Sportsbooks have latched onto the rising popularity of competitive gaming in a big way. Their coverage of Esports has increased dramatically in recent years, to the point where – nowadays – it’s surprising if you find a major bookie without an Esports section.
As in many other parts of the world, both these trends have shown themselves in Australia. If you’re based in the country, and want to get involved in the action, doing so is incredibly easy. In this article you’ll learn everything you need to know about Esports betting sites in Australia, including our top 10 picks, a list of the Esports you can bet on, and tips on how to do so.
Best-in-class mobile apps
Exceptional Esports coverage
Top Australia-based option
Specialist Esports betting brand
Exceptionally fast payouts
Place exchange bets on Esports
Unusually good coverage of Rainbox Six: Siege
Unusually low minimum stakes
Place spread bets on Esports
Excellent mobile features
Australians don’t have the widest selection of sportsbooks to choose from. That said, you still have a few dozen options, and narrowing these down can be tough.
That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you, curating a list of the top 10 Esports betting sites in Australia. Like everything else at Safe Betting Sites, this was done according to a defined set of criteria. You can find out about the main ones below.
While the likes of online casino games and poker are banned in Australia, the rules around online betting are actually pretty relaxed. Sports gambling – including betting on Esports – is completely legal.
The only major complication involves promotions. For bettors in places like the UK, welcome offers are an incredibly useful way to kick-start their new accounts. In Australia, bookies are not allowed to provide sign up deals. There are also restrictions around ongoing promotions. While these are allowed, sportsbooks aren’t permitted to show them unless you’re logged in. Thus, to check out a bookie’s deals for existing customers, you must first register with that brand.
If you’re searching for the best odds for Esports betting, it’s hard to look past Ladbrokes. Both its desktop and mobile offerings display all-round excellence, but – when it comes to prices – this famous brand truly excels.
Ladbrokes’ odds for both major and minor pre-game markets are routinely some of the best around, and its in-play prices show a fair reflection of what’s actually taking place in an ongoing matchup. It also has an impressive breadth of markets, including coverage of all the major Esports you’d probably want to bet on (see our ‘Coverage Comparison’ table below for more details).
If you prefer going with Esports betting sites that are actually based in Australia, Sportsbet.com.au also has highly competitive prices. Alternatively, if you’d like to essentially set your own market prices, you can go with a betting exchange like Betfair.
Esports betting sites only offer markets for games on which they can expect a significant amount of action. That means the game must have a thriving competitive scene, in which competitions are held regularly, and thousands upon thousands of viewers will tune in.
The list of games which tick both those boxes is pretty short. Games like FIFA and Hearthstone, for example, might be extremely popular in their own rights, but simply don’t have the competitive infrastructure to interest Esports betting sites.
For Australian gamers, there are six major titles you should focus on, which enjoy excellent coverage from Esports betting sites. These are Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, League of Legends, Overwatch, StarCraft 2, and Rainbow Six: Siege. A good selection of sportsbooks will offer pre-match and live wagering for these popular Esports, and – for the biggest Esports tournaments – will provide outright markets too.
To save you the time needed to search for yourself, here’s a quick comparison showing which games our top 10 Esports betting sites cover.
One of the best things about Esports – particularly for betting purposes – is that there’s always something happening. The stream of tournaments and leagues, and therefore the stream of new betting markets, is basically endless.
As with traditional sports however, some Esports events are more lucrative than others. Those offering the biggest prizes will attract the best competitors, which generates the highest level of competition, which – in turn – creates the most enjoyable betting opportunities.
Here’s a quick look at some of the most popular major events in Esports. If you’re new to betting on video games, we’d recommend starting off with these.
The International – Dota 2
LoL might have more players than Dota 2, but – when it comes to sheer prize money – nothing beats Dota’s flagship competition. Organised by Valve each summer, with the finals taking place in August, the amount of money on the line here is eye-watering. The prize pool gets bigger every year, and – in 2019 – hit a mighty $34 million.
The buzz around The International every year is unparalleled in competitive video gaming. If you’re looking for one Esports event to focus on, this should be your top choice.
LoL World Championship
This is the biggest tournament for Dota’s great competitor, LoL. The prize money might be smaller, but LoL’s status as the bigger game means this still generates a huge amount of interest and excitement. The 2018 final, for example, was watched by almost 100 million Esports fans.
With five different winners in the past five years at the time of writing, the unpredictability of this tournament makes it a great place to look for value on Outright Winner markets in your LoL sports betting.
CS:GO Major Championships
When it comes to sheer volume of competitions, CS:GO is the most active game around right now. Head to one of our recommended Esports betting sites on any given day, and you’ll almost certainly find a matchup either ongoing, or kicking off shortly.
The most prestigious tournament of all is the Major Championships. There’s a $1 million prize pool on offer, which attracts 24 of the top teams in the world each year. Between the game’s fast-paced nature and constant momentum swings, in-play Esports CS:GO betting can be extremely fun, and the Major Championships are the most exciting contest in which to do so.
At a basic level, the same three ways to bet on real-world sports like the NBA also apply to Esports. They are pre-match, in-play, and outright. The mechanics can differ on Esports betting sites though, so here are a few tips on how to execute these different approaches.
This is the most popular way to bet on Esports, and – if you’re a beginner – we’d recommend focusing on pre-match wagers first. You’re given all the time you need to do your research, calculate your stakes, and so on.
You’ll also find the widest range of bet types for pre-match Esports betting. These will always include basic Match Winner bets. You can often get more value by placing Handicap bets instead though, in which you back one team to win by a certain margin. If you think one CS:GO team will win comfortably over another on a map, for example, you might take them on a -3 Round Handicap.
In-play Esports bets are riskier than pre-match ones, but can deliver better rewards. It can actually be worthwhile to avoid pre-match betting entirely, and – instead – watching the first few minutes of a matchup to gauge each team’s performance. Then, when you’ve got a good idea of how well they’re playing, you can get your bets down.
There are two downsides to in-play betting. The first is that you’re given less time to think, which can lead to you panicking and sticking down an ill-advised wager. The second is that most top betting sites will support far fewer bet types in-play, with some literally just providing Match Winner markets.
Outright bets are long-term wagers. While they’re popular in other sports like football, your options will unfortunately be limited when it comes to Esports.
Many Esports betting sites don’t provide outright markets at all. Even those which do usually simply offer Outright Winner bets for a big tournament. In the best case, you may be able to get an Each Way bet instead, meaning you’re guaranteed a return if your chosen team makes the final.
With top-level traditional sports, you’ll usually require some kind of subscription to watch events live. Whether it’s via satellite or cable TV, or an online streaming service, this represents an additional monthly outlay. One of the great things about Esports is that this simply isn’t true. Even the very biggest competitions, featuring the best players in the entire world, are free to watch. That might change in the future, but – for now – we’re pleased to say it’s the case.
The go-to platform for Esports streaming is definitely Twitch. This is a free and user-friendly site which incorporates live chat features alongside high-definition streaming. It also offers an easily-integrated widget, which many external sites take advantage of, including all major Esports betting sites. Go to the Esports section of any top sportsbook, and – if there’s a major live game ongoing – the Twitch stream should load automatically when you go to the betting area for that matchup. If this isn’t the case for some reason, you can simply go to Twitch yourself, or head to the competition’s website where a live stream will definitely be provided.
To get you started, here are three of the top Esports betting sites in Australia which have free live streaming included.
As with any other group of markets, Esports betting can be challenging. If you go about it the right way though, it’s absolutely possible to turn a long-term profit, and have plenty of fun along the way. Here are three of our top tips for doing just that.
‘Following your gut’ might sound cool, but it doesn’t lead to sustained success. Putting the time into doing actual research instead will greatly improve your chances.
For Esports, be sure to look into the form of both teams heading into a matchup. If you can, look up the results of any recent results between the two specific teams involved. In a game where the map plays a massive role, like CS:GO, look into whether a particular map favours one team over the other, and bet accordingly. Or, if you’re short on time, simply running a quick Google search – and finding informed betting tips from an expert – is an effective alternative.
Live betting on Esports provides a wealth of opportunities which simply aren’t available pre-match. If you want to take advantage of them, there’s no better way to get a feel for how a match is going than watching it yourself. As noted, most Esports betting sites nowadays incorporate live streaming, so this is extremely easy to do.
If you sense a big momentum shift taking place, capitalise on it with a quick live bet. Alternatively, if you’re nervous about a current bet going south, or simply want to lock in some profits, executing a cash out can be a smart play.
You should always be thinking long-term with your Esports betting. Taking a massive underdog with a big stake can be exciting, but it’s also a quick and easy way to blow up your account.
Play the long game instead. Identify an overall budget, and proportionately allocate your individual stakes. Taking an underdog is fine, but shrink your stake accordingly. If you’re extra confident in a favourite, feel free to ramp up your investment.
If you’re a fan of both gaming and betting, combining the two can be a lot of fun. There are plenty of Esports betting sites out there in Australia which will do just that, while also providing you with a modern and user-friendly experience along the way.
If you’re looking for the quickest way to get involved, simply pick one of the Australian Esports betting sites we’ve recommended, sign up, make a deposit, and start betting. If you want to conduct your own search instead, try to use the criteria we identified early on in this article. Either way, we wish you an enjoyable and responsible journey into the world of Esports betting.
The most widely-supported Esports are undoubtedly Dota 2, LoL, and CS:GO. Overwatch, Starcraft 2, and Rainbow Six: Siege also enjoy solid coverage.
Ladbrokes, Unibet, and PlayUp are all excellent all-round sportsbooks with impressive Esports sections. Picklebet are Esports specialists, while Betfair will let you place exchange bets on Esports games.
Yes. There are no laws whatsoever against Australian Esports betting.
Australian Esports betting sites are not allowed to provide welcome offers, but do have a few ongoing promotions, like enhanced odds. If you particularly want to get a good welcome offer, we’d recommend using an off-shore sportsbook like 22Bet.
Most modern Esports betting sites let you stream the action from within the sportsbooks, usually via Twitch integration. If this isn’t the case, you can simply use Twitch yourself for free.
Joe is a highly-experienced writer, with a focus on sports betting content. His specialties include sportsbook reviews and betting tips. A keen football fan, he also loves analysing and writing about the beautiful game.
SafeBettingSites is a new UK initiative launched in 2020 to protect customers against fraudulent sites.
Our goal is to protect customers against unlicensed operations with user reviews and an online complaints system.