minimum bet limits
  • All Australian racing minimum bet limits by state and code
  • When minimum bet limits apply, and what they mean

Minimum bet limits were a saviour for many Australian punters. Faced with a situation where bookmakers simply refused to let them on if they had a successful record, they were suddenly free to bet (to the specified limit, anyway) and bookmakers had to accept.

Minimum bet limits for racing are implemented by racing authorities, and are therefore state-based. In Australia, if bookmakers wish to take bets on racing, they are required to sign agreements with racing authorities. Minimum bet limits have been implemented as part of these agreements.

As a result, these limits aren’t uniform across all racing nationally. So, what’s the situation in each state?

It’s important to note that the state-by-state situation applies to racing held within that state, not punters located in that state. So rules implemented by (for example) Racing Victoria apply to ALL punters nationally who are betting on Victorian racing – as opposed to Victorians betting on racing both at home and interstate.

How much, exactly?

The below limits all refer to how much you can win as a punter under minimum bet limits – not how much you can stake or collect.

For example, on a NSW metro race you can have a win bet to the limit of $2,000. This means that if you’re backing a horse to win at odds of $5, the minimum bet the wagering operator must allow you to stake is $500.

Stake: $500
Price: $5
Collect: $2,500
Win: $2,000

Minimum bet limits: what do they actually mean?

The rules stipulate the minimum bet size that bookmakers must accept on the race concerned. If you have a bet that falls under the minimum bet limit, the bookmaker is prohibited from refusing the bet, offering you lower than advertised odds, or taking other action that would prevent them from taking the bet (such as closing your account).

You should follow up with a wagering operator if you think the minimum bet limits below have been violated. If you’re not satisfied with their answer, make a complaint with the relevant racing body (they’re all linked below). They have complaint procedures in place to deal with it.

Minimum bet limits apply to fixed-odds bets only.

Quick guide: thoroughbreds by state (win only)
State Metro racing Non metro racing Start time
Victoria $2000 $1000 Final fields published
New South Wales $2000 $1000 9am / 2pm race day
ACT $1000 * $1000 9am raceday
Tasmania $1000 $1000 9am / 2pm raceday
Queensland $2000 $1000 Final fields published
South Australia $2000 $1000 9am / 2pm race day
Western Australia $2000 $1000 9am / 2pm race day

* $2000 limit for Black Opal Stakes meeting

Victoria

Thoroughbreds
$2,000 (win) / $800 (place) on metro racing
$1,000 (win) / $400 (place) on non-metro racing
From the time final betting fields are published

Greyhounds
$2,000 (win) / $1,000 (place) on Group 1 meetings
$1,000 (win) / $500 (place) on metro racing
$500 (win) / $250 (place) on non-metro racing
From two hours prior to the scheduled start time of the first race of the meeting

Harness
$1,000 (win only) on metro racing
$500 (win only) on non-metro racing
From one hour prior to the scheduled start time of the first race of the meeting

New South Wales

Thoroughbreds
$2,000 (win) / $800 (place) on metro racing
$1,000 (win) / $400 (place) on non-metro racing
From 9am (day meetings) or 2pm (night meetings) on race day

Greyhounds
$2,000 (win) / $1,000 (place) on Group 1 racing
$750 (win) / $375 (place) on metro racing
$500 (win) / $250 (place) non-metro racing
From two hours prior to the first race of the meeting
Obligations vary based on bookmaker. See here for more info.

Harness
$2,000 (win) on platinum meetings
$1,000 (win) on metro racing
$500 (win) on non-metro racing
From 10am on race day

ACT

Thoroughbreds
$2,000 (win) / $800 (place) on Black Opal Stakes meeting
$1,000 (win) / $400 (place) on other meetings
From 9am on race day

Harness
No MBLs

Tasmania

Thoroughbreds
$1,000 (win) / $400 (place) on all racing
From 9am (day meetings) or 2pm (meetings starting after 5pm) on race day

Harness
No MBLs

Queensland

Thoroughbreds
$2,000 (win) / $800 (place) on metro racing
$1,000 (win) / $400 (place) non-metro racing
From the time final betting fields are published

Greyhounds
$500 (win) / $200 (place) on all racing
From the time final betting fields are published

Harness
$500 (win) / $200 (place) on all racing
From the time final betting fields are published

South Australia

Thoroughbreds
$2,000 (win) / $800 (place) on metro racing
$1,000 (win) / $400 (place) on non-metro racing
From 9am (day meetings) or 2pm (night meetings) on race day

Greyhounds
No MBLs

Harness
No MBLs

Western Australia

Thoroughbreds
$2,000 (win) / $800 (place) on metro racing
$1,000 (win) / $400 (place) on non-metro racing
From 9am (day meetings) or 2pm (night meetings) on race day

Greyhounds
$750 (win only) on metro racing
$500 (win only) on non-metro racing
From 9am (day meetings) or 2pm (night meetings) on race day

Harness
$1,000 (win only) on metro racing
$500 (win only) on non-metro racing
From 9am (day meetings) or 2pm (night meetings) on race day

Sport

Unfortunately, progress on sports betting has been extremely limited (pardon the pun). With sports other than racing not traditionally linked with betting, it’s been a much lower-profile issue, and perhaps not an issue that any particular body sees as it’s responsibility to deal with.

When it comes to racing, the state racing bodies have an interest in maximising betting on their products. That’s not so much the case with sporting bodies.

One potential source of progress could be government. Federal and state governments are very concerned with any drift of online betting to overseas bookmakers who aren’t licensed in Australia. Betting with overseas operators cannot be monitored effectively, which leads to integrity concerns for sport. It also means no taxes are paid on the activity, which is always something that gets government attention!

In 2016 the Federal Government commissioned a review into the Interactive Gambling Act, largely with the aim of forcing punters to bet with Australian-licensed operators. This review was chaired by former Premier of New South Wales Barry O’Farrell. Logic dictates that punters will go to offshore bookmakers if they’re banned from betting locally, so one of the recommendations of the review was to further investigate the impact of betting restrictions on offshore betting activity.

The Australian Gambling Research Centre undertook this research project in 2019. The Federal Government has not acted upon the report as yet. The battle continues…

Punt like a pro with Trevor Lawson’s Melbourne Ratings.

As well as a full set of rated prices, speed maps and suggested bets, you can spend each and every raceday with a pro punter: the Melbourne Ratings Live Page gives you direct access to Trev himself to ask whatever you like.

If you're keen to win, it’s the only way to punt.

Autumn Racing Carnival: The 5 most exciting races


The Autumn Racing Carnival is here! We’re in for a bumper few months of racing with all of the superstars…Read More

Hobartville Stakes full preview and betting strategy: What price Anamoe?


The Hobartville Stakes is a Group 2 race for three-year-olds, held at Rosehill Racecourse in February and worth $400,000. The…Read More

Black Caviar Lightning: Pro punter preview, top pick and lay


The Black Caviar Lightning (or the Lightning Stakes) is a Group 1 weight-for-age sprint race over 1000 metres down the…Read More