|Software & Games:|
Having spent a decade in the online gambling business (started in 2006), Betway is now one of the leading sports betting websites in Europe (their biggest markets are the UK, Spain and Germany). Players from the U.S. and Australia are prohibited.
During the past couple of years, Betway has increased their commitment to sponsorships and you might have seen them as the main sponsor of soccer team West Ham United FC, Premier League Darts, ESL UK Premiership, UK Championship Snooker, and several other leagues and teams. In 2015, they signed brand ambassadors such as Mike Tindall (rugby), Simon Hughes (cricket) and Richard Johnson (jockey).
The company holds licenses in eight countries (United Kingdom, Malta, Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Ireland, and Belgium) and is audited by eCOGRA. They offer customer support in 17 languages, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can contact them via phone, e-mail and live chat.
Rogue or Not?
Betway had a rocky start within the industry as reports of scam behavior flooded in. Sportsbook Review – one of the only respected sportsbook rating sites in the industry (although it has been accused of false ratings every now and then) – gave Betway.com a D- rating in 2013 and placed the site on its blacklist. There were numerous cases of players not being able to clear bonuses or denied payouts due to unfair and ridiculous terms. Sometimes they provided no explanations at all.
Betway seems to have gotten its act together, though, at least artificially. It has been removed from SBR’s blacklist and currently holds a B- rating at SBR and a 6.25/10 rating at AskGamblers. Now keep in mind: those ratings are far from great, and has Betway ever actually done right on the players who had legitimate reasons to complain a couple of years ago?
Betway.com Sports is known for offering poor odds, or at least not the best odds in the market. (If you only care about getting the best possible odds, you should consider PinnacleSports.com, 5Dimes.eu and HeritageSports.com; if you care more about the overall betting experience, Bet365.com is a fantastic option.)
The sportsbook has teamed up with Betradar to offer all sorts of game statistics to assist bettors, and they’ve put a lot of effort into their horse racing system in order to provide horse bettors with different kinds of useful content (just the fact that they’ve signed two jockeys as brand ambassadors tells you something).
They have in-play betting (another well-designed part of the site) but there’s no live streaming (a stark contrast to Bet365, the busiest live-streamer in the business).
In August, 2015, Betway proclaimed itself to be the ”first major bookmaker to launch a dedicated eSports portal.” At the time of writing this review, you can bet on 10+ games via the eSports portal, like Call of Duty, CS:GO, Dota 2, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, League of Legends, Starcraft 2, FIFA, and World of Tanks.
New Betway Sports customers get a first-deposit bonus but the size of the bonus differs depending on where you live. Those residing in the UK, Ireland or Canada get a 100% bonus up to £30/30€/$30, while those residing in Finland, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Switzerland get a 100% bonus up to £100/100€/$100. These bonuses are only for credit/debit card depositors.
The other difference between the two bonuses is that the smaller one is credited to your Free Bets account while the bigger one is credited to your Bonus account.
To qualify for the Free Bet bonus:
- You must deposit the minimum of £10.
- Place bets in the amount of your original deposit.
- Place bets within seven days of making the deposit.
- Place single bets at odds of 1.75 or more, each-way bets at odds of 1.40 or more and system bets at odds of 1.40 or more.
To qualify for the Welcome Bonus:
You must place bets 6 times the deposit amount at odds of 1.75 or more, or place bets 48 times the deposit amount at odds of 1.3-1.74. All bets at odds of 1.29 or less don’t qualify for the Welcome Bonus.
You can also clear the Welcome Bonus at Betway Casino where you either need to bet 6 times the deposit amount on slot machines or 75 times the deposit amount on table poker games, roulette, video poker (except All Aces and Jacks or Better), blackjack games (except Classic Blackjack) and Casino War. All other casino games don’t qualify for the Welcome Bonus.
Betway Poker is on the Microgaming network which currently ranks as a top-10 poker network by traffic, getting around the same amount of traffic as Party Poker and Full Tilt Poker, although significantly less than PokerStars and 888 Poker.
Microgaming consists of tens of online poker rooms in addition to Betway Poker – most notably 32Red, Betsafe, and Betsson. Being on the same network means they all use the same software that has been customized to match each site’s brand. The in-play experience is essentially the same at every Microgaming poker site.
The Microgaming software works and is easy to use. I’m fond of the software, perhaps because it’s the first poker software I’ve ever played. Playing on Microgaming comes with a couple of negative: their player traffic is significantly below the busiest sites which means fewer opponents, smaller tournament prize pools, fewer high stakes cash games and tournaments. As long as you play low-to-mid stakes poker, you will find plenty of people to play with.
Blinds start from 0.01/0.02 and go up to 25/50 but, as mentioned, there’s rarely any traffic at the higher stakes. Most of the traffic concentrates around the low stakes games (up to 0.5/1).
Like many other poker rooms, Betway has launched its own version of ”Fast-Fold Poker” called Blaze Poker. Almost everyone I know enjoys fast-fold poker over the standard way of playing. Some other features of playing at Betway Poker are their Loyalty Club, Bad Beat Jackpot, and Anonymous Tables.
The poker welcome bonus is a 200% first-deposit bonus up to £750 (for the time being, new depositors will also qualify for six £1000 freerolls). You need to earn 100 Loyalty Points per every £1.50 in bonus cash, and you get 10 points for every £1 you’ve paid in rake or tournament fees, and the bonus cash is released in 1% increments. The minimum deposit amount that qualifies for the bonus is £10 and the bonus expires within 60 days of the deposit.
For example, if you were to deposit £100, you’d get a £200 deposit bonus. You need around 13,333 Loyalty Points to clear the whole bonus, and the bonus will be released in £2 increments (1%*£200). During Happy Hours, you’ll get 10 bonus Loyalty Points on top of every 100 Loyalty Points you earn. The bonus equates to a 15% rakeback.
Betway Casino operates on Microgaming software (one of the most reputable online casino software providers in the world). Microgaming casinos often have the biggest progressive jackpots in the world, and in fact, the biggest of them all was awarded at betway.com.
That’s right – Betway Casino holds the Guinness record for the ”largest jackpot payout in an online slot machine game ever.” Jon Heywood, a Cheshire soldier, won the amount via ”Mega Moolah” slot machine in October, 2015, after depositing a mere £30 and placing a £0.25 bet.
The first-deposit casino bonus is 100% up to £250. To qualify for the bonus, you must make a deposit worth £20 or more within seven days of registering. To clear the bonus, there’s a 50x wagering requirement for slot machines, and a (ridiculous!) 650x wagering requirement for table poker games, roulette, video poker games (except All Aces and Jacks or Better), blackjack games (except Classic Blackjack) and Casino War. Wagering on any of the other casino games doesn’t qualify for the bonus.
There are better sites to join. Betway.com has a history of rogue behavior and unfair bonus terms (their current bonuses are hard to clear). It’s difficult to say if they’ve straightened out their act and are legitimate nowadays, and as far as the bonuses go, they’re extremely difficult to clear. Have they even solved the earlier player complaints?