McBookie

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  • Focused on Scottish spots
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McBookie Review and Promo Codes

As the name suggests McBookie is Scottish and proud. Bar bagpipes sounding as you hit the homepage, this company shouts from the rooftops that it is trying to bring “the best possible service to the Scottish gambling market place.”

In its own bio, amid mentions of Dunblane’s own tennis star Andy Murray and the Scotland football team, the company suggests it puts “Scottish sport and Scottish punters first.” The website design in a dark blue and white style with a thistle logo leaves visitors in no doubt they have virtually travelled north of the border.

The imagery on the site shows Celtic and other domestic footballers. It couldn’t be more Scottish if it was wearing a kilt and reciting Rabbie Burns.

Indeed many of the offers and inducements to new customers are limited to residents of Scotland. This has proved effective with Scots, but has generated a backlash elsewhere from non-Scots who in the past have felt hard done to or that the offers were misleading. To date no demonstrable effort has been made to widen the net beyond national boundaries.

Starting out in 2009 this privately owned business with headquarters in Dundee has a website operated by BetVictor and is licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission.

The website offers sports betting and a casino section where the usual slots, blackjack, roulette and video poker are available.

In terms of marketing they actively sponsor some lower league and age group football leagues in Scotland. This is a clever approach, hitting grass roots sport in the homeland of their operation in a bid to establish themselves early with younger punters and perhaps those casual bettors looking for fresh options and who could be drawn to a company run by their countrymen.

Also, trying to drive a business on the back of the meagre numbers of current Scottish greats may seem naïvely nationalistic. However, it is obviously not just Scottish sport that fills the McBookie markets. The usual wide ranging international markets are there too.

With plenty of horse racing venues found in Scotland it is no surprise that football and racing are the featured sports on the website and that increased focus is concentrated in these areas.

McBookie has grown the in-play markets and blog content in recent years, but generally there is the feel that they are happy to be a small Scottish salmon in a very large betting pond.

Pros & Cons of McBookie

Pros

  • Competitive prices available
  • Will appeal to Scottish residents as overtly pro Scotland in approach
  • Consistent offers and bonuses available

Cons

  • No live streaming available
  • Mobile app limited and user unfriendly
  • New customer offer is only available to Scottish residents
  • In-Play events are limited in range of markets available

McBookie Overall

McBookie offers all expected ante-post and in-play markets on worldwide sport, but seasoned with Scotland throughout. The overly prominent Scottish slant to the offerings serves a purpose north of the Border, but has the potential to rile those from further afield and can immediately limit their allure.

They have grown a range of enhancements and bonuses, which match their competitors and heightens the value of the betting experience offered.

The website is one where a customer would say it’s okay rather than incredible. McBookie do the basics well, but there are few bells and whistles, or indeed reel pipes, to convert a basic betting experience into an extraordinary one. In addition, the mobile app is some way behind hitting the basic level.

McBookie’s User Interface

There is nothing wrong with the initial look and feel of the website, but that doesn’t mean it’s remarkable. The homepage themes are continued deeper into the site and, as already mentioned, the blues and thistles leave one in no doubt that you’re in Scotland.

There are no particular negatives with the homepage design, but neither does it blow one’s socks off. As a new customer the website’s introductory offer features prominently, both as the top of the page static advert and at the top of the left-hand vertical menu.

The homepage is topped by the Sports, Casino and Offers options and beneath that the In-Play, Horses, Dogs, Golf and Blog areas of the site are given prominence. At the time of the review the World Cup was in this menu area too, but is usually a generic Football heading. 

Down the left menu the Top Links (Today’s Matches, Tomorrow’s Matches, Scottish Football, England Football, Both Teams To Score and Result and BTTS) are displayed just above the Top Sports (Football, Horse Racing and Greyhounds.) Then next the full list of available sports is displayed.

On the right-hand side another vertical bar displays the current top bets above a small graphic advert for Casino options.

The central area of the homepage is topped by the prominent In-Play markets with the ability to ‘Show More’ to find the full list of in-play matches in each sport. Beneath the In-Play area, Horse Racing has its own block showing the daily meetings and race times with the option of clicking through to each meeting or race.

All of the major markets are one-click from the main landing page and therefore the customer is close to parting with their money from the outset. It is functional and easy to navigate, but it provides nothing innovative or different to any of its competitors and is less visually striking than many.

McBookie Betting Markets

McBookie offers the usual wide range of sports betting markets and all are easily accessible from the homepage. There are around 25 to 30 sports available from the major activities like football and horse racing through to politics and entertainment.

The full list of markets available were Football, Horse Racing, Greyhounds, American Football, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Boxing. Cricket, Cycling, Darts, Entertainment, Formula 1, Gaelic Football, Golf, Handball, Hockey, Hurling, Ice Hockey, MMA/UFC, Motor Racing, Motorcycling, Poker, Politics, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Snooker, Speedway, Tennis and Volleyball.

There are plenty of markets accessible each day from around the world, but Scottish football takes priority in season, although football markets are available on professional leagues around the globe

On the football page the Enhanced Markets are heavily featured and the more traditional approach of major matches and/or next matches is ignored. Instead McBookie opt to provide links to Major Markets and particular competitions or leagues. The number of individual markets available within each match is dictated by the stature of the game.

Horse Racing is also covered comprehensively with meetings from across the UK and Ireland carrying most prominence, but also joined by US, French and other meetings from around the world. The next three races are listed when entering the racing page and the site provides quick links to all the day’s racings and the chance to plan ahead with the schedule for tomorrow’s meetings and major future events also accessible.

Across the board the markets are competitively priced with McBookie operating on low profit margins and providing the punter with genuine value. On Horse Racing this is taken a step further with a Best Odds Guaranteed feature meaning if the Starting Price is bigger than the price a punter has taken earlier they higher price is honoured.

McBookie provide a Cash Out facility on most markets, which amazingly some bookies are yet to introduce. McBookie provide this on Football, Horse Racing, Tennis and Basketball markets and are identified by an icon against the market.

McBookie Bonuses and Offers

Priority is given to residents of Scotland. The Introductory welcome offer is only available to people who live within the country where the customer’s first bet is matched up to £25.

New Casino customers can qualify for a bonus of up to £175, while existing Casino customers can collect up to £3000 in real money each week and qualify depending on a number of factors, including cash deposits made, number of plays, frequency of play and whether the punter had won or lost with losers earning more.

The Tartan Club is again open only to Scottish residents and allows customers the chance to earn a £5 free bet each week when staking £30 or more at odds of EVS or greater.

A Coupon Buster from McBookie is basically a free bet of one element of an Accumulator lets a bet down and, as previously mentioned, the Best Odds Guarantee on Horse Racing Markets means punters get the better price if their ante-post bet is worse value than the Starting Price.

McBookie Content (Live Streaming, Audio Commentary, Radio, Blogs, and Previews)

McBookie offer no live streaming or audio options which leaves them lagging behind their competition.

The only area of the website with added value in terms of journalistic content is found under the homepage Blog tab where written pundit pieces can be found on upcoming sports events. The preview pieces contain tips and are mostly available on Football and Horse Racing markets.

With many of the market leaders now further expanding their blogs and news sites, this is definitely an area that can be improved. McBookie’s Scots-first policy suggests teaming up with a football from the past or a local trainer could help boost their following but as of yet this is not an avenue they appear to have explored.

McBookie In-Play

McBookie’s in-play activity is comprehensive. A full range of markets are available on current sports markets with major match prices visible on a catch-all main screen and detailed match markets available within each game screen.

On the bigger football matches the number of markets available may disappoint in-play backers, but the core markets are there and the graphics and live statistics are also basic.

Other bookies do this better, but McBookie customers cannot complain that what is available is not delivered efficiently.

In-play betting is available on all major sports such as Football, Cricket and Basketball. Forthcoming events that will be available in-play are listed on the site.

McBookie Stats & Form

Statistics are available in-play, but no form guides or further information is available pre-match. The statistics available in-play are not robust and again leave them trailing bigger companies.

McBookie Banking and Withdrawal

Customers can deposit by card transaction and withdrawals are available by the same mechanisms and usually received in 2-5 days. A full transaction history can be located in the customer’s account.

McBookie Customer Satisfaction

A comprehensive customer service mechanism can be found on the website offering the customer the option of contacting the company by email, telephone or via a live chat service. This is available on every day of the year

The Scottish bias on the website has led to a large amount of dissatisfaction. A trawl of the various feedback sites shows only negativity, with previous customers less the complimentary on how their accounts have been dealt with. The majority of complaints stem from the introductory offer being available only to Scotland residents – a ruling that many have felt hasn’t been made obvious at sign-up stage. To be fair to McBookie they have responded and that offer now clearly contains the words ‘Scottish Residents Only’. So the cause of dissatisfaction may have been tackled, but the fact that the comments remain on comparison sites all over the internet leave a stain on the image of the McBookie brand.

McBookie Mobile App

The McBookie app is available from all major app platforms and provides customers with the ability to keep up-to-date with McBookie News (the Blog area of the main website) and also place bets in the Sports and Casino area of the operation.

The app is however quite limited and customer feedback is ostensibly negative with users complaining about the colour scheme, font size, “dead ends” and “bugs” that seriously hamper enjoyment.

An overhaul upgrade is essential if McBookie are going to deliver an app that matches some of the excellent products available elsewhere from its competition.

Check back soon!

Betting.net horse racing tipster

Written by Enda McElhinney

Enda McElhinney is an Irish-based racing writer with an increasing portfolio of work on British and Irish racing. His daily routine is race-by-race form analysis, both on the Flat and over jumps. While the racing world must keep on turning, he is quite sure that no horse will ever pull at his heartstrings quite as much as the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Denman.

Our Opinions of McBookie

Have you ever met a Scotsman that isn’t proud of where he comes from? That is a nationalistic trait that McBookie are preying on with venom. If you are Scottish there is no reason not to bet with a company that focuses on the sport within your own country.

  1. Decent set of promos and offers, however read the T&Cs carefully, as they may be limited to residents of Scotland
  2. Competitive markets available, focused on sports popular in Scotland, and then some
  3. Live streaming and audio options unavailable

Up to £25 Welcome Bonus

  • Great for Scottish punters
  • Focused on Scottish spots
  • Sign up for your McBookie offers!
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Scottish Residents Only, 18+, T&Cs apply, Gamble Responsibly, begambleaware.org

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