PointsBet offers one major difference in comparison to other Australian online bookmakers.
As of late October 2018, they are the only bookie that offers spread betting.
Spread betting offers greater reward, which implies greater risk. For example, with most bookies, the payout received from a correct line bet pays the same, regardless of the margin of victory. A spread bet, on the other hand, would pay more if the win selection covered a three-point spread by more and the payout increases as the margin increases.
The risk comes in for a losing bet. If you made a selection for a bet to cover a three-point spread and instead, the opposite outcome happened, your loss would increase exponentially as the failure to cover increased.
To summarise in a phrase, spread betting is not for the faint of heart.
PointsBet does offer punters a safety valve, permitting them to set a maximum win and loss amount.
Spread betting is the same game day traders play with stocks and other financial instruments.
PointsBet does not mandate spread betting. Punters can also take the conventional route offered by the other bookmakers.
Our recent visit to the PointsBet website revealed an ominous dark grey and black colour scheme with sharply contrasting white text. They also have one of those scrolling graphic banners, like several other bookmakers, that is eliminated once you get away from the landing page at pointsbet.com.
Access to the sports and racing markets is via a hamburger icon in the top-left corner of the landing page. Once inside, we were taken quite efficiently, with two clicks, to a page for the Cox Plate. Another click took us to the markets for the race.
We found PointsBet offering $1.25 on Winx, compared to the $1.22 Ladbrokes was offering. We would not conclude that PointsBet’s odds are always superior, and three cents is hardly a windfall, but the difference does point out the entertainment value of shopping odds before putting a punt on. By the way, PointsBet was offering $1.02 for a place bet, compared to $1.04 on Ladbrokes.
PointsBet offers an adequate amount of conventional betting markets, but they also offer markets not usually found with the other bookmakers, some of them quite exotic.
The website can be accessed on small screens with a mobile version and PointsBet has apps for Android and Apple that closely mimic the website, while be modified to accommodate smaller screens.
It may require some time to gain familiarity with the PointsBet system. Selecting a price opens the bet slip in the centre of the screen. When a selection is made, a blue icon labelled Bet Slip appears in the bottom-right corner and can then be expanded to fill the right side of the screen, similar to the bet slips on other bookmakers.
They accept Visa and MasterCard, along with POLI for deposits. As best we could determine, withdrawals are by bank wire only.
Our conclusion is that PointsBet is a viable option as a stand-alone or adjunct bookmaker. Our perception of the website and mobile apps are merely our opinions.
We personally have some experience with the risks of engaging in speculative investing on financial instruments, but we would steer clear of spread betting on sports; again, our opinion only.