Given that Sky Sports is one of the biggest sports broadcasters in the world, it was only a matter of time before the entered the bookmaking arena. Given also the amount of money the corporation has available to it it’s no surprise that it’s a particularly smooth and interesting entity. It only operates online, so you won’t be seeing a Sky Bet shop when you pop to the supermarket, and in recent times has become established as one of the top bookies in the UK.
Nowadays Sky Sports covers pretty much everything going, but it really took off thanks to its football coverage and the close-ties it has enjoyed with the Premier League ever since its inception. Consequently the Sky Bet coverage is pretty football heavy and that’s where its real strength lies. Operated out of Leeds and with all of its ties still in the UK (rather than Gibraltar where most betting companies are now based for tax purposes), Sky Bet are a genuinely solid player in the world of online betting.
Regular Sky Bet Promotions
Sky Bet’s regular promotions are interesting as there are a few of them that are worth noting but the aren’t all specific. I’ll explain what I mean as I tell you about the first promotion I love of their: Money back on big horse races. Where some bookies do deals on, say, all races shown live on ITV, Sky Bet often offers a promotion where you’ll get money back if your horse loses in a specific race. You need to keep your eye out for the offers but that’s worth doing.
For example right now I’m looking at the site and if you place a bet on the 1.25 at Kempton and your horse loses then Sky will refund your stake as a free bet to the value of £25. There are Ts & Cs around that, but you get the general idea. The race changes but the general offer doesn’t – if your selected horse doesn’t win then you get to have another go. Perfect.
Sky Bet also offer some of the best price boosts in the industry, and that’s across all sports that they cover. It’s to such an extent that the company has declared itself to be ‘the home of the price boost’. I’ll give you another live example. As I type Argentina are gearing up to play Brazil. Sky Bet are offering a price boost from 11/2 to 13/2 for Messi and Neymar to both get on the score sheet. That’s a £2 increase which is not a small amount when it comes to betting! You can get 16/1, up from 11/1 for Aguero to score 2 or more goals! Not bad at all.
The final thing I’ll mention in relation to Sky Bet is their famous Soccer Saturday Super 6 promotion. It’s free to play, though you do have to sign up, and you could win yourself £250,000. What you need to do is correctly predict the scoreline from six matches chosen by Sky Bet. If more than one person manages it then the £250,000 is split, whilst if no-one correctly predicts all six then £5000 goes to the highest scorer. It’s fun and, given that it’s free, well worth your time.
If you like Sky Sports as a TV company you like their website and so on then you’ll be a fan of Sky Bet. It uses the same sort of colour scheme as the main Sky Sports site and is just as sleek and quick as it, too. I have to admit I really like it. I think it looks smart and I’m a fan of a website that does exactly what I ask it to do. It’s responsive to my clicks, gives me all of the information I need and doesn’t weigh me down with information.
At the top of the site you’ll find links to other Sky products such as Sky Vegas and Sky Bingo, whilst on the main page you’ll firstly find the live events before scrolling down to discover a list of upcoming ones. On the left-hand side there’s a list of all sports covered by Sky Bet, as well as quick links to the top sports, top events and next live horse races. I don’t like to be over-whelmed with info so the Sky Bet site ticks my boxes, but the lack of a search function is a little disappointing.
I don’t often talk about ratings on app stores or the like, but it’s worth mentioning here. In a world in which people love to be critical of everything all of the time, the Sky Bet app has five stars from nearly 250 reviews at the time of writing. That goes a long way to telling you what to expect from it, in my opinion. It is similar to the main site in style and operation, responding quickly to requests and giving you easy access to every important bit of info you might need.
Again there’s no search function, which is a bit annoying, but other than that the app is, as far as I’m concerned, one of the best in the business. It gives you a couple of unique things, too, such as an accumulator tab that gives you quick access to all of the bets you might need if you’re looking to put on an acca. There’s also a ‘Bet & Watch’ tab that, unsurprisingly, links quickly to events they’re live streaming.
Sky Bet are proud of their live betting feature and understandably so. They put it front and centre of both their website and their app and it is the first thing you’ll find a quick link to in the site’s quick link section. You can choose the sport you’d like to bet in-play on as well as find out what’s showing live on Sky Sports at the time you’re on the site.
Unsurprisingly it is football that offers the best in-play bets, though it’s also fair to suggest that any event shown live on Sky Sports will have an excellent market on Sky Bet. There aren’t a huge number of promotions trying to tempt you in to in-play bets, with most of Sky Bet’s offers aimed at pre-match stuff. That’s not too much of an issue, however, as their general in-play game is so strong.
If you’re a Sky Sports customer then the streaming options are pretty great through Sky Bet. Weirdly for such a well-known broadcaster, though, the streaming isn’t great if you’re not. Regular punters will be disappointed by the live streaming options being so limited, though most UK & Irish horse races are shown live as long as you’ve placed a bet on them. If it’s not live streamed then you’ll find a graphic of a pitch showing you who is attacking for football, or live scoreboards for the likes of basketball and tennis.
Markets and Odds
The clear link to Sky Sports means that Sky Bet’s markets are really strong. A rule of thumb is perhaps to ask if you’ve ever watched a sport or event on Sky Sports. If so, chances are you’ll be able to bet on it through Sky Bet. That said, it’s on the football and horse racing where the company is at its best. That’s also true of the odds, with footie and the horses often really strong. Sky Bet’s odds aren’t also the very best around, but the regular price boosts make them very attractive indeed.
Interestingly Sky Bet have stopped accepting deposits via the likes of Skrill or Neteller. That means you’re a bit limited in how you can get money into your account, though credit cards, debit cards and PayPal are all valid options. There’s no fee and a minimum deposit of just £5.
Sky’s empire is huge and there’s a similar correlation to things in the Sky Bet universe. There’s Sky Vegas, Sky Bingo, Sky Casino and Sky Poker, for example. There are perhaps not quite as many options as with other bookies, but there are more than enough to keep you amused.
About Sky Bet
Owned by a combination of CVC Capital Partners and Sky plc, Sky Bet is one arm of Sky Betting & Gaming. It operates predominantly out of Leeds but also has offices in Sheffield, London and Rome. The name will tell you this, but just to be clear: Sky Bet is the sports betting arm of its parent company.
Over the years Sky Bet have tried different slogans to engage its customer base. The notion that ‘it matters more when there’s money on it’ was a Sky Bet invention. ‘Nothing’s certain, that’s why it’s exciting’ was another slogan they used, matching up the excitement of watching live sport with the fun of betting on it.
The sleek style of Sky Bet’s website and app is one of the major selling points for me. It’s easy to use, responsive and exciting enough to engage people to use it more. That it keeps it site relatively clean also means that it’s easy to navigate, not having to wade through countless numbers of bets and events to find the one you want.
The biggest disappointment for me is the lack of live streaming options for non-Sky Sports customers. Given that we’re talking about one of the biggest sports broadcasters in the world I’d expect them to offer significantly more. You would also have thought that they’d allow you to watch a horse race as long as you’ve got money in your account, but they ask you to wager £1 which is a bit annoying, to be honest.
Licence & Contact Details
Sky Bet’s based entirely in the UK, where most companies have moved – in part at least – to Gibraltar for tax reasons. The company also has a licence from the UK Gambling Commission (licence number 38718 if you care about such things).
They have a freephone helpline available from 8am until midnight and a live chat function that is on the go 24/7. There’s also a Twitter account that promises to ‘make betting better 140 characters at a time’. There’s also a Facebook account, but that’s more about promotion than interaction.
Should you wish to write a letter to them like in the good old days then here’s where to send it: Sky Bet, 2 Wellington Place, Leeds, LS1 4AP.