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Coral Review in 2019

We could fill a novel with all of the transitions, acquisitions, and management shifts that Coral has undergone since Joe Coral launched it back in 1926, but we’ll attempt to keep it as brief and engaging as possible.

In 1961, when bookmakers in the UK were given the go-ahead on sports betting licensing, Coral opened one of the first fully licensed betting offices and kept things pretty much status quo for ten years.

1975 kicked off the first of many ownership changes with the Coral Leisure Group not only operating Coral bookmaking services but expanding into social clubs, casinos, and hotels.

This period was rather short lived, and the Coral Group passed the baton over to the Bass Leisure group in 1981. During Bass’ ownership in 1997, Ladbrokes makes its first attempt to buy the sportsbook but is turned down by the UK Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

We’ll fast forward through a few more ownership shifts from Morgan Grenfell Private Equity and the Coral Eurobet name and then to Charterhouse Development Capital, and finally, we end up at Gala Coral in 2005 thus creating the third largest UK bookmaker and number one bingo operator. The Gala years were a time of rapid expansion through a distribution deal with Odobo giving Gala Coral access to millions of new global customers.

The Gala Coral brand stayed intact for a decade, but Ladbrokes was finally able to broker their much-anticipated deal in 2015, finally ending up as Britain’s biggest bookmaker with 30,000 employees and 4,000 retail shops. They hit one small snag, though, and were forced to sell nearly 400 locations to obtain the final deal approval by the Competition and Markets Authority.

The Gala branding was dropped, and the Ladbrokes Coral group now operates the previous Gala Coral sportsbook under the name Coral only.

Ladbrokes Coral plc presents 230 years of combined heritage and bookmaking experience by combining the Ladbrokes, Coral, and Gala brands and, although, it’s a global operation, it’s very apparent that its UK home-based customers rank number one in sports, bonuses, and marketing.

Device Compatibility : iOS Android

As we mentioned earlier, 1961 was an integral year in the history of sports betting in the United Kingdom. It’s the year that ushered in legalized betting shops and traditional bookmakers who started out earlier in the century, moved forward with gusto. Stores popped up all over the country and continued to grow in number but retained a basic concept and format until the late 90s and the new fad called the world wide web.

The internet opened up sports betting to a whole new customer base within the UK and beyond, and shops like Coral and Ladbrokes embraced the new technology.

Fortunately, for UK bettors, their laws also account for online sports betting, and the country provides regulation and legislation for its operators that are based within its borders. Ladbrokes and Coral are just a few of these UK books, but the demand for betting services allows for more competition.

The other benefit to nationally recognized acceptance is the carryover into the funding of the player’s accounts, both through deposits and cash outs. A go-ahead from the government allows for banks and other financial service providers to be more apt to easily and quickly approve and service sports bettor requests.

All in all, UK players have a lot of choices. They can bet in shops or online and are pretty much guaranteed the approval of their financial transactions as long as they have the resources available to back their requests.

The Website

Coinciding with the Ladbrokes merger, the Coral website and betting platform got a makeover. In May of 2016, a new sportsbook was launched that featured in-house technology combining the mobile and desktop sites into one faster and simplified product.

Bringing the entire sportsbook in-house allows for new features and consistent improvements for its customers. The relatively new operation added football visualizations, football match results, lottery bets, and an easier overall betting process.

If you pull up the sportsbook located at sports.coral.co.uk, you’re going to be welcomed by a very content-rich website. We ultimately think that it is a bit too much, but Coral has done a great job of organizing the incredible amount of information it’s putting out there, so navigation is not too bad once you get used to everything. Be prepared, though; there is a lot to review at first glance.

The main menu identifies all of the areas of gaming available on coral.co.uk including the casino, live casino, games, slots, bingo, poker, virtuals, Vegas, and LottoBet.

What Coral Does Well

There are a lot of good aspects to the Coral sportsbook. The information is certainly plentiful, and a lot is going on. Between the promotions including the coupons, the live feeds, in-play betting, and the massive amount of markets offered, Coral’s punters certainly have enough to keep them busy.

We like that Coral promotes its value-add opportunities from within the main menu providing savvy bettors with ways to boost their bottom line on their winning tickets. It’s also handy to have shortcuts to each player’s favorite games as well as direct links to current personalized promotional offers. The site is organized well and doesn’t seem to miss a beat on providing the information that players, regardless of experience level, would seek to access.

Coral also recognized that its bets were coming in more and more via mobile devices so changed its internal platform to meet the demand and make its mobile access even easier. Coral is now estimating that 80% of its stakes are coming in from tablets and smartphones, so it’s staying ahead of the curve and accommodating its customers and their habits.

The Coral team should also be commended for offering fee-free player account transactions in both directions as well as for providing a good menu of alternatives to cater to broad preferences.

Big props to Coral for its Live Streaming area as well. We’re big fans of sportsbook-hosted feeds as they’re such a perfect accompaniment to the in-play betting that’s so popular and Coral’s streaming service is truly top-notch. They offer nearly 2,000 events every single week including football, tennis, rugby, snooker, darts, basketball, badminton, handball, ice hockey, and volleyball, and this service is free. Badminton enthusiasts? You’re in!

And What They Could Do Better

You may want to agree to disagree with us here, but we think there’s just too much in Coral’s sportsbook. It’s not a user-friendly bookmaker for recreational bettors because there are so many options and an incredible amount of information to sift through. It doesn’t offer a simple betting area to make things easy for novice bettors.

Even for the sharp bettors, the amount of information could be a bit overwhelming. We’ve already outlined the extent of just the menus alone. When you look beyond the menus and get into the actual betting, you really need to know what you’re doing and what everything means because there’s a lot to decipher.

We’re certainly not implying that Coral reduce its betting opportunities, but the wagering process could be a bit more straightforward. As 80% of their stakes are coming from mobile devices, it’s that much more complicated for bettors unfamiliar with Coral’s processes.

Coral’s bonus program is also an area that could be improved. The welcome bonus that provides new players with four £5 bets awarded after the first £5 wager is certainly not one of the top awards around. But, the main reason we feel the program needs expansion is that it only applies to UK and Republic of Ireland residents.

Additionally, there are two areas of consistent feedback that keeps coming through regarding Coral. The first being their customer service department, which many consider Coral’s agents not to be as helpful as they could be. The other is in the keen focus on UK sports only. As Coral markets itself to clientele in other areas, punters outside of Britain would enjoy a bit more variety or attention to more international events. Although that is a popular opinion and should be mentioned, we disagree as the sports menu is quite consistently matched to many other books that promote their global reach.

Lastly, we do need to touch on the fact that Coral has had a few publicized incidents of internal errors negatively affecting the outcome of some of their customers’ wagers. These are not frequently reported issues, but also bear mention as they do come up in research regarding Coral and their practices. On the flip side of this, Coral is a highly regarded bookmaker and is dually licensed and registered, so these issues were addressed and resolved.

Great Sports to Bet on at This Site

Without a doubt, Coral is all about soccer. The odds are competitive, but Coral’s margins can be a bit higher than some of its competitors. There are numerous ways to bet on football, though, to save some money and get in on some bigger prize possibilities.

The Football Jackpot provides a weekly £100,000 prize pool. Players can make up to 15 selections and stake from £1 to £20 per line.

Acca Insurance applies to five-fold accumulators at a minimum bet of £2 or higher. If one of the selections is a bust, the stake will be refunded in the form of a free bet up to £25.

Another way to get more value from football wagers is to look at Coral’s enhanced odds options. Currently, a 7/1 match is being offered at 8/1 odds.

Coral is a great site for novelty bets as well. Extensive political betting is available as well as Movies, TV, Award Shows, and other miscellaneous hot topics.

You’ll find baseball, darts, football, golf, and tennis listed in the Enhanced Multiples area featuring price boosts on select games and matches. So, while there isn’t one particular sport that stands out as an overall best value, Coral offers a good number of specials to accommodate sharp bettors looking for the best lines they can find.

What Are The Site’s Betting Limits

Coral does have a range of betting caps based on each sport and the level of play for each. What is does not have is a publicized minimum bet. Coral states that no minimum is imposed unless specifically noted on the bet slip. However, there is a £10 minimum for phone betting.

With maximum payouts in place, punters do need to carefully calculate their bet to avoid winning an amount that exceeds the cashout limit as these numbers reflect the absolute top amount that a player can win during one 24-hour period.

Grade 1 Football – £1,000,000
Includes English/Scottish Premier League, English Championship and Leagues 1 and 2, The Conference National Division, Scottish 1,2,3, English/Scottish Cup matches, Internationals, Champions League & Europa Cup post qualifying rounds, Germany Bundesliga 1, Spain La Liga Primera, France Ligue 1, and Italy Serie A.

Grade 2 Football – £250,000
Includes Italy Serie B, Germany Bundesliga 2, Spain La Liga Segunda, Holland Eredivisie, Belgium Jupiler, Portugal SuperLiga, Sweden Allsvenskan, Norway Tippeligaen, Denmark Ligaen 1, Finland Veikkausliiga, Turkey Super Ligi, Greek Super League, and France Ligue 2.

All other Football (including Polish and Australian football coupons) – £100,000

Golf – £250,000

Tennis – £100,000
Includes Grand Slams, ATP Masters Series, WTA Tour events, ATP Tour events, Davis, Fed Cup)

Tennis – £25,000
Includes: All qualifying matches, ITF events, Challenger events and any other event not stated

Rugby League/Union, Cycling, Athletics, Boxing, Darts, Snooker, US Sports (NFL, NHL, NBA), Motor Sports, Cricket, and Basketball – £100,000

Other Sports – £10,000
Includes: Skiing, Handball, Volleyball

TV Specials and other non-sport – £25,000

Specials Betting – £50,000
Includes: Jockey Challenges, Track Challenges

Is This Sportsbook Enjoyable?

This question is a tough one to answer. It’s a great website and jam packed with all kinds of valuable information that sports bettors and sports enthusiasts alike would find helpful and enjoyable. For sharp bettors who do their research and want as much in front of them as possible, the answer to this question is most certainly a yes.

For anyone that’s new to sports betting or just dabbles in it for a hobby, using Coral could be a bit daunting. There’s just so much going on. Now, to be fair, a lot of this information provides value-added opportunities for its players.

For example, when you select football from the menu, a huge list of coupons opens up. Currently, the list reads as:

Let’s say it again. These are just the coupons and are just toward Football betting. That’s not to mention the welcome bonus, the live in-play options, the enhanced odds and specials, the Acca insurance, and more. You get the gist.

These are all great value adds but when you simply peruse that list of coupons, you can see how it could be a bit overwhelming to someone that just wants to pick his or her favorite team.

On the other hand, Coral has one of the best Live Streaming products around. Its customers are well catered to regarding actually enjoying the games they’ve invested in through the 2000 weekly options.

Not only is live streaming plentiful but it is an area that’s easy to access. There’s a dedicated section just for these feeds and, additionally, it’s graphically indicated in the lines. We can’t say enough good things about the live streaming and in-play product that Coral offers and, for this alone, we say that everyone should at least make Coral one of their go-to sportsbooks.

What Incentives Does This Site Offer to Its Customers?

Coral’s welcome bonus is not the best out there, but that’s because it relies more on providing constant value adds along the way.

The new customer offer is a simple “Bet £5 and Get £20 in Free Bets”. Residents of the UK and the Republic of Ireland are the only players eligible to receive this reward, though, and as long as they’re not using Paysafe, Neteller or Skrill to fund their player’s account. The free bets are issued in £5 increments, and they expire after four days from issuance. There are a few other stipulations that accompany the offer, but only a one-time play through is required which is beneficial.

Currently, there’s another welcome offer for new players on Leicester vs. Tottenham called “Any team to win a corner.” A £1 (or more) single winner on this particular market will pay out in free bets at boosted odds of 33/1. If the bet loses, the player still gets a £5 free one.

The other bonuses come in the form of enhanced odds and value-add opportunities that vary and are either sports-dependent or can even apply to a specific game or match.

Some of the specific areas of interest are:

Deposits

Coral has a good overall menu of financial methods from which players can select, and all transactions are free from additional fees and charges. Another benefit to the financial set-up is that regardless of the deposit mode, it will be instantly processed and funds available for betting.

Visa or Maestro
Debit Card
Minimum deposit – £5

Visa or Mastercard
Credit Card
Minimum deposit – £5

PayPal
e-Wallet
Minimum deposit – £10

Skrill
e-Wallet
Minimum deposit – £5

Neteller
e-Wallet
Minimum deposit – £5

ecoCard
e-Wallet
Minimum deposit – £5

Paysafecard
Voucher payment
Minimum deposit – £5

Connect
Cash transaction via Coral’s Connect card
Minimum deposit – £5

If PayPal is the preferred method of deposit, registration can be made much easier. New customers to Coral can use their PayPal account to register a Coral account thereby expediting the entire process.

We do want to make mention of Connect as it is a custom method for Coral customers only and even has a dedicated site at coralconnect.co.uk. There are two Connect accounts offered. One is “In-shop only” that is, of course, for retail transactions only. The other is the one that coral.co.uk players would use if they opt for Connect as their favorite method of funding and it’s called the “Full Connect.”

The Full Connect card can be utilized in the shops, online, via phone, or through mobile access to coral.co.uk. The card facilitates cash transactions, so everything is automatically approved and quickly cashed out. To receive winnings through the Connect card, players can go to any one of the more than 1,800 Coral shops or they can connect their own bank card to Connect to conduct transfers to their personal account.

The good thing about Connect is that it doesn’t require personal banking information and it can just act as a quick and easy way to get cash in and out of a Coral player account without having to access credit cards or e-wallet solutions.

Connect cardholders also get extra perks like the “Bet and Get Club” that provides for a £10 free bet bonus with a £25 or more stake.

Withdrawals

Cashing out is the fun part, particularly since Coral doesn’t charge for payouts. So many sportsbooks put a damper on the cashout process by limiting their options for withdrawals and then imposing ridiculously high fees just to access your own money.

For the most part, Coral has a one to one match on deposit and withdrawal methods except for paysafecard transactions. As the paysafecard is not a traditional card, but rather a prepaid voucher, it can’t be used for reversing the process. Instead, paysafecard users will be issued a bank transfer.

Visa or Maestro
Minimum withdrawal – £5
Processing time – 2-5 business days

Visa or Mastercard
Minimum withdrawal – £5
Processing time – 2-5 business days

PayPal
Minimum withdrawal – £5
Processing time – could take up to 24 hours

Skrill
Minimum withdrawal – £5
Processing time – could take up to 24 hours

Neteller
Minimum withdrawal – £5
Processing time – could take up to 24 hours

ecoCard
Minimum withdrawal – £5
Processing time – could take up to 24 hours

Bank Transfer – (used instead of paysafecard)
Minimum withdrawal – £5
Processing time – 2-5 business days

Connect
Minimum withdrawal – £5
Processing time – instant

Customer Service

You won’t find a lot of talk in the player community regarding Coral’s customer service department. There has been the occasional publicly posted frustration with the level of service but, for the most part, it’s relatively quiet. It doesn’t bode well for above average service, though, as players haven’t been quite to praise the level of knowledge or the demeanor of the agents who have helped them.

The bottom line is Coral provides round the clock assistance through a variety of methods so players should be to obtain any help when needed.

What Else Is There Other Than Sports Betting?

Coral is much more than its sports betting area as it’s an all-encompassing gambling operation with multiple casino areas, lottery betting, bingo, and a poker room.

The main casino branches off into slots, roulette, blackjack, table games, video poker, and other games of interest.

The slots area in the main casino is 123 games in total, but jackpot games take center stage with 46 games offering substantial top prizes, even topping a million pounds for some potential payouts.

And three new and notable games all offering a £88,000+ jackpot progressive top prize: Superman II, Batman and the Joker Jewels, and Batman and the Riddler Riches.

Roulette is plentiful enough to warrant its own area of the casino. Its 19 versions include Pinball, Video, Multiplayer European, and Club Roulette. Blackjack also has an individual section that’s 15 games in total with Blackjack Switch, Cashback Blackjack, 21 Duel, and a Progressive table that’s currently listing a £113,000+ jackpot prize.

Video Poker is also a substantial area with 15 games that go beyond traditional one-hand poker. Two Ways Royal, Pick ‘em Poker, Four-line Deuces, Aces and Faces, Mega Jacks, and the Video Poker section also has a progressive up for grabs through its ten-line Jacks or Better game that presently sits at £20,000.

Table games have some fun options such as Three Card Brag, Pai Gow Poker, Tequila Poker, Caribbean Stud Jackpot, and the £34,000 jackpot listed on Stravaganza.

The final area of this main casino area is the “Other games” area consisting of Bonus Bowling, Pop Bingo, Penalty Shootout, Dice Twister, £47,000 jackpot Mega Ball, and a dozen other miscellaneous gaming options.

The Live Dealer section is divided up between Coral Exclusive Tables only listing Roulette, Blackjack, and VIP Blackjack, and the regular Live Table Games. The other games with real dealer action are Roulette, Blackjack, Hold ‘em, Baccarat, and Hi-Lo.

There are a few other areas in the Coral main menu that are somewhat repetitive and feature similar, if not the same, games that can be found in the main casino.

The “Games” section is slots plentiful and its 104 games are different than the main casino and have options that can be found in Las Vegas casinos. Games such as Treasures of Troy, Double Diamond, Triple Diamond, Cleopatra Plus, and Pharoah’s Treasure are well-known by dedicated slot game players.

The games area’s 33 casino games and 13 video poker options are, for the most part, the same games that are hosted in the casino, but an eight-game scratchcard section and 19-game arcade provide for some new alternatives.

Arcade games like Bouncy Balls Coronation Street and Jackpot Darts even list some hefty progressive jackpot amounts at £192,000 and £79,000 respectively.

Move on over from “games” to “slots, ” and you really won’t find much of anything new in this area. We’re not quite sure why this section is even listed as it is, as the games are already included in the other gaming areas.

The Vegas area is a relatively new section and is also quite repetitious. 45 slots, five table games, and two live dealer games comprise the area that also comes with its own Coral Vegas app.

Bingo does offer something new and different, though. A dozen bingo rooms offer different themes and games typically start out at £.02 or £.05. A few of the room designations include Coronation Street Bingo, Rush Bingo, Big Banker, Bingo Lotto Room, and Penny Bingo-Castle Room.

Coral Poker is also an exclusive area and players can participate in instant play or through the downloadable version. Coral Poker not only offers 30 free tournaments a day, but offers Poker School for beginning, intermediate, and advanced players. One of the more unique offerings in Coral’s Poker Room is the Six Plus Hold ‘em game. Six Plus is a 36-card poker game that eliminates all of the cards lower than six.

Virtual betting has been growing in popularity, and Coral also has a virtual section that resembles the real thing. Stakes on football, tennis, motorsports, cycling, greyhounds, horse racing and speedway are all possible in virtuals.

Coral players can also participate in worldwide lottery drawings from the Lotto Bet area. There are 13 different lottery drawings to choose from including Singapore, Hong Kong, 49’s, Daily Million, Spanish, Euro, Australian Tattslotto, German, French, Irish, Canadian BC49, New York, and Australian Ozlotto.

Coral’s different gambling areas each come with their own different special offers and promotions.

How Does This Bookmaker Compare to Others?

In determining whether or not Coral is the best option, let’s break down the different areas of comparison:

Deposits and withdrawals – Financial transactions are incredibly easy through any of Coral’s provided methods. Both debit and credit cards are accepted as well as e-wallet solutions like PayPal and Skrill, and the paysafecard prepaid voucher option. Paysafecard and Coral’s own Connect card can be equated to making cash transactions. When you compare Coral to a few UK competitors, though, it comes out a bit behind in options. We still think it covers all of the basics, but some of the others offer Entropay, iDebit, Apple Pay, and Wire Transfers as additional options.

Bonuses – As far as the welcome bonus, there are books like bet365 that offer awards as high as £100 to new players. Coral’s £20 for £5 program is by no means the best around, but we do like Coral’s Enhanced Odds and Specials as well as its Football Jackpot, Football Specials, and Enhanced Multiples that add a lot of extra value through elevated payout potential. There’s a lot of merit in these types of incentives, and they can be more valuable than traditional match bonuses.

Sports and available markets – There’s no doubt that Coral is more of a UK bettor’s site and you will find some more globally-targeted books like Unibet that provide a few more international options but, all in all, it does a good job of making plenty of choices available regardless of location. Basketball alone covers Australia, Austria, Brazil, Estonia, European Comps, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Belgium, Venezuela, Philippines, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, United States, Netherlands, Japan, Romania, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, and El Salvador. The options encompass most of the bigger tournaments and live play as well. For football betting, Coral is one of the best for coverage and in-play action, so it pretty much runs neck in neck with the other sportsbooks for variety.

In-play betting and video streaming – We’re going to rank Coral up there with bet365 and William Hill regarding in-play betting and live feed availability. It also surpasses most of the other sportsbooks around for its video streams. It doesn’t just offer a few token events but, rather, 2,000 events every week. It would be difficult to beat that schedule or the numerous in-play options that it also provides.

Maximum payouts – We’ll go back to bet365 and William Hill once again for maximum payouts as they are a bit higher at £2 million for top-level football. And, yes, that is a million pound difference, but Coral does come in on the generous end for maximum payouts with several quarter-million opportunities in addition to its £1 million payouts for football. Recreational bettors should certainly be satisfied, but punters who stake larger amounts are slightly more limited.

Overall gambling experience – First of all, we give Coral high marks for its full gambling options throughout the website. The sportsbook is action packed, and the in-play options and live feeds further enhance the overall product. The casino, poker room, bingo, and lottery betting are definitely above average, especially in quantity and variety. Coral also provides a radio station as well as a blog and news area with up-to-date sports news that rivals news outlets. So, it’s definitely a top contender.

You know what’s coming next, though. Coral is a bit complicated to use. There are just so many things going on and not enough explanation provided for beginner players that they could be frustrated just trying to fill out their first bet slip. It may be more advantageous to market it as a sharp bettor’s book as it would take a good deal of experience to be able to benefit from all of the coupons and promotions and other value-add opportunities that Coral provides to its members.

Final Conclusion

It’s a unique opportunity to be able to stake bets with a bookmaker that’s been around for nearly a century. You have to figure that its experience commands some respect and it’s apparent that Coral has a knowledgeable team backing it. Pull up their news and blog area, and you’ll be impressed with the in-depth coverage of all things sports.

There are so many things that Coral has implemented that does elevate them to one of the UK’s top bookmakers, and now with its relatively new association with Ladbrokes, it has indeed become Britain’s number one operator. From its in-play area to the hefty sports menu, punters should be more than satisfied with their options.

Coral’s custom Connect card and VIP program increase the perks that are available to its clientele. The VIP program additionally awards all of Coral’s players based on their level of wagering and will eventually provide them with special promotions and prize drawings and even enhanced customer service. We haven’t seen any posting regarding VIP restrictions based upon the player’s location, but the Connect card, bonuses, and even some preferred payment methods are limited to UK and Republic of Ireland residents only, so not all players can capitalize on all that Coral has to offer to them.

Coral could be a fun sportsbook for anyone who is allowed to register but truly provides sharp bettors specifically from the United Kingdom and Ireland with more of their favorite sports and a plethora of player perks.