Sbobet is an online sportsbook offering bookmaking services, a casino and side games. The site was founded in 2004 and it has grown in content and popularity since, now offering over 500 sporting events each week. Claiming to offer live soccer updates, immediate winnings confirmation, quick payouts and easy access, Sbobet caters to a wide range of betters from the casual player to professionals. Based on the Isle of Man, Sbobet is the sponsor of West Ham United and Cardiff City. The site has enjoyed a reasonable amount of success, having been named the Asian Operator of the Year in 2009.
Incredibly, Sbobet makes no offer of any promotion, welcome bonus or other incentive upon registration. This is not a good start for Sbobet, with no attraction for new players the site is throwing away an opportunity. Beyond this it doesn’t say much for the overall experience- some of the fun of a good gambling site is the ever changing set of promotions to keep the action fresh.
In lieu of welcome bonuses and promotions is a meagre list of reasons to choose Sbobet. These include some bold claims about the best prices, fastest payouts, wide event selections and easy payment methods on offer. Unfortunately these are poor substitutes for a good set of promotions and so Sbobet doesn’t really get off on the right foot with new customers.
Onto the website itself and the story initially looks to be improving. The layout is clean and modern with everything where you’d expect it to be. There is one small problem- the help and live chat options seem to all but disappear when you sign in (you would imagine that most users who need help will do so while being logged into the site).
The real problem emerges in the reliability and stability of the website. Sbobet has some truly awful problems when it comes to navigating the site. Both on Internet Explorer and Firefox the site invariably fails to load pages and the Live Chat function on offer is completely non-functional at the time of testing.
These issues carry over into the registration process. Signing up is limited to a page of questions; all the usual suspects are here ranging from address details to user preferences. The problem is that this relatively simple process is turned into a chore by the unreliability of the site. On testing, the registration entry took several retries before it finally established an account. After this you’ll be asked to go to your email to confirm the sign-up process. Once this is done you’ll nearly be ready- the site will ask for a deposit (which you can skip if you wish to) and you’ll be in. Just be sure not to leave it inactive for too long or the session will timeout.
The actual betting facilities are of acceptable quality with a wide range of events available to bet on. The usual selection of sports is on offer along with a small entertainment section. Betting rules are also available for those who prefer to get acclimatised to the system before diving in.
In addition to the normal sports betting page, Sbobet also offers a World Cup 2010 section for those who are interested in betting on the big event of the year. This page comes packed in a very different style to the normal Sbobet website and offers live features, a list of venues, a gallery for those who want to soak up the atmosphere of the game and news on events.
Frustratingly the username and password you use to register with the bookmaking service won’t work on the casino and so you’ll have to work through the sign-up process again (which, thanks to the frail website integrity, will take some doing). On the bright side, the form for the casino is much simpler and more efficiently set out than the sports betting version.
After sign-up you can choose between a demo or paid for casino. The interface for choosing your preferred game is simple and it’s easy to find your way around. The selection of games on offer is not really all that competitive but all of the classics are there. The game interfaces themselves are acceptable, with some good designs but minimal animations.
By contrast to the generally low quality website and lack of promotions, the payment options available are relatively good. Options include credit cards, debit cards, eWallets, vouchers and bank transfer. Card based methods include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Maestro, Solo and many others. There is also a reasonable selection of currencies up for use including the UK pound, the US dollar and the euro.
Sbobet is a well presented website at first glance but after closer inspection the site is woefully flawed with some serious reliability issues. Behind the problems posed by the technical difficulties is a decent betting service and a mediocre casino. A Live Chat service is offered but seemingly broken (at the time of testing) and a 24 hour helpline is there to offer needed support. The real nail in the coffin for Sbobet is the complete lack of promotions, making this a very unimpressive gambling service.
- Safe: Yes
- 24/7 Support: Yes
- Demos: Yes
- Download Required: No
- Live Betting: Yes
- Mobile Gambling: Yes
- Promotions: No