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Melbourne Cup freebets

As this page is about an Australian event – the Melbourne Cup – we will focus on the situation and laws in this country. For starters Australia has one of the most robust regulated sport and racing betting industries in the world. Many of the world’s biggest players in bookmaking like William Hill and Paddy Power have firm footholds in the billion dollar industry.

Australians love to gamble and there is plenty of competition among the corporates to secure us as customers – particularly around Melbourne Cup time. The sign-up bonus has been eliminated in most states (keep reading – we’ll explain how to get around this below), while the ‘no deposit bonus’ where the bettor got money without even depositing was banned a few years back.

Now bookies shower you with “bonus bet” offers once you have become a member, they do this via advertising campaigns and simple emails. These bonus bets are distributed in various ways which we’ll explain below.

The Melbourne Cup is the biggest single betting event in Australia and is called “the race that stops a nation” to the point of that saying becoming annoying.

This page will act as a simple guide to making the most of your Melbourne Cup betting experience. This table shows the bookmakers offering betting on the Melbourne Cup and whether you are eligible to sign-up at the bookie from your country.

What exactly is a freebet?

It has changed like we mentioned above but the 2015 version of the freebet will be one of two things.

Sign-up bonus: People in states that are allowed to receive the traditional welcome package will be able to make a deposit, up to a certain amount and then the bookie will mach it dollar for dollar with bonus bets, or in some cases give you even more.

Bonus offers: Existing members will receive an offer from their bookie. These usually appear around a certain event such as the Melbourne Cup. For instance the bookie might offer you a $200 freebet, which in essence means you can deposit up to $200 and receive a bonus bet of the same amount.

How to get freebets on the Melbourne Cup

If you’re in Australia and want to get freebets on the Melbourne Cup there are a few things you need to consider. Mainly if you live in a state that has outlawed the sign-up bonus. This means the bookies cannot offer this type of bonus to residents of NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

For those of us who are lucky enough to be able to claim the welcome packages (Tasmania, Queensland, ACT and the Northern Territory) it is a relatively simple process. To claim a freebet you visit a bookmaker in the table above and sign-up. Make your first deposit and claim the bonus offer. If you want more details about each freebet you can read about them in the reviews, also accessible from the table.

The other option takes a bit more preparation and involves you signing up at two or three bookies with good reputations and seeing what they offer their customers during the Spring. What bookies traditionally have good Melbourne Cup betting we’ll cover next.

Best Aussie bookies for Melbourne Cup betting bonuses

For many Australians the Melbourne Cup could be the one time of the year they have a bet. While it’s a tough gig picking the winner of the 24 horse race you can certainly get value for the money you put down. Leading bookmakers in Australia offer a stack of variety during the Melbourne Cup Carnival including bigger sign-on bonuses and cash back offers which might work something like if your win bet finishes a place you get your money back. They will also offer you match bet offers and a plenty of other things they dream up for th big week.

Best licensed AUD bookies:

1 – Crownbet – No.1 bookie for racing and sports bonuses.

2 – William Hill – Global coverage, big bonuses, leading brand.

3 – Sportsbet – Australian founded, bought out by Paddy Power, known for great customer service.

4 – Bet 365 – Global giants, good odds, loves the big events.

5 – Luxbet – Australian bookie backed by TAB – lifts during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

How to get freebets internationally on the Melbourne Cup?

The table above has detected where you are located and tells you whether you are allowed to sign-up at that specific bookmaker. All the bookies have betting on Australian racing but remember not all are licensed in Australia. CupsBetting recommends using an Aussie bookie if you are in Australia.

Freebets will work much the same wherever you are in the world. We have the done the leg work for you and found the best bookies with Melbourne Cup betting allowing people from your country. While you can see this information in the above table here are a few of the countries who have shown a big interest in the Cup in previous years.

Melbourne Cup bookies by country

China: Bodog88

England: William Hill, Bet365

New Zealand: Crownbet, William Hill, Sportsbet, Bet365

USA: BetOnline

What are wagering requirements?

This is what the punter must do before they withdraw their winnings. It is generally bet the money once or twice and then you are allowed to withdraw it. Be aware there are several other caveats usually attached to this type of freebet. We took the following extract from a standard bonus agreement provided by Crownbet. It is just two paragraphs of a long document but it best sums up what the punter must do to withdraw a bonus bet.


As you can see you also don’t get your stake back with most freebets offers and sometimes there is also a restriction on what type of bet you can place. For instance you may not be able to put two separate freebets on the same event, or you may not be able to bet on a certain event or race.

Are freebets worth your time?

Yes they are, as long as you realise there are certain restrictions on freebets and this varies wildly from place to place. Treat them for what they are, a free hit at making money. Don’t be bitter that the initial stake is taken from you. You are still coming out ahead.

If you are looking to bet a large amount or have a really good thing in the Cup you are probably better off betting your own money. Look at freebets as the opportunity to find the next Green Moon and have a sizeable punt on it without having to desecrate your bankroll.

Freebets winners stories

Cupsbetting has heard some outrageously lucky freebets stories over the years. Including one from one of our own writers, who won a staggering $15,000 from a freebet on a Melbourne Cup a few years back. Over time we hope to build out this section with great stories about the feats of punters, who really did get one back on the big bookies.

Please comment and tell us any big wins you have celebrated and we will add them into the body of the story. You can also email as anonymously at

Other useful articles

Bookmaker deposit options: Guide to everything you need to know about depositing at online bookies.

Melbourne Cup betting: The no.1 guide to the 2015 Melbourne Cup.

Horse racing bet types: All the different bets you can place on horse racing and links to other useful horse betting resources.

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