Best and Worst Bookmakers of 2018 – A Retrospective

With 2019 nearly upon us, we’re going to reflect on 2018, which has been a fantastic year for punters and bookmakers alike. With all the changes and progress made across the board, 2018 has been a year to remember. We’re going to discuss some of the best, worst and new entrants… and more in our Best and Worst Bookmakers of 2018 retrospective.

Most improved Bookmaker

Sunbet, Scorebet, Betxchange and Sportingbet all launched brand new products over the course of the year, and all those mentioned should be proud of what they’ve achieved with their new products. However Sunbet beat out Sportingbet and Scorebet to the top spot due to the complete overhaul they went through with the launch of their new site. The previous iteration of Sunbet was fairly robust but it was dated both visually and functionally. Some of the features added to the site were simple quality of life improvements like Cash Out, Instant Pay and more live markets. These changes propelled Sunbet from the ordinary to the exceptional, impressing us and many of its punters.

Best New Bookmaker

For our best new bookmaker we’ve included bookmakers who are fairly new but are making waves in our local betting pond. One name stands out amongst all the others, GG Gaming. Being a new bookmaker it can be hard to break into the market but GG have hit the ground running with a solid site, excellent support and more promos than a Black Friday at Walmart. It hasn’t been all smooth sailing for GG as there are a few niggles that need to be worked out, but with time they have the potential to compete with the more established bookmakers.

Worst Bookmaker

There are several candidates for the wooden spoon for 2018, but once again there is a bookmaker that stands out. Clickabet, or rather the now defunct Clickabet, who officially shut down in 2018. Clickabet wasn’t the worst bookmaker by any means but the way they handled their closure left a lot to be desired. Customers were simply told to join up with Sportpesa and there was little to no communication as to what would happen with pending bets and funds, leaving punters very frustrated. We’d like to have seen Clickabet stick around but a lack of service and marketing led to them shutting down early. Much to the frustration of punters.

Best Bookmaker Service and Payouts

This section was one of the hardest to pin down a winner. There were several candidates that made our final list for various reasons. Betway, WSB, Sunbet, Playabets and BetOlimp all had quick and helpful customer service, while Hollywoodbets, Playbet & LM Bookmaker had fast payouts. Ultimately it came down to what we experienced in both departments and Playbet came out on top. We had zero, and I mean zero issues with any Playbet withdrawals. Which was very surprising, most of the withdrawals were in our account on the same day. They might not be as attractive as other bookmakers but we’re happy to use them in the knowledge that our money will be paid out fast and they’d price up most markets at our request.

Bookmakers to watch in 2019

We could have dedicated this to an entirely separate article, but decided to give a quick overview on who to keep an eye for in 2019.

WSB : The peoples’ bookie had a relatively quiet 2018 but are due a site upgrade which we hope will come in soon, hopefully bringing goodies like build a bet and cash out. WSB can always be relied on to put out some great promotions and 2019 should be no different, especially as GG Gaming have fired several shots across their bow by offering slightly bigger bonuses.

Sportpesa : It’s hard to browse local soccer sites without coming across a Sportpesa advert, but the new entrant has offered little in the way of markets. Sportpesa launched several months ago with an extremely poor offering of 10 markets per event and no sign up bonus. As of December they’ve increased this to 13 markets, still far below what would be considered a basic offering. Hopefully 2019 sees the bookmaker bring out a sign on offer and a decent market offering. Failing to do so might see them pull a Ladbrokes, even with the backing of their UK arm.

Scorebet : As we mentioned earlier they’ve completely revamped their site, support and offers; changes that mostly flew under the radar. Scorebet could have found themselves in a similar position to Clickabet had they not rolled out these changes, but they’ve learnt from the market and should be well positioned for a strong 2019 as more punters give them a go.

BetOlimp : BetOlimp have quietly improved their site and offering over the last few months. Increasing their sign on offer and moving to trade markets that they previously didn’t cover. With a new App and other features on the way they could find themselves sitting on a really solid product and we’ll be watching their 2019 progress closely.

Topbet : We’ve have it on good authority that Topbet will be doing a complete overall of their current site, bringing it up to date and loading it with all the features punters want. We can’t tell when exactly this will happen but we know it will be soon. If their new site is anywhere near as good as what they offer in their stores then we’ll certainly be in for a treat. When they do launch we’ll have a review up for our readers.

Bettabets : You might not have heard of Bettabets outside of their stores but rumour has it that they’ll be changing things up with a more competitive product in the New Year. They’re primarily a retail based operation but we’re expecting big things. We’re yet to post a review of their current offering, but once again we’ll keep you informed as soon as they’ve launched!

Before we end our retrospective, we’d like to be clear that the above is merely our opinion and your mileage may vary. However we’d love to know who made your list as the best and worst of 2018 in the comments below. We’d also like to wish our readers a fantastic festive season and a profitable 2019. Without your support none of this would have been possible.

 

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brad

a follow-up article (and awards) should be the xmas offerings from all the brokers some great effort been made by… Read more »

Seasoned

Anyone able to shed some light on why sportpesa have such limited betting on soccer?

Brad

why does it matter? that’s the product they want to put out there. some great odds from time to time… Read more »

Brett_J

I lived in the UK for 3 years and used them there but the sa version is nothing like the… Read more »

brad

Bet X offer deposit bonuses?????????
now you tell me
are we talking big deposit?

brad

Sportpesa come up with some very competitive pricing, like this weekend Arsenal (if i am remembering correctly) at 1.27 when… Read more »

Playbet

Playbet is at 1.28 🙂 Arsenal vs Burnley

brad

great retort Playbet
great pricing too

brad

of your account or mine 😉

brad

don’t be shy in having the biggest bonuses in SA too

Playbet

We’re putting a lot of work on that specific department. We’ll definitely make some noise soon.

brad

I’ll save some of this years bonus money for your offering

Playbet

We’ll do some closed beta tests with real money early next year. We’ll give out a few codes to some… Read more »

brad

i’m not admin @BSBZA in case you are wondering

Playbet

We didn’t assume so 🙂 But we do wonder if we are engaging on Whatsapp 🙂

brad

you’d be correct with that assumption

brad

having a torrid time with Interbet today, bonus on their xmas promo just not paid, help desk says IT issues,… Read more »

New

What about Gbets? Should I create a account there guys? I have account at hollywood and supabets.

Mike

if you are happy with supabets then you should be fine

Mike

worst bookmakers – gamebet – these guys are just not cool….advertise odds and then don’t accept your bet, customer support… Read more »

Thomas

Are supabets that bad? Gamebet should be shut down by the gambling board, it’s almost like a scam. There are… Read more »

Mike

I am really surprised Morrisvee isn’t on the list as most improved, newcomer or anything…found them in 2018, some great… Read more »

Jock

I think this is very relative to the type of punter you are. I want books who take big bets… Read more »

Scott

Personally Hollywoodbets are the worst that I’ve ever used. Site looks like it’s still in the 2000s and their call… Read more »

brad

it’s great to see you writing about the good and the bad in SA but have you ever looked at… Read more »

Scott

Can’t really bet overseas as a saffer, FNB blocks my deposits and few accept PayPal. Are you able to bet… Read more »

brad

no but have mates in the uk that LOVE to tell me about the great offers they get…bet boosts and… Read more »

brad

…d they’d price up most markets at our request….what do you mean by this? they’d match prices from other bookies?

brad

sunbets used to have great price boosts and free bet/deposit bonuses, now for the last while NOTHING. dunno if you… Read more »

Koma

No Hollywood? I use them everyday and I love them.

Wakey Wakey

Maybe 2019 set your targets high and BSB figure out how getting stake back and playthrough requirements actually work. Total… Read more »

Mbizo

Hollywoodbets are the best with odds and they pay the same day too. My worst is Supabets, they must pack… Read more »

Kevin

Best : GG gaming, service and promotions second to none. Excellent job. Worst : Gbets or Esbn, useless and no… Read more »

Mbizo

Gbeta never gave me my R100, also on of worst and their call center is not helping.