Continuing my theme of looking at bookmakers that started life as something else, it’s time to talk about 32Red. The company was formed back in 2002 as an online bookmaker and went from strength to strength, forging a real name for itself in a remarkably competitive industry. They offer up to five hundred casino games, which includes the likes of blackjack, roulette and online poker. They are a brilliant example of a company that worked hard to earn a good reputation in one area of online betting before broadening their horizon to take on something else, with punters like you and I being the beneficiaries.
That’s not to suggest that their sportsbook is something they’ve just thrown together in the last week or so, by the way. In actuality they’ve offered sports coverage in one form or another since 2007, which was when the company bought Littlewoods Betdirect. They sold it to Stan James in the same year and then setup 32Redbet, which they ran as something of a side project until 2014 when they teamed up with Kambi Sports Solutions to power the new look sportsbook. It was at that point that the sports betting platform became fully integrated with their online casino and things really started to take off.
Of course it doesn’t really matter who runs their sportsbook or how long it’s been in operation for. What you really want to know is how good their features are, so I’ve had a quick look for you.
When it comes to Live Betting, 32Red aren’t messing around. As soon as you click on the company’s sportsbook homepage you’re presented with live events that you can bet on immediately. Normally these are the most popular bets of the moment that, being aimed at a British audience, tends to mean football. On the lefthand side of the page you’ll see Quicklinks to events that are taking place live as well as ones that are starting soon, so you can flip there if you can’t find what you’re looking for on the main page. Along the top of the page are links to all of the most popular sports, with a click on them also taking you to any live events within each individual discipline.
At the time of writing you can’t live stream sports through 32Red, but I’ve mentioned elsewhere why I don’t think that should be a deal breaker. You can use other bookies to live stream events, so their coverage and odds are the most important things. It’s also worth bearing in mind whether or not you like the style of the site itself, so have a play around with it and see if it’s for you. Personally I like the layout of their live betting section, mainly because they’re kept it quite stripped back and you can see what you’re betting on nice and easily. Right now, for example, I can bet on an EFL Cup match between Nottingham Forest and Shrewsbury Town andI can see there are thirty additional bets that I could place on the event other than just the result.
Cash Out is a feature that goes hand-in-hand with Live Betting, mainly because if you’re betting live then you’re aware that the market can change in an instant. With 32Red you’re allowed to Cash Out certain bets, so keep an eye on the bets you’ve placed in case you want to try to hedge your bet and take a profit before the winds of fortune shift. If you want to know whether or not your bet is valid for Cashing Out, head to the Live Right Now part of the site, find your bet and see whether or not there’s a red box with a price in it. If there is then click on it and you’ll be able to Cash Out.
In my experience bookmakers tend to do one of two things. If they’re something of a jack-of-all-trades type company then they might well try to cover as many sports as possible, offering at least some odds on all the events they can. Other bookies believe it’s better to cover fewer sports but to do so in more detail, giving punters more options for their bets within a specific discipline even if the number of disciplines covered doesn’t match up to competitors. 32Red definitely fit into this latter category.
At the time of writing they cover just ten sports. The good thing is that they sports they do offer are all of the most popular sports that a UK audience would want to be placing bets on. I’ve already mentioned football, but we’re also talking about the likes of horse racing, tennis, golf, boxing and both forms of rugby. I’ve also discovered as I’ve been reviewing other websites that some bookmakers cover some right nonsense, which is not a trap that 32Red have fallen into. You might not be able to bet on competitive windsurfing or Warhammer tournaments, but you can find odds on all of the biggest sports that you’re going to want to bet on.
The coverage is reasonably impressive, too. When it comes to the football they obviously cover all of the British leagues, but you’ll also find the likes of the Australian NPL, Brazilian Paulista Under-20s league and Chinese Super League covered. If you’re willing to delve into the realms of Under-20s leagues and B divisions in countries some bookies don’t even cover the first division of then you must be confident in what you’re offering. The same is true of other sports, with the golf not just being the major tournaments but also events such as the Price Cutter Charity Championship. They may not cover a lot of sports, but what they have got on their books they cover very well indeed.
I’ve obviously already told you a bit about them, mainly from the point of view of when they started their sportsbook and how long it’s been in operation for. Registered on part of the London Stock Exchange known as the Alternative Investment Market, 32Red was purchased by Kindred Group for a fee believed to be in the region of £176 million. Formerly known as Unibet Group Plc, Kindred Group owns a number of different betting companies including Stan James, Unibet and iGame. Stan James, you’ll remember from earlier, bought Littlewoods Betdirect from 32Red back in 2007, bringing the whole thing full circle.
32Red have taken numerous different routes to get their name into the public consciousness over the years. From 2006 until 2008 they sponsored the then Premier League club Aston Villa, for example, doing the same thing for Swansea City between 2009 and 2013. Leeds United, Rangers and Crawley Town have all been sponsored by the company at one point or another. They have invested quite a lot of money into UK Horse Racing, which in turn has seen them become an Authorised Betting Partner of British Racing in recent years. The company’s online casino is voiced by the actress Patsy Kensit, lending a glamorous lilt to proceedings.