  • Treatment of Winners 5/5

Bottom Line

An account with the new, relaunched Centrebet is an absolute must for any punter who takes their betting half-seriously. The ability to get set for a decent amount at good prices is one of the major challenges that modern punters face. Whether it’s racing or any of the popular sports such as AFL, NRL, NBA, NFL or cricket, you simply need a Centrebet account.

  • Website Layout 3.5/5
  • Mobile App 3.5/5
  • Competitive Odds 5/5
  • Amount of Markets 3/5
  • Promos 0/5
  • Live Betting 0/5
  • Treatment of Winners 5/5

Overall 4/5

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