Bet365 is one a name you hear over and over again regarding top online bookmakers from the United Kingdom. It has built itself up to a major worldwide player with 22 million customers representing nearly 200 different countries. 22 million is a huge market share with some of the other big guys like William Hill, Ladbrokes, and Paddy Power not even coming close to volume.
These players seem to gravitate to bet365 for a few main reasons:
Bet365 is a private company owned by the Coates family who has secured a spot in the top 50 of Britain’s wealthiest. Denise Coates is owner and CEO and elevated bet365 to global prominence and annual profits well more than £100 million. Bet365 is based in Stoke-on-Trent and not only does it also contribute over £100 million to the tax base, but Denise set up a foundation in the name of the company in 2014, a charity that focuses on community, education, and medical research.
There are currently over 3,000 employees of the bet365 Group making them the largest private employer in Stoke-on-Trent and contributing even more to the community.
Although it does have strong national ties, the company, unlike some other UK bookmakers, no longer owns any in-person betting shops. The focus is entirely on its online operations, global presence, and striving to provide a service that stands apart in both quality and quantity of its offerings.
Actors Ray Winstone and Samuel L. Jackson have notably been featured in the site’s advertising.
Although it has a much deeper history, sports betting in the United Kingdom officially kicked off in 1961 with the legalization of betting shops and continued to pretty much be an in-shop mainstay without a lot of bells and whistles or evolution until the mid-90s.
In 1994, new legislation allowed for the acceptance of football pools and online casinos and sportsbooks then quickly entered the market with great gusto. The late 90s to early 2000s and the rapidly evolving world wide web provided a forum for sports betting that allowed for remote wagering from all around the globe.
Since 1961, the activity of sports betting has been accepted in the UK, and that does carry through to the evolution of the online bookmaking. The laws encompass both the sportsbook operator and the bettor so options are plentiful and financial transactions are easy to accomplish for the most part.
The company’s roots do include a few decades of on the spot bookmaking as the family had started its chain of betting shops back in 1974 but eventually sold them in 2005 to pay off the loan that had helped to launch their website.
We started out by providing some of the main reasons that players gravitate to bet365 to stake their money, such as:
These four areas equate to the most important considerations that bettors typically place when deciding on one bookmaker or another and bet365 stands out in each of these four areas.
We’ll get into payouts more in a bit but suffice it to say, that bet365 is amongst the top payout sportsbooks out there and particularly from the UK. Its £2,000,000 payout for top level soccer in rivaled but unsurpassed.
Bettors today are placing more and more importance on live in-play betting and bet365 doesn’t disappoint. Back in 2009, bet365 was the first sportsbook to secure the rights to stream an English football match exclusively designated for online broadcast and, today, bet365 provides live video for more than 20,000 events.
The website itself is quite impressive, very engaging, and unique. We’ve talked about the proprietary software and platform, and it is a bonus to have a comparatively distinctive website as long as it’s top-notch like this site’s.
The mobile site is equally as impressive and also allows for in-play betting and video streaming, so everything available on the big screen is also accessible in the smaller format.
This sportsbook also excels in offering the best game line up with highly competitive odds. Events range from the familiar matches of soccer (football), hockey, rugby league and rugby union, tennis, golf, boxing, and cricket. But, there are also some surprises in the “more sports” area like combat sports, floorball, sailing, table tennis, and badminton.
This site dedicates itself to its local bettors but, with its global reach, provides an entire menu of sporting and other events to satisfy punters regardless of their location.
Could every business do something better? I think we’d all agree that nothing is perfect and anything can be improved. But, let’s be honest, 22 million bettors from around the world flock to bet365.com as their bookmaker of choice so they must be doing something right. We would say that they’re actually doing many things right.
We like the website and the list of sporting and other events. The lines are competitive, and the betting process is straightforward and relatively easy. Even customer service typically gets good marks for promptness and helpfulness. The menu including live in-play that appeals to the masses and the website is backed by a prominent family and has earned a good reputation in the industry.
There is one thing that does pop up from time to time, though, and it’s regarding big money payouts on this site. Some of the bettors who have claimed winnings in the six-figure, or some even in the five-figure, range have said that they are now limited or blocked from any further betting activity.
This, obviously, is on a case-by-case basis and there certainly could be extenuating circumstances that we’re not privy to, but the subject could raise a flag for players looking for continuous big money payouts. The feedback does not include any issues regarding the receipt of the cash out amounts but in the allowance of further betting.
Any UK based sportsbook is going to put its focus on soccer (football), and bet365 doesn’t disappoint. With their highest payout on top level games set at £2,000,000, football punters are surely satisfied and hoping to be two million pounds richer.
Golf, Rugby Union, Rugby League, NFL (American Football), Tennis, Major League Baseball, NHL Hockey, the NBA all have an accompanying £500,000 payout available for select games, matches, and tournaments.
Quarter million pound payouts are also in place for the top games, matches or tournaments in Darts, Snooker, Boxing, Australian Rules, and Financials.
And, not too long ago, the mention of virtual sports would prompt a dazed look on people’s faces, but these days virtual sports provides one of the big payout opportunities at a £1,000,000 cap. Football, tennis, baseball, basketball, and cycling all provide popular virtual betting opportunities.
There are some markets that are considered their bigger, more high profile markets. Therefore, the selection of sports and non-sporting events are going to be more substantial and geared toward these players from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
While players have to make choices on what they’re betting on, they also have to consider the odds format with three from which to select.
Fractional – This is the most commonly used type of odds in the UK and is represented by a fraction. For example, 4/1 is four to one odds or designates a payout of £400 to a £100 bet. These odds are also seen represented with the use of a colon as in 4:1.
Decimal – This is the favorite odds format in Canada, Continental Europe, Australia, and New Zealand and is an easy mathematical formula with the bet multiplied by the odds. Such as £20 bet at 1.5 odds = £30 payout.
American – These are the odds that show up with a plus or minus sign attached. The plus sign informs the bettor what they’ll receive if 100 is at stake. The minus indicates the exact amount that must be wagered to result in a 100 cash out.
As far as ways to bet on favorite sports, bet365, of course, provides multiple variations on single bets, accumulators (parlays), money lines, spreads, propositions, and totals, but also happens to offer competitive Asian Handicap betting especially for football. Asian handicaps provide the underdog with additional points and take away points from the favorite also eliminating the draw from the equation. Not all sportsbooks offer the Asian handicap, but bet365 is amongst the top providers.
We think that punters of all levels of experience will appreciate the bet365 website and betting format. The website is top of the line with quality graphics and an entirely easy to navigate set-up. It’s information packed without going overboard.
As far as placing a bet, there are step-by-step instructions for first-timers who may need a bit of guidance.
For a simple single selection bet, it’s a matter of selecting the sport, the market, and the price you wish to take to add everything to the bet slip. Then, take a look at that slip and enter the amount you’d like to wager. Finalize the transaction by reviewing for accuracy and clicking “Place Bet, ” and you’re now in on the action.
The live in-play action allows you to bet while the game or match is actually underway and, as long as you’ve made your stake on bet365.com any time in the last 24 hours, you can use their live streaming service to watch events on the full website or mobile devices.
Your betting experience can also be taken up a notch with the betting website’s Live Match Alerts that provide soccer updates to your mobile device. You can customize the type of alerts you’d like to receive from any combination of Goals, Substitutions, Cards, Half Time or Full Time Results, Penalties, etc.. and it works via the app on iOS, Android or Windows mobile devices.
Another feature that many people may enjoy is the one-wallet system whereby one username, password, and player account is good throughout the entire website whether wagering on sports or betting in the casino, any of the bingo rooms, the game area, or poker room.
So far we’ve discussed a sportsbook that’s above average in its appearance, betting options, live in-play betting, and reputation. bet365 does offer some fun promotions and bonuses, but the welcome bonus is nothing to write home about.
To use the bonus to make a bet, players need to enter an offer code provided to them via email. They should have automatically received that code after finalizing their account registration.
Before making a withdrawal, the player must have settled bets equal to or greater than three times the qualifying deposit plus bonus amount, and this needs completion within 90 days of using the offer code.
Some players are, unfortunately, excluded from the bonus program. Residents of the following areas are prohibited from participating: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Georgia, Hungary, India, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Taiwan, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Vietnam.
All in all, it’s an adequate bonus and does provide some benefit to players who can participate and able to meet the wagering requirements. However, other sportsbooks do offer bigger welcome bonuses. Let’s keep in mind, though, that bet365 has a huge customer base so their focus is on repeat business and that’s where some of their other bonuses and promotions come into play.
Depositing is certainly never as fun as cashing out, but both procedures should be relatively straightforward as bet365 is equipped to handle worldwide transactions.
Before we even get into the specifics of the deposit and withdrawal methods and other pertinent information, we do want to say that bet365 has one of the most information-plentiful but concise banking areas that we’ve come across. Select a currency, and a table specific to those transactions comes up for deposits and another for withdrawals. The information includes any applicable fees, turnaround times, and other details that players would find to be important. It takes the guesswork out of conducting transactions and makes it very easy to select the best account funding method.
In general, bet365 provides matching withdrawal options except for Skrill 1-Tap, Apple Pay, and Fast Bank Transfers. Skrill 1-Tap deposits will be reciprocated by withdrawal back to the Skrill account. For Apple Pay and Fast Bank Transfers, bet365 issues a bank wire. Additionally, all withdrawals are fee-free, at least from bet365’s end except for those bank wire transfers. The fees the bet365 will assess are provided when the withdrawal request is made.
All in all, they have a good banking structure. Most methods are fee-free and have very fast turnaround times for receipt.
Whether a non-player has questions about registering a new account or a current player is looking for some assistance in making a bit or cashing out from their player’s account, bet365 has all of the bases covered with several ways in which to contact Customer Services.
To quote the bet365 website, they pride themselves on “speed, efficiency, and friendliness when dealing with any questions or queries that may arise.” Their players seem to agree.
Live Chat representatives typically provide an instant response to address any time-sensitive questions.
While the Customer Services department does receive high marks from the majority of players who directly interact with them, the overall service provided by bet365 is in question in a similar fashion by some of its winning players.
We have already mentioned that the one thing that bet365 could improve upon is the perceived treatment of bigger winners. More than one have reported that they received notice of account closure after large payouts were initiated. Others who are still active on the site say that customer services has contacted them to reduce their betting limits, and they have expressed frustration with the department and some of the player service policies implemented by bet365.
They can be reached in multiple ways so these types of questions or concerns can be addressed via phone if live chat isn’t satisfactory. However, the majority of players favor the Live Chat and appreciate the quality of the interactions they’ve experienced.
The clientele of bet365 can take advantage of their one-wallet system that allows players to access and interact with different areas of gaming:
The Slot Game area is pretty impressive in size even though the casino doesn’t take center stage like the sportsbook, but bettors who enjoy alternative options for gaming will be quite satisfied.
143 slot games have reels ready to spin including some fun theme games. You can put a wager on the winner of Britain’s Got Talent in the Specialty Games area of the sportsbook and then head over to the slots area to play the Britain’s Got Talent game. Football Fans, Football Rules, Ice Hockey, Tennis Stars, and Top Trumps World Football Stars 2014 all provide some fun crossover play as well. 16 additional Jackpot games offer bigger money payouts for players lucky enough to claim the top prizes. Jackpot games include Deal or No Deal, Gladiator, Jackpot Darts, and Spamalot.
Card Games and Table Games pretty much go hand in hand with 15 total offerings from variations of Blackjack to Casino Hold ‘em to Craps and multiple Roulette games.
Video Poker is relatively limited, but seven options plus an entire poker room should appeal to players who opt to select it as their game of choice. Video Poker games include 25-line Aces and Faces, Jacks or Better Multi-hand, and Four-line Deuces Wild and the Poker Room, housed in a separate section of the website, offers a lot of fun tournament play.
Another separate area comprises all Live Dealer games for players who prefer to be more up close and personal. Euro and Asian Live Dealer tables have open seats for games like Baccarat, Blackjack, and Roulette.
Just as bet365 prides itself on the extensive number and variety of events in its sportsbook, it carries the quantity and quality over into its other gaming areas.
Online bettors are certainly not lacking in their choices for bookmakers. Sports betting is big business, and there are plenty of sportsbooks online to fulfill the demand. Looking at the sheer betting volume alone, bet365 stands head and shoulders above others. Whereas some of the bigger UK bookmakers have large, established member bases, bet365 comes in with twice the clientele.
Regarding maximum payouts, bet365 and William Hill run neck in neck with their £2,000,000 payout for top-level soccer (football) as well as other generous £500,000 limits on rugby, tennis, and some American sports.
The lines offered on bet365 are quite competitive and would not be an issue for even the most knowledgeable and experienced bettor, and the number of events is also quite substantial. The mix of standard and more obscure games run the gamut.
In live in-play betting, bet365 comes out ahead. It has a state-of-the-art system using vFabric private cloud technology that enables the website to offer an uninterrupted stream of real-time information while also processing its incoming customer data. Over 20,000 sporting events a year can be viewed live on the bet365 platform, and the events and corresponding markets are amongst the highest offered online.
Bonuses and promotions are enough to satisfy its regular bettors, but some of the other online sportsbooks have welcome bonuses offering ten or even 15 times the amount of the initial deposit.
When it comes to mobile betting, bet365 slightly edges out its competitors. Its format makes it easy to use and easy to navigate with live in-play video and betting accomplished easily on the smaller screen.
There are a few familiar names of UK-based sportsbooks that come up time and time again in comparison to bet365 including William Hill, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, and Coral. They all have a good reputation and a large number of registered punters who return time and time again. There will be slightly different welcome bonuses, slightly different sports line-ups and markets, and slightly different payout limits, but they all provide good, safe, and quality bookmaking services in a competitive environment.
If you add up the bonuses, line-ups, markets, payouts, and all of the most important features provided by these online operators, bet365 seems to come out with top rankings time and time again.
If you get down to the meat and potatoes of bookmaker services, bettors are looking for the games they’re most interested in and the corresponding competitive odds allowing them to make a smart bet.
Bet365 certainly has its bases covered with a huge selection of the games and matches that punters from every corner of the world are looking to stake. Its odds are competitive and its markets extensive. The live in-play betting area also offers some of the best in-game wagering around as well as a packed schedule of live video streaming.
Take things a step further, and anyone looking to put up real money on a betting opportunity wants to make sure their bet is safe, and payouts are honored. This is a private company owned by one of Britain’s most prominent families who has extensive ties to the community, especially in Stoke-on-Trent. They have a reputation to uphold so players should certainly feel confident in using bet365 without concern of unfair practices.
With all of the basics covered, there’s also room for a bit more. Bet365 has some other action-packed areas of gaming on the same site with a poker room, slots area, live dealer games, race betting, and so much more.
The sportsbook also has some fun extras to offer to the site’s clientele such as Live Match Alerts sent to mobile devices so they can follow football and receive updates on goals, substitutions, cards, half-time results, full-time results, penalties awarded, and penalties missed. They can create their own menu of alerts for a customized experience.
Players can also take advantage of the site’s Cash Out feature. It allows players the chance to take a return before the game, match or event is final. Cash Out is available on all tickets that show the cash out feature as the total payout figure provided. It’s available both pre-match and in-play on soccer, tennis, horse racing, cricket, and basketball. Partial cash out is also on option on a single game and straight accumulator.
This feature may help a bettor to minimize a potential loss or even to maximize their profit, and the amount offered will be calculated based on the current performance of the selections.
Bet365 is an excellent all-around choice for sports betting that consistently ranks in the top three amongst UK bookmakers.