Betfred – The Complete Review of the Proud British Bookmaker

Over the last two decades, Betfred has managed to reassert its influence on the bookmaking market and establish itself as the fourth largest bookmaker in the UK. This is largely thanks to a significant amount of rebranding, a fresh and original new marketing campaign, and a serious amount of investment in the UK horse racing business. The bookie prides itself on its fun and friendly attitude toward sports betting, and always strives to deliver the best quality customer experience possible. In the following test, we put Betfred under the microscope and conduct a thorough examination of all the different aspects of the betting site. Everything from the bonus offers, the platform, the quality of the customer service and the average odds levels will be properly tried and tested using our strict set of judging criteria, and then compared to the services offered by the very best operators in the UK sports betting business.

Our Rating of Betfred
  • Betting Options:over 22,000
  • Sports Markets:around 23
  • Odds Level:up to 90.88%
  • Licensed By:UK Gambling Commission
Our Overall Rating71/100Good Operator •

Our separate sub-sections will go into all the nitty gritty details and examine the strengths and weaknesses of the mobile app, the live betting features, the T&C’s, as well as the great range of bonus offers that have led to the operator earning the title “The Bonus King”. For the main review, scroll down the page and see how the company performed against the strong competition.

An Overview of the Sports Catalogue 6

Even though Betfred don’t offer quite the same number of specialised sports markets and competitions like some other operators we’ve covered so far, most of the common favourites you would expect to find at any reputable bookmaker have been catered for.

Sports Markets & Betting Types

Overall, Betfred only provide a total of around 22 different sports markets from which punters can choose to lay their stakes. Although it is true that all the main sporting options such as football, tennis, cricket and darts are all well looked after, the very best betting sites will always carry a good selection of outside sporting options, which will in turn, bring the total number of sports markets closer to 30. Although this isn’t a complete deal-breaker for the operator, it does mean that all the punters out there that like to bet on some of the lesser widely followed sports such as floorball, badminton, or even eSports events, are much better off checking out the extensive sports market range at Paddy Power.

The Most Popular Sports Markets at Betfred
Football (41) Horse Racing (63) Tennis (8) Cricket (8) Greyhounds (26)
Barclays Premier League Cheltenham ATP Asia Cup Peterborough
UEFA Champions League Dubai World Cup WTA Pakistan Super League Romford
German Bundesliga King George VI Chase ITF Country Championship Division 1 Swindon
La Liga Durbanville Australian Open Country Championship Division 2 Hove
Belgian Pro League Lingfield Wimbeldon Twenty20 World Cup Belle Vue
S League (SGP) Doncaster US Open Momentum One Day Cup Sunderland

In terms of the depth of coverage of the sports on offer, the operator does offer a reasonably good selection of domestic and international leagues and competitions. For football for instance, you won’t find quite the same range of non- EU leagues and age group tournaments as in the bet365 sports catalouge. However, all the top leagues and cup competitions from the UK and Europe are made available as well as a few less popular options.

With regard to British and Irish racing events, there’s a very good selection of different cups and competitions on offer here. When we consider that Betfred take horse racing sponsorship more seriously than any other bookmaker in the UK, it perhaps makes perfect sense that there are over 60 domestic and international competitions to choose from at the height of the racing season. Similarly, for greyhound racing, punters can expect to find well over 30 different UK markets that include popular events from Romford, Nottingham and Sheffield. Although it must be said that they are far from being one of the industry’s live betting leaders, there are a fair selection of different in-play markets on offer that add an extra element of excitement and spontaneity to your online gambling experience. Creative football markets such as “who will get the next yellow card?” or “how will the next goal be scored?” are not as common here as with some of the in-play betting giants, however the selection of goals markets, interval results and double chance options means that punters do have a fair degree of choice when betting in-play.

In-play Betting & Live Streaming

All the different aspects of the in-play capabilities will be covered in our complete Betfred live betting review. For now however, we can say that live betting is probably one of the strongest features of this betting operator. The separate “Watch Live” platform enables users to choose from a vast selection of live sports streams that include: football, tennis, basketball, horse racing and greyhound bags. The average number of around fifty streams per day also means that they are well up there with some of the better live streaming services featured in our review.

A Vast Array of Betting Options

As some of our readers may already know, Fred Done (co-founder of the Betfred company) was the first person to create the lucky 15 bet type, and the company are currently the sole operator of poole betting on British horse racing. It therefore comes as no surprise to learn that the operator is miles ahead of the competition in regard to the sheer volume of different multiples betting options on offer. With over 30 different multiples bets that include common favourites such as the Yanke, the Canadian and the Heinz, they also provide several other less common multiples combinations such as the Trixie, the Union Jack, the Pontoon and the Round Robin that aren’t always available with some of the leading betting operators. For all the experienced punters out there who know how to take full advantage of the different multiples betting types and combinations: Betfred is by far your best bet.

The different multiples and singles selections are clearly divided on the bet slip, and the potential returns calculator next to each chosen market makes keeping track of all your original stakes and potential payouts simple and stress free. The extra added “Check bets” tool also allows you to thoroughly review all your wagers and your potential earnings one more time before you hit the “Place bets” key and confirm your selections.

Bet & Win Limits

The minimum permitted stake amount with Betfred is 10p. Even though there are some bookies out there that allow you wager as little as 1p, we feel as though the minimum threshold here is more than reasonable.

When looking toward the maximum payout limits, the company fall in line with many of the other operators we’ve covered so far that permit maximum payouts of £1 million for top flight football and horse racing. For some of the other sports however, it can be said that the maximum pay out prices are a bit lower than you might expect. Tennis, boxing and cricket are all listed as lower tier sports; this means that the maximum amount you would be eligible to win from a single bet is capped at £100,000. When we compare this with some of the other operators that give the aforementioned sports a higher tier ranking, and therefore permit pay-outs of up £250,000 per bet, it becomes clear that Betfred aren’t so generous with their maximum win limits for the lower tier sports.

Pretty Solid Odds Levels7

With regard to consistency across the board, the bookie actually offer a pretty solid range of odds prices. The main area where the bookmaker lets itself down however, is with arguably the two most popular sports markets in the UK in football and horse racing. When we compare the odds prices of 92.40% and 84.67% for football and horse racing respectively to the other percentages on offer, we see that the bookie sits at the bottom of the leaderboard for these two sports markets.

Odds Levels for the Largest Sports Markets
  • .
  • Tennis92.67 - 97.60%
  • Basketball94.58 - 95.84%
  • Cricket93.56 - 95.52%
  • Boxing89.46 - 93.91%
  • Rugby90.81 - 93.08%
  • Darts91.58 - 92.92%
  • Football89.44 - 92.40%
  • Horse Racing79.26 - 84.67%
  • ..
  • .....
  • Return to Player(%)

These sports aside, the other odds prices are actually among the highest: cricket, tennis, and ice hockey are all somewhere near the top end of the leaderboard, with rugby, darts and boxing also showing extremely competitive numbers. The live odds prices here tell a similar story. For football and tennis, the scores of 93.44% and 93.34 are again at the bottom of the leaderboard, whereas the figures for basketball and tennis are slightly more competitive.

The Platform 6

Truth be told, there aren’t too many outstanding features of the platform to justify it earning a top score in our review. This isn’t to say that there’s a huge amount wrong with the desktop site; all the data on the page is clearly and logically arranged, and navigating across the site in search of your favourite markets is seamless and intuitive. However, without the same kind of customisable features as the Coral desktop platform, or the super-fast live odds updates as the Microgaming-powered Betway platform, there aren’t too many extra positive talking points.

Your bet slip is located at the right hand corner of the screen just above the blue “Cashout” menu. As long as your slip is free from any selections, it will only appear as a green drop down menu. Once you’ve added one or more selections, the drop down menu will expand and you’ll have full view of your bet slip. Whereas some operators include all the bets in which the cash out option is available on your main bet slip, Betfred utilise a separate cash out bet slip that allows you to clearly manage all of your cash out bets so that you can see exactly where and when the special lifeline is available.

At the top left hand corner of the screen, punters can make use of the “Betting Highlights” menu which provides easy, one-click-access to some of the most popular betting markets on the site. Just below, the full list of available sports is displayed under the heading “Sports Betting”. Using the drop down arrows displayed next to the different sports headings, users can easily scroll through the different leagues and divisions and locate the desired betting market(s). In the middle section of the homepage, users will see the in-play window that displays the odds of the current live fixtures, as well as those that will be available for live betting later in the day. Herein lies one of the main downsides of th platform: the absence of a bet in play calendar. When the in-play betting page is in full view, punters have the option to see all the fixtures currently in play as well as those for the next three hours. However, with regards to all the fixtures for the remainder of the day and for the days ahead, users are pretty much left in the dark.

The separate window for live streaming is one of the more positive talking points of the desktop site. Clicking the “Watch Live” tab in the top menu bar of the home page will reveal a new window, and give users the option to choose between live sports streams and UK and Irish racing events. These windows provide full listings for the live streaming opportunities for the remainder of the day, and also gives you the chance to filter the schedule and only show information for your favourite sports. Although some punters may prefer to have the live streaming window as part of the main desktop page rather than in a separate window, we feel as though this system is a far better way to keep track of all the live streaming opportunities, and best calculate where the best place is to make your next wager.

How to Place a Bet

As you would expect from any noteworthy online bookie, the bet placement process is pretty much as straight forward as can be. To add a selection to your bet slip, simply mark the empty tick box next to the displayed odds price of the desired market. Once the box has been ticked, the selection will automatically appear on your bet slip. To place multiples bets, follow the same single bet placement procedure. Once the selections appear on your bet slip, simply scroll down to see which multiples options are available, and key-in the desired stake amount in the empty “Stake’’ box.

The bet placement procedure is exactly the same for in-play markets; the only difference being that when a selection is added to your bet slip, any fluctuations in the odds prices will appear at the top, and the relevant selection will be highlighted in red as to make very clear that the payout price is different from the price you first took. The cash out symbol will also appear on the bet slip next to any markets where its use is permitted.

Official Business

This next section will provide full and comprehensive information regarding some of the more formal aspects of the Betfred company. Even though we’re aware that some of our readers may be tempted to overlook this part of the review, we advise taking special care when reading over this section, as knowing the ins and outs of the security measures, as well as the different testing procedures and customer care ratings, can often be the difference between a top quality, and a poor quality online gambling experience.

All About the Company

Betfred first started in Salford, Manchester back in 1967 as a single-store betting operation. Thanks to a new marketing campaign, a rebranded image and a considerable amount of investment in the horse racing business in recent years, the company has increased in size and popularity and is now officially the 4th largest betting operator in the UK. With the company’s co-founder and inventor of the Lucky 15 bet type Fred Done at the head of its operations, the bookmaker boasts a strong retail presence of over 1,300 licensed betting offices in the UK, and a vast range of digital products via the Casino, Games, Poker, Bingo and Lotto platforms.

All About the Betfred Business
Company Support Security Player Protection
Name:Betfred Group Live Chat:available, 24h Encryption:Trustwave, 128bit Deposit Limits:adjustable
Head Office:Warrington, UK Phone:0800 0320 878 Licence Number:39544 Betting Limits:adjustable
Owner:Fred Done Email:support@betfred.com Testing Agency:e-COGRA Self Exclusion:available
Employees:Over 10,000 Fax:not available Audit Organisation:IBAS Child Protection:guaranteed
Registered Players:unknown Other:contact form via website Anti Money Laundering ControlsCall Credit Partner Organisations:Gamble Aware, GamCare

Unlike some of the other well renowned British bookmakers in our review that have active operations in Europe and the rest of the world, the vast majority of the Betfred business is focused in the UK market. In recent years, the company has reshuffled its approach towards sports sponsorship and funneled significant investment into UK horse and greyhound racing. As a result, the name Betfred is now tied to the world famous Cheltenham Gold Cup steeple chase, as well as a number of dog tracks in Nottingham, Sheffield and Kinsley. With plenty more sponsorship deals currently in negotiation and a rapidly increasing customer base, Betfred are probably the UK’s fastest growing betting operator.

Customer Service 8

For the majority of the most common issues and queries, there’s an extensive help and FAQ’s section that provides straight forward and easy solutions. Ideally, there would be a key word search bar that would allow users to carry out a more accurate search for their specific query; nevertheless, the different help sections are clearly divided into separate categories so that locating the correct answer to your troubleshooting issue is often quick and stress free. In addition, the “Betting Glossary” and “Bet Type” pages provide useful explanations and definitions of the different betting terminologies as to provide some of the lesser experienced punters out there with some deeper insight into the world of sports betting.

When the help sections can’t provide a solution to your problem, there are a number of different ways in which you can contact the customer service team. Firstly, the telephone service is free of charge when calling from within the UK, and is line is available 24/7. They also provide a number of separate email addresses that have been specially designed to help players get quick answers to specific issues and queries. Adding to this, Betfred customers have the opportunity to utilise the extremely useful live chat customer service. This is by far the best option when you’re looking for quick answers to some of the more common troubleshooting issues, however for some of the more technical, more challenging queries, we advise making use of the separate email contact addresses for issues regarding mobile betting, personal accounts, and free bets.

Licensing & Security 7

With regard to some of the more official aspects of the company, Betfred are obliged to carry out the same strict licensing and security procedures we’ve seen so far as to guarantee the safety and confidence of their customers. One slight criticism is that the company do not display the full list of affiliated regulations and security agencies at the footer of the webpage. Ideally, users should be able to simply scroll down to the bottom of the page, and see exactly which organisations Betway are partnered with as to ensure that they adhere to the strict rules and regulations regarding gambling licensing and security. As it stands, users are unfortunately required to do a fair bit of digging around before they’re able get this information.

Utilising the advanced SSL security system, the site is fully protected by the Trustwave security company. This means that punters are free to deposit and make withdrawals with full assurance that their personal financial details will remain safe and protected. The working partnership with the highly reputable e-COGRA company gives that extra added guarantee that all the operator’s services are trustworthy, safe and honest. e-COGRA also ensure that all the automated online gaming and software systems are regularly tested for fairness and reliability, and also carry out monthly checks as to make sure that the operator are issuing the correct pay outs in a timely fashion.

Although it can’t quite be said that Betfred have paid the same attention to detail with regard to preventing gambling addiction like we see in the Coral responsible gambling section, there is a reasonably informative page in which users can refer to gain insight into some of the useful techniques and practices that encourage responsible gambling. Details on how to go about setting up a period of self-exclusion from the website and from Betfred shops, parental controls, and how to keep track of your betting history can all be found under the “Responsible Gambling” tab at the footer of the webpage.

Near Perfect Bonus Points9

Quite deservedly, Betfred managed to rack up a hugely impressive 9/10 score in our bonus points section. For the wide range of sports coverage and high volume of live streams per day – not to mention the very handy live stream schedule – we awarded a perfect 3 points here from a possible 3. As previously mentioned, the operator has gone through considerable efforts to put its name to all the biggest UK horse racing meets, as well as a fair few greyhound tracks and competitions. When we also consider that they were the official betting partner of the Manchester United Football Club from 2006-2009, anything less than another perfect 3/3 score here simply wouldn’t suffice.

For awards, the operator can boast to having won the top prize for “Best Innovation in Mobile” at the 2012 mGaming awards ceremony, and also the Best Innovation in Social Marketing at the EGR E-gaming Operator Innovation Awards in 2013. Although these are some pretty noteworthy accolades to add to the trophy cabinet, Betfred hasn’t managed to pick up any additional awards ever since; for this reason we’ve given them 1 point from a possible 2. For the top range of daily enhanced prices that have led to the company being commonly referred to as the “Bonus King”, and the extra “TV Shows & Specials” section, the operator again managed to clean up and claim all three possible points.

Conclusion – Solid With Room For Improvements

Despite finishing strongly in our special bonus points section, it must be said that Betfred are a fair few steps behind the industry’s main players. The live streaming service on offer here is one of the best around, and the top selection of daily bonus offers, along with the wide selection of short term and ongoing promotions are good enough to rival even the first place bet365 – for the complete review of the oustanding Betfred promotions range, be sure to check out our seperate bonus review page. However, when it comes to some of the key areas such as the variety sports markets, the odds levels, and the general performance of the online platform, the operator unfortunately came up a little short.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Betfred
  • Major Strengths
  • value for money welcome bonus
  • extensive range of live streams
  • numerous multiples bet types
  • Major Weaknesses
  • pretty low odds across the board
  • Minor Strengths
  • numerous promotions & bonus offers
  • Minor Weaknesses
  • low number of sports markets
  • limited payment options

Another area where the operator failed to impress was in the payment options department. All the other bookmakers in our reviews allow their customers to deposit using all the most common card types, and at least one or two different e-Wallets and pre-paid cards. The fact that they don’t accept payments from Mastercard – what is undoubtedly one of the most commonly used payment cards around – was a little disappointing to see, and ultimately led to a couple of key points being deducted. Overall, there are some good features of this betting operator; the welcome bonus for new customers is extremely good value for money, and the customer support service is well above satisfactory. However, when it comes to competing with the top betting operators in the industry, we feel that the company still has some way to go.

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.

Do I need to download any additional software in order to watch live streams?

In the vast majority of cases, desktop computers are already set up for live streaming. If you’re experiencing problems, it’s likely that you don’t have the latest version of Abode Flash Player installed. To get the latest version, simply download the required software directly from the Adobe website.