ONLINE BETTING SITES

There are so many online betting sites to choose from these days that your average punter could be forgiven for getting confused with the endless stream of bookies and their new customer account welcome bonuses.

In one way, this amount of choice is a great problem to have. With no obligation to stay with one online betting company for the rest of time, it means that we have the freedom to sign up for an account in one place and move when we see an attractive offer elsewhere.

Online customers may have their favourites from using the sites themselves or even from using the high street versions of some of the bookmakers. Loyalty is one thing, but if you want to get the right promotion offer or bonus then you should really at least take the time to shop around.

Many of the online betting sites that we will take a look at are well known but there are more and more new bookies emerging all the time. If these new kids on the block have something new to offer then there is no problem with checking them out. You just need to know where to look for the active deals.

WHAT WE WILL LOOK AT

In this review we will try to namecheck some of the renowned betting sites available. We will take a look at the pros and cons of signing up for their customer accounts as well as what kind of markets you can bet on in different places.

We will also take a brief look at the details – the account specifics that may not get as much attention as a great bet promotion, but are vitally important for the day to day usage of your online betting site.

If you want to check what some popular bookies in the UK offer, then we recommend visiting ComeOn, Matchbook, or Betfair.

MOBILE APPS

The move to online may have revolutionised the way people bet but the move into betting apps that can be downloaded onto smartphones and tablets has given even more freedom to the average punter.

It is unsurprising that all the online betting sites that we have profiled as being the valuable bookies on the market all have an app that you can download. Although the fact that ComeOn have only recently added this facility is strange especially considering that it is a relatively new face in the market.

This may be because they were still working out where their place in the market was (they were originally just a casino site before introducing their sportsbook) but even so, it seems like an oversight by them.

The added attraction of a mobile app gives the punter more chance to bet wherever they are, whenever they want. And that has got to be good news for the bookie! Any betting site knows that an ever growing percentage of bets – especially in the popular live in play betting section – are made on the go on a mobile device and it is very likely that this type of betting will only become more the norm.

It all depends on whether you prefer your betting all in one place or you are quite happy to divide up the sections, but some of the featured betting sites also have a number of different mobile apps for different areas of their business. For example, Unibet have separate apps for Sports, Racing, Casino, Live Casino, Spin City and Poker.

As you are unlikely to want to use more than one of these apps at one time this does kind of make sense. And if you have no interest in a certain area of the betting site you are a customer of you can discard all the information you need. But the downside of this is if you do like to spread your betting around different sections of the site you could use up quite a lot of your smartphone or tablet device’s memory if you need to download them all.

The good thing is that all these apps are downloaded in the same way. All the Apple devices, such as iPhone, iPad and now the Apple Watch use the Apple app store. All you need to do is search for your bookie’s app and download.

For Android users, it is slightly different as apps are usually downloaded from the Google Play Store but they do not allow gambling apps. This is not a problem however, as your online betting site will provide a link to click to download directly from them which you can then get on your device.

There are usually specific apps for Windows and Blackberry users as well so you should just check out the section on your bookie’s website to see how you need to go about downloading the version you require.

Mobile apps always have exactly the same features and markets that you get from the conventional online site so it is no wonder that they are so successful with today’s punters. There are sometimes extra promotions offers and bonuses specifically for downloading the mobile app so it is well worth doing.

CLAIM SIGNUP OFFER  

Key T&C’s: New customers only.18+. www.begambleaware.org Located in the United Kingdom. Place a bet of £1 with odds of 2/5 (1.40) or greater. If the bet loses, you will receive the money back, up to £40. 3x wagering requirement. If you received £40 bonus money you need to bet £120 to complete the bonus conditions. £10 casino bonus: 25x wagering conditions, 30 days to complete the wagering requirements. Only one bonus per household is permitted. Certain Payment methods are excluded (Entercash, hipaymistercash).T&Cs Apply

THE MARKETS OF THE FEATURED BETTING SITES

The good thing for the punter is that there are so many betting sites that you can pick and choose your favourites and find the bet you are after. Most bookies cover a vast range of sports and have an extensive list of markets covering those sports.

You will soon be able to find out whether the bookie you have signed up with covers what you need them to cover. But that is why it pays to do a little bit of research before signing up so you know what you are getting for your customer account.

CLAIM SIGNUP OFFER  

*T&Cs: This offer only applies to Matchbook customers who register a new account on Matchbook.com or through one of our native mobile applications from 13:00 GMT May 1st 2018.A user who creates a new account with Matchbook will be eligible for Commission Free betting on All Sports until 23.59 GMT December 31st 2018. Any bets placed between the date of sign up and December 31st 2018 on any of our betting markets will be charged no commission at the time they are matched in respect of those bets.Any users who deposit by debit card will not be subject to withdrawal fees if they withdraw to the same card. Neteller, Skrill and Credit Card users will be limited to one free withdrawal per week and for clarity, the Matchbook week runs from Monday-Sunday. Participation in this promotion is subject to you being 18 years of age or older, or being the age of legal consent for engaging with the Matchbook Exchange services under the laws of the jurisdiction in which you are located whilst using the Matchbook Exchange, whichever is the higher.

POLITICS AND ONLINE BETTING

We don’t mean ‘politics’ here in the way of describing the magic of how betting sites are run. What we are talking about is the curious inclusion of politics betting markets within the sportsbook of most betting sites.

Maybe it is a social comment on the nature of modern day politics – or maybe it is just because there is nowhere else really to list the market – but if you want to have a bet on who the next Prime Minister of Great Britain, or who the next President of the United States of America will be then you will usually find the odds tucked away in the list of sports menu.

You can sometimes find some amusing special politics markets as well so it is always worth taking a look at what they are offering.

CLAIM SIGNUP OFFER  

T&C’s – £10 Free Bet: 1. New UK customers only. 2. You must opt-in to the £10 Free Bet promotion upon registration. 3. Minimum £10 deposit and qualifying bet required at minimum odds of 1.8 in any sportsbook market, within 14 days of opening account. 4. Min. deposit of £10 required 5. You will receive your £10 Free Bet Token within 24 hours of your qualifying bet being accepted. Terms and conditions apply. 

IN PLAY BETTING

The ability to be able to bet during an event is pretty much commonplace these days and all the renowned betting sites will provide an extensive live betting, in play service. The value of the odds may differ slightly depending on the company but the chance to bet while the action is going on is very attractive.

This feature obviously opens up a good deal more markets for the punter. Some of these will be fairly straightforward and will just be markets adapting to what is happening in the event and changing the odds accordingly.

For example, you will be able to continue to bet on who will win a football match all the way through the game but the odds will obviously change depending on what the score is and how close to the end of the match it is.

Then there are bets that can be bet on after the event has started but will still finish. A good example of this is the first goalscorer bet. Again, odds may change depending on what is happening and who is playing – or being substituted! – but the market will close as soon as that first goal goes in.

Then there is the real excitement of in play betting. These types of bets are in markets that would not exist if in play betting didn’t exist. Markets such as Next Card and Next Goal are rapid fire kind of bets. The featured betting sites highlight these as well so you won’t miss out as the action is going on.

CLAIM SIGNUP OFFER  

Key T&C’s: New customers only.18+. www.begambleaware.org Located in the United Kingdom. Place a bet of £1 with odds of 2/5 (1.40) or greater. If the bet loses, you will receive the money back, up to £40. 3x wagering requirement. If you received £40 bonus money you need to bet £120 to complete the bonus conditions. £10 casino bonus: 25x wagering conditions, 30 days to complete the wagering requirements. Only one bonus per household is permitted. Certain Payment methods are excluded (Entercash, hipaymistercash).T&Cs Apply

BETTING SITES LIVE STREAMING

And with in play betting, the natural progression is live streaming of sports events. This is a great addition to any online betting site as it gives the punter an opportunity to watch full events without paying any extra money. The list of sports available changes from bookie to bookie but some have an amazing selection of live sport for their customers to watch.

There is usually a restriction to watching certain sports events due to broadcasting regulations and deals but you can easily find out what is scheduled on your online betting site as this is obviously a big attraction for customers. You will generally have to have some funds in your account to be able to watch – or maybe to have made a bet in the past 24 hours.

The good thing is that you do not have to bet on the event in question to watch it. So you can use it purely as a streaming device if you want. The bookies will make you aware of all the in play markets available to you though if you get tempted!

Looking at the six featured websites we have highlighted there is a distinct difference between their live betting and streaming capabilities and this may be something that makes your decision on who you end up signing for.

Unibet have a very good streaming service that shows a wide range of sports and events every day. The restrictions are industry standard and their facility only compliments their very good service over all.

Unibet also have a very good streaming facility with their Unibet TV showing all kinds of sports in great detail. The feature on their site really shows them as a growing company who can compete with the big boys of the industry.

Betfair and Ladbrokes both have good streaming services, with the latter showing all NBA games on their site. Ice hockey fans will also be happy with the selection of NHL matches they show.

Having no live streaming facility really marks down both ComeOn and Matchbook. As we have outlined earlier, there is much to compliment both these relative newcomers but not being able to watch live sports events that you can elsewhere may be the difference between retaining customers or not.

It is possible that both bookies are looking into a live streaming function on their sites and the quicker they can do that the better for them.

CLAIM SIGNUP OFFER  

Key T&C’s: New customers only.18+. www.begambleaware.org Located in the United Kingdom. Place a bet of £1 with odds of 2/5 (1.40) or greater. If the bet loses, you will receive the money back, up to £40. 3x wagering requirement. If you received £40 bonus money you need to bet £120 to complete the bonus conditions. £10 casino bonus: 25x wagering conditions, 30 days to complete the wagering requirements. Only one bonus per household is permitted. Certain Payment methods are excluded (Entercash, hipaymistercash).T&Cs Apply

BETTING SITES PAYMENT METHODS

When you sign up for any online betting site you will have to supply some kind of banking details that will enable you to deposit – and hopefully withdraw! – into and from your account. There are a number of different ways you can deposit money into your account and it all depends on how you feel comfortable moving your money around as to which you go for.

The money transfer systems such as Neteller and Skrill are used by a majority of the betting sites and have the advantage of relatively quick withdrawal periods before your money shows in your account.

Debit and credit cards are a very popular method of moving your money in and out of your betting site customer account. Due to banking regulations out of the bookies control you do have to wait a few days before you see the money in your bank account after withdrawing from your customer account. Depositing is more straightforward and you will usually see the money transferred almost immediately. This can be seen as annoyance but it is completely out of the bookies hands so you can’t blame them for this one!

Getting Help with Online Betting Sites

The great thing about betting online is that usability is obviously at the forefront of the bookie’s mind when they are designing it.

That is where some of the less popular betting sites fall down as it is key that the customer can do what they want to do without much trouble. There is though, always a time when a customer will need some kind of help and that is where the customer service teams come into the picture.

The problem that any company has is that no-one really remembers when they receive good customer service. It is always when you are not treated well that it stays with the customer and it is likely that they will tell that story to others. Word of mouth is a very important factor in why people choose a particular bookie and if has been recommended by a friend then it is more likely that they will choose that bookie.

How to Get in Touch With Online Betting Sites?

It may be very trivial but customer service teams are there to help you whatever the problem and most of the renowned betting sites are able to be contacted in a number of ways. The most obvious way is by phone. We have highlighted some bookies whose customer service availability lets them down but the majority have their team ready to answer the phone to your call at any time of the day or night.

If the query is less urgent it may help to email the bookie. You may not get a response for a couple of days but if you do not need to know the information immediately this could be a good way of getting a permanent record of your interaction so you can refer back to it at a later date.

A live chat feature is also offered by the featured bookies. This is particularly good for sorting out issues immediately, especially if the problem is a little bit more complex. You can work through the issue as you are messaging the customer support team member and hopefully reach a favourable conclusion.

SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Obviously it is a little difficult to definitively answer on behalf of all betting websites – or even just the six we have highlighted here – but here are a few questions that have generally the same response from customer support teams no matter what bookie you have an account with.

What do I do if I forget my log in details?

With all the different passwords and usernames we have these days it is completely understandable if you forget some of them now and again. Although you usually have the option for the computer you are using to remember the log in details you may not want to activate this for security reasons, so you may have to get in touch with the site. When you signed up for your account you will have provided some kind of security details.

As well as a username and a password you will have answered questions that can then be used to verify your identity if you ever forget your log in details. Answering these questions will usually prompt you to change your password for future logging in. As with all issues, if you still have a problem logging in you can always call up the customer help team.

I can’t withdraw money from my account. What is the problem?

You should be able to withdraw money from your account at any time. There will probably be some kind of delay before it reaches your bank account (as we explained earlier), but if it still has not appeared after the stated time period you should get in touch with the customer support team. It may be that you are unable to withdraw the money as it is part of some kind of bonus – including any welcome bonuses.

You need to check the qualifying rules concerning the promotion you have taken advantage of as there will usually be something about a number of qualifying bets having to be made before you can withdraw any money solely gained from the promotion.

Are there any limits on how much I can bet?

Normally there is some kind of minimum amount you can bet but this is so small you should not feel like you have been hard done by. There will probably be an upper limit as well but in the same way, unless you are some kind of high roller this shouldn’t trouble you! It should be mentioned here that a lot of the online betting websites do put restrictions on winning accounts after a while.

This will not apply to most customers but you may find that more professional punters will look to specialist betting sites rather than most of the ones we have highlighted for this very reason.

Should I Open an Online Betting Site Customer Account?

At a very basic level, if you have any interest in making your bets online then you will have to open an account with some kind of online betting company. The freedom and ease having an account gives you really does make a difference for anyone who likes having a bet now and then.

And if you are going to open an account then it seems obvious that you should go with the reliable bookie you can find and also make good use of their signing up welcome bonus.
These featured betting sites make sure that the promotions keep on coming as well so you should choose a bookie that will keep you happy in that regard.

These promotional offers are not the main thing that should keep you with a particular bookie but they are an important way to enter into the world of online betting. Once you have signed up for an account and found your way around your betting site you will know better whether that one is for you or not. There is a lot of information around to help you to find the right online betting site for you so take advantage of the research before making your decision.

The good thing here is that you do not have to stay with a bookie that you don’t feel you are getting your money’s worth with. You don’t pay any monthly fees so if you see something better elsewhere you can just sign up for another account with another site.

The market for online betting websites is so vast and competitive now that you should be able to find a fairly attractive welcome offer that can start you off. You will then learn how to use the site the way you want to. There are so many great features open to customers that you can really get a lot of enjoyment and information from the reliable betting sites even before you actually make your bet.

From in play betting and live streaming of sports events, to betting previews and expert analysis, the online betting sites really do cover all you need to know about sports betting. Why not do a little research yourself and find out what is the suitable deal for you.