Sportingbet review: rules, support, sign up, free bets, site
Founded in 1997 by Mark Blandford, Sportingbet, initially a British–based site, wasn’t content with just a UK–focused sportsbook and began to invest in a global operation that grew to encompass poker and casino action as well. More recently, Sportingbet was absorbed into the GVC stable, which also includes Bwin, Ladbrokes and Coral. Poker dropped off the menu, but the brand is still alive. But what does Sportingbet offer?
Sportingbet services are currently available in 26 countries from www.sportingbet.com. These include some unlikely locations, such as UAE where online gambling was not permitted for a long time. There are further localised Sportingbet sites available to cover more countries and users in those territories will be automatically redirected to the relevant address. As a result, Sportingbet has a truly global reach.
Sportingbet.com is available in six languages – English, German, Hungarian, Portuguese (Brazilian) and two Spanish variants (Chile and Mexico).
The Sportingbet website is provided by ElectraWorks and is based in Gibraltar. Sportingbet’s operations are licensed and regulated by the territory’s government and the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner. Sportingbet’s British operations are licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission.
Sportingbet is a part of the GVC stable alongside Bwin. As a result, Sportingbet.com looks and feels very similar to Bwin.com. The key difference, in crude terms, is that Sportingbet is on a white background and Bwin on black.
Much of the layout is very intuitive. It is quite easy to find pre–match and live sports betting, plus the usual casino, slots and poker options, from the menu bar at the top of the page. The same bar handles login and registration. It displays your current balance and any new messages. For some reason, there is a second menu bar below this is the linking to popular sports. This is rather needless considering all the info is duplicated at the top of the left–hand sidebar.
Unlike Bwin, there is little sign of boosted markets at Sportingbet. One of the site’s weaknesses is a lack of bonuses.
On the plus side, this does get you straight to the heart of the action – the current top coupons for in–play or upcoming action.
Another minus of Sportingbet.com layout is the fiddly way of setting up the page to switch between fractional and decimal odds. I know that, traditionally, UK bookies use the fractional system, but my personal preference is for decimal (in much the same way that I don’t measure things in groats). Sportingbet eschews a simple ‘settings’ toggle in favour of a rigmarole within the ‘my account’ section. If you don’t register, you can only see fractional odds.
Live streamings on Sportingbet can be set up in the right–hand sidebar – at the time of writing there was table tennis and football on offer. There’s a big, easy to use bet slip here as well. Then it’s on to colourful panel advertising slots and a multi–bet generator designed to part mug punters from their money by suggesting ludicrously improbable five–folds involving a selection of obscure tournaments.
Sportingbet offers apps for iOS and Android devices, but the desktop website is coy about this. The quickest way to access them is to search outside the site.
The Sportingbet sportsbook offers an impressive range of different sports. The A–Z list offers 45 separate options, from the obvious major markets on horse racing and football to deeply obscure offers about cross country skiing (the Norwegians and the Russians are usually a safe bet here) and chess.
Sportingbet odds tend to be competitive, but they are not the best in the market. As Monday evening’s Segunda clash between Girona and Las Palmas drifted towards a 1–1 draw, Sportingbet’s prices were firmly mid–market. However, before closing its book on the FA Cup First Round tie between Oxford City and Northampton, Sportingbet was noticeably ungenerous at 28/1 about Northampton’s chances of a late turnaround; other sites already priced the Cobblers at the 50s to win from 2–1 down.
For the upcoming action, the picture wasn’t all that attractive. Tuesday’s early morning Chinese Superleague game between Hebei and Shanghai saw the home team generally drifting towards even money on Monday evening. Sportingbet was still offering an unprepossessing 83/100 about the home win. 5/2 about the draw was pretty much on the money, but 13/5 for a Shanghai win was about as poor as it got 10 hours ahead of kick–off.
At the races, Sportingbet was competitively priced about favourites on Monday’s cards – prices of 9/4 and 5/2 about the winner and runner–up in the 3:20 at Kempton were in line with the market. However, outsiders seem to be better priced elsewhere, which might concern punters looking for a value edge.
Sportingbet in–play action is extensive. There is good quality streaming available for a wide – albeit somewhat random – selection of events. However, for games without streams, Sportingbet’s stat service has some frustrating omissions – no possession percentage for the football, for example, and while total shots are counted, shots on target are not. That can make a team playing ‘hit and hope’ football look far more competitive than it really is, which isn’t great for punters looking to buck the in–play markets.
It’s not just a sport. Politics and entertainment provide novelty markets. Casino fans will enjoy four separate areas – games, Sportingbet Jackpots, Casino and Live Casino. However, there is no poker or bingo on the site.
In all honesty, this is where Sportingbet struggles. In a marketplace crammed with tempting offers, Sportingbet falls well short. The Sportingbet welcome offer is only moderately appealing – a £10 free bet if your first wager loses (prices must be even money or higher, and horse racing is excluded) and 100 free spins in the casino. But the regular features are nothing special. Sports bettors are limited to bet builders for single–game multis on basketball and American football, plus enhanced accas and the best odds guaranteed on the horses. There’s nothing in Sportingbet that appears to be beyond the standard offer of any halfway decent online bookie, and certainly nothing that really justifies the term ‘promotion’.
Things are a bit better in the casino, where punters at Sportingbet can opt into cashback offers on Friday (regular casino) and over the weekend (live casino). There’s a chance to claim a daily (small) prize for use in the casino and the promise of a big jackpot, but again, nothing out of the ordinary.
Initial queries are referred to the in–site Sportingbet FAQ. This is organised by topic but lacks a search engine which makes it somewhat cumbersome to use. However, there is a more detailed and searchable helpdesk at https://help.sportingbet.com/en/general–information, which is somewhat more user–friendly.
If the in–house FAQs don’t give you what you need, you can ask for further assistance. This leads to a page that connects with Sportingbet’s live chat (9 am to 9 pm, UK time), email or Twitter links. The live chat can be a little frustrating – it starts by connecting to a chatbot that doesn’t understand very much – but will provide quick answers once you get a human operator. Email is good for more complex queries, or something where you want a ‘paper trail’ from the start, but won’t be quick. The company’s telephone helplines are currently suspended due to the pandemic.
The registration process in Sportingbet is fairly straightforward. Sportingbet steers new users through three screens. The first asks for the country of residence, preferred currency, email and a password. Screen two asks for full name and date of birth. Screen three wants your address and a phone number and invites you to subscribe to the mailing list for details of promos and other news. And that’s all there is to it.
However, UK users should be aware of Sportingbet’s commitments under the Know Your Customer programme. The company has to verify the details of all its users to prevent underage gambling, money laundering and similar issues.
In most cases, this can be done smoothly via an online check – normally associated with banking details – and you will be verified automatically. In some cases, though, Sportingbet may ask for further information, such as scans of your passport or driving license. That process can delay cash deposits and especially withdrawals.
Customers can deposit funds into Sportingbet via a vast range of different payment systems. At present, Sportingbet.com supports more than 30 different online payment services, from internationally renowned companies like Paypal to more localised operations like Brazil’s Boleto.
Minimum deposits in Sportingbet are usually £10 and for most services, the funds are transferred immediately. Do check the terms and conditions for your preferred payment system, though, as this can vary. Withdrawals are similar. There’s a minimum £10 withdrawal in place and the process usually takes up to 24 hours to complete. In some cases, usually involving bank transfers, this can be extended to as much as one week.
Sportingbet offers accounts in an impressive 26 different currencies via the Sportingbet.com site. That’s an above–average collection and the choice seems to be wider than the countries from which users can register. Therefore, a player who prefers the security of holding a pot in, for example, US dollars rather than a volatile local currency, can enjoy that option.
Sportingbet’s minimum stake is 50p for a football bet. That’s higher than many of its rivals, where minimum stakes of 10p or 20p are more common.
The Sportingbet site applies caps to winning bets. Customers cannot win more than 250,000 Euros in one week and the baseline for an individual bet starts at 10,000 Euros (£7,000). That isn’t competitive against many of Sportingbet’s rivals.
However, on many markets that limit is far higher – elite football, NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB and the like have a cap of 250,000 Euros. That’s not the market leader by a long distance – Sportingbet is outshone by William Hill’s £2 million cap on football and many bookies allow wins of up to £1 million on their biggest markets. But it still represents a good return for a day’s work. Any attempt to place a bet that would win more than the limit will be flagged on the betslip and punters will be asked to reduce their stake accordingly.
Reliability and security
Registered in the UK and Gibraltar, Sportingbet has to meet high legislative standards in order to trade. That’s reassuring for users. Sportingbet is also signed up to all the relevant watchdogs that ensure fair play – the site bears the stamp of eCOGRA, the European Gaming and Betting Association and the International Betting Integrity Association.
There was a notable legislative cock–up relatively early in Sportingbet’s business when Paradise Poker turned sour for then–chairman Peter Dicks. The site fell foul of Louisiana’s explicit prohibition of online gambling in the state and Dicks was arrested in 2006 while visiting the USA. A month later, Sportingbet announced that Paradise Poker would no longer accept funds from American players and sold off its US sportsbook at sportsbetting.com plus its various casino sites.
That American misadventure aside, Sportingbet’s track record is entirely reputable. In addition, parent company GVC has placed itself at the forefront of efforts to combat problem gambling. Advice about managing your betting is easily available from the top menu bar – which is always visible on the screen – and the company has connections with GamStop and other organisations committed to helping people overcome gambling addictions.
Bonuses. Bonuses. Bonuses. In a marketplace stuffed with free bet offers, Sportingbet simply isn’t giving itself a sporting chance. Regardless of the other qualities of this site, it quickly feels like other companies will value your custom more enthusiastically.
Therefore, I’d advise giving this one a swerve unless you urgently need a £10 risk–free punt to insure a more significant wager elsewhere. Given the range of options within the GVC stable, I’d say that Sportingbet is a brand that is being quietly but deliberately neglected.
The Sportingbet helpdesk also felt a bit cumbersome; instead of giving information quickly, it feels like there’s a bit of digging before you get to a place where you can ask a question. That said, once you find it, the standard contact options are available and efficient.
Bonuses & Promotions
Sportingbet has 6 language options for users: English, German, Hungarian, Spanish (Mexico), Spanish (Chile), Portuguese (Brazil).
Products and apps
Sportingbet apps are available both for Android and iOS devices. The apps offer the same services as the desktop version: sportsbook, casino, live casino. You can find and download Sportingbet apps in Play Store and Apps Store.
You can fund deposits in Sportingbet through VISA, VISA Electron, Mastercard, Maestro, Diners Club cards, Skrill, Skrill 1-Tap, Skrill Rapid Transfer, Neteller, ecoPayz, MuchBetter, PayPal, paysafecard, ApplePay, Cashtocode, eMONEYSAFE, Interac, Luxon Pay, OnlineUBERWEISEN, Servipag, webpay, Astropay, Boleto, eps, giropay, SOFORT Banking, Trustly, EFT Canad, Instant Banking, Fast Bank Transfer and bank wires.
The minimum and the minimum deposit are not limited. The processing time is mostly instant or done within minutes except for Boleto (1-3 business days), Fast Bank Transfer (1-4 business days) and bank wires (1-3 business days). No commission is charged by the bookmaker for the deposit.
The withdrawal in Sportingbet can be mad through ISA, VISA Electron, Mastercard, Maestro, Diners Club cards, Skrill, Skrill Rapid Transfer, Neteller, ecoPayz, MuchBetter, PayPal, paysafecard, eMONEYSAFE, Luxon Pay, Trustly, eft, Fast Bank Transfer.
The minimum withdrawal sum is $10/€10. The maximum withdrawal sum is $10,000 for Skrill and Trustly, €10,000 for eMONEYSAFE, €5000 for Skrill Rapid Transfer, $50,000 for Neteller and $70,000 for Fast Bank Transfer. The processing time is 3-5 business days for VISA, VISA Electron, Mastercard, Maestro, 6-8 busines days for Diners Club, up to 24 hours for Skrill, Skrill Rapid Transfer, Neteller, ecoPayz, MuchBetter, PayPal and paysafecard, up to 3 business days for eMONEYSAFE and Luxon Pay, up to 5 business days for Trustly, 3-7 business days for eft and 2-4 business days for Fast Bank Transfer. No commission is held by the bookmaker for the withdrawal except Diner Club ($2,50).
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Sportingbet accepts 13 currencies including EUR, GBP and USD.
Support service operates quite well. Live chat operator joins the chat if the chatbot is not able to answer your question. This process takes about 1-2 minutes. The email answer comes within 2 days.
as an arbitrator
You can learn about the feedback and opinion on sum withdrawals and betting in Sportingbet in the “Feedback” and in the comment to the review. Learn here about the experience of Sportingbet users. Share your experience with everyone.
Pros and cons
Yes, Sportingbet has a welcome offer. It offers a £10 free bet and 100 free spins in the casino.
Sportingbet offers iOS and Android apps.
You should go to the Contact page, choose a FAQ question. Answer “Yes” to the question “Do you need more help?” and in the appeared window you will see the live chat option among other options.