There are a lot of things to like about 188Bet
, with their competitive odds and In-Play betting clearly the two stand-out features. However, in both cases, the company could do more to make them more user-friendly to customers.
In the case of the live wagering, this deserves a designated area on the website rather than it being blended in with the pre-match markets, otherwise it's not immediately clear that some of the matches are taking place and others are yet to begin. Nevertheless, they deserve credit for having the traders or trading facility to ensure that they bet to competitive margins, especially on the top European leagues.
188Bet now need to look at how to appeal to a broader audience. While soccer is now the number one sport for betting, it doesn't mean it's everyone's cup of tea, with a limited range of other sports markets meaning that those wanting to bet on tennis or cricket will quickly look elsewhere. The customer service is particularly strong and it's encouraging to see a bookmaker new to the UK market not only emphasising their fantastic odds but also looking to help users with technical or betting-related queries. It must also be noted that their website is speedy and reasonably user-friendly
New Customer Offer
are offering all new customers a £50 welcome bonus when they register an account. The offer is really easy to claim with the £50 in bonus funds released following an initial deposit and first bet of £50. Simply place your bet and you will receive the same amount in bonus funds.
Details of the minimum deposit amounts can be found on the deposit page on 188BET.com
Wagers must be placed on selections with minimum odds of 1.50 or above in any market.Background
188Bet are keen to get a slice of the highly-competitive UK market, securing sponsorship deal with Bolton Wanderers. This will not only get them seen in Great Britain but also associate them with the global phenomenon of English football. In addition to an English language website, they have also created versions for China, Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam, thus highlighting that they're in the hunt for customers in south-east Asia. But does their product have the necessary clout to make an impact in these territories?
The operator is owned by Cube Limited, which is fully licensed and regulated by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Committee. They are pretty new to the bookmaking scene, establishing themselves in 2006 although making a big play that they have some experienced staff to ensure that they stick around for the long-term.
Odds and Markets
188Bet are all about two things at the time of writing: 1) soccer and 2) In-Play betting. It's clear that the powers-that-be are trying to ensure that there is always live soccer to bet on, hoping that this will attract loyal customers as a result. The odds are unquestionably competitive, with the main focus on the 1x2, Asian Handicap and Total Goals markets. Full marks go to the firm for their transparency on pricing, which even extends to offering customers an odds calculator, so that they can view for themselves the margins which 188Bet are operating at.
The company aren't so hot at offering propositions if you like your alternative bets on sport, while the range of sports isn't comprehensive. Baseball, basketball and American football are distant seconds to soccer, although the odds remain competitive throughout. Their theoretical hold on Asian Handicap markets is less than 1.5% on the English Premier League and top German, Italian and Spanish leagues. With regard to In-Play betting, they are truly setting themselves out as the specialists, offering on average 3,000 live games for in-play betting every month. Website
188Bet have gone down the 'heavy use of flash' route on the homepage, something which is probably best used in moderation. However, the site is nicely presented, with the sports ordered in the left-hand menu according to how many markets are available on each one.
In addition, they also split out the markets between the events that are taking place on that particular day and 'early market' odds which is again thoughtful in terms of what customers want. Above the menu is a flashing In-Play graphic which illustrates which sports / events are being covered, although it might help to only list the relevant sports.
Clicking on the 'sports' tab on the horizontal menu is a little confusing, with the user being taken through to the soccer section automatically, being presented with the available live match odds at the top of the page. It's possibly a little presumptuous to think that everyone will want to check out and bet on these markets - perhaps a case of putting too many eggs in one bet basket. While placing a bet is a straightforward process once you have populated the bet slip and the debit card transaction is relatively smooth, the way that the matches and markets are laid out could be simplified and is currently far removed from how the big UK players are going about their business.
188Bet lay out their mission statement succinctly as putting the customer first and striving to meet expectations and it's always helpful to see the live chat facility available. They also have a Skype facility available, with email and telephone support also available 24/7.
10% Mobile Win Boost
Bet via a mobile device on any English Premier League, Championship, Primera Division, Bundesliga 1 or Serie A match between the 17th and 30th September (on selected markets) and if you win, we'll add 10% to your winnings up to £50!