Betway is part of The Betway Group, which is a global company that has numerous fingers in numerous online betting pies. These pies include the likes of an online casino, poker and bingo, all of which are accessible via the main Betway Sportsbook site. Based in both Malta and Guernsey, the Betway bookmaking arm operates not only in the UK and Ireland but also in Spain, Italy, Denmark, Belgium and Germany.
Despite having only been founded in 2006, the company has made great strides in establishing themselves as one of the top bookmakers in the ‘new breed’ of companies that specialise in online gaming. A big part of that is due to their name recognition, courtesy of various sponsorships of high-profile events. 2014 was a big year for such action, with the company agreeing to sponsor Premier League Darts as well as the Wembley Stadium based fight between Carl Froch and George Groves.
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When all is said and done, of course, a company can be as well-known as the Queen or the President, but if they don’t offer decent features then no one is going to stick with them for very long. Betway have managed to keep hold of their punters because of the way in which they’ve gone about ensuring what they offer is as good, if not better, than the competition.
The In-Play tab is one of the first things you’ll see when you go to the Betway homepage, in no small part because it’s the first of the tabs across the top of the page. Even if you didn’t see that, however, it wouldn’t take you long to spot the live betting options available to you, given that they take up a huge chunk of the main sports page. Sitting right in the middle of the homepage are quick links to any events taking place there and then, not least of which is their football coverage.
The other sports covered are separated out into different tabs, so you don’t leave the main page if you click on one of them. Instead it just opens up the events available for in-play betting within that sports category and any events that are going to start later in the day are listed underneath. As if to make sure the point that you can bet on things in-play is really drilled home, a quick look down the ‘All Sports’ column on the lefthand side of the page will reveal a green ‘LIVE’ symbol when the sport has an event on that you can bet on there and then.
Regardless of the sport it is that you’re talking about, you’ll find that there are some bets you can choose to add to your betting slip straight from the main page. These are normally limited to simple ones, such as who you think is going to win or whether the match will end in a draw. In order to bet on more specific events within the game or match you’ll need to click on it to see your options. How numerous the new choices are depends entirely on the sport you’re looking to bet on, with popular ones like football and tennis normally offering more than the slightly unusual sports such as volleyball.
In-Play betting has completely revitalised the betting industry and has had particular influence on the online variation of it. That’s why every road on Betway’s site tends to lead you toward’s the company’s live betting options, with barely a section of the site not having some sort of link to an in-play option. That’s not to say that ante-post betting isn’t available, of course, just that Betway, as one of the newer bookies in town, appreciates how important live betting is to today’s punter. Whether we’re talking about how each section lets you know if there’s a live event going on or the way in which each sport has links to the different competitions you can bet on, they’ve made it as easy as possible to bet in the here and now.
At the time of writing the live streaming options available through Betway are limited. When I say limited I’m not joking either, as it’s only horse racing that you can watch live via the company’s website. If you want to know whether or not a race will be streamed live then just keep your eye out for the small TV symbol located within the race information section. In order to qualify to be able to watch a race you’ll have to bet a minimum of £2, which can be broken down into £1 Each-Way if you’d prefer.
What I would say is that you should let the lack of live streaming as a feature both you too much. Not every betting company can live stream events but Betway offer one of the best alternatives around for the things they don’t cover. Take tennis, for example. You can’t watch it live, but you can choose from a selection of different graphic interfaces to give you an idea of what’s going on and where the betting trends go. So you can choose to look at the scoreboard, a graphic of a court, all noteworthy stats from the match, a minute-by-minute text stream or a trend line from the games. Not quite the same, but a decent alternative.
Much as you can look to see if there’s a small TV symbol to give you an idea of whether or not the event you want to bet on is being live streamed, so too you can keep an eye out for the Green ‘CO’ symbol that tells you whether you can Cash Out the bet you’ve placed. It’s really obvious if that’s the case, with the symbol firstly located on the match list on the main page and then again even more overtly within any given event’s full betting page. Just as an FYI, you can only take a Cash Out on a horse racing bet if it’s a multiple and one leg has won.
There’s something else that I want to draw your attention to as far as Betway’s Cash Out is concerned. They offer you the chance to take a Partial Cash Out, meaning you can take the offer for some of your bet and leave the rest of it on; a great option if you’re really not sure which way things are going to go. I’ve made use of it in the past when I had a bet riding on Liverpool to beat Bournemouth 3-1. The Reds were 3-1 up but there was still about half an hour to go, so I took most of my bet out but left a little bit on just in case. Had it won I’d still have been in for a tidy net win on the part of the bet I left running, but in the end Liverpool lost 4-3 so I was glad I’d taken the Partial Cash Out.
Just because a company sponsors something it doesn’t automatically mean that they know what they’re talking about. Yet the fact that Betway are the official principal sponsors of West Ham as I write this certainly gives a good indication of them being heavily invested in getting their coverage of the sport right.
I wouldn’t rush to say that Betway’s football coverage is exhaustive, though it’s good enough to keep the casual fan more than interested. Obviously the big leagues are covered, including the Premier League, Bundesliga and La Liga, with the likes of Serie B and others also available to bet on. There are some surprising absentees from the list of leagues covered, however, with no football below the Premiership listed from Scotland, as an example. Head to somewhere like America, though, and you can bet on the MLS, Premier Development League and United Soccer League. It’s a bit odd.
Some bookmakers are keen to let you know how many different options there are for bets within a match before you’ve even clicked on it. They’ll let you know how big their market is so you can decided whether or not you want to delve into the game and seek out an exciting bet. Betway isn’t one of those companies, instead offering simple quick bets on the main page of which team will win or whether the match will end in a draw. It’s a strange choice considering that there are normally quite a lot of bets to choose from once you click the link to the full page for each individual event.
For example, in a few days Andorra are playing Hungary in a UEFA Group B World Cup Qualifier and a look at the event presents me with a myriad of betting options. I can look at the likes of which team will score the first goal, whether both teams will score, the Correct Score market, half-time / full-time and many other options besides. You can select a list of bet purely from the first-half or just the second, as well only look at the ‘Goals’ option. In short, there’s loads of stuff to bet on if you want to find it, but Betway don’t tell you that from the outset. It’s not a deal breaker by any means, but not everyone wants to look at each event individually to see how big the market is.
On the one hand many of the matches I checked out didn’t have Betway at the top of the rankings when it came to odds in comparison to their rivals. More often than not someone offered better odds and that might concern some of you.
On the other hand, Betway’s odds were always much better than a lot of companies and would probably have been the best if some outlier hadn’t blown them out of the water. What I’m trying to say is that I really wouldn’t worry too much about their odds as they’re pretty good even if they’re not the best.
Much as Betway’s sponsorship of West Ham doesn’t mean they’re necessarily footballing geniuses, so too the fact that they’ve sponsored high-profile events like the Cheltenham Festival’s Queen Mother Champion Chase doesn’t mean they know horse racing inside out. Even so, you sponsor an event to draw attention to your coverage of that sport, so it’s a reasonable assumption to make that they know roughly what they’re talking about.
If the company’s sponsorship of a flagship race at one of the country’s biggest and most watched meetings isn’t a sign of their dedication to horse racing coverage then perhaps the fact that it’s the only sport you can stream live via the website is. As well as UK and Irish horse racing, you can also bet on racing from further afield. The likes of Scotsville in South Africa, La Teste De Buch in France and Presque Isle Downs in the United States are all covered to some extent or another by Betway.
One these shores alone I could bet on races from Chepstow, Fontwell, Southwell, Wetherby, Yarmouth, Hamilton, Kempton, Ripon, Uttoxeter, Wexford and Wolverhampton this week. If I look at the ante-post market I could have a flutter on the likes of the Grand National and all of the main races from the Cheltenham Festival, even though both of those meetings are the best part of a year away. I’m not saying it’s the best coverage around, but it’s certainly not the worst and there’s something to say about that if you’re just an average punter.
In a similar move to their football coverage, Betway’s odds on horse racing are always pretty much in-line with everyone else’s. That means that they have the best odds or equal best odds around for some races but not all. I’ve never been so excited by what they’ve been offering that I’ve taken out a second mortgage, but nor have I logged out of my account in disgust when I’ve seen the prices.
As you may well have inferred from when I was telling you about the football coverage and how some rather obvious leagues weren’t part of Betway’s plans, their coverage of other sports in general is a little bit so-so. Here are some of the more random ones I can find coverage of:
- Motor Sport
- American Football
- Rugby League
None of those are really the sort of sports that you’ll be amazed you can get odds on. Now to be fair, Betway haven’t pretended to be some sort of all-encompassing wizardry betting company that can give you amazing odds on every sport ever played. They are a decent, solid bookie that do the basics well and a few other bits beside. If you like more random things then maybe they aren’t for you.
Every time I see something about Betway’s site that I’m impressed with I marvel at the fact that the company was only formed in 2006. Come to think of it, if I see something I don’t like very much I still remind myself that the company was only founded in 2006, so it’s not exactly as if they’ve been going at this for years and should be criticised. They’ve done really, really well to establish themselves as a serious player in the online betting market in a relatively short space of time, giving far more established bookmakers such as William Hill and Ladbrokes a run for their money.
As I’ve hinted at before, a large part of the way that they’ve managed to so quickly establish themselves as a big hitter is via intelligent publicity grabbing moves, such as signing up the likes of England rugby player Mike Tindall, cricketer and broadcaster Simon Hughes and National Hunt jockey Richard Johnson as brand ambassadors. Some decent timing has done them favours on the sponsorship front, too. In 2015, for example, they took over the sponsorship of the Davis Cup and Great Britain, with Andy Murray leading the charge, went on to win it for the first time since 1936. In 2017 they became the official betting partner of the Grand National, run at Aintree Racecourse.