Coral bookmaker review: rules, support, sign up, free bets, site
Coral is one of Britain’s oldest bookies, dating back to the mid-1920s. Joe Coral, a Polish immigrant, turned his flair for mental arithmetic to profitable ends at London’s dog tracks. Back in the day, he specialised in betting by post – a kind of low-tech version of online betting that got around the legal restrictions of the time – before jumping on changes in the law to open a chain of betting shops in the 1960s. Coral himself died in 1996 and his company had long since been sold to brewing giant Bass, but the brand was still quick to adapt to new opportunities and moved online in 1999 after buying up Gibraltar-based internet bookie Eurobet.
However, Coral’s roots were not abandoned. In 2015 the company still operated more than 1,500 shops in the UK. The following year it merged with Ladbrokes, creating the Ladbrokes Coral betting giant. That, in turn, was purchased by GVC. Owners change, but the Coral brand continues; a familiar sight on the High Street and a significant online presence.
Coral is headquartered in Gibraltar, licensed by the Government of Gibraltar and regulated the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner. UK operations are covered by the license and regulation of the British Gambling Commission.
Today, gamblers in 20 countries can access Coral’s online services at www.coral.co.uk. The full list can be found at https://help.coral.co.uk/en/general-information/registration/wherecaniregisterfrom.
If you know the style of the Ladbrokes site, you won’t be surprised that Coral is fairly similar. The left-hand sidebar allows easy access to all markets, while a menu bar at the top of the page allows users to switch from sports to the casino to poker as required. The latest offers and promos catch the eye before the current leading markets take up the bulk of the central column. Bet slips and the like appear to the right of the page.
However, there is a noticeable difference between Coral and Ladbrokes. An extra column on the home page emphasises the current top in-play markets – Villarreal vs Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Europa League at the time of writing – with details of the current streaming offer close at hand as well.
Coral also offers a suite of apps for iOS and Android. These include a sportsbook app and separate downloads for Coral Live Casino, Coral Poker and the Coral Connect card, which helps punters combine their online and in-store gambling.
Coral has an exhaustive sportsbook, with more than 40 sports on offer. Like a UK-based bookie, it puts a big emphasis on football, horse and greyhound racing, rugby and cricket. But there is far more available here and, depending on personal taste, punters can easily find markets on darts, chess or fishing as well as more mainstream events.
For top-level events, there is a great range of markets. For example, Premier League football easily gets close to 200 markets before kick-off, while even the little known Primera A in Ecuador generates 68 different possible punts. Coral isn’t scared of offering a wide range of betting opportunities.
But what about the odds? Coral Football tends to be average: a Friday night Premier League game between Southampton and Newcastle was listed at even money for a home win, 14/5 about an away victory and 5/2 on the draw. According to Oddschecker, the home win price was almost uniform, with one outlier offering 109/100 on Southampton, but it was possible to get more attractive prices for the draw (up to 13/5 at Unibet, BetFred and Novibet) and a Newcastle success (best-priced at 3/1 on Betfair sportsbook, Sport Nation and Novibet). At a lower level, the same evening’s FA Cup action between Harrogate and Skelmersdale saw Coral posting a competitive 1/9 about a home win for a red-hot favourite but lagging behind the market on the draw or a shock away victory.
At the races, Coral’s market for 1645 at Dundalk was broadly in line with its rivals, beaten only by Bet365 offering best odds on almost every horse on the morning of the race. It was a similar story for 1455 at Hexham, although prices on the outsiders were notably less generous than the leaders.
Coral turns almost all of these in-play events, although there is often a sharp drop in the number of live markets on offer. For example, Ecuador’s Primera might drop to 28 markets after kick-off, and even a Europa League game can be limited to around 80. That still covers all the most popular options about total goals, handicap bets and the like, and the Build Your Bet option goes a long way down the card, giving customers the chance to create their own single-game multis.
For punters who like to combine online betting with the occasional trip to the betting shop, the Coral Connect Card is just the job. This handy bit of plastic makes it easy to link your bricks-and-mortar wagers with your account at www.coral.co.uk. Best of all, there’s a bonus worth up to £30 in free bets if you sign up.
In addition to sports betting, Coral offers the usual range of slots and casinos, plus bingo and poker games to complete a comprehensive gambling offer.
Coral’s welcome bonus offer for new punters is the same as its partner, Ladbrokes. If you stake £5 or more at odds of 1.5 or longer, you’ll be credited with four free bets of £5 each. The bonus comes whether you win or lose that first flutter and, as we said in our review of Ladbrokes, that can’t be bad.
Coral also has a welcome bonus in the casino, where staking £10 across most of the games will activate a £50 reward. Be careful, though: there is a 40x wagering requirement before that reward and any winnings can be recovered, meaning you will need to gamble through £2,000 of stakes to get at the money.
Football fans might like the Coral offer of a free bet if your winning 3x acca comes in on any given day. Coral offers 10% of your stake as a freebie, on top of those lovely winnings. Qualifying bets must be priced 2.5 or greater. There’s also ‘Correct 4’, where getting the right answer to four questions about an upcoming game could net a cool £50. There are smaller free bets on offer for getting two or three correct answers, and playing the game is entirely free.
On the horses, there’s a £25,000 prize pot up for grabs if you can pick horses to place in selected races in another free-to-play challenge. The familiar extra place races and best odds guarantees are all present and correct and Coral also offers a free bet of up to £10 at one meeting each day if you back a horse that fails to complete the course.
Coral live market can be steered towards a possible £5 free bet. Simply place three in-play flutters at 1.2 or greater on any given day and you’ll be credited with the bonus. Just be careful not to cash out – doing so will void the offer for that day.
It can take a bit of scrolling to find Coral Customer service but at the foot of the home page. Coral offers a link to its online helpdesk. This gives access to an extensive, searchable FAQ database. That information can be helpful, but it is not exhaustive. Also, on occasion, it can steer you in the wrong direction – remember that it gives information for _all_ Coral services. If your query is about the sportsbook website, check that your reply isn’t concerned with, for example, the Coral Poker app.
For online chat, use social media. Coral claims that its team is award-winning and staff are available via Facebook messenger or using the @Coralhelp account on Twitter. Responses are usually fast – often within five minutes or so.
Coral makes it simple to open a new account. It takes a couple of minutes to navigate three screens of straightforward questions about who you are. Just give your name, address, DoB, email and phone contacts, and in most cases, you’ll be good to go. If there is an oversight at this stage, it would be the lack of any security question to help confirm your identity when discussing your Coral account with customer services.
However, as part of the UK’s efforts to prevent problem gambling or money laundering, Coral is obliged to be part of the ‘Know Your Customer’ scheme. Therefore, the bookmaker will carry out an electronic check – usually via your chosen payment system – to verify your details. In some circumstances, customers can be asked to send scans of ID documents such as passports, driving licenses or bank statements.
Coral accepts deposits from several different payment systems. Money can be paid into the account using bank cards, Paypal, Apple Pay, ecoPayz, Trustly, paysafecard, instant banking and Coral Connect Cards. All of these payment methods promise instant delivery of funds. The minimum deposit is normally £5 but PayPal users have a minimum of £10. The process of paying in funds is straightforward enough and, when you’ve done it once, it’s quick to top up your funds from the same source when needed.
Punters can withdraw their money from Coral in the same way they made their deposits. There’s a minimum £5 withdrawal (except on a Coral Connect card, where the minimum starts at 1p). Funds must generally be withdrawn to the same source from which they were deposited. On occasion, this can mean withdrawals have to be split across different payment systems if the original deposits were made from more than one source.
Coral operates accounts in just three currencies – Sterling, Euro and US Dollar – when accessed from www.coral.co.uk. When you set up your account, you will be asked to choose your preferred currency. Remember that once this is selected, it cannot easily be changed. If your circumstances require you to seek a different choice of currency, this will have to be resolved via customer services and will often mean closing your existing account and opening a new one.
Coral’s minimum stake is 10p, and the maximum payout is capped at £1 million for top-level horse racing and football. On other sports, caps are lower. Payouts on the most obscure events can be limited to £10,000.
Reliability and security
Coral insists that customer security is a top priority and claims that it does more than any other bookmaker to ensure that gaming is fair and transactions are protected. Online payments are protected by 128-bit SSL technology and all transactions are subject to relevant local legislation and best practice. The same SSL technology protects all gaming interactions on the site.
When the games begin, Coral promises that its random number generation is the most sophisticated in the business, while in the live casino it is impossible for any player to see another’s cards. Coral also has an in-house security team that monitors hand histories for evidence of collusion.
In common with its partners in the GVC Group, Coral also tries to keep gambling fun and protect people from betting more than they can afford. Responsible gambling guidelines are easy to find on the site – check out the top menu bar, and sometimes the promo banner on the home page. Coral offers deposit limits, curfews, stake limits and time-outs to help customers control their gambling. GVC has also called for restrictions on adverts for gambling at football matches and during televised sports events.
This very public commitment to responsible may be in part related to an investigation by the Gambling Commission between 2014 and 2017. The findings criticised Ladbrokes Coral heavily for allowing known problem gamblers to continue to stake enormous sums over a long time period. GVC, which took over the group after the period under investigation, was instructed to introduce several new steps to prevent any repeat and Ladbrokes Coral was fined £5.9 million. For more on that case, see https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/news/ladbrokes-coral-group-to-pay-59m
The good things here are the welcome bonus offer– simple, straightforward and decent value – and the broad range of sports on which to bet. A couple of free games with an outside chance of big prizes don’t hurt, either. However, if you’re chasing the best available odds, you might prefer to look elsewhere. And a recurring free bet programme would be no bad thing for long-term punters.
Bonuses & Promotions
Coral operates only in English.
Products and apps
Coral offers apps both for Android and iOS platforms. You can download them from the Play Store and App Store. The apps offer the same services as the web version.
You can fund deposits in Coral through VISA, VISA Electron, Mastercard, Maestro cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, ecoPayz, Trustly, paysafecard, Instant Banking, Coral Connect cards. The minimum deposit is £5 except PayPal (£10). The maximum deposit is £5,500 per day for deposits funded in Coral shops and is unlimited for other payment methods. All the funds are processed instantly. No commission held by the bookmaker for deposits.
The withdrawal can be made through VISA, VISA Electron, Mastercard, Maestro cards, Visa Fast Funds, PayPal, Fast Bank Transfer and Coral cards. The minimum withdrawal sum is £5 for all the methods, except Coral Connect cards (£0.01). The maximum withdrawal sum for Coral Connect is £1000 and is unlimited for other payment methods. The processing time is 1-3 business days for VISA, VISA Electron, Mastercard and Maestro cards; 2-4 business days for Fast Bank Transfer; 8 hours for PayPal; 4 hours for VISA Fast Funds and instantly for Coral Connect Cards. No commission is held by the bookmaker for withdrawals.
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Coral accepts British Pounds, US Dollars and Euros.
If you have any issues with Coral you can ask questions to the Live Chat, by email and by a message on Twitter. Live chat operates slowly. Email answer comes within a day.
as an arbitrator
You can learn about the feedback and opinion on sum withdrawals and betting in Coral in the “Feedback” and in the comment to the review. Learn here about the experience of Coral users. Share your experience with everyone.
Pros and cons
Once you have registered an account with some personal details and you may be asked for an additional form of ID too, you must deposit some funds into your account. You may have to wait till your ID is verified and, after this process is complete, simply choose your bets from your favourite sport or maybe even a lotto selection. Sit back and wait till your team wins or your numbers come up and good luck.
Make a minimum bet of E5 and join Connect and you place a real money sports bet of at least £/€5 win or £/€5 each-way, at fractional odds totalling 1/2 (decimal odds 1.5) or greater
You will receive 4x 5 free bets that will be credited instantly and 1x £10 free bet that will be credited within 48 hours of qualification and all free bets will expire if not used within 7 days of being credited. The smart card that gives you more!
Offers expire after 7 days but, as far as we know, any wins will remain on your account until this becomes dormant. Bookmakers usually follow banking laws and, if there is no activity for three years, it will be a hassle to reactivate the account and retrieve your balance.
Depending on the original payment method used, it typically takes a few hours to claim your winnings. Be aware that a bank transfer can take up to 5 working days so best to have a credit card or debit card handy for your betting experience and to ensure speedy recovery of your winnings.