Bet365 Sportsbook Review

by Shane Rivers on February 19th, 2015.

Popularity

Bet365 is the winner of multiple "Operator of the Year" and "Affiliate Program of the Year" awards. They've been featured on Power 50's list of the most influential internet gaming companies, and the majority owner (50.1%), Denise Coates, was named one the 100 most powerful women in the UK.

They currently sit at the top of the online gambling industry, having ventured in "pretty much everything" including sports betting (the one they started with), casino games, poker and bingo. Live betting has become a huge business for Bet365, undoubtedly aided by the commercials running on the break of Premier League games. They were also the first website to obtain the rights to stream England's national team game (a European Championships Qualifier in 2009).

2600No. of
Employees
14Million
Customers
£214Million in
Pre-Tax Profits

No matter how you look at it, Bet365 is a giant. But what's even more impressive than the numbers above? Their growth rate. Bet365's pre-tax profits rose 44% (from £148 million to £213.8 million) last year compared to a 30% increase the year before. That's an astonishing growth rate for a company that's already massive and multiple times bigger than its fiercest UK competitors such as William Hill and Ladbrokes.

A Possible Reason for Bet365's Growth

But is the UK Bet365's biggest market anymore? As reported by the Guardian, Bet365 has found a lucrative betting market in China. Now, since it's illegal to provide betting services or to bet online (to the point where multiple individuals have been arrested for gambling at Bet365's website or advertising them on a personal website) in China unless you've been specifically approved by the government, offshore sites have to get tricky.

But being tricky seems to pay off handsomely. China's government-approved betting services offer horrible odds - often to the point where you can get 5-6 times better odds at an offshore site - so Chinese bettors have a wonderful reason to consider signing-up at offshore sites.

Bet365 has no offices or other assets in China (although they have packed their Stoke offices with Chinese-speaking customer service personnel). The only thing stopping them from providing online betting services in China is the government, which will do its best to shut Bet365's (or any offshore site's) website down as soon as possible. But Bet365 is constantly switching web addresses to avoid getting taken down by Chinese authorities which makes it difficult to track how much Chinese traffic they're getting.

We have no way of knowing how big of a portion of the Chinese market belongs to Bet365 but we do know that they're considered one of the biggest offshoer players in the market and are likely pulling a significant portion of their revenue from there. Chinese punters were expected to bet multiple billions of dollars to offshore sites just during the World Cup.

"In the view of bet365, and its lawyers, Chinese law does not extend to the provision of services into China by gambling operators and service providers who themselves have no nexus with the territory. Any allegation of illegality on the part of bet365 is therefore untrue."Bet365 Spokesperson (source)

Complaints & Issues

Bet365 enforces betting limits to your account if they think you're "too skilled" at sports betting. Their sportsbook an unfriendly enviroment if they feel like you're winning too much, they'll limit your bets to something like a few pounds per bet and restrain you from any future bonus offers. In fact, their restrictions aren't exclusive to professional bettors: throughout the years there have been tens of reports of recreational bettors getting their account shut down after consecutive wins. In other words, you're allowed to bet a lot of money when you're losing but the minute you start winning, they get uncomfortable.

You'll be able to withdraw your money after they've limited, of course. It's like being caught for counting cards at a casino: you're not doing anything illegal but they would like you to take your business elsewhere.

I should also mention their bonus terms and conditions. If you're from certain countries - like Finland, Latvia or Romania, for example - your wagering requirements are 200 times your deposit amount. That's an insane requirement and makes it all but impossible to clear a bonus (the house edge will eat away all your money long before you reach the requirements).

"In the case of the Standard and VIP Opening Bonuses, customers from the following countries must play through their deposit/transfer and bonus 200 times prior to making a withdrawal: Finland, Latvia, and Romania."Bet365 Terms and Conditions

This is not cheating (says so in their terms & conditions) but several people have complained about not checking the terms before depositing (expecting them to be somewhat reasonable) and finding out the unpleasant truth a little too late. The terms are hidden on their casino bonus page so you'll have to click on "View Terms" in order to make them visible.

With that said, is Bet365 safe? While they certainly do things that annoy certain types of customers, there's no reason to accuse theme of anything foul. You will not find any "Bet365 scam" stories online. The only complaints are almost exclusively about the bonus terms (you can also decide not to take the bonus if you're unhappy with the terms) and limiting bet amounts.

Bonus Offers

Bet365's bonus offers are conservative (even deceptive when it comes to their casino bonuses as you'll see below) and unattractive if you compare to some of the industry's best offers. That's standard for the industry giants, though - they're looking for recreational gamblers, not the ones interested in getting the best possible deal (those customers are less profitable for the company).

Bet365 Betting Bonus

3xDeposit + Bonus
Requirement
100%Up to 100€
Bonus Offer
90Days to Clear
the Bonus

You'll get a 100% up to 100€ deposit bonus with a 3x rollover requirement (that means three times both deposit and bonus). Bets with lower than 1.5 (or 1/2) odds don't count for the bonus, and the same goes for Asian handicap, goal line and baseball moneyline bets.

Bet365's Sportsbook also offers sport-specific bonuses (like for soccer accumulator bets) and bet-specific bonuses (like the 50% bonus for parlay bets).

Bet365 Casino Bonus

30xDeposit + Bonus
Requirement
100%Up to 200€
Bonus Offer
30Days to Clear
the Bonus

The bonus offer highlighted above is for slot machines only but there are other casino bonuses available and even the slots bonus includes terms affecting its profitability greatly - customers from China have a 100x requirement while customers from Macau and Singapore have a 200x requirement.

The standard bonus offer (which doesn't apply to slots) has a 20x requirement but (...wait for it!) customers from Argentina, Belarus, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Japan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macau, Moldova, Malaysia, Nepal, North Korea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Sweden, Ukraine and Uruguay have a 50x requirement; customers from China have a 100x requirement; customers from Finland, Latvia, and Romania have a 200x requirement. Customers from Australia, Cyprus, Denmark, French Guiana, Greece, Greenland, Guadeloupe, Hong Kong, Italy, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Martinique, Russia, Spain, Syria and Vietnam are excluded from the promotion.

And that's not all... only Keno counts 100% for the bonus requirements. So even if you're from a country that gets the cheapest bonus requirement (20x) and you want to play a game like roulette, your wagering requirement will actually be 100x. This is the least ridiculous bonus offer for roulette players -- if you were from Denmark, for example, you'd be looking at a 1000x wagering requirement.

Games Contribution
Keno 100%
Games 50%
Baccarat, Let Them Ride Poker and Wild Viking. 25%
Craps, Pai Gow Poker, Red Dog, Roulette, Sic Bo and Stravaganza. 20%
Blackjack (all variations except Blackjack Surrender, Blackjack Switch and Lucky Blackjack) and Casino Hold'em. 10%
All Video Poker games. 5%
Blackjack Surrender, Blackjack Switch, Lucky Blackjack, Pontoon, Video Poker or Video Slots double-up games and Multi Spin Slot Games (Goblin's Cave, Ocean Princess, Triple Profits, Tropic Reels and Ugga Bugga). N/A

Bet365 Poker Bonus

200%Up to 1,000€
Bonus Offer
15%Theoretical
Cashback
60Days to Clear
the Bonus

You will get a 200% up to 1,000€ deposit bonus for Bet365 Poker. Theoretically, you're getting a 15% cashback while completing the bonus requirements since the bonus is released in 10€ increments (1,000 points for every 10€ released) and it takes 67€ worth of rake or tournament fees to reach 1,000€ points. Since the bonus is 200%, the max. deposit amount that qualifies for the bonus is 500€.

Additionally, you'll be able to claim extra money by climbing up in their VIP system (although you need to be active for three months prior to getting any VIP money). You climb up the system by accumulating as many points as possible.

Sportsbook

Even though casino and poker are popular offerings at Bet365, sports betting is their main source of business and what they're ultimately known for. They've put an incredible amount of effort into providing as many betting markets as possible - and not just regular betting options, but many of the less popular markets have in-play betting options as well.

Being in some of the more obscure markets is one of the reasons why Bet365 is truly an international sportsbook - while other sportsbooks usually do well in one or few markets, Bet365 has found success in many. Having plenty of betting options is an important part of the success, but so are 17 supported languages, 28 supported currencies, specifically in-play betting for more obscure markets and a 24/7/365 customer support.

Maximum Winnings

Soccer League Max. Win
English Premiership, Championship, League 1, League 2, FA Cup, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga I, French Le Championnat, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. £2,000,000
Australian A-League, Scottish Premier League, Blue SQ Premier, Norwegian Tippeligaen, Swedish Allsvenskan and Capital One Cup. £500,000
Spanish Segunda, Italian Serie B, German Bundesliga II, French 2nd Division, Danish Superliga, Finnish Veikkausliiga, Norwegian Adeccoligaen, Portuguese Primeira Liga and Swedish Superettan. £250,000
Austrian Bundesliga, Belgian Pro League, Danish Division 1, Finnish Ykkonen, Dutch Eredivisie, Scottish 1st, 2nd and 3rd Divisions, Swiss Super League, Greek Super League and Turkish Super League. £100,000
All other soccer competitions excluding Futsal, Beach Soccer and Masters Soccer. £50,000
Horse Racing
UK and Ireland when an Industry SP is declared; Australia for all Win and Place (Metropolitan Racing); Asia for all Win and Place. £1,000,000
Australia for all Win and Place (Non-Metropolitan Racing). £350,000
Overseas racing when an Industry SP is declared; Australia for all Exotics bets (Metropolitan). £250,000
All other UK and Ireland horse racing, where any of the selections do not have an industry SP declared; all other overseas horse racing; all other horse racing displayed on Bet365 with no Industry SP declared; Australia for all Exotics bets (Non-Metropolitan); New Zealand for all Win and Place. £100,000
New Zealand for all Exotics bets; Asia for all Exotics bets. £20,000
Greyhound Racing
All BAGS and BEGS meetings, and those covered live on Sky Sports. £1,000,000
Australia, New Zealand and Asia for all Win and Place. £100,000
Non BAGS and BEGS meetings at Belle Vue, Coventry, Hall Green, Hove, Monmore, Nottingham, Oxford, Perry Barr, Peterborough, Romford, Sheffield, Sunderland, Swindon and Wimbledon; all other meetings that are published on the bet365 website (except exceptions stated below). £25,000
Australia, New Zealand and Asia for all Exotics bets. £20,000
Non BAGS and BEGS meetings at Newcastle, Crayford and Kinsley; all other Greyhound Racing not listed above. £10,000
Non BAGS and BEGS meetings at Sittingbourne. £5,000
American Football
All NFL money line, spreads, totals and Superbowl outright. £500,000
All NCAAF money line, spreads and totals. £100,000
All other NFL markets not listed; all other league money line, spreads and totals on markets not listed above. £50,000
All other NCAAF and CFL markets not listed; all other American Football markets not listed above. £25,000
Ice Hockey
All NHL money line, puck line, totals and outright Stanley Cup. £500,000
Finland SM Liga, KHL, Swedish Hockey League moneyline, puck line, handicap line game totals and outright markets. 100,000
All other NHL markets not listed. £50,000
All other Ice Hockey markets/Leagues/Tournaments not listed above. £25,000
Basketball
All NBA money line, spreads, totals and NBA Championship outrights. £500,000
All NCAAB money line, spreads, totals and NCAAB Championship outrights; all EuroLeague/Spain ACB money line, spreads and totals. £100,000
All other NBA markets not listed. £50,000
All other NCAAB markets not listed; all other Basketball markets/competitions not listed above. £25,000
Other Sports
Virtual sports; lotto. £1,000,000
Golf; Rubgy Internationals, World Cup, Six Nations, Four Nations, Aviva Premiership, Heineken Cup and Super Rugby match winners, handicaps and totals; Rugby Super League, NRL, International and World Cup match winners, handicaps and totals; Tennis ATP tour outright tournament winner and match winner. £500,000
Boxing; Financial Betting; Formula 1 Driver, Constructor Championship winners, and individual Grand Prix race winners; WTA tour outright tournament winner and match winner; all Darts BDO, PDC and Premier League Match winner and outright tournament markets; Match Winner/Outright markets for all Darts Premier League and World Ranking Tournament Matches. £250,000
Cricket; Cycling; Trotting; all Volleyball game winner and outright competition winner; all other Rugby Union markets/Competitions not listed; all other Rugby League markets/Competitions not listed; all other Motor Sports and markets not listed; all Match Winner and Tournament Outright Bowls markets; all Handball money line, handicap, totals and outright competition winner £100,000
All other Tennis markets/Tournaments not listed above (this includes all ITF, ATP Challenger, WTA Challenger and ATP Qualifying events); all other Darts markets/Tournaments not listed above; all other Snooker markets/Tournaments not listed; all other Bowls markets not listed; all other Handball markets not listed; all other Volleyball markets not listed; all other sports (includes Beach Soccer/Masters Soccer/Futsal and Beach Volleyball); all non-sports bets and speciality bets. £25,000

Casino Games

Bet365 Casino can match just about any of its competitors with its variety of games and amount of money available to win. However, if you just want to try the games for free without risking real money, you'll be disappointed since Bet365 Casino has no free games.

At the time of writing this Bet365 review, they have three jackpots worth over a million pounds with two of them being over two million pounds. Additionally, all Marvel slots are part of the same slot game network and since the games are among Bet365's most popular ones, their jackpots are often worth hundreds of thousands of pounds (£200,000+ right now).

House Edge / Payback

Playtech's payback percentages are public information so we were able to find out which Bet365's Playtech slot machines have the highest and lowest payback percentages. For some reason, Bet365 has not included payback information within the Help files of their Playtech-powered games, forcing us to go elsewhere to get the information. Why do they hide the information unlike plenty of their competitors?

Note: Following payback percentages were determined based on the assumption that you're playing according to optimal strategy. Making poor decisions costs you a lot of money in games like blackjack and video poker - it's impossible to say what the house edge is if you make decisions that stray away from optimal strategy.

Slot Machine Payback
Goblin's Cave (max. bet) 99.32%
Ugga Bugga (max. bet) 99.07%
Ocean Princess (max. bet) 99.07%
Tropic Reels (max. bet) 98.95%
Triple Profits (max. bet) 98.72%
Elektra (25-line) 93.42%
Piggies and the Wolf 92.1%
Wolverine 91.86%
Gladiator Jackpot 91.46%
King Kong 91.06%

As long as you stick to making maximum bets, you get relatively good slot machine returns at Bet365. There's never a way to beat slot machines over the long run but getting a return like Goblin's Cave's 99.32% is exceptionally good for a slot machine.

Video Poker Variation Payback
2ways Royal 99.80%
Joker Poker 99.54%
Jacks or Better 99.53%
Aces and Faces (4-line) 99.26%
Deuces Wild 98.91%
Tens or Better 97.96%
Jacks or Better (10-line) 96.15%
Aces and Faces (25-line) 95.44%

Financially, the best casino game you can play at Bet365 is 2ways Royal, a form of video poker which has just a 0.2% house edge when played with optimal strategy. You won't be a winner in the long run but your money will last longer than in other games if you stick to 2ways Royal and optimal strategy.

Blackjack Variation Payback
Blackjack Surrender 99.65%
Pontoon Blackjack 99.62%
Blackjack (Basic) 99.57%
Live Blackjack 99.43%

The second best Bet365 payout percentage comes with a blackjack variation called Blackjack Surrender. A 0.35% house edge (suggesting perfect strategy) ensures longevity for your money.

Additionally, Bet365 publishes monthly results of payout audits done by GLI testing agency. Payout means the actual amount they have paid out, not theoretical return. Therefore one month's payout sample is only a small bit of data even considering how big of a site Bet365 is because one or two jackpot wins (or the lack of them) can easily skew the numbers greatly from what their theoretical return is.

Game Type Payout
Slots 95.33%
Table Games 97.75%
Card Games 98.24%
Video Poker 98.59%
Poker 96.45%
Fixed Odds 97.00%

The figures in the table above are the results of an audit for September 2014. Slots paid out a fairly low percentage, although that's to be expected since Bet365's progressive jackpot slots are popular and they usually have the lowest payouts out of all slot machines (a part of your bet goes to the jackpot and then the casino takes its share on top of that).

As already shown on this page though, Bet365 Casino has games with high payback percentages as long as you make the maximum bet, such as Goblin's Cave with a 99.32% return. Then again, by choosing something like King Kong (91.06%) or Gladiator Jackpot (91.46%), you can get a raw deal for your money.

Betting Options

I've used a lot of sportsbetting services over the years, but I've seldom come across one that offers such a dizzying array of wagering opportunities. All the favorites are represented, including soccer, tennis, cricket, basketball, and American football. But Bet365 doesn't stop there, as they also feature obscure sports such as surfing and badminton.

And what about those times when you want to make a bet but no sporting event is taking place? Well, that's when their virtual sports option comes in handy, as you can wager on simulated events taking place in the following categories: horse racing, soccer, motorsports, tennis, cycling, and greyhound racing.

Customers can also take advantage of the site's live betting service, which allows wagers to be made while games are still in progress. Combine this with the thousands of events steamed live over Bet365 each year, and you have a powerful one-two punch for sportsbetting enthusiasts.

How Good Are Bet365 Odds?

The odds at Bet365 are commensurate with competing brands, although their basketball margins do tend to be larger than what you might find elsewhere. Just the opposite is true with soccer, however, as these odds are consistently strong when compared to other sportsbooks.

Withdrawal Options

When you're ready to withdraw some or all of your winnings, you can use the following methods at Bet365: InstaDebit, PayPal, Click2Pay, Ukash, Skrill, Neteller, Visa or Mastercard, Maestro, Ukash, entropay, checks, and bank wires. Most of these options are processed within 24 hours, although checks take anywhere from five to 28 business days.

Most of these services cost nothing to use. High rollers should also be delighted by the maximum withdrawal limits, as they often hover around the $20,000 mark (depending on which service you use).

Customer Support

When it comes to taking care of customer concerns, Bet365 is one of the best in the business. For starters, they support 17 different languages, so you'll never have any trouble expressing your needs. These options include common tongues such as English and Spanish, and more regional dialects like Greek and Slovak.

There are also a number of ways to get in touch with their customer service department. Their toll-free number is the most direct, but other options include email, fax, live chat, and even forum posts. All of these are available 24/7, and you'll be surprised by how fast you receive a reply.

Reasons to Use Bet365

While there are a number of reasons to use Bet365 as one of your sports betting options, the following are the most compelling:

  • Customer Confidence - Let's be honest: most online operations are located in places that the average bettor couldn't even find on a map. That's not the case with Bet365, as they're a family-run business out of jolly 'ol England that's been operating since 2000 with no major problems. It's hard to beat that level of reliability.
  • Mobile Betting - Wagering with phones and tablets is the wave of the future, and Bet365 is on the cutting edge. You'll have access to the same great odds, and the in-play option is also available. No matter where you are, a potentially lucrative wager is just a few clicks away.
  • Variety - In addition to betting on your favorite team, Bet365 also offers a number of other gambling options under one roof. They have hundreds of casino games to choose from, as well as multiple types of poker. And for those who prefer a more leisurely style of gaming, there's also a thriving bingo community.