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    Meet our author
    Betting expert Elizabeth Winnie

    Through a ranking system and serious and consolidated standards, we make a point of evaluating the best authorized betting sites in Australia. This information will not only allow you to have access to the best bonuses, but also to the best conditions to make the best sports bets online.

    Updated: 2024-04-10

    What is On-Course bookmaker?

    While it is true that much of the attention towards horse racing and sports betting has shifted towards the online sector, there is still a very strong body of organizations and consumers who prefer to attend the races in person and enjoy a leisurely day betting on the ponies. This is precisely what on-course bookmakers are. These establishments are basically located within racecourses and are there to accept your bets on any horse race that may be taking place on site. In other words, you have an establishment that make sure that you not only come to enjoy the races, but also have a little something running on the outcome of each one.

    Such establishments have thrived in the 20th century and they are still enjoying a lot of attention. Local racing aficionados are often hard pressed to resist placing a wager on the outcome of a race, and having the convenience of a bookmaker that is placed bang in the middle of the racecourse, or at least where the spectator facilities are, is definitely one of the best ways to enjoy your passion for the sport. The best news is that after a slowdown in operations between 2020 and 2021, on-site bookmakers are actually making their worthwhile return and there are many on course bookmakers and facilities that are extremely happy to enjoy.

    These facilities are actually very helpful and they are centered around the idea that the customer is the king. There are many opportunities to attend and place a bet in-person while benefiting from some of the most prominent events out there. On course bookmakers are based at the locations of important horse-racing meet-ups, such as The Grand National or even the Melbourne Cup, and as you can imagine they have been running there for years with the sole purpose of bringing you the best possible experience.

    Well, the best Australian bookmakers will gladly run as on-course options and take your cash in order to provide you with a streamlined experience that is second to none. Depending on where you are, there are many on-course bookmakers specifics that you would probably want to find out about.

    Do on-course bookies still take cash?

    Yes, on-course bookies do take cash – in fact, this is the preferred payment option. Let’s explain why, starting with the available payment options and what makes horse racing fans pick one payment option over another. If you are new to on-course bookies, you will surely have a few questions. Just like regular betting shops, there are some things to observe, and the process of placing a bet is one of those. But beyond that, you may also be interested in the type of payment option available to you as a customer. This simply means that you may have a number of payment options available to you.

    In fact, people who go to watch horse racing in-person tend to be very specific about the way they place their bets, and the majority of them chooses to stick to cash options only. This is not to say that such horse racing fans do not love betting with credit or debit cards, but they just have a specific preference for cash when placing a bet.

    The on-site bookmakers are all aligned in a way that allows you to enjoy a quick flutter even if you are betting in cash, which is precisely why people tend to choose cash as a viable option. In fact, some of the biggest horse racing meet ups out there talk about 97% cash acceptance. Credit cards do seem to make up for the rest, but the majority of people just goes the full Monty on cash and this is okay.

    But why is this so? Well, there are many reasons. The key one is that people are just used to the on-course bookie etiquette, which is not obligatory, but people keep sticking with it. Based on that etiquette you go up to a cash teller and pick your bets. Now, there are some customers and horse racing fans who are naturally choosing other options, because carrying wads of cash is no longer viable or recommended. While the big majority still sticks with cash payments, there is a perceptible change.

    Do on-course bookmakers take card?

    Depending on where you are, there may be some slight differences to the way on-course bookies run their businesses. However, their language across different jurisdiction seems to be almost universal which means that there is little to surprise you when it comes to things such as accepting cash or taking a card instead. Whether you are betting on the Melbourne Cup or the Grand National, both payment options are readily welcome as long as you can muster the funds to back your horse and wager.

    The Racecourse Association in the United Kingdom, where the Grand National is held, explicitly says that pool Australian trusted betting sites and on-course bookies will gladly accept your card payments. While it’s true that it has held the king in terms of a preferred payment option, the pandemic has made things just a bit different. In other words, more people are turning to try new opportunities and looking for more “sanitary” options to place a bet.

    So, cards are definitely coming in quite handy. Bookies are also prepared to meet demand as every teller can also work a POS terminal which is a great addition for any customer who wishes to place a quick one and that is precisely what is happening here. Cards are definitely picking up when it comes to on-course betting and you can expect the percentage of people choosing to go “cashless” in a sense increase over the coming years. This brings us to the next question, are all cards accepted?

    Do on-course bookmakers take debit cards?

    Yes, debit cards are an accepted form of payment at on-course bookies. You can expect to find a whole lot of options, including debit cards. Debit card payments are an acceptable option at on-course bookmakers and they make for a quick payment solution that will work for you and enable you to quickly place the deposit you wish to. Many people prefer debit cards in order to facilitate payment.

    For example, if you go to an on-course bookmaker, there is hardly any need to bring cash if you don’t want to. Your debit card will do, and bookies have made sure that over the years, their offer is accessible to all sorts of customers. As they say, the customer is the king and how they deposit or make bets is entirely down to them. In many ways, on-course bookies remind you of online betting where you have numerous ways to make a deposit or claim your winnings.

    For the bookies’ part, all they want to do is ensure that the people who actually come to bet are always accommodated and have an accessible way to do so. Each bookie that is based on a racecourse has something called a betting ring – this is where you have all the cashiers waiting for you to place your wager. You have TV screens all over the place, so realistically, you do not have to go and sit outside or use a binocular to try to guess who has won.

    Many of the people who bet on the ponies actively will actually hand back at the betting ring because they want to be able to place wagers quickly and then focus on analyzing the next race – or simply enjoying the show as it were. So, debit cards are definitely handy. You pick a horse number, you quickly tell the cashier what’s happening, and they register it quickly.

    Debit cards are a fantastic and accepted way to place your wagers. Just let the cashiers in the betting ring know that you are interested and that you want to make the payments quickly with the debit card. However, if you are looking at split seconds before a race starts, make sure to factor in the delay in processing the debit card payment as opposed to cash. It’s much simpler to do things with cash if you are running short on time for sure.

    Cash versus Cashless on-course bookmakers: which will prevail?

    In light of what we have learned about on-course bookmakers so far, it’s definitely worth asking ourselves, which of the two methods will prevail. The truth is that cash is king and there is no disputing this. The facts point out that people still prefer to bring cash to racecourses and use the ATMs on-site in order to withdraw extra funds if they need to.

    It’s just the way it but there has been some tangible shift in public attitudes and preferences. Put this way , there are many reasons why people are considering turning more to debit cards and card payments in general. As explained before, having the opportunity to enjoy yourself a quick payment option is definitely true. So, what this means is that in future, we are very likely to witness more of your fellow punters bet in a mixed fashion. Some will still lean in on cash heavily, but others will stick to debit cards even if it costs them some expediency.

    Why do people go and pay at on-course bookmakers?

    Reading all of this, you may wonder one question – why do people make the effort to go to on-course bookies instead of turning to new online bookmakers 2024 instead? There are many reasons why this may be the case. Well, one strong motivation here is tradition. There were on-course bookmakers long before any online betting site tried to take business from them. Even though people do agree that online betting does give them a certain level of comfort that is not all.

    People are social creatures and horseracing is even more social as such. The sport is venerated in many countries around the world and people are keen and looking forward to big racing meet-ups such as The Melbourne Cup, the Grand National or the Triple Crown Races. The Triple Crown features the Preakness Stakes, Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes and they are all very worthwhile. You will have no trouble whatsoever enjoying this experience and calling it your own to begin with.

    So, instead of staying cooped up, people just prefer to go out and meet others. The Melbourne Cup alone is the equivalent of a National Holiday with the cup habitually attended by as many as 80,000 to 98,000 people. This is a lot of horse racing fans to turn up live and watch the event in-person. Of course, this is not to say that they are all betting on the sport, but as you can imagine, horse racing does have its strong pull over fans and for better or for worse, people will keep coming to the bookies, entering the betting ring, and placing wagers with a mix of trusted payment options.

    On-course bookmakers summary: what we learned

    There are things to definitely enjoy when visiting an on-course betting shop. For starters, you have a variety of methods to use in order to place your wager. Whether you use a cash payment or a debit or bank card, this is down to you. The good news is that you will be welcomed to do so in order to provide you with the single-most satisfying experience available to you. Horse racing fans are definitely appreciative of the opportunity to feel the racing action on-site instead of remotely through an online betting shop, for example.

    While both options exist, on-course bookmakers still seem to hold fascination over fans from all over the world and this is precisely what matters. Whether you are based in Australia, the United Kingdom, or the United States, you will see a huge number of people – both new and old to horse racing and betting – flock to the on-course facilities and their betting shops. It’s just what people do.