We’ve taken a Bet365 deep dive and examined the strengths and weaknesses of Samuel L. Jackson’s favourite bookie. We go through everything from their odds, to their promos, to the functionality of their app. By the end of this article you’ll know where they sit in the market and whether you should be betting there.
Bet365 is a privately owned UK betting company. Peter Coates started the business in 1974 when he started opening retail betting stores. His daughter, Denise, then took the concept online in 2000 with the brand Bet365.
The company is still privately owned, mainly by the Coates family, and their headquarters remain in Stoke-on-Trent in the UK. Peter Coates actually owns the premier league football club, Stoke City F.C. Come on you Potters!
Bet365, as the ads suggest, is now a global operation with 19 million customers in over 200 countries. Their European business runs through the tax haven Gibraltar, with their Australian operations using similar advantages in the Northern Territory.
Website Layout, Mobile Usability and App
Bet365 brand themselves as a technologically savvy company and they deliver on the marketing.
Their Live Streaming service is absolutely exceptional, displaying high quality video feeds of every major international sport. You can see anything from Major League Baseball to low level tennis matches with zero people in the crowd. The resolution is incredible on both website and app.
The major frustration with using their website is the grouping of events. They don’t have competition filtering options on the left hand side.
For example, if you wanted to look at the NRL prices for the upcoming weekend, you’re sent to a crowded page with every rugby league market. There’s matches, futures, UK markets, Aussie markets etc. It’s overwhelming and unfamiliar to Australian punters who are used to clicking on NRL and picking their favourite two or three legs for the weekend.
Another obstacle is the language. You’ll see 2-Way and 3-Way betting for most sporting markets. Once you realise that 2-Way is how we do it in Australia and 3-Way is how the Poms bet, you won’t have any issues. However, until that becomes instinct it’s confusing to pass through an extra menu.
Another complaint, albeit a minor one, is the lack of design. Their website is dull. The green and grey primary colours aren’t broken up by team logos or caricature promos like their competitors. Even their live streaming service, which offers so much action, is largely hidden on main menus.
The App, while still lacking life, actually works better than the website. You’ll find markets easier and whilst it isn’t lightning fast, you can place a bet on horse racing in one second.
Why Bet With Them
Bet365’s biggest strength is their volume of markets and the competitiveness of their prices. They’re primarily a low margin, high turnover business. Think K-Mart, though I’m sure they won’t appreciate the metaphor.
Most of their markets bet to a low percentage and they’ll commonly stand out on odds comparison websites as offering better prices than their competitors. Check out the example below:
Their horse racing product is arguably Australia’s best. Their fixed prices includes Starting Price (SP) security which is an industry best. That means that if you take a fixed price and the SP is bigger, you’ll get that. They also bet fixed price for the place which is rare.
Importantly, their fixed prices on horse racing are often the last to move. Punters can therefore spot a market mover and still find top odds with Bet365.
Their other horse racing product is best tote, which includes the SP as well. That’s an industry norm these days but they extend that product to the smaller race meetings when most competitors only offer middle tote.
Their sporting markets are no different. They’re the first bookmakers to bet on AFL & NRL total points each week which is bold given that bookmakers often lose on these markets.
Similarly, Bet365 will be the first to market on obscure events like the World Swimming Championships, Australian Open Bowls etc. In an industry that is renowned for copy and paste, we respect that they often have their own opinions.
Bet365 could confidently consider themselves the market leader in live betting. They easily televise the most events and they offer live odds for all of those. Plus you’ll see them trading anything live on Fox Sports, whether it’s UFC or NSW Cup rugby league.
Betting live over the phone, as Australian legislation demands, can be quite frustrating. However, Bet365 have been innovative in their solutions. They currently offer a Quick Code system that gives punters a four digit code to reflect the betting option they want. This significantly speeds up the time on the phone, making a painful experience manageable.
Client Profiling & Account Restrictions
Without a doubt the biggest criticism of Bet365 is how they treat winning or sophisticated looking clients. They’re quick to limit or close any account that looks intelligent. You don’t even have to win and you can be limited to placing bet’s in dollars rather than pineapples.
The Bet365 attitude here is cliche English. The Poms, despite introducing us to the punting culture, are allergic to accepting bets. Open an account at any bookmaker in the UK and you’ll see what we mean. If you try to back a 50-1 horse in the Caulfield Cup they’ll let you have five pounds on it. If you’re lucky.
So Bet365, probably fairly, are blamed for introducing the “safe than sorry” UK attitude to bookmaking over here. And if you ask any professional punter what they think of Bet365, their review won’t be as positive as ours. Though they’ll probably have the same attitude to some of the other UK agencies like William Hill and Ladbrokes.
Lastly, it should be said that Bet365 do honour the minimum bet rules enforced by New South Wales and Victorian racing. The same can’t be said for every bookie.
Bet365 are one of the biggest bookmakers in the world, offering some of the most competitive odds across the broadest range of markets. Their live streaming service is second to none, letting members access hundreds of high resolution sporting feeds each day.
The website might not be the easiest to use for recreational punters and they vigilantly shut down winning accounts, but they are still worth opening one with. They’ll often be top odds and they can surprise the market with generous promotions.