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

What does it 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).

If you think the minimum bet limits below have been violated by a wagering operator, follow up with them. If you’re not satisfied with their answer, follow it up 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.

Victoria

Thoroughbreds

$2,000 (win) / $800 (place) on metro racing

$1,000 (win) / $400 (place) non-metro racing.

From 9am (day meetings) or 2pm (twilight or night meetings) on race day.

Greyhounds

$750 (win only) on metro racing

$500 (win only) 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

$1,000 (win) / $400 (place) non-metro racing.

From 9am (day meetings) or 2pm (twilight or night meetings) on race day.

Greyhounds

No MBLs

Harness

No MBLs

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.

Greyhounds

No MBLs

Harness

No MBLs

Tasmania

Thoroughbreds

$1,000 (win only) on all racing

From 9am (day meetings) or 2pm (twilight or night meetings) on race day.

Greyhounds

No MBLs

Harness

No MBLs

Queensland

Thoroughbreds

$2,000 (win) / $800 (place) on metro racing

$1,000 (win) / $400 (place) non-metro racing.

From 9am (day meetings) or 2pm (twilight or night meetings) on race day.

Greyhounds

$500 (win only) on all racing

From two hours prior to the scheduled start time of the first race of the meeting

Harness

$500 (win only) on all racing

From one hour prior to the scheduled start time of the first race of the meeting

South Australia

Thoroughbreds

$2,000 (win) / $800 (place) on metro racing

$1,000 (win) / $400 (place) non-metro racing.

From 9am (day meetings) or 2pm (twilight or night meetings) on race day.

Greyhounds

No MBLs

Harness

No MBLs

Western Australia

Thoroughbreds

No MBLs

Greyhounds

No MBLs

Harness

No MBLs

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 Barry O’Farrell, former Premier of New South Wales and now the largely invisible CEO of Racing Australia. 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 earlier this year. The subsequent report to the Federal Government has not been acted upon as yet. The battle continues…