Changes to NSW bonus bet regulations

Update 2019: In 2018, the New South Wales government banned the advertising of all betting inducements to NSW residents. The change in legislation effectively means that NSW punters can no longer benefit from the following promotions offered by licensed Australian betting operators:

  • New account bonuses
  • Cash back or money back refunds
  • Refer a friend bonuses
  • In-play betting refunds


The NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) has made an amendment to clause 12(1) (h) of the Racing Administration Regulation 2012, that effectively bans the advertising of any form of gambling inducements. Previously, various types of bonus bet offers were available to NSW residents. In March 2019, some betting sites were advised that they are able to provide and advertise odds boosts to customers.

Sign up bonuses are affected

The amendment means that free bets offered to new customers that register a new account, are no longer available to NSW residents. Victorian residents remain unaffected by the NSW regulatory change and are still able to benefit from bonus bets offered by bookmakers that are not an inducement to open a new account.

Presentation of bonus bets offers

Australian bookmakers have been forced to change the presentation of their bonus bet specials as a result of the change. They are still offering bonus bet offers to members from other Australian states. However, at the end of each promotion, they publish either: “Offer not available to NSW residents”, or “Excludes NSW”.

The following betting promotions are no longer available to NSW patrons

Bonus bet specials

Bookmakers will no longer be able to offer NSW customers a bonus bet, for betting on a certain event, or as the result of an outcome of a certain event.

Money back specials

Betting agencies typically offer a cash refund, or money back refund if their bet loses but their bet qualifies for some type of voucher. For example, Sportsbet often publishes ‘Money back if you finish 2nd or 3rd” in select horse races. These offers will no longer be available to NSW members.

Refer a friend bonus

Bookmakers that offer refer a friend bonus will no longer be able to offer this financial reward to NSW customers.

So how can NSW punters extract value from their bookmaker?

As a result of the change in legislation, the landscape has changed considerably. For NSW residents, it’s back to the old days where astute punting and securing the best odds are paramount to success. We recommend looking for bookmakers that consistently offer the best odds. If you’re betting on horse racing events, look for a bookmaker like Ladbrokes, Bookmaker.com.au or Palmerbet that offers ‘Best of the Best’ betting. Our bookmaker reviews tell you various different bet types offered by each bookmaker.

In summary

The change for New South Wales punters that take advantage of bonus bet offers is significant. However, customers that do not regularly take advantage of these offers will be largely unaffected. If you are ever in doubt, our site always lists any states that are excluded from both free bet and any bonus bet specials.

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