Sportingbet have had one of the most interesting histories of any business in the betting industry. The British company have had their problems including brushes with the law but have come through each of those challenges and are very much focussing on the future.
In our Sportingbet review we'll let you in on the company's history and look at where they are at currently. Read along as we point out why we believe they're a bookie that every Irish punter should consider.
When Mark Blandford had the idea for Sportingbet the world of online betting was very much in its infancy. Blandford had a fair amount of success running a physical betting operation but became convinced that the industry was going to be turned upside down by the internet.
Eyebrows were raised when Blandford sold up to Tote Bookmakers in 1997 in order to invest the profits into a new internet based business. The rapid growth of Sportingbet which included a number of acquisitions and at one stage becoming the biggest betting company in the world more than justified Blandford's decision.
Not all of the moves that Sportingbet made over the years turned out to be successful. At one point the company's chairman, Peter Dicks, was arrested in the USA as the Louisiana authorities took exception to their operation in the state.
Sportingbet's solution to those problems was to get rid of American facing operations. They also shed the Australian and Spanish side of the business to William Hill in 2012 at the same time as the rest of the company was bought by GVC Holdings.
GVC continue to operate Sportingbet and have ambitious plans for even more growth beyond the 2½ million odd users they have around the world.
The Sportingbet welcome bonus takes the form of a risk free bet. It's a great way for punters to find out how the Sportingbet sportsbook operates without worrying about their own money.
To see what all the fuss is about, simply click one of the links on our site and you'll be taken to the signup page. Just enter your details and make a first deposit of at least €10. When that's all done it's time to place your first bet with Sportingbet which should be at odds of 2.0 (or evens if you prefer) and with a maximum stake of €20.
You then have to just watch on and see how your bet turns out. If it wins then there's nothing else to worry about, if it loses then Sportingbet will refund your stake as a free bet after the qualifying bet is settled.
The Sportingbet welcome bonus is a very good one but they could improve in terms of their promotions for loyal customers. They do have acca odds boosts and enhanced odds but these aren't always available which means clicking on the promotions tab of the Sportingbet website can sometimes be a disappointing experience compared to betting offers from other bookies.
The Sportingbet website is provided by ElectraWorks Ltd. That's a company owned by bwin who are, in turn, owned by GVC Holdings. The close relationship between the companies means that the team at Sportingbet are able to make considerable alterations to the site so that it is unmistakably theirs.
The light blue that has been associated with Sportingbet for so long is used throughout including in the top bar and as a highlight throughout. That sets the tone for a site that looks great. Each individual page is well designed, the odds are presented clearly and it's very easy to navigate the site.
As so many bookies are based on the ElectraWorks software there is an instant sense of familiarity when you first visit the Sportingbet site. The site also benefits from the wider investment and improvements made by ElectraWorks which helps in terms of reliability and security.
If you're in any doubt whether Sportingbet have enough markets to satisfy you, you only need to look at the current number available on their site. It's generally anywhere between the 40,000 and 55,000 mark subject to the time of the year and if you delve a little deeper there's plenty to be happy about.
Sportingbet have a great market depth on the biggest sports and events but also do well for Irish punters thanks to their coverage of the Gaelic games and of sports and racing in Ireland.
Of course, providing the markets is only half of the story. It's not real choice unless the odds on those markets are competitive. Thankfully that is very much the case with Sportingbet who always come out well in odds comparisons.
Live streaming is a key component of the Sportingbet offering. Providing you are logged into an account and have money in your account you can choose to stream a host of events from sports as varied as football to water polo.
Sportingbet's commitment to technology is no more evident than in their mobile betting options. Whether you like to bet on mobile sites or via specific apps, Sportingbet have you covered. Both options on Android and iOS devices come with all the features you'd expect from the main site and getting a bet on is incredibly quick and easy.
Sportingbet have a very good cash out option which allows punters to manage their positions. The process for getting out of bets could be much easier as there are a number of steps to view your current options so there is room for improvement even if it is a positive that Sportingbet offer cash out to their users.
As we mentioned above, the Sportingbet sportsbook is provided by ElectraWorks. As that is the case it's ElectraWorks who must secure the correct licenses to operate. They've done that through the Government of Gibraltar because that is where ElectraWorks are based.
In order to get their remote gambling licence for both fixed odds and casino products, ElectraWorks had to prove that they have robust systems in place to ensure the security of customer information and the fair treatment of everybody who opens an account with them.
If you have any questions about exactly how Sportingbet deal with their customers or any problems crop up as you bet with them you can get in touch with their dedicated customer service team. Just click the 'Contact' button which is at the top left of the Sportingbet site and choose whether to email or phone them.