It was due to a partnership deal between The Sun's parent company News UK and Australian-based Tabcorp Holdings Limited that opened the opportunity for this online bookmaker to begin operations.
The Sun is not unfamiliar with sports and betting having already developed an association with other ventures including Dream Team FC, Goals, and Favourite. This new bookmaker operation online is hoped to capture some of the audience of those other ventures.
Over the years, The Sun has courted controversy for its wide range of sensationalist and damning headlines. Liverpool fans have had a boycott over buying the daily paper ever since the hideous headlines were run by the newspaper claiming Reds fans stole and urinated on the deceased at Hillsborough.
So the paper faces an immediate uphill battle when trying to win over a certain section of football fans to bet on its online sports betting product. The paper is widely seen as a rag for the working class but its position over topics such as the last General Election where it supported a Tory win and the EU referendum where it backed a “Leave” vote have led to a percentage of the working class readership abandoning its loyalty to The Sun.
However, its sports content, particularly the football section, is still seen as some of the most comprehensive coverage in the UK and that will be a key factor upon attracting enough punters to help it compete with the old guard in the online bookmaker industry.
Bookie Offers & Promotions
Here is the current list of offers and promotions offered by the bookmaker which cover a range of markets both in the sporting and non-sporting categories which is a pleasant change to the sports-focused rival bookies.
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Welcome Bonus
The Comeback's On (Football)
EU Wanna Bet? (Football)
X Factor? We've Nailed it (TV)
The Sun Bets wastes no time in plugging its The Sun Casino offering with the two tabs available at top of the page. It is easy to interchange between the two products and that will be good news to those users that wish to get active in both sections.
Things get a little confusing with the header tab offering some different sections with no real order or logic to it. Somehow, The Sun Bets has deemed horse-racing to be nowhere near as important as football, tennis, ice hockey, basketball, handball, or in-play in the top header tab but then the options are repeated in a second tab bar that goes across the page. This is where confusion strikes. Football and in-play are listed twice but then the other sports disappear and are replaced by options such as racing, Sun Boosts, and various football competition sections such as Champions League, Europa League, and the FA Cup.
To add to this feeling of disorientation, a drop-down menu is also available in the top left of the site which then offers some of these options for a third time, some for a second time, and some for a first time. On a positive note, the drop-down menu does make it easy to find the account, in-play, results, blog, promotions, and help centre links but duplication of certain options seems unnecessary.
A list of sports available to bet on can be found at the bottom of the page so at least it is present but it could be visible in a more convenient place. How many punters are going to go all the way to the bottom of the page every time they want to change sport? It's annoying.
The betting slip on the right hand side of the page is almost an obligatory inclusion on bookie websites these days and understandably so. It turns out The Sun Bets have at least done some homework. The addition of a pending bets tab is also a nice touch that is rarely seen and allows punters to keep track of their bets. Unfortunately, the space on that right side is not used to its full potential and bar the odd promotional banner it feels a bit useless.
Overall, the design feels a bit of a work-in-progress. The actual pages for the markets are simple enough to use which is a good move but the main page just feels like it has so many improvements that need doing. It is jumbled, confusing, and requires more clarity. It is very easy to get lost and hopefully this will be something that The Sun Bets sorts out as soon as possible.
The promotions page can be easily found so the drop-down menu is not without its uses but it feels like the two menu tabs that span across the top of the main page are wasted with duplicate options when they could have been used to cover the sports links or other section links.
A number of positives about the navigation are that the home page link allows easy switching between current markets. The list of in-play markets on the main page plus the repetitive links to in-play ensures even a blind person could not miss them. OK, that's exaggerating but you get the idea.
Other rival websites are far more cluttered and complex than The Sun Bets so it has done well to keep the actual content clear but it's just the fact that it is not very easy to find the exact pages you want all the time. This is not being picky. This is regarding some of the main pages like horse-racing betting and other sporting markets.
The only link to the Android and iOS products of The Sun Bets is via two button links that are at the bottom of the main page and positioned just above the index for all the available sports markets on the site.
It is simple enough to download the products. They are available via the respective app stores and it means the mobile sports betting product offered by The Sun Bets can be accessed by a large percentage of mobile users which gives it a chance to be exposed to a larger audience. The app itself is very effective and it could be argued is even better than the website itself.
A third feature of Football Specials also offers a range of enhanced odds and prices on a selection of football markets. These are updated on a daily basis and will deliver some fantastic value for punters looking to bet on competitions across the globe. The Champions League, Europa League, Premier League, and Championship are just some of the competitions with enhanced markets under this feature so keep your eyes peeled every day for new offerings.
A Help Centre link can be found in the drop-down menu tab and in there you will find a search bar to ask a unique question, an FAQs section, live chat that is available 24/7, telephone, email, and even a Twitter contact.
The Sun Bets clearly appreciates that we live in an age where the customer still comes first and it is refreshing to see such an open approach to dealing with the customers as opposed to some bookies who you feel are hiding behind their desks in fear.