Countries

x

How we review betting sites on MyBettingSites.com

Written by: Nick Albert
Date published: February 28, 2024

We provide transparent and accurate information about online bookmakers in the UK to help punters find their preferred online betting sites.

Whether the bookie is an established operator or new to the market, our goal, ultimately, is to make online sports betting as smooth as possible, from signing up right through to withdrawing winnings - this process begins with user reviews.

On this page, we share how we review a betting site.

Just like making a good cup of tea, there’s an art to writing a well-balanced bookmaker review.

We discuss our method, the factors we consider when carrying out a bookie review, as well as our thought process when giving each bookmaker a score.

We hope the following information gives you an insight into why we do the things we do, and, how we do it.

Our process

We start by signing up with the bookmaker, going through the registration process, depositing money and claiming the welcome offer, just like any new customer.

After, we move on to placing bets and experiencing the bookmaker as an existing customer. This includes taking advantage of betting promotions, using the betting features available and withdrawing funds to determine how quickly you can receive your winnings.

We also contact a member of the customer support team (an actual human and not a bot) to assess the effectiveness and friendliness of the support available.

In most cases, we test a bookmaker over seven days. This allows us to go through all the factors in our testing criteria and give a fair final score. This length of time also gives us a fair insight into what it’s like to use the site both during the week and at weekends.

To ensure our reviews remain relevant and accurate, we update our ratings and rankings every month.

Our scoring system

Simply, we give each bookmaker a score out of ten.

To get this rating, we evaluate a betting site on the key factors we deem important when reviewing a betting site.

None of the factors are weighted - we deem each to be equally important.

Understanding our scores

5/5 - Elite betting site. Ticks every box and more!
4/5 - The majority of UK punters will be happy with this bookie
3/5 - A decent site with a couple of drawbacks
2/10 - Below average bookie
<1/5 - Not worth your time

What our bookie reviews focus on

Our reviews involve us conducting a test of every online betting site, analysing each offering with a fine-toothed comb, so to speak.

The result is a user review which breaks down the potential benefits and drawbacks of the betting site from a wholly unbiased perspective.

Every betting site review we produce is based on the following criteria:

Below, we go factor-by-factor and explain what exactly our online bookmaker reviews focus on.

Licensing

First things first, it’s important to make clear that every bookmaker we recommend is licenced by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), the body responsible for regulating online gambling in the UK.

The UKGC, widely acknowledged as one of the leading regulators worldwide ultimately ensures the safety of players in terms of the protection of funds, ensuring there are steps in place to verify the age of players and that there are measures to help players with gambling addiction issues.

It is easy to see if a betting site is licensed by the UKGC - just look for the bookmaker’s license number in the website footer or search the company yourself on the UKGC website.

Payment methods

The importance of making it as easy as possible for punters to deposit money into their account and actually start betting and, also, withdraw money they have won, cannot be underestimated.

That’s why, in our reviews, we place great emphasis on the payment methods available. In fact, we make it one of the first things we look at.

Deposit options

We look at the number of different ways a customer can pay money into their betting account. Generally, the more payment methods available, the more likely a customer will find an option convenient for them.

But it's not just about having a nice long list of options, they need to be secure methods that are widely used in the UK.

We look at whether PayPal and other e-wallets such as Skrill and Neteller are accepted. Likewise, prepaid cards like paysafecard and mobile payment methods like Apple Pay and Google Pay, which are fast becoming the most convenient way of making payments in the UK.

Since not everybody is comfortable using an e-wallet or a mobile to pay, we ask ourselves whether a bookie caters to the needs of every bettor by providing other means of payment such as a bank transfer or instant bank payment.

A debit card is the most common way of paying online in the UK and we expect this to be offered as a minimum.

Withdrawal Options

Not being able to access your winnings quickly and take money out of your betting account can be very frustrating (we know this from experience). Especially when it takes a matter of seconds to put your money in!

Of the deposit options available on a betting site, we look at how many can also be used to withdraw. Using the same method to deposit & withdraw removes the possibility of running into issues, generally speaking. But this isn’t always possible.

The top betting sites ensure there are as many withdrawal methods as deposit methods.

But not just that, it’s important that the processing time for the options available is fast. Nobody wants to be waiting 2 or 3 days to receive their money and so we highlight betting sites that offer fast withdrawals.

Design & user experience

How a user can interact with a betting website, i.e. the user experience, is a vital part of our review process.

We rate a bookie based on how intuitive the site is. By this, we mean: Does an intuitive website design allow users to complete the tasks they want to do without interruption or thought? Are there clear labels and links that help users find what they want when they want? In short, how easy is the website to use?

Part of this is how the site responds too: Is the site quick to load? Is the user interface responsive i.e. easily adapted to different screen sizes and devices?

Also, a factor here is how the site looks. Consistency in the layout and design elements like the colour scheme and font help to bring a cohesive feel to the website, adding to a positive user experience (UX) for sports bettors.

A positive user experience is key for sports betting platforms in building trust and loyalty. If a customer has a positive experience when using a betting site, the more likely they are going to trust the platform and use the site again.

If you’ve used Bet365 then you will know what we mean by a positive UX. The site is quick and expertly constructed with simple navigation and a consistent layout throughout. It takes very little effort to use Bet365 which, among other things, is a big reason for its popularity.

Betting site features

Betting sites have come a long way since their inception in the early 2000s. Back then all you could do pretty much was place a bog standard bet.

Fast forward twenty-plus years and a betting site is a lot more than that. Today, you can do all of this and more:

  • Live stream sports
  • Read betting blogs and match/race previews
  • Check out statistics, bet during an event
  • Build your own bet
  • Request a bet
  • Cash out your bet
  • Copy bets from tipsters

In our bookmaker reviews, we highlight all the betting features the bookie has available, as well as those that are not.

Some betting sites offer all the mod cons while others just offer the basics

At the same time as showing you what you can and can’t do on a site, this part of testing an online bookie also allows us to draw some useful comparisons between bookmakers, something we highlight in our reviews.

Sign-up offer

How a welcome offer is put together - and how it is presented - is completely different from bookie to bookie. While two bet 10 get 30 deals offered by two betting sites may look similar on the surface, the terms tend to differ when you dig deeper.

Looking into what a bookmaker is prepared to offer a new customer forms an important part of our reviews, although it’s by no means the be-all and end-all because it’s the betting site itself which is the key thing for us.

The main thing we look at when considering a bookmaker and its sign-up offer is the wagering requirements and then concluding whether it gives a punter genuine value, or not.

To do this, we weigh up these points:

  • What’s the deposit-to-bonus ratio? - How much do you have to stake to unlock your free bets/bonus?
  • Minimum odds - What are the lowest odds for your qualifying bet? Most UK bookies offer between 1/2 (1.5) and 1/1 (2.0), with a handful offering lower. The lower the odds, the more freedom you have to choose the bet you want, and, also, the more chance you have of your bet being successful (albeit any potential returns from a low risk may not be so great).
  • Validity period - How long you have to use your free bets. 7 days is the norm but there are welcome offers that have a far longer expiry period (up to 30 days in some cases).
  • How are the free bets or bonuses credited to your account - For example, are your £30 worth of free bets given as 3 x £10 free bets or one £30 free bet?
  • Are there any restrictions on the bets? - Can you use your bonus on any market or only certain ones?
  • Qualifying period - How long do you have to make a qualifying bet and claim the welcome offer? Some bookmakers are more lenient than others, offering between 14 and 30 days, with some bookies adding a time pressure element to the offer.

Existing customer promotions

After you’ve played through your welcome bonus, what else does the bookmaker have in terms of promotions? What other offers are there to keep you entertained and keep your interested?

The focus for us here is more on quality than quantity. That’s because a bookmaker may have a dozen or so offers but, once you break it down, few offer genuine value (yes, that word again). Sometimes, it’s the case that less is more.

Here are some of the key offers we keep our eye out for:

  • Free bet/Loyalty club - Here a bookie hands out a weekly free bet if you wager a certain amount during a week. Many of the top bookies have a loyalty-based reward program, allowing members to opt in and claim free bets.
  • Acca insurance/boosts - The accumulator is one of the most popular bets placed by UK punters hence why the majority of bookies will offer acca insurance (a reward in the form of a free bet or similar if one part of the accumulator doesn’t win) or an acca boost (where odds are enhanced with the more legs of your accumulator that are correct).
  • Free-to-play games - It’s almost a shock if a betting site doesn't have a free-to-play game for existing players. Many free games are based around football, and, more specifically, predicting the results of matches with cash prizes and free bets up for grabs for the winner/winners.

Mobile app

Research conducted by the UK Gambling Commission in 2000 shows that a mobile phone is the most popular way to gamble online. Four years on, this hasn’t changed and nor will it - smartphones (and the apps we use) are woven into the fabric of everyday life.

When it comes to a sports betting app, it must be quick to load, free of bugs and compatible with iOS and Android devices.

We also consider the user experience. In this case, can the bookie get users to where they want to be quickly and present information without endless amounts of scrolling?

For us, a betting app must also mirror the betting site as much as possible in terms of promotions, banking options and features to make it easy for bettors to go between devices.

Choice of sports & competitions

Having a wide selection of sports to bet on is a key factor when we review bookmakers.

While most bettors in the UK bet on football, racing, tennis, golf and cricket, a betting website that includes less popular sports like lacrosse, speedway and volleyball is guaranteed to cater to all sports bettors.

As well as rating the selection of sports, we consider to what extent you can bet on each sport, i.e. what competitions and leagues are included and in what countries.

Betting on the Premier League is offered by every betting site that exists. But, is it possible to bet on lesser-known games if, for example, you’re a more advanced bettor who focuses on finding more competitive odds? Is it possible to bet on the Rwandan National Football League or the Bahrain Premier League, alongside the top European leagues?

Meanwhile, the growth in popularity of women’s sports is reflected in an increase in betting on women's football in particular. More and more bettors enjoy betting on women’s sport but is the opportunity there?

The choice within each sport offered by a bookmaker is something we look closely at.

Variety of betting markets

As a bettor, you want to be able to bet on what you want. Whether that’s placing a forecast bet in horse racing, betting on the next player to score in a football match, or, wagering on the total number of games in one set of a tennis match, a top bookmaker will have a wide choice of betting markets for your preferred sport.

With football by far the most popular sport in the UK and bookies building their products with football bettors in mind, we pay particular attention to football betting markets offered.

The best bookies offer hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of markets for the Premier League and other top-flight games in Europe.

We consider the range and depth available when it comes to betting on match outcomes, stats and specific player bets, for example, and apply the same principle when assessing the market variety offered for some of the lesser-known leagues and matches too.

Whether the variety extends to it being possible to request your own bet on social media is also a point we address in our bookmaker reviews.

Customer support

Just like your car or house insurance, you hope you never have to use customer support. But when you do need it, you want to be able to rely on it.

One of the first things we consider when rating the level of customer support is ‘Can we find help quickly’, i.e. is the link to the help section placed logically on the site? Can it be seen?

We’ve come across way too many bookies that seemingly make it hard to find a link to the support available, which can be frustrating. The sidebar or the website footer are usually the most common places to find a link.

Secondly, what support is available? Ideally, you want a UK phone number, a live chat function, an email address and a comprehensive FAQ/Help Centre.

Having a variety of methods gives you the freedom to choose the method that most suits you and gives you the best possible chance of resolving the issue quickly. If you’re not having much luck with one method, you can try another.

Thirdly, we test the friendliness of the customer service representative we’re speaking with, and, also, how effective they were in resolving the issue.

To do this, we get in contact with the bookmaker ourselves and record our experience, noting how the issue was responded to and the speed and urgency with which the issue was dealt with.

Other user reviews

The internet is a wild place where anyone and everyone has a view of something. Add to the fact that you’re always more likely to find a negative review of a product than a positive one, and you may question why we consider other reviews.

But looking into what other people are saying about a betting site, is a worthwhile exercise for us when creating a comprehensive overview of a bookmaker.

Our reviews are largely fact-based. We highlight the objective points of a betting site, as this is the fairest way. But it's only natural that part of our reviews are subjective too. Our preferences, while backed up with 10+ years of experience using betting sites, will sometimes be different to those of somebody else.

By considering the reviews produced by other bookmaker comparison websites, as well as checking out what’s being said on online networks like Reddit, we can deliver the most accurate, up-to-date and balanced betting site reviews in the UK.

Responsible gambling help & guidance

Last on our list, but, by no means least, we look at what tools a bookmaker has available to ensure players can protect themselves - or somebody they know - from coming to any harm when gambling.

It is believed that the number of people with a gambling addiction in the UK could be as high as 1.3 million.

While we promote betting sites and, therefore, actively promote online betting, we see it as our duty to only recommend betting sites that offer the necessary support and guidance to help people who suffer from a gambling problem.

The support and tools we look for include:

  • Direct phone numbers and links to support organisations such as Gamcare, GambleAware and Gambling Therapy.
  • Responsible gambling tools that enable players to set deposit limits, take a reality check, set a loss limit, take a time-out, block gambling payments from their bank and self-exclude.
  • Tips for betting sensibly
  • A budget calculator

    The experts writing the reviews

    Nick is responsible for the bulk of the content on the site and ensuring our bookmaker reviews give our visitors the best recommendations and most accurate information.

    Having tested 250+ betting sites in his time working within iGaming, Nick has a keen eye for detail and can quickly separate the wheat from the chaff.

    Del is Nick's right-hand man and a regular contributor to MBS UK, that is when he's not busy writing content for our sister site, BookiesBonuses.com.

    Del's all-round knowledge of sports betting is second to none, as you will know/find out from reading one of his in-depth bookmaker reviews.