TopSport Review

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TopSport Review

Chris Owen
By:Chris Owen

TopSport is the registered trading name of Merlehan Bookmaking Pty Ltd, a 100% Australian owned bookmaker. The directors are Lloyd and Tristan Merlehan, a father and son team with over 50 years of combined bookmaking experience. As a NSW based bookmaker, TopSport is licensed by the Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission and regulated by Liquor & Gaming NSW.

TopSport Australia is a 24/7 operation and online (both web and App) utilises Version 7.1 Interactive Betting System from Wollongong-based GenerationWeb. 

TopSport pride themselves on their reputation as Australia's fairest and friendliest bookmaker and always act in good faith when dealing with their members. TopSport offer low-margin and promotional products to all of their members without discriminating on the basis of their success or profitability. All telephone conversations are recorded in a government approved voice logging system and all internet wagers can be scrutinised (in real-time) by Liquor & Gaming NSW.

The TopSport website has to be the most visually busy site I have come across, yet is still easy to understand, there is so much information presented. TopSport thankfully provide both Android and Apple Apps, which although having a smaller mobile screen interface still provide all of the function of the website, to which they should be congratulated. Anyone with a mobile phone who does not have the relevant Android or Apple App downloaded can even access the TopSport mobile website.  

TopSport cover the domestic market for all Thoroughbred, Harness and Greyhound racing, plus an extensive coverage of international events. Although not the subject of this review, TopSport also offer 25 different sports markets (plus Entertainment, Esports and Politics!) both domestic and international. Bets can be placed online or via telephone.

  • 100% Owned Australian Bookmaker with over 50 years combined racing experience
  • User friendly, uncomplicated full function website, Android and Apple Apps
  • Total focus on customer (ie member)
  • Run a blog, active on Twitter, presence on Facebook and Instagram
  • Extensive support with Live Chat, FAQs and Help & Information pages
  • The Racing (sub)blog is not extensively used. At time of writing, last entry was 2+ months
  • No Live TV
  • There are some website links that break in the General Terms & Conditions webpage
  • No ability to sort runner by Place Odds

TopSport Quick Stats

Website: Founded: 1990 (at racetrack), early 2000s (online)
Phone: 1800 867 7768   (1800 TOPSPORT)Live Betting: Yes
Live Chat: YesEmail: [email protected]
Deposit Methods: VISA, POLi, EFT, Branch Cheque/Money Order/Cash Deposits, Mastercard, PaySafe & BPay  Withdrawal Methods: Bank EFT & Credit Card (at TopSport discretion)
App: Android and Apple Licence & Regulation: Licensed in NSW by the Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission and regulated by Liquor & Gaming NSW
Addresses: PO Box 455 Miami, QLD 4220Directors: Lloyd and Tristan Merlehan
Features: High function and navigable website and Apps, fast and solid, extensive help, Q&A and support information, multiple race markets

Sponsorship deals:  

TopSport Review

The TopSport website homepage must have the most content of any online bookmaker. The TopSport betting website developers have programmed so much information to navigate completely around the website. 

The homepage opens with the typical 3 panels, in the left 1/6th being the Highlights (or navigation) panel, the middle 2/3rd being where the list of races or specific race details are presented and the final right 1/6th is where the Upcoming Matches are visible. If you build a bet from this homepage, the Upcoming Matches information slips down and a Bet Slip is created at the top of this right panel.

Along the top of the homepage are the 10 Up and Coming races, pan right for the 3 races that are off-screen, which can be left as All (see the stop watch, extreme top left) or modified, via the next 3 icons, to focus on Thoroughbred, Harness or Greyhound races only.

Next near the top are the 6 options:

  • RACING – one of the best options for the racing only member
  • SPORTS – all the Up and Coming Sports events of the day
  • IN-PLAY - Sports events that are currently in-play
  • PROMOTIONS – content only visible if logged on
  • BLOG – opens a new browser window to view the TopSport blog which has a Racing News section whose last entry was over 2 months ago, at time of writing.
  • CONTACT – an extensive list including Live Chat, Phone numbers, email & mail details and Other Social Media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The left Highlights Panel is very long and is not fully displayable in one viewing, you need to page down. Here is a list of the options once paged down past the last entry visible above (Player Bets)

There is a Tab for RACING (which is the default) and SPORT (which lists all the 25 or more Sports on offer).

With RACING selected there is a list of the next 5 race events (default is All, but you can hone in on Thoroughbred, Harness or Greyhound.

If available, there are select racetracks where you can bet on a Jockey Challenge (the most successful jockey at the racetrack on a 3-2-1 points per race system), Greyhound events where you can bet on a Box Challenge (again on a 3-2-1 points system based on a Dogs box number from which it jumps in the race) and any Thoroughbred Specials that TopSports may decide to offer.

You can take a look at what TopSport consider Up and Coming Feature Races.

In the impressive Racing Results you can review results since 1 Jan 2011 of all 3 race types.

Lastly what I have yet not covered are all the race related options. Assuming today is Wednesday, you can select Today, Tomorrow, Friday or Saturday racing. Additionally, you can select and therefore focus on Thoroughbreds, Harness or Greyhounds. 

Any of these options mentioned navigates to a similar looking screen (see above) where you can still select another day or another race type. 

This is the best panel to navigate to specific races at different racetracks on the same day. So, if you are going to spend a few hours or all day at the races, this is the webpage to base yourself.

One constant that hovers at the bottom right-hand corner of any page , which is really useful, is the ability to start a Live Chat. 

To go along with the complete list of races, there are a row of buttons at the bottom of the panel that help understand the latest situation of any race as follows:

So, you can see what races are coming up and whether payouts have occurred.

Finally, it is worth being aware that fixed at the bottom of every webpage is the following design where you can quickly navigate to a variety of webpages:

All links are important but worth remembering is a link About Us telling the history of TopSport, All the TopSport Contact Us details, all the Betting Products on offer and useful FAQs.

The TopSport website is an information packed site. If racing is your focus then this bookmaker is worth adding to your portfolio with Today’s Racing webpage, being the best place select your races of interest at any moment in time.

TopSport Score

🐴Betting Markets 9/10
TopSport provide virtually all the important race betting markets you would want including Same Race Multi, a whole range of exotics and a range of niche offerings like Jockey Challenges and even Favourite v Field. I did not see any race offering an Odds v Evens. The TopSport website has undertaken significant development with the punter in mind and is worthy of usage for online race betting.

💳Banking Options 8/10
TopSport offer multiple deposit methods (VISA, Mastercard, POLi, BPay, etc), even cash and cheque are accepted deposit methods. At TopSport’s discretion, funds deposited by credit card may be withdrawn back to credit card otherwise a withdrawal will be via EFT Withdrawal.

📱Mobile Experience - 9/10
The TopSport mobile experience is excellent, responsive and intuitive. Race enthusiasts will easily be able to navigate around the TopSport App quickly. Whatever your focus, racetrack, win or exotics etc. you can easily navigate to wherever you want.

💸​Withdraw Speed - 8/10
TopSport withdrawal via Bank EFT should take place quickly although not as quickly as Osko, but nevertheless 1-2 days should be expected. 

🧩Overall User Experience - 9/10
The TopSport website and App have such a lot to offer and I am fond of using them both. The added bonus is that the website and App follow a common design philosophy which allows for a consistent look and feel.

🔒Security - 10/10
TopSport is fully licenced by the Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission and regulated by Liquor and Gaming NSW. TopSport is even a member of the NSW Bookmakers' Co-Operative, an association that formally guarantees payment of all winning bets placed with their members. TopSport even maintains an off-site hosting facility for secure and continuous recording and retrieval of data connected with Customer transactions. All telephone conversations are recorded on a government approved voice logging system for the security of both their clients and themselves. So, you should have the peace of mind and enjoy the races.

TopSport Racing

TopSport is a well-known player in bookmaking with an experienced father & son heading up the business. In my experience and bookmaker comparisons, TopSport offer comparative fixed bet odds for Australian racing. As I have said before it is all about the timing of the bet but I have seen odds close to race time that are comparable (and better) than their competitors.

It is hard to know the number of users of the TopSport Apps. Android users need to follow the instructions on the TopSport website as it is in the “process of staging to the Google Play Store” whereas on Apple App Store there is a rating of 3.4 out of 5 with over 90 user comments. Of the 10 viewable comments 5 gave 5 stars and 4 gave 1 star, so somewhat polarizing feedback. However an updated version of the Apple App was released in November 2022 which should nullify older comments.

Taking Win & Place Odds for granted, TopSport also offer an extensive range of options including the Best Tote option, which guarantees the best dividend from all the VIC/NSW/QLD Totes plus the Starting Price as another way of ensuring clients remain loyal.

TopSport offer competitive fixed odds for every thoroughbred, greyhound, and harness racing meeting in Australia and New Zealand, as well as odds for overseas races in so many countries including (looking at prior day, today, tomorrow races plus website comments) France, USA, UAE, South Africa, Sweden, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Ireland, the United Kingdom, plus others.

You should receive Best Tote + SP win odds for all Australian races.

Once you select RACING from top of the homepage, the HIGHLIGHTS panel remains unchanged, but the rest of the screen displays all the racing (Thoroughbreds, Harness and Greyhounds) for TODAY.

From this RACING panel you can further select just Thoroughbreds (Harness or Greyhounds) by selecting one of these runner icons, 
plus, if you want to view races (or results) other than  TODAY  (a Sunday in this example) selecting one of these icons will choose a different set of races: 

As stated earlier, The Results panel is interesting in that it immediately shows the results of the current day’s races. But you can change the date and I was able to go back to 1 Jan 2011.

Now some interesting features I found:

  • On the RACING panel, every race event either shows the numbers of the 1st four finishers or the hrs/mins till the race starts
  • For any race there are 3 icons after the last runner listed offering the options to sort the runners by Runner Number, Runner Name and (Odds) Dividend.
  • When you select the Runner Number, Runner Name or Dividend each of the Odds may show a red or green background indicating the last movement of the odds (red-increasing or green-decreasing
  • If any of the Odds change (Fixed Win, Fixed Place, Tote etc) they are also briefly (maybe 5 seconds) colour-coded red for increasing odds and green if the odds lower (These colours took getting used to as green is not good news (for me) in that any winnings would be a reduced amount).  
  • The minimum bet limit appears to be 1 cent for internet ($10 for telephone) transactions.
  • Against a runner there is sometimes a MOVER or DRIFTER icon to show betting movement.
  • For most domestic races, there is a Race Rundown and a tip From The Mail.

If tipping is something you like to have access, in preparing for your race day, it is also worth reviewing our website

TopSport Mobile App

The TopSport mobile App (Apple) debuted in 2018, so it is now a well-established App. 

The homepage (whether logged-in or not) is always the Racing Tab, but Sport and Promos can be selected if you are not interested in Racing (why not ?!)

 Once logged-in, the logo,  Login  and  Join   buttons at the top of the screen are replaced by detailed, account-related, information including: 

  • Icon to access your Account Information
  • Icon to make a Deposit & Withdrawals
  • Dollar values, ie Balance, Pending Bets etc.

Along the bottom of the screen are self-explanatory Racing, Sport, Login, Chat and Betslip options. Betslip always seems to have a blue background, no matter what you select.

On this Racing Tab you will see the next 3 Thoroughbred, next 3 Harness and next 3 Greyhound races.

To get into the detailed content of Racing you need to select bottom left Racing option. Where all today’s races will appear.

Below are three screenshots 

  1. After selecting Racing (I like the option of the globe to select International races.)
  2. After selecting a specific race (see prior race 1st 4 finishers and the times of next races.)
  3. After selecting further details on a runner and reviewing their career statistics.

TopSport Products & Features

Owner & Trainer Bonus

To support the racing industry, if you happen to be an officially registered owner or a trainer TopSport will accept a telephone bet, 30 minutes before the race, where you declare your interest in the runner for either Win or Each-Way bets only on the race in question, for which if you win, you will receive TopSport's 'Best of the Best Premium' dividend for the 'Win' portion of the bet, or for an Each-Way bet, you will receive the 'Best of 3 Totes (Place)' dividend for the place portion of the bet.

Top-Up Tokens

At the discretion of TopSport Management, each day selected customers receive Top-Up tokens which can be used where the Top-Up button appears on given betting leg within a betting slip. Once you log-in, the number of Top-Up Tokens you have been allocated is visible in your Account details.

24/7 Customer Service

Extensive TopSport customer service is offered, with 24 hours, 7 days a week Live Chat service over the internet, a direct telephone number 1800 TOPSPORT, email ([email protected]), mail (PO Box 455, Miami, QLD 4220) as well as Blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Social Media. 

Protest Payout

TopSport offers their Protest Payout feature, and will pay out if your horse is first and gets beaten in a protest. This is available only on Australian thoroughbred & harness meetings. This is a great feature as it covers all punters in the event of a protest, whether the original winner or the runner protesting.

Best Tote plus SP

TopSport offers their Best Tote plus SP prices on all Australian Thoroughbred markets. This product provides you with the best dividend between all three of the Australian Tote pools or the 'Official On-Course Starting Price (SP)' for the Win portion of a bet. Best Tote is a highly useful feature for punters as it guarantees you are getting the best tote odds possible at the time of the jump.

TopSport Betting Markets

TopSport offer a vast range of markets and features that makes it an exciting choice for horse race betting:

  • TopSport offers an extensive range of markets for Thoroughbred, Harness and Greyhound racing.
  • TopSport offers competitive fixed odds markets for both Australian and International horse races, with a minimum internet bet starting at $0.01.
  • TopSport has Exotic betting options such as Quinella, Exacta, Trifecta, First Four and Quadrella.
  • TopSport offer their Best Tote + SP betting option, a great way to guarantee the best tote prices available. 
  • TopSport offer Top Fluctuation which is the highest dividend forming part of the Official Price fluctuations as posted by the state where race is being run.
  • TopSport offer Best of 3 Totes, which offers the greater of the highest of the dividends declared by the 3 TABs.
  • TopSport offer Best of 2 Totes which offers the highest of the dividends declared by the Victorian TAB and the New South Wales tab.
  • TopSport offer Win & Place Tote +5%, the dividend declared by the Victorian TAB plus receive an extra sum equal to 5% of their profit.
  • For each-way wagers placed on the Middle Tote, the place portion of the wager will be paid out at the median dividend declared by the Victorian TAB, the New South Wales TAB and the Queensland TAB.
  • TopSport offer Multi-Leg Bets (also known as Accumulator or All-up) which is a combination of numerous single bets which multiply the individual odds creating the total dividend. TopSport accepts Multi Bets from 2‐10 legs.
  • TopSport offer Same Race Multis (SRMs) for all Australian thoroughbred races and select international meetings, which allow you to combine two or more runners in the same bet.
  • TopSport offer Favourite v Field in selected races.
  • Additionally, TopSport offer Jockey Challenges at selected racetracks for those willing to put faith in a rider.

The TopSport website and Apps offer extensive functionality and, in my opinion, they make a great bookmaker that is worth a consideration to add to your racing ambitions.

So, what’s missing, well, if I am being picky and wanting everything I could not find Odds v Evens and Outside v Inside markets to place bets.

TopSport FAQ

Who owns TopSport?

TopSport is one of Australia's few remaining wholly Australian-owned corporate bookmakers. TopSport's directors are father & son, Lloyd & Tristan Merlehan who have over 50 years' combined bookmaking experience. 

Is TopSport Legit?

In 1990 Lloyd Merlehan was the first on-course licensed bookmaker in Australia to offer patrons a sports betting service. Now TopSport is the registered trading name of Merlehan Bookmaking Pty Ltd (A.C.N 112 695 986). TopSport is licensed by Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission and regulated by Liquor & Gaming NSW to accept wagers via the Internet and the telephone 24 hours a day. So, yes, TopSport is a legitimate bookmaker. If you have the time, or are close by, TopSport are based at the Tweed River Jockey Club in the NSW Northern Rivers.

Is TopSport Good?

This is a difficult question to answer, those who are winners will likely say yes, losers maybe not so. What I can say is that this is not a bookmaker who will allow you full reign as soon as you join. You almost need to earn a certain amount of, let’s say, respect. For example, even though there is a policy to “not exclude or limit 'winning' punters”, and to use their “best endeavours to resolve the dispute in good faith”, there are a few things that niggle me:  

  1. If you use a credit or debit card to fund your account, TopSport may (at its sole discretion) elect to deposit the proceeds back to the credit or debit card initially used for the deposit.
  2. All deposited funds must be turned over at least once before they will be able to be withdrawn.
  3. Various website links do not work eg the “Wagering Rules” link at the top of the Betting Products webpage as well as the first 2 references in the General Terms & Conditions webpage – “Wagering Rules” and “Privacy Policy”. 
  4. In the Wagering Rules webpage there is point that basically states a member is deemed to be abusing TopSport Promotions when their total bets on promotional events (or markets), either in terms of turnover or number of bets placed, equals or exceeds the total bets on non-promotional events (or markets), where for non-promotional events and markets, only bets placed at a dividend of $1.80 or higher will be taken into consideration.
  5. This sentence is taken from the Wagering Rules webpage; “TopSport Customers will not be eligible to receive the benefit of Promotions or Promotional Products until such time as TopSport Management has deemed - at its sole and absolute discretion - that the TopSport Customer's wagering activity is both genuinely recreational and legitimate.”

Anyway, these are just my thoughts.

How Long Do TopSport Withdrawals Take?

TopSport offers just 1 option for withdrawals, which is Bank EFT.
However, as mentioned earlier, at TopSport’s sole discretion, any credit card deposit could see any withdrawal request be a funds return to that same credit card.
TopSport EFT withdrawals are actioned on the same day they are submitted and will be processed by bank transfer direct to the individual's bank account. Bank EFT withdrawals may take 1-2 business days to clear depending on the banks involved. 
Finally, clients will need to verify their account before withdrawing funds.

Does TopSport offer cash out?

TopSport does appear to have a ‘cash out’ facility to allow you to take a return prior to the events markets being resulted, but possible only in selected events. I could only find one mention of “Cash-Out” and this was in the Top-Up section of the Wagering Rules webpage.

How do you get TopSport bonus bets?

In Australia, there are stringent regulations governing online bookies regarding advertising bonus bets and other incentives. Because of this, TopSport cannot advertise any sign-up bonus bets to punters who do not already have an account.
To learn more about TopSport promotions and offers, visit their website (internal link to topsport) 
If you want to know more about Promotions and Bonus Bets it is also worth reviewing the Horse Racing Promotions and Bonuses section.

How do you sign-up for TopSport?

Registration is a straightforward 2-minute 3-Step process where you enter:

Step 1 - Personal information - Name, Address, email and Mobile Number
Step 2 - Account Information - Password, Gender, Date of Birth, if you want to set Deposit Limits
Before going to Step 3 to Review and Confirm your registration, make sure you tick the box for the “Would you like to receive bonuses and other promotional products?” question.

How do you verify your account on TopSport?

Once you have created an online account you need to verify your account within 72 hours to be able to place any bets.  Australian Government regulations require that bookmakers have proof of who you are.
You may be required to provide additional information or upload documentation including:

  • A current Australian Driver's Licence;
  • A current Australian Passport; and/or
  • A utility bill (no more than 3 months old) on which the name and address used for registration is prominently displayed.

TopSport may engage a third-party to provide “identity verification services in order to more efficiently and comprehensively” provide verification. Note that; in case you have anything to hide, your personal information may be supplied to any third-party engaged by TopSport to provide identity verification services.
The process of verifying your identity may involve checking your personal information against third-party and government databases and/or credit headers.
After the verification process is complete your Verification status will change to Verified in your Account Details section.
If you are experiencing problems, you can get in touch with TopSport Live Chat or give them a call on 1800 TOPSPORT.

TopSport Banking

How to Deposit at TopSport

Once logged in there are 2 options to make a Deposit:

  • You can select the Deposit & Withdrawal icon/button at the top of the APP or website 
    You select the Banking icon/button in your My Account details.

There are 5 Deposit options available – Credit Card, POLi, PaySafe, EFT Notification (see above) and BPay Notification.
Credit Card, POLi and Paysafe webpages do not appear to have a minimum Deposit limit.
EFT Notification and BPay Notification are present to allow you to notify TopSport of imminent funds arriving.

How to Withdraw

After login, there is 2 ways to navigate to make a Withdrawal and they are exactly the same as for making a Deposit - via Deposit & Withdrawal or the Banking icon/button in your My Account.
The EFT Withdrawal webpage is as follows (after selecting Add a New Account):

You could withdraw to an Existing Account (if you saved one beforehand) or Add a New Account and supply the usual Banking Details as visible here.

All deposited funds must be turned over at least once before they will be able to be withdrawn;
You must have had your identity successfully verified before you will be able to withdraw funds from your Account.

TopSport Customer Service

TopSport have numerous methods to provide Customer Service, as can be seen on the Contact Us webpage:

As well as the LiveChat icon that appears at the bottom right of every webpage
There are also an extensive (web and App) set of pages relating to Help & Rules, specifically; General Terms & Conditions, Wagering Rules, FAQ and Minimum Bet Limits.
TopSport is big player in the Australian bookmaking arena and if you follow their rules, then it could be a fruitful bookmaker to add to your arsenal.