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Founded in the UK by a Lancashire businessman called Simon Rigby in 2013 quite literally out of the back of a van, the BetSid sportsbook operation served customers at Preston North End Football Club’s home games at the Deepdale Stadium as a sideline to Mr Rigby’s catering operation. It is now a growing element of the RIGBY Group in its own right.
BetSid has grown since the days of a bet with a burger and now operates across West Lancashire, including eight high street shops in Blackpool, Chorley and Preston and a telebetting service and the sportsbook website.
Proud of its status as a family run independent bookmaker with a local feel, the website proclaims that “BetSid has consistently grown as a business and acquired new customers, driven by a dedication to providing outstanding customer service as well as the best prices available on the high street.”
The online sportsbook, casino and virtual sports parts of the business have been operated and run in the name of BetSid by FSB Technology since BetSid went online in mid-2018.
FSB Tech, whose head office is in London, are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and have enabled BetSid to broaden its horizons into in-play markets and make its aspirations of competing with the bigger nationals less of a pipedream. Among others, FSB Tech has previously partnered with 188Bet, Paddy Power and Genting Bet.
The agreement with FSB Tech has meant that BetSid has been able to go online seamlessly and provide a wide range of markets and in-play options. It has also meant that they can offer the slots and table games of a casino, and also virtual sports betting, without prior experience in those areas.
Another example of BetSid’s desire to grow and increase brand awareness, both in Lancashire and beyond, is a new club sponsorship of Blackpool Football Club for their 2018/19 season in League One, and the two seasons to follow. The deal sees BetSid on the front of player shirts and also gives advertising around the Bloomfield Road Stadium, on digital channels and in home matchday programmes. BetSid are driving marketing to promote the new website as Sky Sports televise more League One games. They are also the official betting partner of Fylde Football Club who play in the National League.
BetSid are not content to stand still. They plan a number of further plug-ins to enhance the website. More casino content is being received from other suppliers and they have signed with Affiliate Insider to manage an affiliate set up.
They have come a long way since those early burger van days, but it has taken on the challenges with relish and certainly doesn’t appear to be past its sell-by date.
Pros and Cons of BetSid
- Ambitious family run business with local feel
- Large range of sports, competitive prices and good in-play options
- Clean website design with effective layout
- Excellent customer service
- Large number of bonus offers
- UK focus potentially restrictive
- No added value in terms of streaming or broadcast/punditry content
- Bonusses relatively small
- No mobile app
A local independent bookmaker that has made significant strides in its first five years. The leap online has been impressive and there is more to come.
The website is clean and clear with clever placement of quick links and bonus offer adverts that do not detract from the overall navigation experience.
The deal with FSB Tech has allowed BetSid to hit the ground running, providing customers with a large range of sportsbook betting markets.
There is work to be done, but they know that. The casino needs more content and while the in-play markets are fine, there could be more. Some journalistic and/or broadcast content would also add value and help provide further identity to the website.
BetSid User Interface
The website looks good. The combination of dark and light blue on a dark background work well and everything a customer needs is immediately visible from the homepage.
As with most betting websites the top horizontal menu gives punters the option of entering the Sportsbook, Casino, Live Casino or Virtual areas of the site.
Beneath, a revolving carousel highlights current offers and available bonuses but doesn’t dominate proceedings. Down the left-hand side a Quick Links section fits above a full list of available sports markets. The Quick Links area takes customers straight into the in-play area of the website and also the next horse races available to bet on.
Live in-play matches are displayed beneath the carousel and further down the centre panel the upcoming events are shown. On the right is the Betslip and beneath that a Football Coupons area which gives handy links to popular accumulators such as Both Teams To Score and Over/Under 2.5 Goals.
Also on the right-hand side was found an advert displaying the two football sponsorships of Blackpool FC and Fylde FC with the tagline ‘BetSid BetLocal’. It’s an acknowledgement of the company’s support for the local community and a reference to its local nature, but it’s done subtly enough not to be off-putting to a visitor to the site from further afield.
The Sportsbook is the area most emphasis is placed on, but the Casino provides a decent offering of games, tables and live action.
It’s a well thought out layout that doesn’t appear cluttered.
Betting Markets with BetSid
Although football and horse racing will be the priority markets for BetSid, they refreshingly list all sports available in alphabetical order so they can all be easily located.
Inside the football area of the site and a series of tabs at the top of the page give punters quick access to Today’s game, UK games and Euro games and there are further tabs to speedily formulate BTTS and overs on the goals accumulators for each. These tabs are well thought out and as inconspicuous as they are useful. Beneath, and following the trend of the site, the featured games are listed and then upcoming matches displayed.
Inside the horse racing area too, the maximum amount of information is relayed to punters with the minimum of fuss. A table displays all race meetings and race times at the top of the screen and beneath that are the full details of the next race of the day.
It’s exceptionally well put together. A regular sports backer will take seconds to understand the mechanics of the website and will be able to stay on top of their current and future bets easily.
The full range of sports on offer is extensive – American Football, Aussie Rules, Baseball, Basketball, Boxing, Cricket, Cycling, Darts, Football, GAA Football, GAA Hurling, Golf, Greyhounds, Handball, Horse Racing, Ice Hockey, Motor Sports, Pool, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Snooker, Specials, Tennis and Volleyball.
One complaint – the Specials markets only included the BBC Sports Personality of the Year betting at the time of this review, whereas other bookies provide offerings on a wide range of TV and political events. It’s a small gripe.
Generally speaking, BetSid illustrates a keen understanding of what is important to the average customer. The prices are competitive too.
BetSid Bonuses and Offers
New customers at BetSid will receive a £10 free bet once an initial free bet of £10 or more has been placed, but only if that initial stake loses. It’s not hugely generous compared to other offers out there and the £10 free bet is split equally between the Sportsbook and Casino. This might not appeal to all customers, but at least encourages sports backers to dabble in the casino too.
For existing customers, there are a range of betting promotions, including ACCA Insurance where the stake is returned as a free bet on accumulators of five selections or more. The Bet-Sid Boosts provides enhanced prices of predetermined popular markets.
A BetSid BetClub allows customers who bet at least £50 in a week to automatically get a £5 free bet. And the racing daily offer is the 2nd to SP Favourite where the punter gets their stake back as a free bet if their chosen horse at a particular track finishes second to the favourite.
Finally, BetSid have an offer called The Lucky’s Bookies, which isn’t a great title, which gives considerable bonuses on permutation stakes like Lucky 15s, 31s and 63s.
So a wide range of offerings, all good as everyone likes a freebie, but none of them are headline shattering in terms of the amounts on offer. Other bookies certainly provide more generous welcome pots.
BetSid Content (Live Streaming, Audio Commentary, Radio, Blogs, and Previews)
No live streaming was available and there is no added journalistic or broadcast content currently available on the BetSid website. A weekly blog shows a possible willingness to potentially develop this area, but the existing offering is not formatted and therefore appears in a huge block of text which does not aid readability. The blog is a signpost of forthcoming events rather than punditry and detailed previews.
The in-play markets are accessible from all sports areas of the BetSid website and customers can immediately dive into current live events or assess which in-play events might interest them in the near future.
When entering the In-Play area of the site the new screen shows all current in-play offerings with the most popular sport available listed first – usually football. Tabs also show the other sports available and the number of live markets is displayed for each. The site also shows the live markets starting soon.
Basic graphics are available within the live markets and statistics are provided on the match, although, on smaller matches they are limited to corner stats and penalties awarded only and therefore won’t provide much guidance in framing an in-play bet. No stats could be found on shots, attacks or goal kicks, which are the norm elsewhere.
Sports offered for in-play betting at the time of the review were Football, Basketball, Tennis, Darts, Snooker, Rugby League, Rugby Union and Aussie Rules.
A cash-out option is available but not on all markets or events.
No complaints on the in-play offering that was available, but other bookies have more on offer in this regard and it is hoped that BetSid increases their operation as it matures.
BetSid Stats & Form
The only statistics provided by BetSid are during live events and these were extremely basic. No form guides could be located.
BetSid Banking and Withdrawal
Deposits can be made free of charge from Visa; Visa Debit; MasterCard; Visa Electron and Maestro cards with a minimum deposit of £10 and a maximum of £5,000. Deposits are only accepted from residents of the United Kingdom.
Withdrawals are made to the card used to deposit funds and are usually received within three to five working days, but that can be quicker depending upon the customer’s bank processing times.
BetSid Customer Satisfaction
The advantage of being family run and growing from small beginnings is that customer service is key from the start. At the time of review no negative feedback on the website could be found and all queries appear to be responded to quickly. Queries can be made via email if logged into the site and/or email if not. Queries can also be answered via facebook or Twitter.
As part of the review a request was submitted via facebook which was responded to within 30 minutes and subsequently an email was sent and responded to within two hours. The latter was to request further information, part of the response confirming that a live chat facility will be added to the website “in due course”.
BetSid Mobile App
The site is both mobile and tablet friendly, but no mobile application is currently available.
Check back soon!
Written by Matt Law
Matt Law is a European football writer with an interest in betting and gambling. An avid Manchester United supporter, Matt can regularly be found backing away wins in unlikely circumstances, sometimes with big success.
Our Opinions of BetSid
Considering this bookmaker was offering prices out of a food van outside a football stadium in Preston five years ago, it has come a very long way indeed. BetSid’s initial foray into running an online sportsbook has been impressive. With the site itself run by FSB Tech, the platform and expertise were there from the start and the company is not content to sit back and say ‘job done’.
Shedding the feel of being a local bookie to one offering its product nationally will take time, but the foundations are there. The site is clear and easy to follow and little areas of quick links or a small box containing quick ways to add together Overs on the Goals accas shows an appreciation of what makes a punter tick.
There is work to be done, but the score of 3/5 could have been a shade more if the bonuses had been a little more generous. If BetSid continues to grow at anywhere near the same pace the 4/5 or better is only a matter of time.
- Very good website with easy navigation and clean, clear approach
- More needed in casino, in-play and in journalistic/broadcast content
- An ambitious local bookmaker whose first online steps have been impressive