Coral – A Review of Britain’s Trademark Bookmaker

As another one of the oldest and most widely trusted bookmakers around, it’s pretty much a given that every serious punter in the UK has come into contact with the Coral bookmaker. Some of the more outstanding features here are the value for money welcome bonus, the extensive range of live streams, and the numerous payment options available for making deposits and withdrawals. In the following review, we’ll put the trademark British betting operator through our series of stern tests and assess quality of the platform, the in-play betting features, the mobile application, and everything else in between.

Our Rating of Coral
  • Betting Options: over 30,000
  • Sports Markets:around 29
  • Odds Level: up to 96.54%
  • Licensed By:UK Gambling Commission
Our Overall Rating77/100• Top Operator •

In the sections below you’ll be able to read up on all the different aspects of the bookmaker as we compare the strengths and weaknesses with the other most popular betting sites in the UK. For all the other sections that require a little more attention to detail such as the mobile app, the live betting arena, the bonus offers and the terms and conditions, you can check out our comprehensive sub-reviews. For now however, keep scrolling down below to see what makes Coral one of the most favoured betting sites in Europe.

A Glance Over the Sportsbook 7

When browsing through the sports catalogue, you can expect to find an extensive number of sports markets that include all the common favourites such as football, tennis, and horse racing, as well as a fair selection of some of the less widely followed, slightly more obscure sports from around the world. Also well worth a mention is the specials betting section, which features a good selection of non-sports related markets from which punters can choose to bet on the outcome of international political elections, reality television shows and prestigious awards ceremonies.

Sports & Betting Markets

In total, punters can choose from a selection of around 29 different sports markets with this betting operator. Although this isn’t the highest offering we’ve seen, players still have the opportunity to bet on all of the most popular markets such as cricket, boxing and darts, as well as on a number of outside selections such as speedway, hurling and Gaelic football. With regard to the depth of sports coverage, some of the other operators we’ve covered so far do have Coral beaten in terms of the sheer volume of different leagues and competitions on offer. This isn’t to say that there isn’t a good selection; punters can expect to find a pretty impressive number of different leagues from some of the lower tier footballing nations such as Azerbaijan, Vietnam and Guatemala, as well as a good range of international horse racing events and tennis competitions. However, when it comes down to a pure numbers game, Coral can’t quite claim the top spot for having the biggest selection of different leagues and competitions for the big four sports.

The Most Popular Sports Markets at Coral
Football (76) Tennis (9) Horse Racing (59) Basketball (28) Greyhounds (16)
UEFA Champions League Wimbledon Cheltenham NBA Newcastle Dogs
Barclays Premier League US Open Tampa Bay Downs (USA) NCCA Men’s Romford Dogs
La Liga ATP Tour Leicester Spanish ACB Sunderland
Dutch Eredivisie Challenger Tour Philadelphia Italian Serie A Towcester DG
Israel Cup ITF Tour Mahoney Valley French Pro A Kinsley
Vietnamese U19 Championship Davis Cup Fairview Russian Super League Tralee

It is however worth mentioning that Coral are one of the best operators out there when it comes to providing a wide range of international basketball leagues. In addition to the most popular divisions such as the NBA and the Euroleague that you’ll find at pretty much every noteworthy bookmaker, punters can also choose from leagues in the Philippines, Brazil, South Korea and Puerto Rico. With over 25 featured leagues and competitions from all around the world, basketball fans need look no further.

Top Quality Live Streams & In-play Betting

Some of the in-play betting features available here are undoubtedly among the best on the market. In addition to the several thousands of live betting markets available across a wide range of sports, there’s also no other operator in our review of the 10 best UK betting sites that can boast to providing a top quality live streaming service like the one on offer here. We’ll go into all the nitty gritty details and give you a full run-down of the in-play betting service – along with the live odds prices and the special added features on the powerful in-play platform – in our separate separate live review page. For now, we’ll just say that live betting is undoubtedly one of the strongest features of this bookmaker that probably only just comes second to the outsanding service offered by the in-play betting king – bet365.

Multiples Betting Options

As you would expect from one of the UK’s leading betting operators, Coral cover a good range of multiples betting options. Among these are the Patent, the Lucky 15, the Canadian, the Trixie and the Goliath. Punters are allowed to have a maximum of twenty-five selections on their bet slip, and all of these can be combined into one, rather sizeable accumulator bet.

Every time you add a selection to your bet slip, the computer will automatically calculate the possible multiples combinations. All of these will appear on the bottom half of the bet slip in a separate section under the heading “Multiples” as to allow for maximum ease of organisation. To add or remove a selection from your multiples bet, simply click or un click the tick box next to the relevant fixture.

Bet & Win Limits

At Coral, players are free to place bets with a minimum stake of just 10p. Although there are some operators that set their limit a little lower, (the minimum stake amount with Paddy Power is 8p) 10p is a more than reasonable lower limit that allows punters to place a series of smaller bets without breaking the bank.

With regard to the maximum payout, Coral aren’t too dissimilar from many of the other leading bookmakers that set their maximum at £1 million per day for the most popular sports. Whilst there are a few operators that have a higher payout limit – the maximum payout at William Hill for instance is set at £2 million for top tier football, and at £1 million horse racing – £1 million is a more than reasonable maximum payout price. For some of the less popular sports such as greyhound racing, golf and tennis, the maximum payouts range from £500,000 to £100,000 respectively. For TV specials and other non-sports related markets, the maximum payout is £25,000.

Best In-Play Odds7

Generally speaking, the average odds levels here are very good. For some of the more popular sports markets such as horse racing, cricket and darts, the operator ranks in the top 3 best odds category. For pre-match football however, the average odds level is considerably lower than the majority of other bookies in our review series. Given that football is by far the most popular betting market across almost every notable betting channel, there’s little doubt that a large portion of our readers will be disappointed to read that the average odds level for football is only 93.98% when, William Hill, and Betvictor each offer 97% and 98% respectively.

When it comes to in-play odds, the bookie proved that they have the best percentages to go alongside their top of the range live streaming service and powerful in-play platform. As previously mentioned, the pre-match odds could be a considerably better in a few sports, however with an in-play average odds level of up to 95.36%, no other operator in our review can compete in this department.

Odds Levels for the Largest Sports Markets
  • .
  • Tennis92.98 - 95.88%
  • Snooker93.85 - 95.50%
  • Cricket93.87 - 95.24%
  • Football88.79 - 93.98%
  • Darts92.45 - 93.89%
  • Boxing90.68 - 92.74%
  • Horse Racing82.23 - 90.68%
  • Greyhounds79.97 - 82.86%
  • ..
  • .....
  • Return to Player(%)

Customise Your Platform 7

Judging the quality of a bookmaker’s online platform can at times be a difficult procedure as very often, the strengths of the different features will be dependent on the individual preferences of the punter. In many aspects, we feel as though the powerful platform is among the best on the market. Not only are its internal systems mechanised by some of the best technology providers in the gaming business in Playtech, Amelco and OpenBet, it also features a number of handy tools that you can use to customise the platform to suit your own likes and dislikes. For instance, the “My Coral” window on the left hand side of the screen allows users to create shortcuts to their favourite sports and specials betting markets whilst keeping track of all their bonus coupons. Similarly, with the multi-view tool in the in-play page, you can drag and drop up to 7 different live fixtures into a separate window and keep tabs on all the live odds, scores and stats, all at the same time.

Although the platform provides a number of ways in which players can tailor the site to suit their personal sporting preferences, the slight downside of this is that it takes a fair amount of getting used to before you can really get comfortable with the homepage and get the best out of the special features. For first time punters, or punters without much experience with online sportsbooks, the full desktop site might at first appear to be a little daunting. Most of the data is condensed into the middle part of screen, which makes the homepage appear cramped and data-heavy. This makes navigating around the homepage slightly confusing, as it takes a fair amount of concentration before you can really get to grips with all the different drop down arrows and customisable toolbars.

The A-Z sports section where punters can find the full range of available sports markets is located on the left hand corner of the page. There’s a handy “Quick Links” menu which allows for easy one-click-access to the most popular sports markets, and a bet search tool at the top of screen where you can hone in and carry out a word specific search for your preferred betting markets. The in-play platform is also full of extra gadgets and special features; users can make use of the in-play calendar and view all the fixtures available for live streaming for the next ten days, and also select fixtures to add to the “My Events” toolbar.

Overall, it wouldn’t be quite fair to say that the Coral platform is as intuitive and user-friendly when compared to some of the other bookmakers in this review. The Ladbrokes desktop platform for instance, can’t compete when it comes to the kind of special added features and personalisable tools at Coral, however in terms of the ease of navigation and the clarity of the design, Ladbrokes clearly comes out on top. However the cool blue Coral colour scheme gives the platform a professional, high-tech finish, and the rotating slideshow at the top of screen keeps users constantly updated on daily price boosts and special promotions.

How to Place a Bet

The bet placement process is similar to the method used by most of the bookmakers featured in this review. To choose a bet, simply click on the odds price displayed alongside a given sports fixture, and the selection will automatically appear on your bet slip at the right hand corner of the screen. Simply key-in the desired stake amount into the stake box, and check the bet once more using the green information icon. Once you’re happy with the selection, click on the “Place Bet” button to confirm.

Coral also utilise a quick bet feature that allows you to place multiple bets with minimum effort. This extra added tool comes in handy when you want to place a number of separate wagers of the same stake amount. To activate the feature, simply click on the “ON/OFF” selector, and pre-select your quick bet stake using the amount buttons. Once you’re happy with the amount, find your desired bet and click on the displayed odds price. The selection will again be automatically added to your bet slip, and you can continue with the normal bet placement procedure.

The cash out feature has almost become a kind of standard feature that the vast majority of online sportsbooks now permit. Coral however, are one of the few bookmakers out there that include a special partial cash out option that lets you cash out a part of your bet whilst also leaving a bit of the original stake riding on the fixture. You’ll know that the cash out option is available whenever you see the orange “Cash Out” icon displayed next to the odds price. To use the feature, simply click on the “Cash Out” button at the bottom of the bet slip and check the offered cash out price before you confirm the selection.

To see if the partial cash out option is available for a specific bet, go to your bet slip and click on the “BETS THAT I CAN CASH OUT” button. Here you’ll be able to use the simple slider tool and collect a maximum of 90% of your original stake before your chosen fixture comes to an end. With this special feature, the bookmaker grant you with a considerable degree of freedom in the bet placement process that’s not normally permitted by the majority of leading bookmakers.

The Fundamentals

Despite Coral’s long held reputation as a trustworthy, high quality betting operator, punters are still advised to take the time to read into the different licensing and testing procedures in order to guarantee their own gambling safety. So that you don’t have to spend hours combing through all the hefty terms and conditions documents, we’ve taken the time to answer all the most important safety questions and collected some useful facts and figures below.

A Look at the Business

Coral is another highly regarded, well trusted British bookmaker that can boast to having a long and rich history amounting to almost a century’s worth of experience in the sports betting business. With most of its operations focused in the UK and Italy, (the two largest regulated gambling markets in Europe) the bookmaker hold a significant retail presence in both countries with well over 2,500 betting shops, as well as a string of online casinos and bingo brands.

All About the Coral Business
Company Customer Support Security Player Protection
Name:Gala Coral Group Live Chat:supported, 7:30am-11:59pm Encryption:Norton, 128bit Deposit Limits:adjustable
Head Office:Nottingham, United Kingdom Phone:0800 44 0011 Licence Number:001-002365-R-102407-001 Betting Limits:adjustable
Owner:Rob Templeman Email:help@coral.co.uk Testing Agency:ESSA Self Exclusion:available
Employees:around 10,000 Fax:n/a Audit Organisation:PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Child Protection:guaranteed
Registered Players:unknown Other:FAQ Anti Money Laundering ControlsKYC Partner Organisations:GamBlock, National Problem Gambling Clinic, Gamblers Anonymous

Financially, the company show an impressive yearly growth in their online net revenue of 62%, and an estimated annual turnover of over £1 billion. After investing more than £50 million in their new online platforms back in 2013, the company now hold approximately 7% worth of shares in the UK online market through their top of the range sports betting and casino products available for mobile, desktop and tablet. As well as sponsoring a whole host British and Irish horse racing events, Coral own two greyhound racing stadiums in Romford and Brighton & Hove, and also serve as the official betting partner of the Norwich City Football Club. Over the past twelve months Coral have been in talks with their old rival Ladbrokes in regard to a business merger. Although a confirmed date has not been set, both parties have called for the second stage of the mandatory review by the British Competition and Markets Authority to be sped up in the hope of completing the merger in the year 2016.

Customer Service8

To help you find answers to the most common issues and troubleshooting problems, the website has a comprehensive help section in a user-friendly Q&A style format. With this, users are free to type their query into the provided search bar, or browse through the different sections that provide detailed information on the deposit and withdrawal process, offers and promotions, the mobile app, issues relating to your online account and several more.

When we put the customer support service to the test, we found that the help section proved to be extremely useful. The added search bar makes searching for your specific query a quick, smooth process, and the use of tables and images along with the clear and concise language actually made browsing through the help and terms and conditions pages an extremely useful exercise.

For all the more complex queries not found in the help section, there’s a telephone service in operation from 7:00am – 11:59pm every day, and an email service in which operatives typically respond within 24 hours. If you have a query that requires an urgent answer, there’s also live chat service available until midnight every day. In our experience, the live chat team were friendly and efficient, and were able to answer the vast majority of our queries in a timely manner. For some of the more technical, more specialised queries, we advise using the email service as the live chat team are mostly equipped to deal with common troubleshooting issues.

Licensing & Security8

Much the same as every credible betting operator, Coral are subject to the same strict rules and regulations regarding fair and honest gambling. All of the company’s UK operations are licensed and regulated under the UK gambling commission. The desktop, mobile and tablet pages are all fully encrypted by the award winning Norton anti-virus security software as to prevent your sensitive, personal information being jeopardised – more technical specs and further information relating to the Coral mobile betting service can be found here in our complete app review page.

Coral also have a full working partnership with the ESSA; this allows punters to gamble with full assurance that the operator isn’t taking part in any match fixing or foul play of any kind.

In order to fulfil government regulations with regard to promoting responsible gambling, the operator have of course taken all the necessary measures to ensure that punters are aware of the dangerous side of gambling. They have however gone one step further than most of the other bookmakers in our review series and created a separate webpage that provides detailed information about gambling addiction, as well as important tips and guidelines on how to control your own gambling limits. The page contains a whole range of different tools that have been specially designed to help punters control their online gameplay before any serious signs of addiction can arise. There’s a budget calculator, a money diary, information on how to set online and retail self-exclusions, and a special section for parents that offers advice on how to prevent minors from accessing gambling website. In this department, it’s clear to us that Coral have gone above and beyond the required governments guidelines to promote responsible gambling; for this we feel as though they deserve a perfect 10/10 score.

Very Good Result at Bonus Points8

After receiving good marks in most of our other tests, Coral continued to impress in the special bonus points section. Simply put, no other operator out there can boast to offering the same volume of live streams as what you can find here. With close 2,000 streams available every week (that’s more than 100,000 per year) that cover everything from top flight football to European handball and everything in between, they easily managed to secure a perfect 3/3 score here. The bookie also put in a strong performance in the sponsorship category; the company currently own two greyhound racing stadiums in Romford and Brighton & Hove, and also signed last season to become the primary betting sponsor of Norwich City Football Club: for this we felt as though they deserved a very solid 2/3 score.

When we consider that the bookie took home the highly prestigious “Operator of the Year” award at the 2015 EGR ceremony last year, they have an extensive selection of specials betting markets, as well as a very good value for money welcome bonus, we didn’t hesitate to award a further 3 points out of a possible 4 in the remaining sections. This meant that overall, the final score was an impressive 8/10. For a deeper look at the Coral bonus range, including all the short term and ongoing promotions, check out our special bonus review page and get the full update.

Conclusion – Top 3 Betting Operator

In the end, Coral managed to come through our stringent testing process reasonably unscathed and secure a more than satisfactory 77/100 score. The low pre match football odds and slightly more complex user platform did mean that the operator dropped some points in few key areas. Other than this, there really aren’t too many negative criticisms regarding the overall betting service. As previously mentioned, there’s a more than satisfactory selection of different sports markets and divisions from around the world, the bet placement procedure is smooth and straight forward, and the live streaming service is quite frankly, second to none.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Coral
  • Major Strengths
  • partial cash out feature
  • best live streaming service
  • numerous sports markets
  • Major Weaknesses
  • none
  • Minor Strengths
  • value for money welcome bonus
  • significant retail presence
  • Minor Weaknesses
  • slightly complex desktop platform

When you also take into consideration the great efforts made by the bookmaker to go above and beyond the required measures to fulfill the government’s policy on promoting safe and responsible gambling, and the sizeable selection of long term and short term promotions in addition to the value for money welcome bonus, it actually comes as no surprise that Coral managed to cement its place as one of the top 3 recommended bookmakers in the UK.

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 do I get a Coral Connect Card?

Signing up to the Coral Connect card service is easy. Simply head to your local Coral retail store, speak with a store agent and you’ll be completely set up and ready to use your new card and pin in just a few minutes.