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