With the weight and resources of Ladbrokes to prop them up, online bookmaker Betstar has emerged as a favourite for punters in Australia and New Zealand.
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It has been over two years now since Ladbrokes acquired the online wagering operation that Michael Eskander and his son Alan launched in 2007 and it seems as though a good thing keeps getting better and better and the online wagering industry expands and adapts to the needs and preferences of a clientele that seems almost insatiable in its desire for the best online gaming experience.
Ladbrokes came into the picture when multinational competitors such as Paddy Power and William Hill realised the value of accessing the Australian market by assimilating homegrown Australian firms that clearly had keen insight into the unique market Australia presents. They brought an infusion of capital and technological resources to Betstar that has resulted in one of the premium websites for any wagering purposes.
Betstar, alongside sister companies Ladbrokes.com.au and Bookmaker.com.au together hold a license issued by the Norfolk Island Gaming Authority.
Here are our observations on Betstar. We feel that ultimately, the decision of which online bookmaker to join is a personal decision and further, it is a decision mainly geared to entertainment value, so it need not be taken too seriously. Australian punters, even with the consolidation that gained momentum in 2012, still have plenty of options for online bookmaking agencies, so joining one or the other need not be viewed as a permanent, life-long commitment.
Betstar Wagering Platforms
Betstar has a top quality website, including a mobile version for punters whose phones are not compatible with Apple and Android apps.
It takes mere minutes from any of Betstar’s pages to gain a comfort level with the navigation that permits you to focus on your main purpose of finding a good wager, or many good wagers. The home page has an animated horizontal scroll that keeps repeating, something we found distracting, but that may just be the consequences of our being cranky old men. This animation does not seem to be on any of the other pages.
We did like how the Home page and every page we visited for that matter displayed the current time in the time zone of the user. Betstar uses the familiar three-column layout that shows racing and sports selections on the left. Clicking on anything here will open the markets with odds in the centre panel. Clicking on a market will open the betting slip. Entering a stake in the box in the betting slip will show the potential return for each wager. Simple, elegant, effective and efficient.
When the Eskanders first began fielding, they earned a reputation for supplying very reliable information for thoroughbred racing. They extended their expertise to the other racing codes, and when they joined forces with Ladbrokes, their sports offerings took an exponential positive leap.
The main racing page will show the next five upcoming races and the time until the jump. These can be sorted to filter out trots or greyhounds, leaving just the gallops, or all three and either can be viewed according to preference.
A little scrolling will reveal sections for domestic and international racing. Icons alongside the venue name will show the available bets types.
Selecting a specific race will open a page that displays the runners. Clicking on one of those opens a nifty window that shows an abbreviated form guide. Betstar also has a box for a more detailed form guide that is as good as or better than anything out there. Clicking on a quote instantly adds the selection to, and opens the betting slip.
Mastery of these functions is highly intuitive. It took us more time to write this description than it did to actually learn the process, but we could see ourselves spending more time with the form guide, if only for purposes of entertainment, if nothing else.
Being able to navigate the racing pages automatically confers the same ability for the sports pages. If every bank, every credit card company, and every other Internet concern would emulate the design and function of the Betstar site, computer-related stress levels would plummet.
Betstar does have slightly higher bookmaker margins, but they are very competitive with other domestic operations and it is only some very low margins offered by international bookmakers that skew Betstar’s toward the upper end. The difference is really pretty minimal, something only high frequency punters would want to consider. We feel that the high level of service Betstar provides justifies charging a fraction of a percentage point higher.
They may offer fewer sports markets, for example, on an AFL game, but it should be possible to find some solid and some exotic wagers from the 164 markets we observed to be typical of Betstar’s offering for one AFL game.
All of the above applies to the Betstar mobile wagering platforms. They are fast, conservative of memory and battery resources, and simply a total pleasure with which to work. It might require a bit more attention to ensure that your taps are accurate, but that could be said about anything performed on a phone screen, as those of us who have sent the Mrs. a poorly composed text can attest.
Betstar Key Details
First off, be aware that Betstar has a dormant account fee of $25 for accounts remaining inactive for six months. The lesson we would impart from this is that if you want a place to store money, use a bank. Betstar does offer credit facilities, but hopefully everyone realises the folly of borrowing money for punting from a bookmaker. If you must borrow, put the pinch on the relatives.
Online wagers can be for as low as 50-cents. Phone bets, required for live betting, impose a $20 minimum. The minimum funding level for an account is $10. They impose maximum payouts of $10,000 – 50,000 per day per sport. When this becomes an issue for you, it will be the least of your worries. Horse racing maximum payouts are variable by race location and race type, but peaks at $100,000.
Betstar has sustained some criticism over the perception of offering fewer promotions than some others offer, including its affiliated sites.
We feel that this is a problem in search of an excessive worrier. For the casual punter, Betstar could well be a one and only bookmaker. For the more ardent punters, Betstar deserves consideration on any number of levels. Join Betstar Click Here