The number 8 in the 18bet bookmaker’s title is the main clue to 18Bet’s origins. Eight is considered a lucky number in Chinese culture. The number is associated with prosperity and success – along with high social standing, which is why it features so much with Asian bookies.
18bet markets its product to a wide international audience, providing 20-plus currency options and 20-plus sports betting markets.
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At the time of writing, the welcome bonus available from 18Bet looks to be very generous. Newly registering players receive a bonus of 25% up to a maximum £200 or €200 (or the equivalent in other currencies) over and above the amount deposited.
On the surface, the sign up bonuses offered by 18bet appear generous, however, in order to cash out the bonus and winnings, players must rollover both the amount of the deposit and bonus amount 12 times. So if a customer deposits £50 and receives a £50 bonus, they are required to meet a rollover of 1200 = 12 x (50 + 50).
In addition to the site’s casino promotions, there is a constant stream of sports betting promotions for existing users – such as 50% pay-out bonuses on correct scores in major soccer games, reload boosts of 50% up to 50€/$/£ for existing users’ deposits etc. These are continually updated – a good feature of the site.
With the 18Bet user interface – a lot is going to depend on how much you like black; the colour of the background. This tends to give it more of a casino site feel than a sportsbook – but the website is clear and not quite as loaded with information and markets as some. This is a matter of personal taste, but it looks cleaner and clearer than most.
The sports available are relatively few in number but clearly displayed down the left-hand side in a column.
Clearly the main international emphasis is on football (or “soccer” as it’s called here and numerous other sites aiming at an international audience). The central section (for markets and odds) and right-hand column (for betting slips once a market is selected) are constantly changing depending on what’s happening in the world of sport of course – but the main emphasis is on forthcoming “soccer” games. Overall, 18Bet’s is a pleasing design and has an intuitive layout; new users will be up and running in moments.
The sports navigation panel on the left lists all sports markets available – with a number next to it showing the number of fixtures available for bettors at any given time. At the time of this review, there were 381 for soccer followed by 30 for Basketball
When users click on their chosen sport, a new page appears with all forthcoming fixtures, odds and time and date listed (in the centre of the page). Under the main sports heading on the new page comes a list of the major markets – UEFA Champions League, English Premier League etc., for example, once “Soccer” has been selected.
The odds are concisely displayed and users can select decimal, fractional, American, Malay, Hong Kong or Indonesian odds. There is a wide range of Asian Handicap options available – more so than with most of the competition – again belying the site’s origins.
As with most of the competition, betting slips depict with single, multi and “system” bets available – and potential winnings are clearly shown as soon as stakes are added to the slip.
Overall functionality and clarity are good. Some of the design and user experience details might seem a little different to anyone well used to using online sports betting sites but the unique features that 18Bet have incorporated are to be applauded. Too many sites have the same old look and usability – 18Bet have attempted to break that mould and go for something distinctive and have largely succeeded.
All transactions in and out are carried out quickly and safely with no reported problems from users. The usual array of deposit and payment options is available including, NETELLER, Skrill, Paysafecard, Entropay and major credit and debit cards – along with direct bank wire transfers; all available in users’ chosen currency options.
For anyone looking to make consistently large bets that may be bigger than the usual limits, 18Bet have a unique broker service that can deal with the customer directly. Customers will also receive different odds if they are able to bet with larger amounts so the advantages are clear and very attractive. Having this personal touch is a real plus point for anyone in the position to bet with high stakes and shows that this is an operation that looks after all their customers – and are willing to accommodate bespoke requests whenever possible.
Like most other bookmakers, 18Bet offers multiple ways to seek advice including FAQs (which cover most concerns) and a 24/7 live chat function.
The ‘Lets Talk’ female live chat avatar can be seen all over the site.
Users can also get in touch via E-mail or phone. The customer service overall is excellent.
18Bet is one of a number of new Asian bookmakers looking to make their mark in Europe, and was first established in 2010, going online two years later. The site is owned and operated by Shark 77 Limited, a company registered under the laws of Malta. The added security offered by this European license under the MGA regulations should prove 18Bet’s trustworthy credentials to any potential customers.
The range of markets available is more limited than most of the major bookmakers as things stand. 18Bet currently offers markets on “Soccer”, tennis, basketball, volleyball, “football” (i.e. American football), ice hockey, handball, baseball, snooker, table tennis, boxing, rugby union and badminton.
Within each sport there is the usual broad range of sub markets and you can bet on most upcoming events.
As with other Asian bookmakers, the pay-out, potential reaches some very high numbers, and Asian handicaps are offered on all soccer games. But if you’re looking to gamble on certain popular UK and European markets including mainstream betting like horse racing and greyhounds, then you won’t find them here unfortunately.
Expect industry-standard odds from 18bet.
In-play betting is strong and is clearly an important facet of the site. There is a dedicated ‘live Betting’ headline tab plus the home page and the various sports open with live events in the central display. 18Bet offers live betting markets on all major events– along with the usual ‘Cash Out’ options
There are well over 100 in-play markets on all the bigger soccer games.
18Bet is well covered when it comes to the live streaming of events. Any online sports betting site looking to make a name for themselves in a crowded market needs to keep their customers interested as long as possible and the sheer range of streaming choices is very impressive. Almost all sports, leagues and competitions can be accessed through 18Bet and finding your chosen event is easy thanks to the well laid out details and icons in the live betting section.
This Asian bookmaker aims to make a dent in the UK market place with its (somewhat) generous offers and versatile betting functionality. 18Bet can be worth a visit with a particularly good offer, but needs to do more to stand out in the market place.
18Bet is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission and will need to drive hard in its bonuses, promotions, advertising and service if it is to gain a meaningful foothold in a crowded UK market place.
In addition to its sports betting markets, 18Bet provides casino gambling and offers live-casino games.
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Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
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