Sky Bet Sportsbook Review
Sky Bet Sportsbook Summary
Sky Bet is one of the top online bookmakers in the world but are heavily focused on British and Irish markets. They are based in the United Kingdom and are the sports betting brand of Sky Betting & Gaming. They are one of the few bookmakers in the UK that do not have a land-based presence.
Sky Bet’s history goes back to BSkyB’s acquisition of the Sports Internet Group in July 2000. The Sports Internet Group included several sports betting companies, Surrey Sports, Planet Football and Opta Index. Surrey Sports absorbed the other two companies and was rebranded into Sky Bet in July 2002. In December 2014, Sky announced that it would sell the majority of their company to CVC Capital Partners. The stake was valued at £800 million. The sale was completed in March of the next year. Sky retained a 20% stake in the company with the agreement of a long-term licensing deal with the Sky brand.
June 2018 Safest Betting Sites
Sky Bet is headquartered in Leeds, West Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. They also have UK offices in Sheffield, London, and Guernsey. International, the company, also have an office in Rome. Sky Bet is licensed and regulated by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission to operate in several countries. In the United Kingdom, they are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.
They accept players from a short list of countries and do not accept residents from other parts of the world. These jurisdictions include the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Ireland, Finland, and Gibraltar. In addition to sports betting, Sky offers online poker (Sky Poker), casino (Sky Casino), and bingo (Sky Bingo). Sky also owns the top odds comparison site on the web, Oddschecker.com.
A Personal Opinion On Sky Bet
What We Like About Sky Bet
As far as the safety of your funds and reliability as a betting site, when it comes to paying players on time and fair decisions – there are few bookmakers that rival Sky Bet. Heck, they even have a two Sky Bet television channels in the UK and Ireland where players can watch their wagers live. Punters in the UK and Ireland may be able to knock off £20 off their Sky TV bill if they qualify for the loyalty program. Customers can knock off some money on their cable bill while watching their bets as they happen. There are also several other promotions, including an introductory free bet for new accounts.
Their support staff is one of the best available. Sky has a lot of experience in customer service with their long history in the cable industry. 24-hour support is available through a variety of methods. Wait times are minimal even during periods of high volume. As far as British and Irish punters are concerned, Sky Bet is certainly a top option. Their markets are heavily focused on the UK and Irish sports. They also provide excellent odds for most top flight European football, not just English and Irish contests. Sky will often have the best price compared to bookmakers offering higher limits. Their accumulator odds are also fantastic.
What We Don’t Like About Sky Bet
Sky Bet knows what their customers want. However, their focus on British and Irish sports isn’t ideal if you have more of an interest in other betting markets. This is something to consider if you’re an expatriate living in the UK or Ireland. Their website is only available in English. International markets are simply not their focus. If you look at the countries they service – this makes perfect sense. However, if you’re looking for markets for every sport imaginable and every country, you will need to look elsewhere.
Also, while their prices are excellent. Sky Bet’s betting markets, when it comes to numbers still lag behind competitors, like Paddy Power and William Hill. Their live betting options, for a site that heavily promotes streaming and their TV channels, could also be better. They also fall short when it comes to streaming options. There are some choices, but customers can’t stream Premier League matches, even though Sky signed an exclusive £300 million deal for exclusive rights. Perhaps there are legal or contractual issues with streaming EPL matches, but, on its face, their streaming choices are a massive disappointment.
Maximum payouts also are a bit lower than some of England’s biggest high street bookmakers. It won’t likely be a problem for most punters, but something to consider if you’re looking to put down huge money on a match. Sky Bet is quick to restrict winners and cut their betting limits. This is becoming a trend for bookmakers larger than Sky Bet, so we can’t fault them too much here. Bookmakers are businessmen and managing risk is part of the job. Nevertheless, Sky Bet does limit winning players faster than most other shops.
Sky Bet Sportsbook Bonuses
£20 Free Bet and Sky Bet Club
Sky Bet offers new customers £20 free bet when they stake £5. The bonus is for new accounts only, which means players that have an existing account at Sky Poker, Sky Vegas, Sky Casino or Sky Bingo are not eligible for this promotion. There isn’t much to this promotion, other than it must be applied to your first wager with Sky Bet. Bet £5 and players will receive a two free bet tokens in the amount of £10. The free bet tokens only need to be wagered through once before they can become part of a player’s cash balance.
It is worth noting that this promotion is not available for those who deposit using Neteller or Skrill. However, as of April 2016, Sky Bet does not offer these e-wallets as a deposit option. PayPal is an excellent e-wallet alternative. Credit and debit card is another method that nearly everyone has in their wallet and is also instant. Players can also earn a free £5 bet each week if they opt into the promotion from inside their account. This promo can be used on Sky Poker, Sky Vegas, or Sky Bingo as well, but terms will differ.
All that is needed to receive your free £5 bet token each week is to bet a total of £25 at Evens odds or greater before 23:50 on Sunday each week. Multiple wagers are can be used for this promotion, provided the cumulative odds are greater than Evens. Sky Bet may occasionally offer certain customers enhanced offers, which will require a larger amount to be bet each week, for a higher free bet amount. Players can still opt for the standard weekly free bet offer, even if they get an enhanced free bet.
Sky Bet Sportsbook Highlights
UK & Irish Betting Kings
Sky Bet specializes in Irish and British betting markets. Most of their betting markets, promotions, and live betting options surround sports that interest punters from the UK and Ireland. Of course, that’s excellent if you’re from these areas. The vast majority of their over 1 million customers reside in these countries. Betting options for leagues like the English Premier League, English League 1, English League 2 are much more expansive than foreign leagues or matches.
We have no complaints when it comes to betting markets that fit their primary clientele, but their options elsewhere leave a lot to be desired. Sky Bet offers around 25 sports for wagering, which may seem like a lot, but it is substantially less most other medium sized bookmakers. For a sportsbook that has two dedicated television channels, we were heavily disappointed in their in-play betting product. There are a lot of sports available, including American sports, such as baseball, basketball, and American football.
However, there isn’t much in the sense of betting markets. Adjusted sides, moneylines, and totals are about all you will get from Sky Bet’s live betting menu. Their options are far inferior to their competitors here. We suggest if you’re heavily into in-play betting that you avoid Sky Bet and opt for another bookmaker. With that said, Sky Bet’s major markets can easily compete with the big boys when it comes to pricing. Many punters have stated that Sky’s odds are often still excellent as the time for kickoff gets closer.
Large Payout Limits
Sky Bet isn’t going to have maximum payouts into the millions like some of their larger competitors. However, with the strong odds they offer, their max payouts on most of their markets are still quite large. Just about every major football league, including English League 1 and English League 2 has a max payout of £500k on major markets. International contests, including qualifiers, along the UEFA Champions League and Europa League also have the same maximum. From there, it drops down a bit. American football, tennis, snooker, rugby, golf, cricket, Formula 1, boxing and basketball have a max payout of £250k. Smaller market sports have limits of £50k-£100k.
Sky Bet’s support team is available 24/7. Players can contact them via email, phone, or through live chat. Sky Bet’s staff has seen their fair share of complaints online, but in our limited experience, they have been helpful and quick to answer questions. They are abrupt and terse with their replies, but the information is still accommodating.
Limited Cashier Options, Slower Than Usual Speeds
Sky Bet’s one negative is limited options in their cashier and slower speeds compared to other highly rated bookmakers when it comes to withdrawals. However, their speeds are still quick relative to international bookmakers, but they do lag slightly behind the many UK and Irish-based shops. Their deposit options include Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, Laser, and PayPal. As of 2016, they no longer offer Skrill or Neteller in their cashier. It would be nice to see more options available, but all of their current methods are instant and come with no fees.
It is worth noting that PayPal is not available as a cashier option on their mobile app. It’s awfully strange that is the case. PayPal is easily out top cashier option at Sky Bet. Deposits are instant, and payouts are faster than any other method. Withdrawals will be completed back the method players used to deposit with, if possible. Visa, Maestro, MasterCard, and Laser payouts take 2-5 business days to process. PayPal takes just a business day or less. Like deposits, all withdrawals at Sky Bet come with no fees to players.
Strong Choice For UK And Irish Bettors
Sky Bet is an excellent bookmaker for the countries they service. They do have their drawbacks, such as a lack of live streaming options and somewhat bare in-play markets, but ultimately they come out ahead due to their competitive odds. In the end, Sky offers players the security of being paid and excellent pricing, which is all punters truly need.