BetFred

Betfred started out as a bookie in the sixties and now has over 750 branches, but its online presence is the rising star. Launched in 2004, it came after the company’s telephone service and prides itself on innovation in the betting field. With £1.5 billion turnover, Betfred is a big fish and is registered in Gibraltar for gaming purposes.

With a free up-to-£50 bet on sign-up, the front page of the site is a paragon of simplicity, no dinky tabs here. Instead you have great big slabs of screen acting as links for the most popular services. Click on a slab and you see the more standard betting page fare of live activity, popular bets and the latest odds. Near the bottom of the page is an option to change your view from fractional to decimal or American style figures.

Payment options

Betfred’s front page is one you can actually watch for a bit as it shows the odds for upcoming football matches and races or other current events. Once you’ve got a feel for the action on offer, you can sign up and make your first bet with just a couple of quick steps. You can deposit money with most cards, PayPal and money transfer services (although for some of those, like MyCitadel and NETteller, you may be charged an additional fee if you make more than one deposit per day.)

Betting

Click “Show Event” on one of the highlight panes and you get more detailed bets and odds with sensible lists of likely scorers and so on, with the silly odds options tucked away behind a further options button. It gives the site a good common-sense feel to it and obviously a lot of thought has gone into the design.

Major matches and events offer fully stats and live text or audio commentary. On the side of the page are quick links to live audio for horse racing, greyhounds and football, plus a text service for the horses that provides riders, up to date news including non-runners and conditions. There’s also a football predictor game you can set up with friends as a sideline with lots of prizes.

Betfred’s odds are smack in line with the consensus of other online bookies, with hardly any deviation. For expert bettors, there is Betfred’s Quick Bet tool that can help make wagers in just a couple of clicks. Mobile gaming is available over WAP and Java to support most phones.

Casino

At the top of the Sporting page are tabs for the rest of Betfred’s gambling empire. The casino has a £200 welcome bonus with a downloadable casino floor or in-browser instant play tables, all powered by PlayTech. You can try the tables for free or opt to put cash down with your account. There is a VIP program for regular bettors, with different levels depending on how much many you deposit on a monthly basis and cash back, assuming you gamble plenty at the tables.

Poker

On the Poker tab, the currency switches to dollars with a $600 sign-up bonus and you need to download the PlayTech software to play. There are a thousands of games to join, hundreds of tournaments and tens of thousands of players. On the site is all the usual information on rules, etiquette and strategy to welcome newcomers. With big money tournaments and play-for-fun options, all budgets are catered for.

On the Games and Skill tabs, there are plenty of other diversions including video casino games, slot machines and traditional games like dominos and backgammon. There is also a Bingo tab offering a £30 bonus and a lottery tab that takes you around some of the world’s national lotteries.

Betfred is a thoroughly professional service with a good site, that doesn’t drown the user in silly bets. It is backed up by decent support (phone lines open from 7AM to 11PM UK time) and lots of useful information, including a collection of stats databases for racing, football, golf or cricket and a news page that covers the latest details from each sport of interest.

Tick Box

  • Safe: Yes
  • Demos: Yes
  • 24/7 Support: No
  • Download Required: Yes, for Poker
  • Mobile Gambling: Yes
  • Promotions: Yes
  • Live Betting: Yes

Bet365

Bet 365 is a part of the 365 Media Group that operates a number of different outlets including TEAMtalk and Football 365. The website was formerly known as ukbetting plc between 2001 and 2006 before it was acquired by BSkyB in January 2007. Extensions of the company, totalbet and the aforementioned ukbetting were absorbed by Skybet which now operate under the mega corporation’s umbrella. Since its profile update, the site has grown in both size and worldwide popularity with it now catering for the needs of over 3 million customers.

Betting

Upon entering the site, the homepage at first seems lifeless and uninspiring, that is until you delve further into the available markets where you will uncover a variety of somewhat obscure sports, as well as the regulars we have come to expect. It is clear from your first visit that this is primarily a sports betting arena. At no immediate point does it suggest otherwise. If you are looking for non-sports related betting you will have to dive deep into the options to unearth such markets as the winner of the next general election to the winner of So You Think You Can Dance. In the very centre of the homepage you have the sites main promotion at the time of writing and this featured a 100% bonus in free bets which corresponds to the amount you place into your account when you initially join. Selecting this option will then open your eyes to the range of other promotions Bet 365 offer which include some rather interesting footy enticers. As well as offering a percentage bonus on accumulators (the more games you pick, the larger the bonus which can go up to 100% if you select 14 games from around the world), there is also the Bore Draw Money Back offer. Basically, if you place a single bet in the win/lose market of any football match, your stake will be refunded if the match ends 0-0, which makes most games an attractive prospect.

Underneath the promotion link lies the Top Coupons section which acts as a short cut, taking you directly to your area of expertise whether it be soccer, tennis or horse-racing. Following on from this there is the Live In-Play section which details all of the markets that are available at the time of your visit related to real time sporting events. The rest of the markets are listed in a tab style along the left hand side of the page. What will amaze you upon browsing the available options is the variety on offer. You can literally bet on anything that is even close to being sporting related, so much so that there are some sports that can be betted on that we’ve never even heard of (Trotting and Bandy anyone?). Aside from this you have all the traditional options and a few unexpected ones, bowls for example. Bet 365 also offers you the chance to take part in lotteries from all around the world. As well as the popular Irish lottery, you can also purchase tickets for the New York and German lotteries.

Casino

Although outright betting is the most obvious offering from this site, there is also an online Casino in which punters can gamble their cash. Card and table games can all be participated in and these areas feature favourites such as Blackjack and Deuces Wild. Live Dealer is another option for customers to use and this sees all the drama unfold right in front of you during your session. While the site does have its own dedicated Poker area (we will come to this later on), under the Casino title is Video Poker which requires a programme download. It offers a £100 initial match bonus when you sign up and allows competition against others sporting their most off putting tactics. The site features live counters for games too, which detail how much money is being pumped into a game and what the potential prize amounts are.

Welcome Bonus

The actual Poker section itself offers a $500 new player bonus when registering for the service as well as a range of tournaments that vary in winning amounts. The whole area does not seem as newb friendly as other sites however. There is a guaranteed monthly prize pool of $1,000,000 in one particular set of tournaments meaning a $200,000 windfall for each individual winner.

Bet365 features an extensive Games section that offers winnings through themed slot and regular games. These include the gambling website favourite, Monopoly as well as War Of The Worlds and HiLo Gambler. Another pretty cool game that you can participate is a money making/losing adult version of the childhood classic, Top Trumps. Among the themes are Football Stars, Legends and Managers and here you are able to place money whilst playing the game (you’ll be quids in if you get the Fergie card!). Finally there is the Bingo area of the site which offers a range of different competitions based on the number shouting past time. Manic Mondays puts you in with a shot of winning £25 just by playing and First Class Fever offers a £1,000 daily prize.

It should be noted that while Bet365 does deal in American Dollars in some areas, the main currency is the English Pound. The currency converter will help you with this when you have to use one or the other though. Fractional betting is the main format used throughout the site but you can choose the option to switch to decimal if you so wish. Bet365 is not the best presented site out there but it more than makes up for it with its vast range of games and markets. It offers new things with the Top Trumps game and markets on any virtually any sport you can think of. Although the site is affiliated with the BSkyB corporation, the odds do vary from those offered on SkyBet, allowing it to remain a standalone bookie with a unique identity. With its market repertoire, it is clear to see why this is one of the best and most recognised brands in the gambling world.

Tick Box:

  • Safe: Yes
  • Demos: Yes
  • 24/7 Support: Yes
  • Download Required: Yes (for Video Poker)
  • Promotions: Yes
  • Live Betting: Yes
  • Mobile Betting: Yes By: Ben Stokes Score:

Betclic

Betclic (used to be Betclick but has changed to match its continental brand name) is a London-based company with offices in Malta for regulatory purposes. It offers the usual array of sports, poker, games and casino offerings. Fronted by Marcel Desailly, new members get a £20 refund on their first bet. With over a million members around the world, the company is a sizeable outfit and offers a well-presented and friendly website.

The most noticeable feature for beginners is the level of help available. With annotated visual guides to creating accounts, betting and gaming, it will be hard to go wrong and there is the usual “?” help icon on most pages if trouble does strike. Support is current via a web form, but phone support is promised soon.

Betting

On the Sports page, all the major sports from around the world are available down the left, broken up into leagues, divisions and so on. Odds are clearly displayed for football, and other sports it simply highlights what you’ll win for a fixed specific bet. You can also look at a calendar for upcoming events across all sports and the Live Betting button opens up a list of every active and immediate event.

Odds go right down the middle of the limited variation you’ll see on any site, you might find the odd pound here or there, but Betclic sticks pretty tightly to the party line, even for more random bets like half-time scores. Similarly, there isn’t much commentary or insight into an event, just a tabloid paragraph or two to set the scene.

Poker

The Poker side of Betclic is hosted by Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier, she plays in tournaments on the site from time to time and there is a cash bonus for members of the Betclic Poker Club that beat her. Betclic uses Boss Media software for its Poker download and provides a smart front end and decent table layout for playing on.

There is a full version for Windows and a Flash download for Windows or Mac users. With options to find players, locate a suitable game quickly without browsing through the tables, it’s a pretty slick application which can run in full-screen or windowed mode. It even has a choice of two or four colour deck cards for those who have trouble distinguishing the usual red/black scheme and an option to turn off the sound effects.

Welcome Bonus

There’s a €200 euro welcome bonus (if you deposit €100) for poker players and plenty of tutorials and help for newcomers to the games. On the Casino and Games tabs, players can find a range of table, slots, video poker and other games to have some fun with. Some of the jackpots are fairly staggering, the MegaFortune slots is nearing €2,500,000 at the time of writing and you can try them out for fun without needing an account. Each game has a clear menu option for the rules and playing in fullscreen mode, no hunting about for tiny icons, which is a welcome change.

Betclic’s web pages look professional and attractive and the site has lots of help for all levels of gamblers, it has a middle of the road approach to odds and good software for poker players. With the usual levels of security, money handling and improving support, it’s a good to place to go for your betting needs.

Tick Box

Safe: Yes
Demos: Yes
24/7 Support: No
Download Required: Yes (for Poker)
Promotions: Yes
Live Betting: Yes
Mobile Betting: No

Paddy Power

Paddy Power is Ireland’s biggest and most successful bookmaker. It was founded in 1988 when three existing Irish high street bookmakers combined their skills in a merger. The now internationally recognised company claim to “take an unconventional approach to betting and gambling,” believing them to be “firmly rooted in leisure and entertainment space.” The well renowned bookmaker operate outlets throughout the UK and Ireland with 190 operating in the brand’s origin, eight in Northern Ireland and 60 in the UK itself (as of October 31st 2008). The mission is to make risk-based entertainment more accessible and fun which is believed to have contributed to strong reputation as “The Punter Friendly Bookmaker.”

Betting

When you enter the site, the first thing that will slap you in the face harder than a losing home banker is the sheer amount of betting options on show. In all there are nine different tabs that offer a range of betting options. Clearly the focus here is on as this is the default page that you are presented with. In the centre of the page lies an image sliding reel of promotions and related to current interest. For example, best priced trebles and the latest odds on the African Nations Cup were prominent at the time of our visit. Located underneath is a quick link, tab style box that highlights the top five betting options in three different areas. Live Betting, the Next 5 Races and the Top 5 are all viewable in this area, which helps to pull customers straight to a more instant style of betting. Following on from this is a highlights section that details upcoming events, for example football matches being played on the same day/night of your visit. Included is a short creative writing piece on each which adds a touch of humour to your experience and in turn gives it a very homely feel.

When it comes to sporting , literally have the lot. Whether Basketball or Mixed Martial Arts is your thing, you have the options of slapping some of your hard earned money down on the latest odds. They were even offering on the 2010 Winter Olympics at the time of writing, something not often seen or advertised on rival sites. A betting area in which some sites fail is the more obscure markets but even cater for these needs. While other sites do offer some, they are either not very well highlighted or not on offer at all. In a section of the site called Novelty you can wager money on some of the less mainstream markets. For example if you fancy a shot at guessing the first member of Girls Aloud to have a baby, the next CEO of British Airways or even the next Bond Girl (the smart money says Cheryl Cole – for all three) then look no further. There is an immense amount of depth and variety here.

On the site’s homepage there is a tick box style advert as to why you should choose . One of the reasons is that the company offer early payouts on events and markets that they feel are already done and dusted, even if the result has not been made official yet. also offer “Paddies Price Promise” which applies to both Horse and Greyhound Racing and basically ensures you get the best possible price, no matter when you placed your . If you place a on the winner of a race and then these odds change, whether or not they go longer or shorter, you will be guaranteed to get the best odds, regardless of what they were when you placed the , if your pick wins. This is just one of the many promotions and unique offerings from the site. Another one is Last Man Standing whereby you pay £5 to enter and all you have to do is pick one winner from one Premiership match. If your pick does indeed win, you go through to the next week. This then continues until there is only one person left who will pick up the £10,000 prize. If you fall at the first hurdle, you can re-enter the following week for absolutely nothing. The site offers a decimal conversion option along with a calculator which will ensure you understand exactly how much your potential winnings could be too.

Crikey! All this and we haven’t even begun to mention the other services offer. If standard betting and is not your thing then never fear as caters for your hand dealing needs. It operates in Dollars however so be aware of this when you sign up. It features a School section which informs you of rules and tips on how to win. It also operates a number of tournaments that are tailored to your experience levels. Beginners tournaments are available for those of you may be new to the scene. There are a variety of different promotions here too which include the C*A*S*H army rewards (a spin-off from the famous series M*A*S*H) which rewards players depending on how often they participate. This offers a very light-hearted and fun approach to the otherwise serious matter of gambling. There is also the choice available which delivers such as Roulette, and slot . You can even download a straight to your desktop for easy access.

In honesty we could go on forever talking about the range of options on offer at . We didn’t even have enough time to discuss the fact that they offer financial spread betting and a large section for you to channel your skills into. offer what seems to be unrivalled promotions in terms of amount and appeal. What we have is one of the most user friendly sites we have experienced and the one that delivers the largest amount of fun and options.

Tick Box

  • Safe: Yes
  • Demos: Yes
  • 24/7 Support: Unclear
  • Live Chat: Yes
  • Download Required: Yes (For a range of )
  • Promotions: Yes

Coral

Coral is one of the oldest and most successful bookmakers in the UK. Based in Essex, the company has been in the gambling business since 1926. Running two greyhound racing tracks, hundreds of betting shops and an array of online services, Coral is a well established group. Coral Eurobet was bought in 2005 by Gala, the well known gaming and bingo organisation. Gala combined with Coral to become one of the biggest UK bookmakers and the largest bingo provider.

Coral’s online services are wide ranging. The website home page is laid out well and is relatively easy to navigate; each section, from the casino to sports, is clearly set out in a menu bar and betting highlights are presented below. Upcoming events are also featured, enabling quick access to the next five racing or sports bets.

Betting

Coral bookmaking services feature a tremendous selection of sports including rugby, boxing, horse racing, snooker and Tennis, amongst others. Football is covered in great detail, with options to bet on matches taking place all over the world. Also included under sports is UK politics – offering up the chance to bet on the time of the next general election and, of course, on who will win. Going beyond the UK, Coral also offers betters the option to gamble on US sports ranging from American football to basketball.

Opening an account is a fairly straight forward process, a three step sign-up first requests personal details and goes on to ask how you intend to deposit and withdraw funds. The credit card options are quite limited but a range of debit cards are accepted. Only one method can be used at a time and if you want to change this in the future you’ll need to withdraw the full value of your deposits via your original method before the change will take effect.

In terms of deposits Coral has measures in place to encourage responsible gambling. Clearly presented in the deposit method set-up is the option to limit deposits to ensure safe gambling. A link opens up options to set a maximum deposit both on a daily and weekly time-scale. Session time limits can also be set for gaming and a self-exclusion policy is in place which enables gamblers to restrict their own access to the service.

Casino

An online casino is available with a plethora of games from roulette to various forms of slots. No download is necessary to play the games and they load very quickly in neat pop-up windows. It’s also possible to try them out just for fun before committing any money. The software provider is Chartwell who also power online games used by Bwin and Betfair.

Poker

Coral’s poker offering initially appears to require a download but there is an option for an instant play version, requiring Java. The downloadable version offers certain benefits such as being able to customise your poker table. The instant poker application isn’t as well laid out as the casino games but it doesn’t take too long to get to grips with the interface. A chat room is also available for those who like to have a gabble with their gamble. The software for Coral’s poker is powered by Ongame Network who also provide for a range of other sites.

Bingo

Naturally Coral’s bingo section links straight to Gala Bingo. Gala’s site is a little more chaotic at first glance but it’s still easy to find your way around. The bingo site actually contains a lot of other games from roulette to more casual offerings. Like Coral’s casino, Gala Bingo operates in a pop-up window and requires no download. The bingo lobby is split between a chat room and a selection of available tickets for purchase.

Coral has a comprehensive help section with betting guides and information regarding each of the website areas. Individual sports rules are included and finding out what you need to know is generally simple. The support side of Coral is let down by the absence of a 24 hour help line- direct support is only available between 7am and 11pm and this might be an issue for some people.

Another key drawback is the apparent absence of a mobile betting service on the main website. Thankfully a quick search will reveal coraleurobet.com which has a WAP based service link for those who like to gamble on the go. Unfortunately this is only for sports betting and it really should be advertised in a more prominent place on the main site.

All of this adds up to a feature packed gambling service, the addition of Gala Bingo (which can be accessed using your Coral account) is of particular benefit to the site and the casino is also very easy to use. A radio service and neat tools such as a bet calculator all contribute to what is an excellent betting experience. Despite a couple of small niggles like the limited support service Coral stands out as a high quality gambling site.

Tick box

  • Safe: Yes
  • Demos: Yes
  • 24/7 support: No
  • Live chat: Yes (in some games including poker and bingo)
  • Download required: No (optional for poker)
  • Promotions: Yes
  • Live-Betting: Yes
  • Mobile: Yes

Totesport

Claiming to be synonymous with horseracing, Totesport is clearly focused on sports betting above all else. Commonly known as The Tote, Totesport is based in Manchester and has high street betting outlets all over the country. The company also has a lot of experience behind it; Tote was founded in 1928 by an act of parliament. Going online in 2002 as Tote BetXpress and re-branded in 2005 as Totesport, the company has had plenty of time to update and perfect their website. Offering betting, a casino and instant games, Totesport has a multifaceted but sports based gambling service.

Promotions

Totesport offers two welcome bonuses. The first is a free bet up to the value of £50; you just have to register and place a bet of £10 or more and you’ll receive a free bet of an equal amount. You initial bet has to be made at a price of evens or greater. The other welcome incentive is a 100% deposit based bonus of up to £100 for use in the casino. You must wager 40 times the bonus amount in order to convert it into cash that you can withdraw. The bonus can be used to help meet these requirements.

While the selection of promotions isn’t huge, there are some more on top of the welcome incentives. The casino offers an additional 50% bonus on top of the first deposit made every month (up to a maximum of £50). Once again, you will have to wager 40 times your bonus in order to convert it into actual cash. The welcome bonuses are pretty good but there isn’t an abundance of additional promotions to keep things exciting.

Sports Betting

Like most websites with sports betting facilities, Totesport features these services on the home page. The site is reasonably well designed with a clean appearance on the main pages. A light green and white style dominates the aesthetics of the site and a black login/registration bar passes across the top, making logging in an efficient process.

Opening an account is split into four steps; not the most straight forward system but each step is easy to complete. An address finder is used to make entering your address easy but if any problems occur you can enter it manually.

The second step asks for a username and password, you’ll also need to enter a security question and answer. The third step asks for your preferred currency along with any deposit limits you may want to set and the fourth step asks you to enter your deposit method and details. If you want to enter deposit information later you can skip this for now.

Once you’ve finished setting yourself up, you can get stuck in. The betting services on offer are of a good quality with sports split between football and others. One slight issue is that, rather than dropping down into more links, each main category links to a new page, slowing down the selection process- not a big problem but a bit slower than it could be. The list of sports includes all of the usual candidates and a specials section for cultural or political bets (at the time of writing only the American Idol winner was up for betting on under specials). The sports betting section is generally of high quality and provides everything that you would expect it to.

Casino

The casino section of the website has a darker, more atmospheric look than the sports betting section. Casino games can be played either for fun or for money and the choice is offered as you open a game. The in browser games are very well presented with a clean and stylish look. There are no unnecessary animations but the design is attractive and fun. A quick explanation of how to play is made upon opening a game and the interface is easy to use.

A downloadable client is also available for use and is quite easy to set up. The downloaded casino is also very stylish and generally impressive for a website that focuses on sports betting. The variance of options is good and there is even an option to limit play time for player safety. The games themselves are once again nicely designed and fun to use. Comprehensive help is also available. Playtech provide software for Totesport casino games.

Payment Options

The variety of payment options is where Totesport really drop the ball. Unfortunately only cards are accepted and of these only Visa, MasterCard and Maestro are permitted. This is an unbelievably small selection of payment methods for an otherwise well designed website. Currency options are also quite limited with only the UK pound and the euro being accepted.

Conclusion

Totesport provide a high quality and fun to use service with a strong offering not only in their specialty area of sports betting but also in their casino. The game interfaces both online and in the downloaded program are excellent and easy to use. Help services are available and a 24 hour line is open to assist with any problem. Unfortunately, all of this is marred by a very poor choice of payment options and currencies. This isn’t a disaster but it certainly damages an otherwise very good gambling service.

  • Safe: Yes
  • 24/7 Support: Yes
  • Demos: Yes
  • Download Required: No
  • Live Betting: Yes
  • Mobile Gambling: Yes
  • Promotions: Yes

Bwin

Originally founded in Vienna and working out of Gibraltar (and other gambling-friendly legislatures around the world) for legal purposes and for its global reach, bwin.com used to be known as Betandwin.com, which perhaps fell foul of trading standards somewhere. It also runs other sites, including the popular PokerRoom.com and currently uses its marketing power to sponsor some major sports and teams including Real Madrid and AC Milan.

Payment Options

At first glance, the front end of the site looks more like a sports news page with big images, minimal text and little obvious enticement to gamble. Scroll down a little and you can see some casino adverts, so bwin.com comes across as another site primarily aimed at the sports bettor with social gambling on the side. Payment is by VISA, MasterCard or Maestro with Wallet or Prepaid cards like Click&Buy or PayPal also accepted with a maximum limit of £3,000. Note that the cards you can withdraw your money to and the withdrawal limits are markedly different.

Sports

Click on the Sports tab and, again, you’re not overwhelmed by incisive gambling information. The £30 sign-up bonus is barely noticeable, there’s a confusing mix of euros and sterling denominations and apart from a list of last-minute bets, there’s no big draw. By default, wagers are listed in decimal, and there’s no obvious way to switch to fractions. The odds seem broadly in line with other sites, just a fraction either way in most cases, so you’re unlikely to find any enticing rogue odds here.

Looking rather unloved and tucked away at the bottom of a left-hand column sub-menu is a really useful feature, the “My first bet” option, which could be more prominently placed to attract new gamblers. It introduces users to site with a neat annotated tutorial of how easy it is to place bets, and also shows how you can have results texted to you for a minimal fee (after five free texts) if you’ll be away for your laptop.

Poker

Alongside the gambling is bwin.com’s own club, “binside,” that offers prize draws, competitions and rewards (such as televisions, video games and other goods) for members that collect points as they bet. Across the other tabs from the home page, you can play Poker (with options to play in the browser or via downloads for Windows and Macs) with a place in the Grand Series of Poker the highlight of the page, among other tournaments. Instant tables you can join are shown with the minimum buy-in and bet, and it looks like there is plenty of lively action, with over 15,000 players online at the time of review.

With its wide European and global user base, you’ll be pleased to see there are some UK-only tournaments and tables that you can take part in, if chatting and social banter is an essential part of your gaming experience. A blog recounts the latest goings-on on the tables and allows you to keep up with all the current activities and general poker news. Bwin.com also offers mobile gambling via a simple download Java app that allows you to play with 15,000 other users on almost any decent device.

Casino

On the casino tab, users can play instantly in the browser or Windows users can download software that touts bigger jackpots as its main attractions. The casino offers a €200 sign-up bonus, with a typical line-up of games including a range of Blackjacks including European, Lucky 7; Poker games including Caribbean and Pai-Gow; a number of slot machines and video poker.

There is no free play mode like on some other sites, you need to register and sign-in to do anything on bwin.com which makes it a little less friendly than some places. Interestingly, the Casino pages did become briefly inaccessible during part of the review, so reliability and accessibility may also be an issue from time to time.

Bwin.com does have lots to offer the online gambler but the site isn’t as slick as some of its competitors, or as friendly as you would expect from a company of this size. Still, its marketing power does allow it to offer some unique prizes, if you’re a Real Madrid or Milan fan but it is also involved in alpine sports and MotoGP, something to consider if you’re looking for a regular haunt with that little bit extra.

  • Safe: Yes
  • Demos: Yes
  • 24/7 Support: No
  • Download Required: Yes (Optional for Casino, required for Poker)
  • Promotions: Yes
  • Live Betting: Yes

Sunderbet

Sunderbet is an online gambling service offering a full range of services from sports betting to a casino. The sports betting is the primary focus of the website with the home page featuring a complete set of betting tools and a link to a live betting service. In addition to this Sunderbet also has a poker section and a flash casino for online play. Claiming to be one of the oldest bookmakers in the United Kingdom, Sunderbet has been around for over 60 years. The company states that their main goal is to provide a friendly and personal service.

Promotions

The list of promotions at Sunderbet is somewhat lacking, featuring two key bonuses for new casino users. While a promotions link is evident within the poker section, it doesn’t seem to lead anywhere. No promotions are available for the sports betting section of the site.

The first of the two promotions offered for the casino section is, unfortunately, limited to users of Moneybookers. An offer of 150% on top of you initial deposit is available up to a maximum of £500. The deposit must be wagered over 50 times before you can claim the bonus and this must be done within the first 60 days of membership.

The second casino welcome bonus isn’t limited to any particular deposit method but it is also smaller. A 100% bonus up to a maximum of £200 is offered to new players who deposit £10 or more. Once again the deposited amount must be wagered over 50 times in order to receive the amount. Both promotions require that you contact customer support in order to make the claim- a bit of a clumsy system.

Sports Betting

The Sunderbet website itself is somewhat simplistic, featuring a straightforward no-nonsense design with a black and orange style. There are a few small technical glitches that occasionally pop up but generally the site is easy to navigate and use.
The sports section is prominent in the design with some basic betting tools on the home page. Heading to the sports link will bring you to a larger section with expanded options but before that you need to open an account.

The registration section is relatively simple with most of the key details kept on one form. Unfortunately you are asked a couple questions more than once, clogging up the process somewhat. You’ll be asked for personal details, your address and for some account information. You’ll also have to confirm the account by following a link sent via email. At the time of writing this had a couple of technical issues and took a few attempts to complete.

Once you’re logged in you’ll find a well presented bookmaking section with a selection of sports to bet on. The choice, while reasonable, doesn’t quite measure up to other sites and it lacks any special section for non-sports bets. Live bets are also available and a tab leads to a separate section for those who prefer fast paced gambling.

Casino

The casino services on Sunderbet are divided into a live casino and a flash casino; neither requires a download to use (nor is a downloadable version offered). Irritatingly, when you attempt to head to either section you will be presented with a warning that you are leaving the jurisdiction of LGA of Malta.

The casino itself offers five different sets of games; table, classic slots, video slots, video poker and progressive jackpot games. The selection of games isn’t particularly impressive but there are enough under each section to keep most players happy. Most games offer the option of playing for free or for money.

The games take a little longer to load than those on some other sites but once they have the game interfaces are fun to use and are designed to a high quality (certainly surpassing the design of the website itself). Microgaming and Wirex provide the software for Sunderbet.

Poker

The poker at Sunderbet is offered both as an in browser game and as a downloadable client. The in browser version takes a while to get started and isn’t particularly user friendly upon opening. That said, the design does get you straight to a list of games- it just lacks a friendly user interface to get you started. A simplistic blue style in used both in the lobby and the game interface. The game itself is easy to use but is lacking in terms of aesthetic features.

Payment Options

As you register to Sunderbet you’ll be offered a chance to choose a currency, unfortunately the drop down list is limited to the Euro. If this weren’t bad enough, accessing your account details to actually make a deposit on Sunderbet is a bit of a challenge. It takes quite a hunt to finally track down the account button which only exists on the sports page. Once accessed, payment options are riddled with difficulties; while the main page of the site suggests that Neteller and Moneybookers are available, the deposit link only offers bank transfer or credit card.

Conclusion

Sunderbet is a gambling service marred by a series of technical difficulties; from the error messages that pop up while navigating the site to terrible deposit system. The promotions on offer are decent but the lack of variety is a problem. One good element of the site is the help service which offers 24 hour support in the form of live chat and a phone line (free in the UK). In fairness to Sunderbet, the casino games and betting services themselves are actually of reasonable quality, but this isn’t enough to make up for the sizable drawbacks.

  • Safe: Yes
  • 24/7 Support: Yes
  • Demos: Yes
  • Download Required: No
  • Live Betting: Yes
  • Mobile Gambling: No
  • Promotions: Yes

Interwetten

Interwetten is a gambling provider offering sports betting and casino facilities. The company was founded in Vienna in 1990 and it initially offered a sports betting service through the telephone. The company went digital in 1997 switching to an online service and opening Interwetten.com. Since then the provider has grown to the point of having over a million customers spread over 100 countries. With bets being placed on over 90,000 sporting events in the last year, Interwetten has enjoyed continuing success. So how does over a decade of online experience work out for Interwetten today?

Promotions

Initially it appears that there are only four promotions available at Interwetten but after further investigation you’ll find a few more hidden away. The welcome incentive is reasonably competitive, offering a 50% bonus up to a maximum of 200 euros to new users of the casino. The usual conditions apply; the bonus must be played through 40 times before it can be converted into cash and if this isn’t done before 30 days have passed then all remaining bonus credit will be nullified.

Some other promotions help to keep things exciting, for example the Manic Monday offer claims to help you win even when you lose by randomly giving out 50 euros to five casino players. With a million customers at Interwetten your odds of receiving this are fairly unremarkable but it at least adds a fun twist to the experience. Overall the promotions at Interwetten are not amazing but they aren’t of low quality either.

Sports Betting

The sports betting section of Interwetten will be the first thing you see when you head to the site. The site design is largely grey and gold with a lot of information on offer- a little messy at first but most key elements are where you’d expect them to be and you’ll soon find your way around. Registering and logging in can be managed from a section at the top right.

The registration form is very well laid out and all of the key details (outside of deposit options) are kept on one page. You’ll be asked for the usual information from your address to login details and the process will be finished in a minute or two. After this Interwetten presents the option of entering deposit information but you can skip this and do it later if you prefer.

The selection of sports available for betting initially seems quite small but many of the events are actually kept under the “more sports” tab and upon expanding this you’ll find a much wider range at your fingertips. Unfortunately no special or political events are listed for those who like something a little different. A very helpful and well designed set of tutorials are on hand to help you get used to the betting interface. A live betting service is also available and opens a new window upon activation. A mobile betting option is also on offer if you prefer to bet on the move.

Casino

The Interwetten casino is available both as a downloadable program and as an online selection of games. The online games list is decent if not very large and it’s easy to access the game you want. It is also simple to choose between playing for fun or for money before you get into the game interface itself.

The website version of the casino opens games in new windows and the site takes a few seconds to prepare the games for playing. The interface designs might be familiar as they are provided by casino software veterans Microgaming. As would be expected, the games are fun to play and easy to get to grips with.

The downloadable casino is also provided by Microgaming and the quality is of a good standard in-game. The lobby itself is a little less elegant but it’s still easy to use and to navigate. The choice between playing for fun or for money is once again presented up front.

Payment Options

The list of deposit options with Interwetten is more than adequate. Visa, MasterCard, Maestro and Diner’s Club cards are accepted along with direct bank transfer, Moneybookers, Ukash, Paysafecard and betting vouchers. The available currencies are also wide ranging with the pound, euro, US dollar and many others up for use.

Conclusion

Interwetten offers a good sports betting service with a wide range of events to bet on. This is complemented by a well presented live betting section and a fun casino. The technology behind the casino games is excellent while the downloadable lobby is a little less impressive. The Interwetten website offers comprehensive help and tutorials augmented by a round the clock email service. Unfortunately, while a phone line is available, there is no mention of its opening hours. Interwetten is a well rounded gambling provider, held back only by a few small drawbacks.

  • Safe: Yes
  • 24/7 Support: No (email support available)
  • Demos: Yes
  • Download Required: No (but optional)
  • Live Betting: Yes
  • Mobile Gambling: Yes
  • Promotions: Yes

Tea and bingo

Tea and Bingo is a gambling provider offering, as would be expected, a complete bingo service and some pleasant distractions on the side. Some fun additions to the site include a small arcade games section, chat games and a trivia section with a history of tea. Tea and Bingo is a young website and it has set out with a clear goal of offering a light hearted, fun experience. The site is operated by Digital Prophets Guernsey in partnership with Virtue Fusion.

Promotions

A strong selection of promotions is on offer including a couple of neat incentives for new users. The main welcome offer at Tea and Bingo is a £20 bonus if you make a first deposit of £20 yourself. A closer look at the details will reveal that this offer will actually go all the way up to matching any deposit up to a maximum of £250- a pleasant surprise for the big spenders out there. As usual, in order to withdraw your bonus as cash you will have to wager your bonus amount four times.

Another good reason to join up and to bring your friends with you is the refer a friend promotion. With this, every time you get a friend to join up and spend £10 on bingo you’ll receive a £5 bonus. It’s also required that you have spent over £10 on bingo games before you start claiming these bonuses. Not a huge offer but it’s still a nice little addition to the experience.

Other promotions include special jackpots, free bingo (you have to have deposited money in order to qualify for this), happy hours, theme nights and more. Tea and Bingo have certainly made sure that new customers will feel welcome and that players are still entertained by ever changing and well thought through promotions.

Bingo

The Tea and Bingo website itself is blissfully simple in its layout and design. A colourful but not excessive style is used and an inviting mood is created. Pink, yellow, green and white make up the colour spectrum at Tea and Bingo with none being overused. Navigating is a straight forward matter, mostly because there isn’t a huge amount to sift through. Promotions, games, community and help links are clearly displayed on the left side of the home page and the option to join or play now is up on the right. Your first port of call will, of course, be the join now button.

Clicking on the link will open a new window with a form for signing up. The form is a one page process with the usual address and login information based questions; filling it in will take a minute or two. Once you have finished registering you’ll be offered the choice to make a deposit now or to head straight to a game lobby to see what the games are like.

The bingo lobby also runs in a separate window. No download is required to play at Tea and Bingo and everything is run from the browser. The simple design philosophy from the website carries over to the lobby and it’s easy to navigate to the game you want. Tabs divide lists of games into 90 ball, 75 ball, joker jackpot and multiplayer slots.

Account details can be easily accessed through a link at the top of the screen and if you need any help assistance is available both in the form of a complete set of guides and a live help service. Upon opening a game the browser will download the components for the bingo room and you’ll quickly find yourself being welcomed by the announcer.

In a slight reversal of the system used in many rooms, the chat section is actually much larger than the tickets list. The design is a little cluttered with adverts but they’re kept up out of the way and it won’t interfere with your game. The interface is easy to navigate and you should have no difficulty finding your way around.

Payment Options

The range of deposit options at Tea and Bingo is more than sufficient with Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, Solo and Switch available as card choices. If you desire an alternative you can also choose from Ukash, Moneybookers, Neteller and Paysafecard. Unfortunately there is no option to alter your currency from the UK pound.

Conclusion

Tea and Bingo is a great website with a well designed style and a welcoming feel for new players. The promotions on offer are varied and entertaining while the welcome bonus has enough flexibility to accommodate most users. The games themselves are fun to use and easy to play. Help is on hand in the form of guides, live chat and a phone line (all 24/7) if you run into any trouble. It’s a shame about the currency limitations but otherwise this is an excellent choice for bingo users.

  • Safe: Yes
  • 24/7 Support: Yes
  • Demos: Yes (free games are available)
  • Download Required: No
  • Live Betting: Yes (bingo)
  • Mobile Gambling: No
  • Promotions: Yes