888sport – Our Review of the World Famous Online Gambling Company

Although it’s likely that most of our readers will almost immediately associate the name 888 with the world famous, multi award winning casino and online gaming products, the company also have a pretty noteworthy sportsbook that has been steadily growing in size and scope since it’s launch back in 2008. As a result, the new and improved 888sport platform is now a worthy companion to the already well-established Casino, Poker and Bingo brands that can now that can compete with the other leading bookmakers in the industry. In the following report, we put the new look site to the test and assess each individual aspect of the sports betting service. Leaving nothing left to chance, we’ll be reviewing the odds levels, the quality of the customer service, the ease of the bet placement process, and just about anything else you can think of.

Our Rating of 888sport
  • Betting Options:over 28,000
  • Sports Markets:around 31
  • Odds Level:up to 94.87%
  • Licensed By:UK Gambling Commission
Our Overall Rating79/100Top Operator •

To get the full story on how well the company faired after going through our series of stern tests, be sure to read through the separate sections dedicated to analysing the strength of the bonuses – including the unique 3x the odds welcome bonus – the new and improved in-play platform and the super-slick, high speed mobile app. To find out what makes 888sport such a strong competitor among our pick of the top 10 UK betting sites, scroll down to the main review below.

A Glance at the Sportsbook 8

Despite the fact that most of the company’s operations are focused on delivering world class casino and online gaming experiences, the quality and depth of betting options available on the sportsbook site has not suffered one bit. The a-z sports catalogue is packed with a whole range of popular and slightly more obscure betting markets, hundreds of different leagues and competitions, and a fair selection of non-sports and specials betting options.

Sports & Betting Markets

Overall, 888 sport offer punters a total of 31 different sports markets. Although there are a few bookmakers with slightly better numbers, (Paddy Power and Betfair, both offer 35) for the most part, all the most popular sporting options have been made available, as well as a good selection of slightly less popular options such as yachting, chess, squash and bandy. When looking toward the range of different leagues and competitions on offer, we found that the bookie was well and truly up there with some of the industry’s leading bookmakers. For football, punters can expect to find well over 100 different divisions that include competitive leagues from Qatar, Japan, South Africa, and Peru. Similarly for tennis and cricket, punters can often find a few special competitions that aren’t always supported by some of the other operators in our pick of the top 10.

The Most Popular Sports Markets at 888sport
Football (110) Basketball (17) Cricket (14) Tennis (22) Ice Hockey (24)
UEFA Champions League NBA Asia Cup Australian Open NHL
Europa League NCCA (USA) County Championship Div 1 ATP Tour KHL (RUS)
Barclays Premier League Euroleague International Test Cricket WTA Tour AHL (USA)
La Liga IBL (IDN) Pakistan Super League Challenger Tour Extra Liga (CZE)
Liga Professional (BOL) Lega A (ITA) IPL Tournament ITF Women Metal Ligaen (DNK)
Ligue 1 (DZA) PBA (PHL) ICC World Twenty20 Wimbeldon PHL (POL)

One of the areas where the operator really stands out is with its extensive range of international ice hockey leagues. In addition to the North American NHL and AHL competitions, punters can choose from a vast pool of European ice hockey leagues from Finland, Germany, Poland, Belarus among several more. In this regard, 888sport are definitely one of those operators in which ice hockey lovers can trust to provide some of the lesser-known leagues and competitions that you’ll struggle to find anywhere else.

New & Improved In-play Betting

888sport have recently made some well-timed changes to the in-play platform. These will be subject to a full and complete analysis in our separate review page of the live betting service. For now however, we’ll just say that there’s a new and improved live infographic that lets you keep extra close tabs on the action even when live streaming isn’t supported, and an even better version of the “Instant Betting” feature that allows you to place quick-fire bets like never before.

Multiples Betting Options

With regard to the different multiples betting options, the bookie are right up there at the top of the leaderboard. Not only are there a considerable number of different bet types available here, but they’re all impeccably managed and kept in perfect order on your automated bet slip. The separate singles, multiples and permutations tabs make keeping track of all your different bet types a piece of cake, and with the handy bet calculator at the bottom you can see exactly how much you stand to gain from your selections.

On your bet slip, you can combine up to 12 different fixtures into permutations bets. This means that there are literally thousands of different bet combinations from which you can choose to maximise your chances of securing a profit. Clicking on a particular bet type on the bet slip will reveal exactly how many multiples bets of that type are available as well as the individual odds prices for each combination. While there are few operators out there that allow punters to choose from such an extensive number of different multiples bet types, there’s an even fewer number that do so whilst allowing you to keep such close tabs on each specific combination. The total number of singles selections permitted on your bet slip is capped at 12, which means that you can also only have a maximum of 12 folds in your accumulator bet. When we consider that the majority of bookies we’ve reviewed allow you to combine up to 20, this number does seem a little small in comparison.

Bet & Win Limits

Despite being one of the more profitable gambling brands in the world today, it must be said that the maximum payout limits with this betting operator are somewhat disappointing. For the most popular sports such as football and horse racing, the maximum amount that punters are permitted to claim in a 24-hour period is capped at £250,000. Most of the other operators in our reviews, even those with a considerably lower annual profit margin than 888 allow their players to withdraw a maximum of £1 million, and both bet365 and William Hill permit payouts of up to £2million. The minimum stake amount of 10p is pretty much the standard accepted bet by the majority of other bookies – however for the maximum payout, we would expect a company of the size of 888 to have a much higher price limit.

High Football Odds8

Across the board, the pre-match odds prices here are extremely competitive. Although there isn’t one specific sport where the bookie can claim the top spot for the highest odds level, the majority of prices are mostly in the mid to high 90% range – with football being the highest at 97.59%.

Odds Levels for the Largest Sports Markets
  • .
  • Football95.01 - 97.59%
  • Baskteball94.43 - 97.43%
  • Tennis94.72 - 96.69%
  • Cricket94.11 - 95.00%
  • Darts84.85 - 93.57%
  • Rugby91.73 - 93.38%
  • Boxing90.33 - 92%
  • Horse Racing72.26 - 88.47%
  • ..
  • .....
  • Return to Player(%)

For the live odds levels, the operator doesn’t perform quite so well. The figures for football and tennis place the operator somewhere nearer the bottom end of the leaderboard, whereas the numbers for volleyball and basketball are slightly more competitive. Overall, the odds prices rank somewhere between the middle to the bottom end of the leader table. By no means are they the worst on the market, however when compared to the impressive odds levels at Betvictor, 888sport struggles to compete with the strong competition.

The New Look Platform 6

The operator have only very recently made a number of changes to the desktop platform. Aside from the trademark orange and black colour scheme and the same user-friendly functionality, many of the features of the old version have been removed to make room for a far less data heavy, no nonsense look platform. On the left hand side of the screen, users will still find quick links to some of the most popular sports and betting markets under the “Popular” heading. Directly underneath you’ll find a few more of the most popular betting markets on the 888 site, and the full A-Z list under the tab marked “All Sports”.

Whereas the old homepage had a nice balance of live and in-play betting highlights, as well a few tabs that allowed for easy one-click-navigation to new promotions, the online blog and the in-play calendar, the new version is much more heavily geared towards promoting the in-play betting features. The entire middle section of the screen is filled with individual windows that show the stats and odds prices for some of the most popular fixtures currently in play, as well those that will be available for betting shortly after. The “Live Right Now” window takes you directly to the in-play platform, and the “Highlights” window now acts as a far less detailed version of the former live betting calendar which used to provide full details of the upcoming in-play fixtures for the current day and the next 7 days ahead.

Probably the one main criticism of the new look platform is the lack of variety on the homepage. As previously alluded to, the home page is now essentially a condensed version of the in-play page, with the vast majority of data being dedicated to navigating you back to the in-play platform. With in-play betting now being more popular than perhaps ever before, we can of course understand there being a heavy focus on the in-play betting markets. The homepage should however provide punters with an overall snapshot of all the different features on the sportsbook. This means that as well as focusing on live betting, users should be able to get an overview of some of the other features such as exclusive daily promotions, live streaming information, and perhaps a page dedicated to news from the sports world or a blog of some kind. This may come down purely to a matter of personal preference, however we feel as though despite the overwhelming interest in live-betting these days, there should be more of a focus on some of the other interesting features available on the 888 sportsbook as to cater for all the users whose primary concern isn’t strictly in-play betting.

How to Place a Bet

As you would expect, 888 have made placing a bet a smooth and straight forward procedure. To make a bet selection, simply click on the odds displayed next to the desired sports fixture – this will automatically add the selection to your bet slip. Once the selection is on your bet slip, you need only key in the desired stake amount into the “Stake” box, check your bet once more to make sure that all your selection(s) are correct, and then press the “Place Bet” button to confirm your wagers.

As we’re sure most punters would agree, the cash-out option is an extremely useful tool, which allows you to make well calculated decisions that can at times save you from losing a considerable amount of money. So that you know exactly where you stand before going through to the bet confirmation process, we think it’s safe to say that most punters would prefer to know immediately whether or not the cash out option is available for a particular betting market before you get to the bet confirmation stage – a good example of this can be seen on the Betfred betting slip, which features a special swirly symbol that signifies exactly when the cash-out is available. Unfortunately however, using the cash-out feature is a little more tricky here. In order to know whether or not the cash-out feature is available for a particular single live bet, you have to first place the bet, and then go to your betting history to see whether or not you can use the cash-out. You then have to click on the market itself, and then the red or green button at the right of the screen will show the potential returns you’d receive if you chose to accept the offered price. Whereas some punters may prefer this method, we think it’s a little bit too fiddly. In an ideal world, you would be able to see somewhere close to the betting market on the main betting area itself whether or not the function is available, or simply just by having a quick check of your bet slip. Going through your betting history is a needlessly to say, just a little inconvenient.

The Essentials about this Operator

It is in this section of our review that we invite our readers to read up on some of the more detailed, more official aspects of the bookmakers, and gain some important insights into the necessary licensing and regulating protocols. Without these procedures in place, our ability to gamble freely online without fear of corruption and bias would be severely compromised. With this in mind, we encourage you to take a good look through these next sections and familiarise yourself with all the proper rulings and regulations.

A Close Look at the Business

Since its founding back in 1997, 888 has been widely acknowledged for providing one of the best online gaming experiences on the market. The separate casino, poker and live casino platforms have won almost every notable award there is to win, and the wide variety of low-stakes, user friendly bingo games have attracted a great number of online players from around the world.

All About the 888 Business
Company Support Security Player Protection
Name:888 Holdings PLC Live Chat:supported, 9am-12pm Encryption: Cassava,128bit SSL Deposit Limits:adjustable
Head Office:Gibraltar, Spain Phone:0800 096 4780 Licence Number:000-039028-R-319297-0016 Betting Limits:adjustable
Owner:Richard Kilsby (Chairman) Email:support@888sport.com Testing Agency:e-COGRA Self Exclusion:available
Employees:unknown Fax:not available Audit Organisation:IBAS Child Protection:guaranteed
Registered Players:Over 2 million Other:contact form via website Anti Money Laundering ControlsKYC Partner Organisations:Gambling Therapy, Gamble Aware, GamCare

From its head office in Gibraltar, the company provides its services to well over 25 million users around the world. Its current listing on the London Stock Exchange is 888holdings plc, there are active operations in thirteen countries in seventeen languages, and the reported annual net income is estimated at close to £1million. Since launching its online sportsbook back in 2008, 888’s sports betting service has gone from strength to strength. Now with thousands of pre-match and in-play betting markets, a top selection of bonuses and free bet deals in addition to a noteworthy live streaming service, the 888 brand offers punters from all walks of life a complete and well-rounded gambling experience.

Customer Service 8

When you’re experiencing technical difficulties or having a bit of trouble with the online service, there’s a pretty comprehensive help section that provides users with a whole range of solutions for different troubleshooting issues. The seperate sections have been well designed and logically arranged as to allow for quick and easy access to the relevant answer. If you can’t find your exact query listed in any of the different sections, you can carry out a word-specific search for your issue using the “search” tool bar at the top of the page.

Another one of the new and improved features of the customer care service is the inclusion of the live chat feature. This was previously an area in which we felt as though the operator was severely lacking, as when the help and FAQ sections proved to be unsuccessful in finding a solution to your problem, the only way to make contact with a member of the customer support team was via telephone, email, and the contact form on the website. Although many punters out there may argue that live chat isn’t a vital feature of an online bookie, the significant rise in online gambling in recent years has led to a huge increase of online players. This means that there’re a huge number of punters out there every day with urgent issues that require immediate solutions. When we consider that the company have a vast membership of over 20 million users spread across 13 countries, it was a little disappointing to see that there wasn’t a system put in place in which customers could get immediate assistance to issues that aren’t covered in the help section. It is for this reason that we’re especially pleased that the bookie have got themselves up to speed and allowed their customers to benefit from the one-to-one live customer support service. For some of the more technical, more probing issues and queries, we would still suggest making use of the email support service in which normal response time is 24 hours, and the telephone support team available between 9am-10pm. For the more common troubleshooting issues however, live chat is now available everyday between 9am and 12pm.

Licensing & Security9

With regard to carrying out all the required licensing and security procedures, 888 have a near enough perfect record. Any danger of your personal information or online funds being compromised is laid to rest thanks to their own in-house security company Cassava Enterprises. Although the subsidiary company doesn’t quite carry the same weight at Norton or Thwate, 888’s close to exemplary record with regard to safety and security pretty much speaks for itself. The working partnership with the highly reputable e-COGRA testing agency ensures that all the electronic systems on the website are fair and unbiased, and that all owed payouts are made in a timely manner.

888 have also taken considerable measures to ensure that they adhere to the government’s strict rulings regarding safe and responsible gambling. They work in full co-operation with companies such as the Responsible Gambling Trust in an effort to prevent players from developing gambling addiction, and they also help those that have already developed an addiction probel get the help they need. Adding to this, 888 work in close alliance with the United Nations Global Compact Initiative. As the only bookmaker in our review to be involved in such a movement, 888 are undoubtedly one of the leaders in the sports betting industry when it comes to promoting equal opportunity and equality in the corporate world. By aligning their business strategies with the UN’s ten principles on human rights, labour and anti-corruption, 888 have taken considerable strides with regard to establishing a more universal, more sustainable worldwide economy. For this, the company have quite rightly earned some extra brownie points.

Many Bonus Points8

888sport managed to put in a solid performance and secure a good score in our special bonus points test. With regard to the live streams, we decided to award the company 2 points out of a possible 3. The overall sports coverage is more than satisfactory, however the overall volume of streams shown per day is somewhat lacking.

As a company, 888 have managed to rack up an impressive number of accolades over the past decade. Although many of these haven’t been awarded solely on the merits of the sportsbook, awards such as “Operator of the Year” and “Socially Responsible Operator of the Year” from noteworthy gaming institutions such as the e-gaming Review in recent years undoubtedly deserve some credit. Because of this, we chose to award 2 points from 2 here.

As a result of 888’s noteworthy accomplishments in the sports sponsorship department which have seen them sign lucrative deals with the World Grand Prix, the Premier League Darts tournament and the World Snooker Championship, we awarded 2 points out of 3. For the vast selection of bonuses and free bet deals to go alongside the unique welcome bonus, and the availability of specials betting markets, the end result for 888 is an impressive 8 points out of a possible 10.

Conclusion – A Strong Competitor

Overall, it must be said that there are enough positive talking points about the 888sport betting service to make us confident that the company will grow into one of the leading sports betting sites in years to come. The unique welcome bonus, the new and improved live infographic in the in-play arena, the sleek, user-friendly platform and mobile app, along with the special features on the bet slip are just a few areas in which the operator performed extremely well – for some more in-depth info on the most outstanding features of the 888sport betting service, you can check out our additional review pages for the mobile app and the full bonus offering.

Strengths and Weaknesses of 888sport
  • Major Strengths
  • unique welcome bonus
  • high odds for football
  • huge selection of sports & specials markets
  • Major Weaknesses
  • limited live streaming service
  • Minor Strengths
  • numerous free bet promotions
  • Minor Weaknesses
  • low maximum payout limits

There were however a few areas in which we felt as though the operator can improve – this is course understandable, especially when we consider that the sportsbook is still a fair few years behind the world famous 888 gaming and casino brands – however the maximum payout prices for the most popular sports are extremely low for a company the size of 888, the odds levels are not quite high enough to merit any special praise, and the live streaming service is still some way off being able to compete with the industry leaders. In spite of this, 888 still managed to claim a well deserved 6th place ranking in our review of the 10 best UK betting sites, and also showed us that there is room for a significant amount of improvement as the company continute to update and improve their service.

Q&A/FAQ

If you have any questions about the review, or about anything else contained on this site, please feel free to email at info@bestbettingsites.uk.

How long is the average wait time for the new live chat customer service?

The average wait time varies depending on the time of day. In our experience, we found that at the first thing in the morning (9am) and around lunch time, the average wait time can be pretty long between 5-10 mins. At the not-so-busy times, the normal wait tended to be around 3-4 minutes.