bet365 – Reviewing the UK’s Biggest Betting Site

What is it that makes bet365 the most popular online sports betting site in the world? Like most other online bookies, it has a sign-up bonus for new customers, a wide range of payment methods and an app for mobile and tablet devices. But with 19 million customers worldwide, the bookmaker is the most popular in the business. To find out, we’ve put it under the microscope and subjected it to rigorous testing, from the online platform and its welcome offers, to market coverage and betting options. Not to mention all the other factors that are vital to a punter when choosing a bookie to play with, such as security, competitiveness of the odds and the in-play platform.

Our Rating of bet365
  • Betting Options:over 25,000
  • Sports Markets:around 40
  • Odds Level:up to 98%
  • Licensed By:UK Gambling Commission
Our Overall Rating93/100• Best Operator •

Below we’ll be covering all aspects of the bookmaker to give a complete overview and review of its strengths and weaknesses. Certain important areas, such as the mobile app, are given their own, more detailed reviews. Read on to find out what it is that makes bet365 stand out from the crowd.

The Betting Options at a Glance10

Along with having a hugely impressive number of sports available to bet on, the range and variety of betting options here has to be the biggest on the market. The depth of fixtures available for some markets really has to be seen to be believed, with the bookmaker often covering leagues that you won’t find anywhere else.

Sports Markets and Bet Types

There are a total of almost 40 different sports to bet on, which is among the most on offer among the operators reviewed here. There are of course the usual suspects in terms of popular sports in the UK; football, tennis, cricket, horse racing, greyhound racing and darts are all heavily featured. But there are also many less popular sports on offer here, such as Gaelic sports, bowls and winter sports. American sports fans are also well catered for, with excellent NBA, NFL and NHL market coverage.

What’s impressive about the sports coverage though, is the depth in which these markets, especially football, are represented. English and Scottish leagues are covered right down to regional conference divisions, as are most other major European countries, such as Spain, Germany and Italy. However, bet365 also features leagues and fixtures from Europe and the rest of the world that are simply not available anywhere else. Leagues from places as diverse as Thailand, Azerbaijan and Kuwait can be found, streamed and bet upon. Most of the more obscure leagues and tournaments that are featured also have the youth leagues covered too. This is particularly impressive and bet365 stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of the depth of market coverage.

The Most Popular Markets at bet365
Football (128) Tennis (75) Horse racing (62) Golf (48) Rugby (34)
Premier League Wimbledon Grand National Masters World Cup
Bundesliga US Open Cheltenham Ryder Cup The Six Nations
Primera Division Australian Open Royal Ascot PGA Championship Aviva Premiership
Serie A French Open Melbourne Cup US Open Top 14
Champions League WTA Dubai Dubai World Cup British Open Super 15
UEFA Europa League ATP Marseille Kempton Northern Trust Open Guinness Pro 12

The depth of the market coverage is matched by the range of betting options available here. There are an endless selection of bet types that rivals the selection found anywhere. Of course, you’ll find all the usual – win, correct score and goal scorer markets – along with other online favourites like handicap betting, race to points and over/under goals and points markets. Bet365 have a host of more obscure pre-match bet types available too. These include bets such as miss a penalty/score a penalty and clean sheet markets for football, along with team performance markets, score-casts and win-casts, that are not available in-play.

With in-play betting things get even more interesting. The bookmaker prides itself on being the king of in-play betting and looking at the market choice and betting options available, I think it has earned that crown. There’s in-play betting available for almost all the events featured on the site, but for the bigger fixtures, there are a range of bets that are exclusive to live betting that can help bring quick profits and really up the excitement levels. Options such as who will get the next yellow or red card, next team penalty and the method of the next goal are exciting options that aren’t found at many places. For the discerning punter that wants quick-fire betting and profits, there are even results markets for 20, 30 and 40 minutes in some sports.

Of course, not all of these bet types are available for all fixtures, especially for the smaller foreign leagues. But the bookie has to be commended just for the fact it features these leagues at all and can therefore be forgiven for this. Since the amount of betting options rivals any of the bookies reviewed here and there are many genuinely interesting and useful bet types that aren’t found elsewhere, bet365 has to be considered one of the best in the business when it comes to market and betting options.

In-Play Betting & Live Streaming

It’s safe to say that in-play betting and the accompanying live-streams are another strength of this provider. The bookmaker streams over 70,000 events a year direct to your laptop, PC, mobile or tablet device. I’ll let you do the math, but that’s a lot of events across a range of sports that can be live-streamed each day.

Multiple Betting Options

To accommodate all those markets and betting options, multiple betting options are well supplied. For accumulators, the bookie will allow up to 14 selections to be combined. This is considerably lower than the 20 individual selections most operators allow to comprise an accumulator. There are lots of other multiple bet options though; super yankee, heinz, permed patent, permed yankee, alphabet, block and goliath are also available. These options allow the punter to combine the selections in different variations, rather than simply accumulating the odds of each selection. Once again though, the maximum number of selections that can be combined is 14, which is significantly lower than many other operators, such as the great possibilities for multiple betting at Paddy Power. Not all types of bets are valid for multiple bets. Those that aren’t will be highlighted in red in the bet slip to indicate that they are not valid and will not be included in any multiple bets you make with the other selections. To see which multiple options are available for your selections, just click the multiple bet options tab in the bet slip and the available methods will be displayed in a drop down menu, where you can enter your stake.

One small weakness of the bookie in this area is that it does not display the potential returns from multiple bets in the bet slip, only the dividend next to the multiple bet option. While this is not so much of a problem for single bets, for larger multiple bets with high odds, it’s more difficult to work out the returns from your stake. This can of course be quickly worked out if you’re a math genius (or with a calculator for us normal people) but it would make things easier to see the potential returns.

Extremely High Bet & Win Limits

The minimum stake here is just 10p. This is not the lowest amount in the business, but it’s quite low, which makes this bookmaker a good choice for those looking to play with low stakes and enjoy a small bet or two. Winning limits are determined by each sport and set within a 24hour period. The limits here are high, especially for football, where it’s possible to win a maximum of £2,000,000 in one day. This is the highest amount possible, but for other popular UK markets horse racing and tennis, the limits are £1,000,000 and £500,000 respectively. The maximum wins for individual bets are also restricted by these limits. So if you’re lucky enough to have won the maximum amount for football from a single bet, then you’ll have to wait 24 hours until you’re able to win any more from the bookie.

Very High Odds Levels9

Odds Levels for the Largest Sports Markets
  • .
  • Football93.5 - 98.0%
  • Cricket93.1 - 97.2%
  • Boxing93.8 - 95.6%
  • Snooker88.0 - 95.4%
  • Tennis92.7 - 94.5%
  • Cycling91.5 - 94.4%
  • Darts93.3 - 94.1%
  • Horse racing86.5 - 92.3%
  • Greyhounds74.2 - 84.2%
  • ..
  • .....
  • Return to Player(%)

The table above gives a rundown of the pre-match odds levels for some popular markets. As I’m sure you can see, the odds levels here are very high. This betting site caters well to UK gamblers, with popular UK markets such as football, cricket and tennis, given very competitive odds. The odds levels for football – up to 98% – and cricket – 97.2% at their highest – are among the best around. But across the board this bookie provides a great service when it comes to pre-match odds and it is also a front runner when it comes to live odds. It might not have the highest odds for some sports markets, but all in all, bet365 offers very competitive odds across all sports, and puts in another good showing when it comes to its odds levels therefore.

The bet365 Online Platform10

When it comes to evaluating a bookie’s online platform, for the most part the conclusion is a subjective one, with personal preference playing a large part in which bookie’s platform is one’s favourite. That said, there’s a lot to be said objectively on the issue, when the functionality, layout and navigation between areas are assessed. So with that in mind, I’ll go right ahead and say it: the bet365 platform is by far my favourite of all the bookies reviewed here. But I’ll be as objective as possible in explaining why that is the case.

Firstly, the platform utilises the whole monitor screen, unlike other platforms that condense everything into the middle, leaving lots of unused space at the sides. The result is that even more events and information than the average can be displayed, all while looking less cramped than the platforms of many other operators. Also, this means that all sections are clearly and logically displayed, which makes navigating around the site seamless. The colour scheme is a cool green and grey, which to me looks professional and slick, while the odds and live scores are displayed in yellow, making them prominent and easy to see. After clicking on a sport, all leagues and tournaments are displayed, along with popular bet types for quick access to the bet of choice. You can also navigate to events by sorting fixtures by date or context, such as international, UK or European fixtures.

When navigating to the in-play arena from the selections at the top of the screen, things remain aesthetic and clear. In-play events are listed by sport in a scroll down menu. Clicking on a fixture takes you to the betting arena for that event, where everything is again clearly and neatly arranged. The in-play fixtures remain viewable in a small column on the left hand side, so you can navigate quickly between markets and fixtures. The live-stream box and all the stats you need to make an informed decision when in-play are clearly displayed at the top, while betting options are sorted by bet types and the tabs can be minimised to make things even simpler. The bet slip is also nicely arranged and always easily accessible. Unlike with some operators where the bet slip opens in a new window and is annoying to switch between, the bet slip here resides on the right hand side of the screen and is always present, minimising when there are no selections and automatically re-appearing when selections are added.

There are also some really handy features that are easy to stumble across. For example, those punters that are big in-play bettors can use the multi-view function, which allows a player to add up to 12 selections they want to keep an eye on to a tab on the platform, so they can be viewed easily and quickly. The online platform is powered by flash and runs smoothly. Bearing in mind that bet365 has amongst the most offers, events, betting options and in-play markets around, it’s really a fantastic achievement to have such a slick and seamless platform. All in all, it’s a very intuitive platform and the bookie truly deserves a perfect 10/10 here.

How to Place a Bet

Once you’ve gotten to grips with navigating around the platform, it’s time to place those bets. This is really a 3 step process here, starting with simply clicking on the odds of the bet you want to make. Doing so will automatically add this selection to the bet slip, which will show up on the right side of the screen. To place multiple bets, simply add the other selections and then hit the multiple bet options tab in the bet slip, where all available multiple options will show in a drop down menu. The bet stake can be entered in the box next to the selection or next to the multiple bet type of your choice. The returns for the bet will be shown on the right but only for single selections. Once this has been entered, simply click place bet, to confirm the bet.

Live bets can be viewed via a tab in the bet slip and any bets that are available for cash out will appear below, with the cash out amount displayed. Things move thick and fast when betting in-play, so odds are subject to change very regularly. If the odds have changed since you added a selection to the bet slip but didn’t confirm the bet, you’ll be notified in the bet slip and asked to accept or turn down the new odds, before confirming the selection. Again, the functionality of the betting process is on a par with the high level of functionality of the platform in general and you’d be hard pressed to find a better system than the betting process here.

What Else is There to Know about this Operator?

There are other important issues to conscientious punters when considering an online bookie. Ensuring they are properly licensed and regulated, their betting services are properly tested and that the site is safe and secure should all be top concerns, as well as knowing there’s good customer support for when you need questions answering fast.

All About the Business

The bet365 Group Limited is a family owned business, founded in Stoke-on-Trent in 2000. The business is owned by brother and sister John and Denise Coates, while the sibling’s father, Peter Coates, is the firm’s chairman. The bookie now operates in over 200 countries and has over 19 million customers worldwide, surely making it the most popular online operator around. It also has a very prominent media presence; the business is the sponsor of home club Stoke FC and its advertising campaign, headed by Ray Winstone, is featured during breaks of many major sporting events. Both on and offline, bet365 has a huge presence.

All About the bet365 Business
Company Support Security Player Protection
Name:bet365 Group Limited Live Chat:24/7 Encryption:Thawte, 256bit Deposit Limits:adjustable
Head Office:bet365 House, Media Way, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST1 5SZ Phone:+800 12 365365 / +800 11 365365 Licence:39584 Betting Limits:available
Owner:Denise Coates, John Coates, Peter Coates Email:support-eng@ customerservices365.com Testing Agency:European Sports Security Association (ESSA) Self Exclusion:available
Employees:over 3000 Fax:n/a Audit Organisation:Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) Child Protection:guaranteed
Registered Players:over 19 million Other:web message Anti Money Laundering Controls:KYC Partner Organisations:GamCare, Gamble Aware

Great Customer Service 9

The help section of the website provides answers to any question you may have regarding the bookie and the betting experience here. The help and FAQ section alone are extremely comprehensive, well thought out and probably the most useful of all the operators reviewed on this site. But if you have a more specific question, then you only need to contact customer service, either by telephone, email, web message or live chat, which are available round the clock. The waiting times for live chat are kept to a minimum and in my experience service has always been polite, professional and helpful. Despite the huge size and reach of the company, the level of customer service has not suffered one bit. bet365 has managed to retain the feel of a family business despite serving millions worldwide. I really put the live chat customer service to the test with some difficult and probing questions, but they came out on top time and time again, either by answering the questions or pointing me in the direction of the relevant help page.

Licensing & Security 8

In terms of both the security of its customers’ data and the functioning and performance of the online platform, bet365 is deeply engaged. The online platform utilises 256bit protection from Thawte. All data to and from the site is encrypted, which ensures a strong level of protection for punters when inputting sensitive data such as personal information and financial details.

Towards the integrity and fairness of its betting platform and performance of it as a sportsbook, bet365 is a member of the European Sports and Security Association (ESSA) and the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS). The former works alongside operators as a regulator to work against match fixing and ensure the integrity of betting markets, protecting operators and punters alike. The latter provides a platform for customers and the bookie to resolve disputes that may have arisen from the outcomes of bets, that could not be resolved through the operators own dispute resolution means. The findings of the IBAS are binding, and they provide an independent adjudication service to punters when in dispute with a large operator.

Since moving its operations offshore bet365 is licensed by the Government of Gibraltar for sports betting. In the UK it is licensed by the Gambling Commission. It is also very attentive to responsible gambling issues, directing its customers that have problems in this area to its partnerships with Gam Care and Gamble Aware. The platform itself has many features to protect against problem gambling, with adjustable deposit and betting limits that can be set by the user, as well as the ability to exclude oneself from the site for a set amount of time. bet365 is very active in this area and vets customers through the Know Your Customer (KYC) process, noting any patterns where irresponsible gambling may be occurring and taking action to intervene.

Maximum Bonus Points10

bet365 has aced all the tests we’ve put it through so far, but we thought it was only fair to put the bookies up against something a little different for the chance to pick up some bonus points. First off, the range and quality of the live-streams available. With over 70,000 live-streams a year, across a range of sports worldwide, I think it’s fair to say that the bookie earns full marks here. It also offers audio on big fixtures where it doesn’t have the rights to live-stream, which is a nice feature. I mentioned the sponsorship of Stoke City FC earlier and this goes a long way towards full points on the sponsorship front. Like most other online operators, bet365 also sponsors many horse racing events.

The bookmaker has had consistent and considerable success when it comes to winning awards. Most recently, it won the coveted title of sports betting operator of the year 2015 at the Gaming Intelligence awards. It was also named operator of the year at the 2010 EGR awards. Its grip as the leader of in-play sports betting is ever tightening, after winning in-play sports operator at the 2011 & 2014 EGR awards. In terms of extra markets, the bookmaker has a great selection, such as financial, political and e-gaming betting. The financial system here is perhaps the best available from a sportsbook, with a sophisticated FTSE index that shows updates in intervals that can be set at 5 minutes, hourly or daily.

And onto the bonuses. Not all online bookies have extra bonuses and the strength of the one available here is more than enough to deserve full marks. All new users to the mobile app can get a £50 welcome bonus to be used almost however they like, with very similar terms to the main welcome bonus. The bonus is given for customers who use the mobile app for the first time, so even long-time users of the website can get in on the action, if they haven’t previously used the app. The app has all the features of the online platform and a huge range of sports to use the bonus on.

Conclusion – The Biggest and the Best

I think it’s pretty clear after reading this review, that whatever test or challenge is thrown at the bookie, bet365 always comes out on top. To put it simply, the betting site does it bigger and better than most other competitors. The vast range of markets is met with almost endless betting options, there are more events available here for live-stream than almost anywhere else and more fixtures and bets that can be used in-play and with cash out. But it’s not just through sheer size that the bookmaker beats the competition. The online and mobile platforms have been cleverly designed and are among the most functional, the betting process is smooth and simple, while the help section is probably the most comprehensive around. A lot of thought and effort has obviously gone into making the platform as great as possible. The sliding scale cash out feature is a great touch that has only recently been replicated at a few other operators. The odds are generous and the promotions are regular and have good value to them, so punters know what they’re getting with a number of long-standing offers.

Strengths and Weaknesses of bet365
  • Major Strengths
  • huge range of bet types
  • wide selection of live-streams
  • Major Weaknesses
  • none
  • Minor Strengths
  • easy to navigate platform
  • endless promotions
  • sliding scale cash out
  • Minor Weaknesses
  • in-play can be slow

That’s not to mention the welcome bonus, which we haven’t even talked about yet. New customers get treated to a sign-up bonus of up to £200 – this dwarfs anything else on the market and in combination with the £50 mobile bonus means new players can get £250 when joining the bookmaker. Only one operator can come close in this area and that is the £50 welcome bonus at Ladbrokes. Bet365 aced our tests and I wouldn’t hesitate for a second in recommending this bookie and playing through its welcome bonus.

Q&A/FAQ

How do I check the status of my bonus?

bet365 has a handy way for you to keep track of how much of your bonus you’ve rolled over and how much is withdrawable. Simply click the arrow next to your account balance and this information will be displayed under the bonus and withdrawable headings.