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 and regulated sport and racing betting industries in the world.
Many of the world’s biggest players in bookmaking, like William Hill, Paddy Power and The Stars Group, 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 outlawed in most states, so in this guide, we will explain whether you’re eligible for the special and the new legalities and opportunities surrounding signing up at a new online bookmaker.
The Melbourne Cup is the biggest single betting event in Australia and is called “the race that stops a nation” — it has also become the phrase that frustrates a nation that is sick of hearing it.
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.
Best bookmakers for Melbourne Cup betting bonuses
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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.
What exactly is a free bet?
The definition of a ‘free bet’ has changed over the last few years in Australia and can mean different things to different Australians, depending on where you live and the legislation in place within those states and territories.
Here is a guide on what you can expect to see from bookmakers in the lead up to the Melbourne Cup:
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 can match your first deposit with ‘bonus bets’, or in some cases give you even more. Bonus bet cash can not be directly withdrawn and have terms and conditions surrounding its use.
Bonus offers: Existing members can 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 $50 in bonus bets for correctly betting on a certain result in a race or sporting event.
How to get free bets on the Melbourne Cup
If you’re in Australia and want to get free bets 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, it is a relatively simple process. Make your first deposit and claim the bonus offer. If you want more details about each free bet, you can read about them in our bookmaker reviews, also accessible from the table above.
How do I get free bets 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.com recommends using an Aussie bookie if you are in Australia.
Free bets 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. Tap on the links below to see what’s on offer.
What are wagering requirements?
This is what the punter must do before they can withdraw their winnings.
Generally, if you have received bonus bet money, you will have to bet that money through once or twice (please read the terms and conditions at each bookmaker before making your plans) before being allowed to withdraw it. Be aware there are several other caveats usually attached to this type of free bet.
You don’t get your stake back with most free bets 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 free bets on the same event, or you may not be able to bet on a certain event or race. Some offers also come with expiry dates (e.g. must be used within seven days).
Are free bets worth your time?
Yes they are, as long as you realise there are certain restrictions on free bets 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.
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 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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