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Stan James Review

Does the name sound familiar? You may be racking your brain to try to figure out who Stan James is and what is his association to sports betting. If so, the answer probably won’t come to you as this is not a person but, rather, people.

Back in 1973, Steve Fisher and James Holder opened one betting shop in Britain. The moniker came from combining Steve and his wife Anne’s name, resulting in Stan and using James’ first name only. There you have it, Stan James.

The number of physical Stan James shops grew at a moderate pace, and today there are nearly 90 retail locations still located in the UK. However, it was the launch of their online operation in the late 90’s that prompted expansion for the brand that is currently based out of Gibraltar, but services customers from more than 120 countries worldwide.

The company’s big surge started in 2007 with the purchase and subsequent merging of the Betdirect bookmaking operation in 2009. The previous year, another book, betterbet.com was also acquired and then in 2009, they founded a new brand, SJBET24.com in cooperation with Austrian based Betkick, to service shops in Austria, Germany, and Europe. One more big acquisition came through in 2010 with 27 branches of Pagebet, a regional-servicing bookmaker, and then all of the company’s total procurements were scooped up through one big deal brokered by the Unibet Group in 2015.

Unibet is part of the Kindred Group, a Stockholm NASDAQ company that boasts over 14 million registered customers through its combined online operations. The Kindred Group and the Unibet Group are multiple award-winning operations that focus on a “by players for players” philosophy.  Kindred’s holdings also include Bingo.com, 32Red.com, Roxy Palace, Maria Casino, iGame, Casinohuone, and Kolikkopelit.

The website is now labeled as “powered by Unibet” and continues to focus on its UK and Irish clientele primarily but provides enough global selections also to captivate international punters.

Device Compatibility : iOS Android

What’s the Overall Experience Like?

The company does have some history behind it as well as name recognition aside from its online operation through its betting shops that have been around for more than 40 years now.

Looking at the overall product, we best categorize Stan James as being a good, middle of the road online bookmaker. It’s not over the top in any particular area, bonuses, markets, promotions, financial transactions, but it’s abundant enough to be a good go-to book especially for the more recreational of bettors.

Taking a look at the website itself, you get a bit of the Unibet feel to it with similar color choices and some like design elements, but where Unibet is a bit more graphically appealing, Stan James gets right to the heart of the matter, the betting. Their time-sensitive lines are immediately front and center for quick access to the action. There’s no introduction, players just jump right in and get busy.

Just because it is a bit more numbers focused, doesn’t mean it isn’t a good site, though. It definitely is. The design and layout are very appealing and much more upscale than many of its competitors. It provides just enough to attract attention without being distracting. Updated promotions are scrolled through at the top, and limited offers are also featured in static boxes on the right side. In-play betting kicks off the left side menu that also includes some handy quick links and the full sports list.

What we especially like about the stanjames.com website is its help area. The button is quite small but is located at the top left of the site, and once you locate it, you’ll see how “helpful” it can be. The help section branches out into deposit and withdrawal options, terms and conditions, contact us, about Stan James, rule book, and live chat. Everything a new player would need is all located in this one handy little area.

Aside from the sportsbook, that is the focal point of the website; it has a menu of other gaming options that include casino, live casino, poker room, games, and a new bingo room area that is yet to launch at the time of this writing. Mixed in with those options is a menu link entitled “mobile” but it pertains to mobile sports betting so is a bit out of place in its location, but does provide helpful information on the mobile sportsbook through the app or merely in the mobile format.

Getting back to the sportsbook, the brand does put a bit more focus on horse racing as opposed to other sports. Horse racing meetings are “above the fold” on the homepage with live in-play betting directly below. Despite extensive in-play action available across the board, the only live streaming available is for racing events. A minimum £1 open wager on a race provides players access to video streaming as long as they are legally allowed in the player’s home country.

There are no live feeds of other sporting events, but the sportsbook does have a fairly active schedule of in-play opportunities, particularly for football. It’s definitely not the most extensive menu but should satisfy the majority of its UK-based clientele anyway.

What They’re Doing Well

Stan James is a bit different from some of its competitors in that it doesn’t stand out as being incredibly great or plain awful in any particular area. It’s just a good betting site overall. We’ve said middle of the road to describe it, but we don’t want that connotation to be negative in any way. It’s ample in offerings, and the website is top-notch, but nothing stands out as being extremely remarkable.

So, we’ll talk about some of the good things that players will find on stanjames.com. UK and Irish bettors will enjoy the comprehensive menu of their favorite sports with an emphasis on soccer, golf, tennis, cricket, and rugby. The markets are good and cover the basics, but you really won’t find anything different through Stan James.

The bonus rollover is especially beneficial in that their free bet promotions don’t require multiple play-through requirements to cash them out. A mere £10 wager yields a £20 free bet to new players from the UK or Ireland.

In-play betting is also decent, and there are a good number of live wagering options from which to select. Football is the number one offered in-play sport, but punters can also get in on the occasional live baseball, basketball, golf, rugby, and ice hockey action.

For novelty bettors, the website offers great opportunities. Currently, players are staking their bets on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, X-Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, the UK general elections, and US and Euro elections.

Horse racing is big on stanjames.com and is featured prominently at the top of the sportsbook homepage. Racing fans also have the advantage of being able to watch live feeds of the action they’re a part of through their video streaming of its tracks. Sports bettors don’t fare so well, but punters who enjoy the up close and personal view will enjoy staking their bets with Stan James. Virtual racing is also available, so the action is virtually non-stop.

Lastly, we take back our initial assessment, as there is an area where the sportsbook really does shine and comes in way ahead of most of its competitors, and that’s with its level of service to its players. Their customer service department is highly regarded amongst its clients. It’s known for a top-notch provision of service. The agents are not only on their game with their level of knowledge but are considered to be the friendliest and most accommodating around.

So What’s Missing?

We’re going to start off with what we consider to be a big one. The website doesn’t offer live feeds of sporting events. This lack of sports viewing is really confusing to us as they’re powered by Unibet, and Unibet offers streaming of nearly 30% of all of the sports they offer for betting purposes.

Next, and this is not an obvious one, but Stan James is known for reducing betting limits as soon as any player proves him or herself to be a sharp bettor. Players have commented that they’re quickly limited, no questions asked. The possibility of limit reduction isn’t going to be any determining factor to the casual bettor just looking to have some fun, but players seeking out big money action could be hugely disappointed.

We will elaborate on this a bit more in the financial sections, but Stan James does have an adequate line-up of player account funding possibilities for its players, but could certainly add to it. Some of the selections such as Paypal and debit cards are limited to UK customers only. There are so many alternatives out there today that it could increase player satisfaction by throwing in iDebit, instaDebit, entropay, eco card, and Ukash to accommodate players outside of Britain.

Payout limits can also be included in the “could be improved” category. Primarily, Stan James’ traditional sporting events come with a £100,000 cap on them with football coming in at £200,000. To the more conservative or less-experienced bettor, that kind of money is still pie in the sky, but for loyal customers who tend to stake more, they may be looking for greater potential payouts.

What to Bet on?

Whenever we take a look at a bookmaker that specifically caters to UK punters, soccer is always number one both in quantity and variety, and Stan James is no different. Soccer is undoubtedly the game of choice and football is extensively covered both in the UK and outside of it. At a quick glance, current coverage includes China, France, Germany, Holland, Indonesia, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Senegal, Spain, and Sweden. Stan James also offers the popular Asian Handicap betting toward football as well.

Odds are middle of the road. They’re fundamentally competitive, but sharp bettors may be able to locate additional markets and the occasional slightly better line through other bookmakers.

Currently, the website is focusing on golf. The majority of its promotions and value adds are all centered around golf with extra places, acca insurance on three-ball betting, and playoff refund offers. Golfing lines should compare with most its rivals, and the additional benefit of the golf-related promotions do provide bettors with a slight advantage by betting here.

The overall best sports for market coverage are football, golf, rugby, tennis, and cricket as this is a book that does accommodate its UK and Irish punters whenever possible, but it’s also a good choice for basketball coverage.

NBA and WNBA games from the US are at the top, but their European players will be pleased with the attention to games in their regions as well. Austrian, Euroleague, Czech, German BBL, Israeli Super League, French Pro A, Greece A1, Italian Serie, Latvian LBL, Netherlands, Polish, Romanian, Slovenian, and Spanish games are listed as well as odds from Japan and the Philippines.

The sportsbook also includes a few sports that aren’t as widely delivered, most notably Ten Pin Bowling, Netball, and Rowing.

On the flip side, ice hockey punters are limited in their global selections and have noted that it primarily focuses on NHL with very few other league opportunities.

The entire Stan James Sports menu:

Maximum Betting Limits

The sportsbook offers the lowest betting minimum possible with a 1p wager on sports, but also provides some of the comparatively lowest maximum payouts, something that’s not so appealing to punters seeking out big money opportunities.

Before staking a bet, players are advised to do the math to avoid over-betting as the imposed payout caps are lower than they’ll find through some rival bookmakers.

Football, for example, is offered elsewhere with £1 and £2 million payouts for top-level games, but Stan James has a £200,000 ceiling across the board toward their provided matches.

All other sports have a top payout of £100,000, but it could be even lower depending on the individual game or match so new Stan James players, especially, should review their bet slip carefully before submitting to keep their bets in line with the proper cashout amounts.

The following are the per-event maximum limits imposed by Stan James:

Will You Like the Site?

The answer to this question depends on the type of player you are and precisely what you’re looking for regarding your chosen bookmaker.

Stan James is not for everyone. We can see how some big players would shy away from it as they can find similar or even better odds elsewhere. It’s a recreational bettor’s site with lower payout limits and fewer markets, so that also detracts from the experience for sharp bettors.

However, if you’re a novice or lower limit player, you may tend to enjoy the service that Stan James provides. It’s a traditional-type sportsbook that offers easy to review lines and isn’t cluttered with a lot of promotional information or upsells. Everything is simple to locate, and bets are straightforward. Even the welcome bonus, while not the highest one around, provides a more conservative bettor with an enhanced experienced and some added value through the bet £10, get £20 offer.

We like that Stan James has been around for awhile, and is now part of one of the bigger gambling operations through Unibet’s (Kindred Group’s) acquisition a few years back. There’s a level of trust with them and, especially when money is concerned, that confidence is necessary.

Racebook bettors, football fans, followers of UK sport, they’ll all be pleased with the level of wagering opportunities provided.

What Incentives Do They Offer to Customers?

We’ve established Stan James to be primarily middle of the road when it comes to their overall betting products, and their bonus offers are no exception. We wouldn’t consider this to be a very promotionally-driven sportsbook. Its offers are small in number and don’t compare value-wise to some of the other bookmakers.

Let’s start with the welcome bonus. It’s a flat amount. Bet £10 and get a £20 free bet. The offer is straightforward and does provide some value, but the initial £10 bet needs to be on odds of 4/5 (1.80) or greater on a traditional sports event. Additionally, a push or void selection will not count and will subsequently eliminate the bonus potential.

For new players from the United Kingdom or Ireland, there is some benefit to this welcome offer, but new registrants from anywhere else are barred from participating in the promotion and don’t have any welcome offer available to them.

There are a few other value-add promotions currently being offered, though, but these are bet-specific deals. For example, players betting £5 or more on the Tournament Outright market between rounds three and four of the PGA tour will receive a free bet refund if their selection loses in the playoff. The free bet is good for up to £25.

Another golf-related promotion involves a minimum £5 win or £5 each-way pre-event single bet on the AT & T Byron Nelson Tournament Outright market and also provides for the same type of refund free bet. The maximum free bet amount is £25 and players need to have staked their bet at odds of 2.00 or greater at the end of the third round play and before the start of the fourth round to qualify for this potential refund offer.

Some fun promotions, but the bad news, again, is that they’re good for the United Kingdom or Ireland based accounts for players who have their chosen language set to UK English. These stipulations eliminate many of their customers from participating in these fun value-add promotions.

What Are Their Deposit Options?

Can we say middle of the road, once again? The term does apply in this area as well. Stan James provides enough options to accommodate most players but does not go above and beyond to expand its menu. With so many different alternatives for betting account funding these days, they could be offering a plethora of choices.

Its deposit choices include:

So, you can see that there are some good e-wallet options. We like that Paypal and Paysafecard are included, but there are others such as iDebit for Canadians, Bitcoin for its global clientele, and Entropay and Ukash are also widely used methods and would directly provide players with the convenience of more alternatives.

All in all, though, most players should be able to fund their account with one of Stan James’ allowable methods, and they do enjoy the benefit of fee-free transactions.

UK Debit Cards – Visa, Mastercard, Solo, Electron
Minimum Deposit – £5
Turnaround time – near instant
Notes – for the UK accounts only; only one card can be on file at a time so players wishing to change payment cards must withdraw from their player account entirely and then start over

Credit Cards
Minimum Deposit – £5
Turnaround time – near instant
Notes – some card issuers will record transaction as a cash advance; only one card can be on file at a time, so players wishing to change payment cards must withdraw from their player account entirely and then start over

Skrill
Minimum Deposit – £5
Turnaround time – near instant
Notes – entire amount of Skrill deposits must be wagered on stanjames.com or players will be liable to pay back all costs of processing and full deposit amount

Neteller
Minimum Deposit – £5
Turnaround time – near instant
Notes – only available in USD, GBP, and EUR currency accounts

Paypal
Minimum Deposit – £5
Turnaround time – near instant
Notes – For the UK and Irish customers only

Paysafecard
Minimum Deposit – £10
Turnaround time – near instant
Notes – Cards can be purchased throughout Europe in denominations of £10, £25, £50 or £75

Bank Transfers
Minimum Deposit – varies
Turnaround time – varies
Notes – Different stipulations apply to customers within the UK as opposed to everywhere else. Security documents are also required.

What About Payout Options?

The withdrawal menu closely resembles that for deposits and withdrawals are also fee-free which is a real benefit. Players who win want to receive their payout in its entirety so Stan James’ payout process should work out well for them.

Debit cards
Minimum Withdrawal – £10
Turnaround time – 3-5 business days
Notes – Offered for UK customers only and may require a verification process be completed before funds are issued.

Credit cards
Minimum Withdrawal – £10
Turnaround time – varies
Notes – If a withdrawal is not possible for a customer using a credit card, a bank transfer will be issued.

Skrill
Minimum Withdrawal – £10
Turnaround time – within 24 hours
Notes – If a withdrawal is requested and the customer hasn’t staked any bets with the original balance, Stan James will charge a 3% fee to cover costs.

Neteller
Minimum Withdrawal – £10
Turnaround time – within 24 hours
Notes – only available to customers with USD, GBP, or EUR currency accounts

Paypal
Minimum Withdrawal – £10
Turnaround time – within 24 hours
Notes – only available to customers within the UK or Ireland who used Paypal as their original funding method

Paysafecard
Withdrawals are not available through Paysafecard. A Bank transfer needs to be utilized for cash outs.

Bank Transfers
Minimum Withdrawal – £100
Turnaround time – varies
Notes – security documents are needed; this is the default method used if another cash out option is unavailable.

Service

It’s a pleasure to talk about Stan James’ customer service department as, straight across the board, people overwhelming give it high marks. The representatives are labeled as courteous and knowledgeable, which is a testament to Stan James’ management team. Customer service handles those financial issues which can prompt people to be harsh when reviewing the level of service they’ve received. Stan James just doesn’t happen to be a bookmaker that evokes negativity, and that’s a great thing these days.

The customer service department is readily available as well. It’s a 24/7 service with contact information prominently posted. An agent can be reached via phone, email or live chat, so there technically isn’t any area left open to improvement here.

More Than Sports Betting

In similar fashion to most other online sportsbooks, Stan James does offer much more than sports betting. It hosts a casino, live casino, poker room, and we’ll say that it has a bingo room but, at the time of this writing, we couldn’t access it. When you click on “Bingo” designated as a new offering, it loops you back to the sportsbook. So, you can probably check back with them for their new bingo game area, but it’s not available for review at this time.

The casino is a good overall area for anyone who enjoys slots, video poker or table games. As Stan James utilizes more than one software provider, the casino is more diverse and provides a more customized experience for its players.

Slots are plentiful and are broken down into the different areas of interest:

Some of the games do overlap, but the menu divides things up nicely for players who want to get right to their favorite grouping.

The premium slots area is the largest with 120 different themes and titles. These are the more basic slot machines and tend to be favorites of traditionalists, and some fall into the big brand category for their more familiar topics.

The 80 provided video slots will have a few more bells and whistles added to them and will carry over into the bonus games area.

.. and the more bonus-oriented Spinata Grande, Drive-Multiplier Mayhem, Steamtower, Victorious, and Motorhead.

For slot players looking for that elusive big payout, there are 16 jackpot games from which to select.

Video Poker is only five games deep, but there are some fun options like Play 4 Joker Poker or Play 4 Deuces Wild, Joker Wild, Deuces Wild!! (their exclamation points, not ours), and All American Poker.

Table Games are more plentiful and include 32 different games encompassing blackjack, poker, baccarat, roulette, and more. Some of the popular versions include:

And, Caribbean Stud is also a progressive jackpot game and is currently listing a top prize of over £16,000.

Table games do carry over into the Live Casino area as well with five different main tables all hosted by a real live person dealing out the cards. The games include Roulette, Blackjack, Casino Hold ‘em, Baccarat, and Three Card Poker.

The casino has its dedicated custom welcome bonus of a match play offer up to £100. And, whereas the sportsbook is more conservative in its promotional opportunities, the casino offers a lot more to its players with daily free spins and giveaways as well as slots tournaments and other value-add offers.

We’re not done yet, though. Stan James has a big poker room and notes the total number of players (currently over 7,500) seated at the tables at any given time. The poker room is accessed via the instant play, or downloadable version and poker players also receive a lot of extras.

Poker promotions and all of its offerings are plentiful with weekend freerolls, new player freerolls, loyalty point chases, poker cash drops (£5 dropped every five minutes), 30% cash back each week, turbo poker, welcome gifts, and 10% back on casino side games.

How Does This Bookie Compare to Others?

As we’ve mentioned numerous times throughout this review, Stan James is a middle of the road online sportsbook with decent offers and good service for its players. It isn’t exactly going to come out on top in many areas if we compare it to those bigger books that cater to the more experienced, high staking punters.

Stan James’ product is geared toward the recreational bettor in every way from the payout levels to the minimum 1p bet, to the core and simple sports betting premise it conveys. It’s not overly informative but, rather, it relies on a good sports menu with easy to understand alternatives. It’s by no means market-heavy, and it’s not very creative in its markets, but that could be a good thing for newbies just looking to have some fun.

We’ve seen some bookmakers that just overwhelm with way too much content. There are sites like 888sport and Coral that can just make your eyes cross until you’re used to their layout and can get right to the specific things you’re looking to find. With Stan James, it’s a more user-friendly experience for its customers as it’s a genuine traditional sportsbook, despite the fact that it’s hosted online.

Those pesky payout limits do detract from the overall service. If you strictly look at those numbers and you’re looking for the biggest action, a book like Ladbrokes, bet365, or William Hill that’s offering seven-figure payouts for some top-level games is going to catch your eye. The clear potential through some of Stan James’ rivals makes them better bets for big-money punters.

Bonuses are also few and far between for players, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We do bring up bonuses and promotions because some players like them and gravitate to the operators that provide the most, but we feel they’re not always beneficial. Some of these bookmakers impose massive rollover requirements before players are even eligible to cash anything out so, while it looks like a great thing, it could eventually subtract from the bottom line. The site does have a welcome offer if you happen to be British or Irish-based. If not, you’re pretty much out of luck as its value-adds are not for you. The scales may tip in one direction or another for you regarding bonuses, but we feel it’s fairly even.

Sports and markets are also good enough for most, but anyone who is looking for the most obscure markets is not going to find them on Stan James. Score one for books like Unibet, Coral, and bet365 too regarding in-play action and live streaming. If you’re not a racing bettor, you’re not going to find any live feeds on Stan James and its in-play action, again, is sufficient but not awe-inspiring.

Let’s leave this by giving them kudos in a few other areas, though. Its customer service department is one of the best there is and is readily available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist its players. Its website is thorough and visually appealing, with simple navigation and easy to read lines. All in all, if you’re looking for an excellent service without a ton of bells and whistles to distract you from the wagering process itself, this will fit the bill.

And Finally

We know we’ve called Stan James average and middle of the road several times but by no means do we want to imply that it’s subpar, as it certainly is not.

It is a good, standard sportsbook that’s just straightforward in its offerings without going over the top in any one area aside from offering superior customer service. We think there’s a huge market for the service they provide as many people just want a simplified betting experience and don’t have the patience for going through a lot of information to try and find the best deal. Stan James allows players to bet on their favorite teams and up their level of enjoyment for particular games and matches for as little as £.01.

Unless you’ve been proven to bet high and demonstrate skills that provide you with an edge, you have a dedicated sportsbook that will give you the games and markets you’re seeking. If you’re in the other category, you’ll need to be wary of additional limitations that Stan James may apply to your account.

It’s worth a try with a £10 bet that could yield you an additional £20 free bet but remember, the welcome bonus is only extended to players in the UK or Ireland