Last updated May 18th, 2021
Sportingbet Bookmaker is UK based (licensed in the tax haven of Alderney, Channel Islands) but claims a global operation. It is owned by GVC Holdings Plc, who bought the European side of the business in 2012. When SBT first launched in 1998 it was the third, not ‘first’ as they falsely claim, UK based online bookie. Back then its business plan was to serve the American market. However it had run-ins with the USA authorities, including having a director arrested. The US government closed its loopholes so it was forced to stop accepting American clients, but more of that further down this Sportingbet review. Since then it has concentrated on expanding its UK and European client base, but has failed to make the breakthrough.
OPINION: Sportingbet has demonstrated several examples of devious behaviour over the years. They also have reputation for quickly limiting their sports players’ bets, so if you do go on a winning streak then you will not be able to bet for long. This pitiful policy has been in place since the day the diminutive Mark Blandford opened up for business. He used to boast how he wanted to drive down the average bet size they accepted. It is little wonder that they have never gained mainstream acceptance by punters in the UK and that they lag well behind the likes of well-run firms such as Bet365. There is very little Sportingbet brand recognition and this JustBookies’ review does not recommend them. In contrast, our number one recommended online bookmaker, the excellent Bet365 Online Bookmaker is fair with clients and partners alike.
Sportingbet Bookmaker Review
Sportingbet Bookmaker trod carefully around the minefield that was the illegal USA online sports betting market for many years. When the USA government made it illegal for the banks to process transactions from USA-facing offshore sportsbooks then they had to cry enough and stop accepting Americans. It also did not help that their chairman Peter Dicks was arrested regarding the matter while visiting American in 2006.
The firm sold its existing USA-facing operations like Sportsbook.com to a private company, that shared some of the same directors, for a nominal sum. It had to stop accepting USA poker clients from its newly-purchased (for $297.5million in 2004) Paradise Poker site. In this way SBT was no longer USA-facing.
Because of its prior fondness for serving countries that do not recognise it as a legitimate operator, SBT lost out on a takeover by Ladbrokes in October 2011. That was because Sportingbet Bookmaker had been marketing to and accepting clients from Turkey. The government of that country deemed it an unlicensed operator and Ladbrokes felt this issue was too sticky for them to purchase the firm. SBT saw one fifth wiped off the value of their shares in one day after the pull out.
Interestingly only a matter of weeks after Ladbrokes broke off their talks, and still in October 2011, SBT sold its Turkish facing operation called Superbahis, for £125million. In the process they had removed the final element of the business that had not been in a regulated location. As their CEO at the time said, it was the ‘final piece of the jigsaw in the regulated market strategy.’ That is David Brent management speak for stating they were now completely legit and nobody was likely to be arrested anymore.
Sportingbet are the only major online betting company to have closed its affiliate program and stopped paying its affiliate business partners. There was outcry at the unethical behaviour and after a gap of a few years the crafty firm re-opened the program and tried to forget what it did. But the damage has never been undone.
Having taken the step to start again, they showed their attitude had not changed. In 2009 they changed their terms and conditions retrospectively for affiliates and business partners, shortening the length of the time they would pay commission on referrals from lifetime to 24 months, destroying any fragile trust that had begun to develop towards SBT. Despite a change of ownership in 2012, this clause still remains.
Its attitude to affiliates remains abysmal, with many reported complaints of revenue terms being changed at will and aggressive email correspondences threatening to withhold payments for minor issues. The firm still has significant ethical and communication issues that affect their public profile negatively within the industry, and particularly among affiliates. It is little wonder the conclusion of this Sportingbet review is to avoid them.
SBT was listed on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange but in May 2010 joined the main LSE market. In late 2012 SBT was bought by GVC Holdings Plc and William Hill and split between them. Hills took the Australian business while GVC own the European side. Despite Sportingbet’s apparent mainstream acceptance, and the change of ownership in 2012, we find their actions unethical and troubling. We can no longer recommend Sportingbet Bookmaker.
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I set up an account with these. They verified my account and said I was able to deposit. I deposited £50 and they closed my account immediately after. Now it has been a week and still having to jump through hoops to get my money back.
They refuse to pay out on a bet that England would win the cricket world cup because the final was tied!
Scammers, gave me a “welcoming bonus” but because the bonus didn’t meet some condition that I had no idea about (I was supposed to bet additional 200$ which was apparently written in a fine print that I am obligated to read) they not only waived the bonus but also the winnings from my actual money I’be bet! The support told me that they are legally entitled to do so which doesn’t make it any less of a scam. Stay away from these crooks I was their customer for well over a decade in my earlier days, will never sports bet again. Basically if you win a bet they will steal your money and if you lose, well you lose.
I started betting with SBT way back in 2004. All was well until I started placing large bets AND winning. My stakes are now gradually being reduced with no genuine reason provided. So if you are betting small amounts you should be OK. However if you want to make serious money just beware as SBT will limit your winnings.
If I could give a zero star I would. This company takes punters for total mugs. Sportingbet don't look after their customers. Steer well clear of this company.
Their website is a joke. I cashed out £800 to my credit card by mistake. My credit card does not accept withdrawals which means the funds will be deposited back into my account. However, I'm going on two weeks of Sportingbet not giving me my money or providing me an answer. My credit card company says they didn't even see an attempt. Apparently sportingbets' "accounts payable" is looking into this. It's a massive joke. This is the tip on the iceberg. They also cheated when I was playing online blackjack, but that's another story.
Sporting Bet are anything but sporting and are a bunch of crooks from my experiences with them which lasted almost 6 months. I can list many issues but they would be too individual and draw attention to who I am. The only advice I can give is just don't go near them.
Sportingbet are very poor bookmakers. I have stopped betting with them since they wanted to charge me every time to deposit money using my debit card.
winner.com do the same limit your stake money even on a £10.00 win wager
Yes, we dont suggest Winner on this website for quite a few reasons. I will add that one to the list.
Just tried to get £150ew on a 14/1 shot in a Group race at Royal Ascot (Kings Stand Stakes). I was limited to £17ew! Sportingbet are a joke. Total waste of time. Are they bookmakers or a scam?