Coral Bookmaker Review & £20 Free Bet

Go to Coral BookiesCoral Bookmaker is UK based and the third biggest bookie in Britain with 1750 betting shops. It employs 11,500 staff and also owns Hove & Romford dog tracks. In 2013 turnover was over £3billion. It is a huge firm and part of what, in bookmaking terms, was known as ‘the big three.’ Coral Bookmaker is obviously a sound company for its customers to bet with.

£/€20 FREE BET: Coral offers a £20 / €20 sports betting bonus when you stake you first bet of a fiver or more on a selection priced at 1/2 or bigger odds. This is given as a £20 / €20 free bet token and can be used within 7 days. Although it is not as big a headline figure as most of the bookies free bets, you are actually getting a 400% match of your first bet if you only bet a fiver. So it is one of best value bonuses that are up for grabs.

Money Back On Horse Racing Fallers: Money back up to €/£25 a time on the win part of any bet on a horse racing jumps race when your selection falls, unseats or is brought down.

OPINION: Coral Bookmaker has been a mainstay of the UK High Street since the 1960s and they have successfully taken that brand to the internet. The £20 free bet they offer is more generous than it looks as you only have to stake a fiver to get it. We have done a lot of betting with this bookie and have been happily surprised. They do accept larger wagers than most other recreational sports betting firms. They are quick to payout and our experience of their telephone customer service was first class. The website has shown the strain during peak events, but we sincerely hope they have rectified this going forward. Certainly this is a website experience we have warmed to and it comes from a trustworthy firm.

Click to visit Coral Bookmaker

Coral Bookmaker Review & History

Looking back a few years, some of Coral Bookmaker’s cutting edge did temporarily dissipate. The company had changed hands so many times, but it has finally found equilibrium and focus with its current owners.

While its bricks and mortar betting shop business may have been competently managed, Coral had made some poor decisions where its online business was concerned. As a result they lost some headway in the betting lands of the world wide web. Coral got into the position of having several unconnected online brands with no strong identity. In an admirable bid finally to rectify this they closed their Eurobet online operation in September 2011 in order to push the one online betting brand of coral.co.uk.

Coral was purchased by Gala in 2005 to form Gala Coral. It brought the bricks and mortar, land-based bingo halls and casinos of Gala together with the high street betting shops and online presence of Coral.

Now Gala Coral are proud possessors of 180 bingo halls and 31 casinos and over 1600 retail betting shops. In addition there are a couple of dog tracks at Hove and Romford. The bricks and mortar bingo operations were badly undermined by the rapid growth of online bingo. Ironically it was not Gala Coral who exploited this, though they have now made up ground rapidly.

This is a firm with a long history and it’s a famous brand, particularly in the UK. The current Coral bookies’ website uses Playtech software. It did launch with some major teething problems as casino software giant Playtech had not done sports betting before. It was obvious nobody had done the necessary testing and so they went live with so many bugs, including the fact it wouldn’t work with one of the main browsers. Coral allowed themselves to be somewhat of a guinea pig. It has all worked out in the end and now they have a highly intuitive website that is well run and a pleasure to use.

Joseph Kagarlitski who founded this bookmaker in 1926 and pragmatically changed his name to the more pronounceable Joe Coral in the process, will have turned in his grave a few times over the years. However now he can rest easy in the proud knowledge that his eponymous fake name is attached to a genuine first class online betting operation.

Click to visit Coral Bookmaker

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Average rating:  
 7 reviews
by Neil on coral

Their site's a bit slow compared to the others I use but you get there in the end. Never had any problems betting-wise over several years although I do have a loss-making account so unless my luck changes I don't envisage any.

by Richard Peacock on coral

I think Corals is becoming one of the most corrupt bookies out there. If you are not a loss-making customer then you are no good for them. They have turned off my best odds and I got no explanation for this. They stopped me from having free bets because I always win on them. They stole my last tenner by sending me false information offering a free bet. I bet the stake and got told over the phone that the free bet is not valid for my account. When I asked why he told me, sorry sir I can not tell you that!

Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to hear about this. It is bad practice by Coral, but it is standard behaviour in the industry. All the bookies do it. Winning customers are first barred from the special offers and then have their limits cut so they can only place small bets. Then ultimately they might have their betting accounts closed. The governing body is the Gambling Commission (GC), who issue the bookmaker licenses. The GC ought to set criteria whereby none of this can happen, as they do in Australia. Unfortunately the GC is poorly managed with little knowledge and appear only to care about collecting their license fees. They could do something about this but they do not. Nevertheless, you could make a complaint to them - their contact details are on their website.

by sanjay on coral

Coral are a bookies that have improved no end. Having tried most of the big names, I have stuck with this firm and do not anticipate moving on. Surprised at how good they are for sports betting.

by Gizmo on coral

Coral is my bookmaker of choice at the moment. They seem better than most others. Paddy Power & Ladbrokes started to reduce my bets (and don't get me started on Stan James) but Coral has been good. One tip - if you need to withdraw over a grand, do it £900 at a time. If it is over a grand it takes longer as they manually take a look at it which delays the withdrawal.

by Paul Newton on coral

I bet on sports with Coral the whole time. I have had my account closed at a couple of bookies and I can not get much of a bet on at many others. They offer a service for small stakes only but Coral is different. I can get much bigger stake sizes on with them and they have not yet limited me. If it is too big for them then it goes to a trader, but they appear to do their best to take the bet. I bet a few hundred quid on say a 5/1 shot, so that is the level I am talking about. It is the level most other online bookies will not play, especially if you have backed a winner or two before. Sure the Coral software is less reliable in the sense the site does even now seem to struggle for the major events when there is a huge demand - Grand National day this year again - that still needs to be sorted out. All other times they have become my No.1 choice.

by Nigel Sibley on coral

Impressed, glad I gave Coral a try. Telephone customer service was helpful too.

by Hetty Maydew on coral

I have noticed difficulties on big events. This years Cheltenham and then the Grand National was a mini disaster for Coral, their site plainly could not cope. They seem to have an inferior system to the other really big bookmakers, with a few oddities in their system, and hopefully those issues will be looked into. On a day to day basis they are fine.

Yes they use Playtech software, currently slightly inferior to other sports betting systems. Hopefully these issues on big days will be solved in the future as it is costing Coral business. It is a good firm though.

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