Sportingbet was founded in 1998 and now operates around the globe. The company bought Paradise Poker in 2004 but made major changes from 2006 and sold its American-facing casino and sports betting businesses, which included Sports.com and Sportsbook.com, to private investors for just $1.
In October 2012, the company announced that its board had agreed terms for a takeover by the Isle of Man's GVC and William Hill, valued at £530m. Under the takeover terms, Sportingbet's Spanish and Australian operations were acquired by William Hill.
Sportingbet specialises in local-focussed sportsbooks, casino sites, virtual games, and its online poker site Paradise Poker. In total, it has more than 2.5 million customers registered in around 200 countries.
The company has corporate offices in Guernsey and call centres and offices in Australia, Costa Rica and the Republic of Ireland. The plc, meanwhile, is located in London's Moorgate.
The company is best known for having some great football promotions, an excellent website, and really good customer service. Sportingbet offers middle-range value for customers overall, although the prices on offer are solid rather than top-end.
The betting margins are generally good, with the football margins particularly high. The latter are over 7.5 per cent, compared with around six per cent across the sportsbook.
Bookies Offers & Promotions
As a new customer with Sportingbet, you could get yourself a free bet worth up to £50. Open an account and make a sports bet of least a £10 to start with. Qualifying bets must be placed with cumulative odds of 1.5 (1/2) or more and bonus funds must be rolled over a trio of times before they can be withdrawn.
The welcome offer includes three bonuses. Your initial bet of at least £10 will qualify you for the first, while the second will be the average stake you have made over your first five bets. If you have made five £10 bets, for example, your bonus will be £10. The third bonus is an average of the first ten bets. Each qualifying bet must be at least £10.
It is worth noting that you only have two weeks to qualify for the three parts of Sportingbet's welcome offer after you register, and the bonuses must be used within 30 days.
This may not be the best offer for casual punters, as it can seem like a long journey to get back the full bonus; however, there are other promotions introduced occasionally and the tennis and football accumulator insurances always prove popular. These mean that if you place a fivefold tennis or football accumulator and you lose just one of these, you can get your stake back.
There is also a Sportingbet loyalty programme known as Elite Clubs, which features Elite Platinum, Elite Gold and VIP Clubs. These reward casino play and sports betting with hospitality and big bonuses.
The potential downside is that you must be invited to join and you must be contactable through your account. If you are chosen, you could be eligible for a weekly deposit bonus, same-day bank transfers, monthly prize draws, and exclusive football and horseracing promotions.
There is something quite basic about the Sportingbet set-up, which makes it a good choice if you are a beginner or just like the idea of a basic betting site done well. There is still plenty of choice, including all the major staples you might expect, racing coverage, and some niche sports such as water polo and swimming.
Sportingbet's in-play betting is also extremely straightforward and simple to use. There are not a lot of graphics to slow things down, and there is a good choice of betting markets.
The active markets are listed on the left-hand side of the site's menu and you can open markets for particular events by selecting a match. You can also find out which events have live television coverage by using the live in-play area. Another nice touch is that you can star or bookmark your favourite games in the section so that they are given priority listing in future.
The Sportingbet website also has a decent enough offering of extra features, including good stats and live score, to ensure that you are up to speed on everything from fixtures to match results.
There are no live streaming or cash-out options, but the simplicity of Sportingbet is one of its major features. There are quick links so that you can get to markets easily and speedily, and there is a good choice of markets and well-presented odds.
Both the mobile and desktop sites are very user friendly and there is a good flowing feel and clearly-listed odds and information. Don't be put off by the amount of text relating to the game markets - this can seem a bit cluttered at first, but things are pretty clear once you look closely.
Sportingbet offers a decent choice of payment methods, including the expected debit and credit cards, banking options and ewallets, and it does not charge for either deposits or withdrawals. There are different processing times according to your chosen payment method, and withdrawals should be made to the same funding source as the deposit where possible.
Deposits can be made using Skrill, PayPal, MasterCard, Maestro, Ukash, Delta, Laster, Neteller, Click2Pay, paysafecard and bank transfer; meanwhile withdrawal methods include Neteller, Visa, Delta, Visa Electron, Skrill, bank transfer and Neteller.
Sportingbet has a decent help section offering plenty of basic advice. It is probably fair to say that there is not that much in-depth information available, however, meaning that you might well have to get in contact with the company's customer services team if you encounter any complex issues.
If you do need help, there are several ways to get in touch, including telephone, email and an online chat option. You can telephone for free from the UK on 0800 028 0348, or you can send an email using the contact form on the Sportingbet website.