Launched in 2007 by Father and Son bookmakers Michael and Alan Eskander, Betstar quickly rose in prominence, and became the place to go for many high profile Australian punters. Their reputation was enhanced by being a consistently authoritative source in many of Melbourne’s newspapers, and in 2009 Betstar was announced as Business Review Weekly Fast 100 Company – a rank based on their average annual turnover growth over three years. They were one of the few independent local bookies, until they too fell the way of the foreign giants moving in on a new, hitherto untapped market, when in 2014 Ladbrokes acquired them.
If anything this has only helped and increased its reputation and ability to give punters what they want. They are now run as two separate companies on the surface, (three if you include Bookmaker.com which was also bought by Ladbrokes) though in reality this is not really the case. All three websites are practically the same, apart from the logos and colour scheme, and they operate in the same markets with the same odds. What do differ are the promotions and sign up offers, so it is worth shopping around, even between these three.
Using Ladbrokes as a template is only a good thing however, and having the backing of such a large organisation is good news for its customers, an example of which is the Betstar Card, which customers can use to make instant withdrawals from ATM machines.
Australian sports are well catered for on Betstar, and Aussie Rules is no exception. There are several ways to reach the relevant markets. The quickest is to go via the AFL Quick Link on the left hand column. Alternatively, by clicking on the sports tab at the top of the screen it brings up several different boxes. Here it separates Australian Sports, International Sports, and games on TV, forthcoming matches and featured matches. There is also one dedicated to AFL.
Each match has just upward of thirty different markets, and everything you expect is covered, the most popular being:
- Half Time/Full Time Double
- Quarter by Quarter Leader
- Quarter Time Leader Half Time Leader
- 3 Quarter Time Leader
- Tri Bet Over/Under
The website uses the same interface as Bookmaker.com and Ladbrokes, so anyone who has used either of those two sites will instantly be familiar with this. Overall it is a very impressive, polished, and professional looking site. It loads quickly and smoothly; navigation is both easy and intuitive, and if anything the colour scheme makes it look slightly cleaner than the Ladbrokes site. There are several different ways to get to the same place, which may be slightly unnecessary, but means that everyone’s tastes and methods are catered for.
The betting interface is where the site really comes into its own. There is the option, via the Quickbet feature, to skip the betting slip entirely and allows the time conscious punter to place his bet with three clicks. The betting slip itself is a joy to use however, and very intuitive. When placing a bet you can either enter the stake, or the amount you would like to win. Depending on the number of selections on the slip, all possible multiples are displayed at the bottom. Any promotions associated with your chosen fixtures are also displayed on the slip. It is obvious a lot of time has gone into designing the functionality behind this, with the customer in mind, which is a very good touch.
The account section continues in a similar vein, and in fact everything about the site shouts “User Friendly”.
A link to all current promotions is at the top of the site.
As well the app, which is free to download and available for all Apple and Android devices, Betstar also has a mobile website. This is practically the same as the App, and is a good alternative if your app or normal device is not available. Either way it is very fast, easy to navigate and to get to grips with and has very similar functionality to the website proper.It allows you to do everything you need from placing a multiple bet to withdrawing and depositing cash.
Overall, it is a very good addition to the Betstar stable.