Sky Bet is part of the Sky group of betting websites, and is one of the components of what is, by all accounts, one of the most successful online gambling companies on the planet.
The Sky brand is well-known throughout the United Kingdom, and their non-gambling business ventures include: television services, internet and phone services, and even mobile phone contracts. Online gambling is yet another highly successful arm of the business, and areas within this include: Sky Casino, Sky Vegas, Sky Poker, Sky Bingo, and Sky Virtuals.
Sky Bet is the sportsbook side of the business, and while the name may not be as familiar as some of the high street bookies in the UK such as Coral and Betfred, Sky Bet has achieved a significant following thanks to its regular and generous promotions and bonuses; alongside the huge number of markets offered, and the great in-play and live-streaming functions supported.
In this review, we’re going to look at all aspects of the Sky Bet site, from the markets/bets offered, the mobile betting capabilities, the deposit/withdrawal methods and any betting limits or caps that apply; finishing up with a brief overview of the company and how they came to be such a prominent name in an industry that easily pushes out new competition.
Sports Betting at Sky Bet
Sky Bet actually offer a smaller number of markets than you might expect; although the markets that are available, like football and horse racing, number into the thousands, with the bookmaker clearly focusing on the demands of UK and European players.
In fact, one of the most attractive aspects of playing with Sky Bet for football fans, is the option to bet on some of the lowest leagues in the country – something most sites simply can’t or don’t offer.
For example, you can bet on teams like Bognor Regis; and even more baffling is the fact that Sky Bet have live updates, suggesting they send reps to every match in the country, regardless of their significance.
Outside of the UK, there are decent markets available for American sports – American Football, Baseball, Basketball, and Ice Hockey are available most evenings.
While their market selection isn’t the biggest, in terms of actual events it’s pretty rare you can’t find what you are looking for at Sky Bet, and they also offer a number of unusual/novelty bets which we’re going to look at in the section directly below.
Sky Bet don’t offer as many unusual markets as some of their competition – like Paddy Power for instance, who offer some of the most ridiculous markets you could ever imagine – but they are available. It’s just that Sky Bet prefer to stick to more traditional novelty bets.
The most popular of these is arguably “Will it snow on Christmas day”, where you can choose from over 12 locations, and keep your fingers crossed for snow on the 25th December.
TV specials are also prominent at Sky Bet, and cult shows like ‘I’m a Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here’ and ‘Big Brother’ always find their way onto the sites market list, allowing you to bet on the winners of the show, as well as key events within the show. For example, on ‘I’m a Celebrity’, you can bet on who will be tasked with the next Bush Tucker Trial, and so on.
Other than that, there’s not a huge deal going on here unfortunately, although you will find a few less-common sporting markets, including MMA, Darts, Snooker, and Pool – but nothing you can’t also find elsewhere.
How Good are the Odds?
Sky Bet offer some of the best odds in the world, and this isn’t just in terms of prices, either. More on that in just a moment, but first let’s look at the odds themselves.
First of all, Sky Bet run a ‘best odds guaranteed’ program, which means that any bet you make, if successful, will be settled at starting price, if that price was higher than the one you took. This is applicable to virtually all markets, and gives you the peace of mind to bet without wondering if you could have found a better price at another site.
The prices themselves are also very generous, and you’ll be able to see proof of this for yourself on price comparison sites.
Now, when it comes to the betting options, Sky Bet go above and beyond most other bookies, offering bet-types that are in many cases, totally unique. One example of this is ‘Winning Distances’, where you can bet on the distance between the winning horse and the 2nd place horse. While this isn’t unique to Sky Bet, it’s very rare to see, especially online.
You’ll also enjoy regular enhanced odds, which are part of Sky Bet’s daily promotions. The ‘Promotions’ tab reveals a complete rundown of all the odds-boosts running on that day.
In Play Betting
Sky Bet’s in-play betting area is fantastically efficient and reliable, and they have un-deniably been one of the only bookies who have actively pushed to develop new technologies; and working with stadiums, cable and TV providers and industry-experts, they continue to enable players to enjoy the best live betting experience around.
Aside from the flawless way in which the live betting area has been put together, Sky Bet make selecting, and actually betting on events a simple one-click process. The way in which the odds are displayed is intuitive too, allowing you to easily choose the right markets.
You’ll also notice that almost all of the in-play markets offered at Sky Bet are accompanied by what is, essentially, a graphical interface, showcasing a live highlight from the match or event in question. For example, if you were betting on the football, this window would show you who is currently in possession of the ball, if there was a penalty or free kick being awarded, and more.
You can view multiple events in one page too thanks to their overview screen, and this is particularly useful when it comes to checking your accumulators at half-time, for example.
People seem to be divided when it comes to the website itself. Some love the look and feel of the site stating that it is easy to navigate, while others slate it and think that for a company of Sky’s size, they have skimped on the design.
Coming from an impartial angle, well, it’s probably fair to say both arguments hold merit.
Perhaps the biggest issue that we have with the site, is the way bets themselves are displayed. For example, when you click on a specific event – let’s say a football match between Chelsea and Arsenal – you’ll be taken to a fast loading page with all of the bet types available. So far so good.
The issue is that they blend into the background, making them annoyingly difficult to pick out. If you find this an issue like we did, use the CTRL + F4 combination on your keyboard to bring up the ‘Find’ menu. Enter the text you want to find on the page, and your browser will automatically show you where on the page that text can be found. Great for finding markets and specific bets fast.
The security of the site is generally agreed to be solid enough, although we’re not entirely convinced by the PIN system. You can now login with just a 4-digit pin instead of a username and password; and while this may be useful for mobile phones and tablets – which are almost always on hand and have built in encryption software – PC’s and laptops are notoriously vulnerable. We’d recommend ignoring the PIN and sticking to a regular password instead. Better safe than sorry.
These issues aside, there are definitely more pros than cons to the site, one of which is the support bar located on the right-hand side of the screen. If you want to access live chat or get contact details or even browse the FAQ section, you can simply pop out this menu without navigating away from your current page; meaning you can bet (or game if you like a quick hit in the casino), while chatting to support.
Both the Sky Bet mobile apps and website are extremely fast, and easily surpass the capabilities of most other online bookies.
The apps (available to iOS and Android players) are completely free to download, and your account can be accessed using the 4-digit PIN mentioned earlier. The app is known to work on the poorest of internet connections, so a dodgy signal doesn’t need to be a reason for missing out on a winner.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of Sky Bet’s apps, however, is the fact that they’re fully capable of streaming almost all of the live events you would find on the desktop site; this goes for Horse Racing, Greyhound Racing, Football and Tennis. You don’t need to install any additional plug-ins to begin streaming media, although it is worth bearing in mind that doing so can take quite a chunk out of your internet allowance, so do be careful if you are on a limited tariff.
If you don’t have an iOS or Android device, you can still enjoy a relatively thorough betting experience by using Sky’s mobile-ready website, and while it lacks some of the features found on their mobile apps, in general, it has everything you could want as a punter. You will be able to access crucial account features such as full banking/cashier access, the ability to access your favorite markets, and more.
Best Odds Guaranteed
All UK and Irish horse races at Sky Bet are automatically opted-in to the bookies’ ‘best price guarantee scheme’. As mentioned earlier, this ensures you are always getting paid out at the starting price if it was higher than when you put your bet on. A few international markets are afforded the same luxury, but it is only one or two, so make sure you look for the ‘best odds guaranteed’ tag on the event page, which flags whether or not that particular event offers best odds as a feature.
Perhaps their most famous offering, the ‘Super 6’ is one of the reasons why Sky Bet rocketed to fame. This totally-free-to-enter competition is open to all players who have an active Sky Bet account and are aged 18 or over. Each Saturday during the Premier League season, you can predict what you think the correct scores will be for any 6 of the 3PM matches. If you guess all 6 correctly, you will win a stonking quarter-of-a-million quid!
Of course, this is unlikely, but hey it’s free, so there’s nothing to lose by taking part.
Sky Bet Club
The Sky Bet club is another popular feature; it’s a weekly promotion beginning at 00:01 on Monday morning. Simply wager at least £25 over the course of the week (before 23:59 Sunday), and you will be awarded a £5 no-restrictions free bet – every week.
Two things to note here; firstly, the free £5 bet must be used on a single or multiple, with total odds of 2.0 or higher; secondly, if you miss a week (i.e. don’t stake the required £25), the price increases the next week to £40. Of course, you’re not actually paying Sky Bet anything, but this becomes the amount you will have to wager to qualify for the free bet.
Payments & Limits
Sky Bet are one of the biggest bookmakers on the planet, and their limits and payout caps generally reflect this.
The payout limits vary from £250,000 – £2,000,000 dependant on the type of bet placed, the country you’re from, and the market that you’ve bet on; and you won’t usually have any problems with maximum payouts, as Sky Bet can afford to be pretty generous, and don’t implement many caps to their bettors.
Betting limits are also nearly unlimited, although as with any bookmaker, if your account is thought to possess high financial risk (i.e. if you’re thought to be a profitable bettor), you may find the maximum stakes on your account somewhat lower than other punters.
Payment methods are also incredibly wide ranging at Sky Bet, and a great number of options exist for you to take advantage of. Some of these include: Maestro, MasterCard, PayPal, Visa Debit, Visa Electron, Visa, and PayPal – perhaps the most surprising name on the list, as this fairly uncommon payment method allows you to make instant, fee-free deposits and withdrawals.
In fact, Sky Bet are favoured by PayPal bettors, as they offer instant withdrawals to verified accounts via PayPal, meaning that it takes just a couple of minutes for your account to receive the funds; leading to incredibly pacey payments.
Withdrawals not made through PayPal are typically processed within a couple of hours, although this can take longer during busy periods, or late at night.
History & About
One of the UK’s largest and most respected betting companies, Sky Bet is part of the Sky Betting and Gaming Group, which is also one of the country’s most established betting brands. Operating brands including Sky Poker, Sky Vegas and Sky Bingo, the corporation is a giant within the industry; and with offices in Leeds, West Yorkshire, Sheffield, London, Guernsey and Rome, it also happens to be one of the industry’s biggest employers.
Each year, billions of pounds are staked and won through Sky Bet and their sister companies, and they enjoy tremendous success thanks to the slick operating procedures they employ and the generous promotions, long-odds, and superb customer service on offer.
Sky Bet don’t operate any high street branches, choosing instead to conduct all of their business online, and while this proved problematic at first due to the company struggling to attract players, the launch of the ‘Super 6’ turned things around for them, and really catapulted them into the limelight.
The bookie was also a pioneer in in-play betting, competing fiercely with the creation of their real-time, digital match/event overview, which shows a live preview of what’s happening in a particular sporting event. One rival bookie offers a near-identical feature though, and players are typically split 50/50 over which they prefer.
As Sky Bet’s reputation increased, so did their offerings, and they now boast one of the largest selection of markets and game-markets of any online gambling company; with everything from Horse Racing, Greyhound Racing, Surfing, Chess (who knew?), TV bets, and even whether or not alien life will be discovered by the end of the year.
With extremely reliable mobile apps, a super-fast website, and some of the best prices around, it’s not hard to see how and why Sky Bet have become the industry superpower that they are. With thousands of new players joining each day, thanks to great welcome bonuses and promotions, they are only getting bigger.