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.

 

46 comments

  1. a follow-up article (and awards) should be the xmas offerings from all the brokers

    some great effort been made by some (interbet, playabets, sportingbet, gggaming, bet.co.za for long term stuff), absolute disappointment from many..including the now infamous offer by Sunbet to NEW CUSTOMERS only!! ?

    there’s around 25 online bookies, you should rank them at least they get some feedback that might help them change their habits (and make more money)

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

    1. why does it matter? that’s the product they want to put out there. some great odds from time to time on EPL so if less markets mean better prices then I’m all for it

      1. I lived in the UK for 3 years and used them there but the sa version is nothing like the sportpesa in the UK. Betway SA had the same trouble but they’ve done well in distinguishing themselves over time.

        I’ve signed up with them but they don’t seem to have any active promotions so I’m going to wait until I deposit. My 2c.

        For me personally Betx are great as they haven’t limited me and often give me a bonus offer for my deposit if I ask.

        Worst are these sites that all look the same, like track and ball, Mobi Bets etc. Not sure how they remain competitive with such a basic and boring book.

        Anyhow thank you for the interesting read.

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

        2. Sportpesa come up with some very competitive pricing, like this weekend Arsenal (if i am remembering correctly) at 1.27 when everyone else is 1.25 or lower….in the long run those tinies help the bottom line

          1. Playbet is at 1.28 ? Arsenal vs Burnley

          2. great retort Playbet
            great pricing too

          3. Best Sports Betting says:

            Also one of the fastest withdrawals in SA 🙂

          4. of your account or mine ?

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

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

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

          8. We’ll do some closed beta tests with real money early next year. We’ll give out a few codes to some great influencers such as the admin @BSBZA so watch this space 🙂

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

          10. We didn’t assume so ? But we do wonder if we are engaging on Whatsapp ?

          11. you’d be correct with that assumption

  3. having a torrid time with Interbet today, bonus on their xmas promo just not paid, help desk says IT issues, and I must be patient!!!

    heard anything from other followers?

    1. Best Sports Betting says:

      We wanted to publish the promo but they’ve had issues in the past with them so we decided not to. They do look great though, the offers that is! Hopefully they’ll sort it soon as they’re running daily specials, which should be credited on the day!

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

    1. if you are happy with supabets then you should be fine

  5. worst bookmakers – gamebet – these guys are just not cool….advertise odds and then don’t accept your bet, customer support oftens just does not answer. gamebet only pays out to skrill account. only accept credit card deposits via skrill.

    well worth avoiding

    1. Are supabets that bad? Gamebet should be shut down by the gambling board, it’s almost like a scam. There are lots I could name that are terrible and only a handful that are good. I’ll stick to Sportingbet, Betxchange and Hollywoodbets as they mostly meet my needs when it comes to horse racing and rugby.

  6. I am really surprised Morrisvee isn’t on the list as most improved, newcomer or anything…found them in 2018, some great odds, awesome service

    1. Best Sports Betting says:

      Morris Vee are a solid all round bookmaker Mike, we certainly recommend using them. They weren’t included in the list as they’re not new and haven’t gone through a major overhaul. We do have them on list that’s set to be published on Monday, so keep an eye out for that.

  7. I think this is very relative to the type of punter you are. I want books who take big bets at decent odds. Hollywood, Interbet and GGGaming are head and shoulders above the rest in this regard. The absolute worst hands down no questions asked is WSB. Thanks for a great site and keep the articles coming.

    1. Best Sports Betting says:

      Hi Jock, that’s definitely true. Many books are averse to taking large stakes, but the majority of punters don’t bet that big. We tried to keep the article as balanced in that regard as we could. We do have an article coming out in the new year focused on larger stakes, so keep an eye out for it. Thanks for comment and we are glad you enjoying our site.

  8. Personally Hollywoodbets are the worst that I’ve ever used. Site looks like it’s still in the 2000s and their call center operators are unhelpful. My best is definitely Betxchange, suprised they didn’t win your most improved bookmaker. Good read though, thank you.

    1. Best Sports Betting says:

      As we stated your mileage may vary 🙂 never had any major hiccups at Hollywood. Betx were a strong contender but they botched their launch a few months back.

  9. it’s great to see you writing about the good and the bad in SA but have you ever looked at the wonderful promotions, pricing etc from UK Bookies? WOW SA is way behind on how to get every last rand out of it’s punters

    1. Best Sports Betting says:

      We’re keen but have decided to rather focus on SA for now as our audeien e is 95% from SA. You’re right though, the retention offers in the UK are ridiculously good.

    2. Can’t really bet overseas as a saffer, FNB blocks my deposits and few accept PayPal. Are you able to bet overseas Brad?

      1. no but have mates in the uk that LOVE to tell me about the great offers they get…bet boosts and reload offers like you can’t believe..and lets not get started on the competitive odds they all offer. bookies seem to work hard to have you bet with them rather than the competition.

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

    1. Best Sports Betting says:

      We’ve regularly asked them to price up markets that aren’t always available locally, they’ve also just hired a dedicated rugby and cricket trader so there’ll be alot more markets in 2019.

  11. sunbets used to have great price boosts and free bet/deposit bonuses, now for the last while NOTHING. dunno if you can be number 1 in that instance

    1. Best Sports Betting says:

      Hi Brad, Sunbet have improved dramatically over the last year, we haven’t rated them as the best but rather the most improved.

      1. i’ll give you that one

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

  13. Wakey Wakey says:

    Maybe 2019 set your targets high and BSB figure out how getting stake back and playthrough requirements actually work. Total size is almost irrelevent when there are some absolute shitehawks not even giving stake back on ‘free bets’ (cough cough WSB).

    1. Best Sports Betting says:

      Hi Wakey, there is a lot of talk around that bonus and it’s frustrating that punters do get stuck with it if they don’t know better. We did a simple explanation post a while back detailing how one needs to meet wagering : https://www.bestsportsbetting.co.za/how-to-wager-a-bonus/

      We’re also moving over to a more comprehensive review system where we can list required playthrough and odds early next year. Hopefully it’ll give punters more clarification on the bonuses they sign up for. Wagering usually doesn’t bother us too much but we’re definitely the exception.

  14. Hollywoodbets are the best with odds and they pay the same day too. My worst is Supabets, they must pack up and leave.

  15. Best : GG gaming, service and promotions second to none. Excellent job.

    Worst : Gbets or Esbn, useless and no service!

    Interesting article, I’ll have to try Sunbet and Sportpesa next.

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

      1. Best Sports Betting says:

        Hi Mbizo, please contact Bgets customer support directly with your query, they should be able to assist.

    2. Best Sports Betting says:

      Thanks for the feedback Kevin!

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