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.
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.