Sky Bet Review
Sky Bet is the betting section for the broadcasting powerhouse, BskyB. The bookmaker was set up as yet another extension of this seemingly unstoppable company and since its introduction to the industry in 2000, its gone on to become a real thorn in the side of the UK and Irelands top bookmakers.
It's undoubtable that Sky Bet isn't the biggest in the industry, in fact, far from it. With them only accepting players from the UK and Ireland, it puts them at a massive disadvantage to some of their competitors who have quickly turned into worldwide brands. That being said, the bookmaker have targeted their market and tried to do as well as they can for the territories they are targeting.
What Sky Bet has always managed to do is provide their customers with a good range of promotions. Their welcome bonus is probably one of the easiest to clear, especially in that their terms and conditions for their promotion is a lot less than many of their rivals. You can pick up a free bet worth up to £/€30 when registering a new account with Sky Bet and this is matched on your first qualifying bet.
All that Sky Bet asks is that the bet is made at odds of evens or better and that the market is either a finished first bet (outright winner) or an each way bet. Any deposits made by Moneybookers or Neteller will not be valid for this promotion and there is no timescale in which you have to use your bet by. The bet cannot be split up into multiple bets and needs to be used all once. For any winning free bets neither the original stake nor the free bet stake will be returned, only profits. As Sky Bet only accept players from the UK and Ireland, this promotion also only extends this far.
Another incentive to sign up with Sky Bet has to be the amount of additional promotions the company offer. The majority of them centre around football and horse racing, which isn’t uncommon in UK facing bookmakers, but it does limit a little to those looking to gain extras from outside both these sports.
One of the most interesting and probably most lucrative comes from Sky Bet's Free Bet Club. This is an exclusive club that enables you to earn £10 in free bets every week when you bet with Sky Bet. To qualify you are required to wager at least £50 every week on your account before it will be credited with your free bet of £10. If you fail to wager the amount in just one week, then you will be removed from the club. You can gain entry again by contacting customer support but your minimum play through limit will be increased to £75 a week.
The £50 wager requirement can be made by as many bets as you like but must be at odds of 1/2 or greater. Stakes from free bets aren't included and must come from your personal balance. Bet types that do not count towards the free bet club include Totepool bets, forecasts/tricasts, Lucky 15s, Lucky 31s, Lucky 63s, Patents, Trixies, Yankees, Canadians, Heinzes, Super Heinzes and Goliaths.
You can also play Sky Bet's Super 6 game each week for a chance to win £250,000. It's essentially a glorified competition, but it's completely free to enter and all you need to do is correctly guess the results of 6 football games that Sky Bet have picked for that day. It runs every Saturday throughout the football season and you must get the score exactly correct to win the amount. There is also £5,000 to be won if no one manages to win the jackpot for the highest points scorer for that week (points are awarded for correct results, but not exact score).
Even though targeting just punters from the UK and Ireland makes Sky Bet a smaller bookmaker than some, they still have a site that is jam packed with features to keep even the most fussy of bettors entertained.
Betting Odds and Markets
There is little doubt that Sky Bet promotes more horse racing and football markets than any other on the site. In fact, we would hazard a guess that it equates to more than 80% of their total turnover. This limits other sports quite a bit, although there is still a quite a large range to pick from, market coverage does struggle somewhat.
In terms of odds they are pretty competitive with industry standard. It's likely that in terms of choosing just one bookmaker for almost guaranteed best priced odds across the board Sky Bet probably won't be the best there is, but as a steady alternative for one of markets and even their promotions, they will be a more than handy addition.
Their mobile betting app is actually one of the best deigned that we have come across. It feels modern, light and compact, but best of all it doesn't drain on resources like most apps. In fact, we can even run reasonably well without a 3G connection, which says it all really. The app includes sports and markets from the online site and does an all-round decent job.
Sky Bet does include a reasonably strong live betting section. In terms of depth, it's not as big as some, but what they do have going for them is that they like to link their markets to their Sky Sports TV channels. This integration makes betting and watching the game a real pleasure and even though coverage is lacking, what's there actually works really well.
Sky Bet doesn't actually have live streaming available from their site, but as we mentioned they are obviously heavily linked with Sky Sports, of which you can access their app from mobile devices, and, obviously, from your TV.
The welcome package at Sky Casino (Sky Vegas) is broken down into 2 segments. The first is a free £10 bonus when you register a new account. This will instantly hit your account upon completion of your registration and can be used on all casino games. You will need to wager through the 10 20 times before being able to withdraw and whilst you can play on any game, only slots and instant win games will count 100% towards clearing the bonus, whilst table games will only count 10%.
The second part is your deposit bonus. This is a 200% match on your opening deposit worth up to £1000. To trigger the bonus you simply need to opt in when you register your new account. Any deposit of £10 or more will trigger the bonus, with £10 getting you a £5 bonus. To claim the full amount you need to deposit £500 and a £1,000 bonus will be credited. You can of course deposit more than this if you like, but only the first £500 will be active towards your bonus.
You will get 30 days from opening your account to clearing the bonus in full before it and any winnings gets removed. You will need to play through both your deposit and bonus amount 40 times before it hits your account as withdrawable cash. Any withdrawals made prior to this being hit will result in a forfeit of your bonus. Similar to the £10 welcome gift, you will be able to clear your bonus 100% on slots and instant win games, with only 10% of table games contributing towards your clearing requirements.
Each week Sky Vegas will offer you a bonus boost to top up your account. It simply requires you to make a deposit of £30 or more and they will top up your account with a £20 bonus. You need to opt-in to the bonus when you make your deposit and you will have to wager through the amount 20 times before being able to withdraw any funds. Again, slots and instant win games count 100% towards clearing, whilst table games will count 10%.
Throughout your time at Sky Vegas, the more you play the more you will be rewarded. For those who play regularly on site you will be awarded a Golden ticket which gets you entry into the weekly prize draw to potentially walk away with £25,000 in cash. 500 tickets are awarded each day and once you get one ticket you will entered into the weekly draw every week, for you chance to share the £3milllion prize pool and the £25,000 first prize jackpot.
Software and Games
Sky Vegas use a multitude of software providers to offer up one of the most comprehensive ranges of casino games in the industry. These include Amaya, NetEnt, IGT, Novomatic and PlayTech. With this comes a plethora of games and a casino that is available in both instant browser mode and also downloadable to Windows PC’s.
It’s also possible to get Sky Vegas on your mobile, via their dedicated app for both iOS and Android devices. All games that see on their desktop casino can be found on the mobile version as well, making it extremely well rounded.
The table games kick off with the likes of blackjack and roulette, with each carrying over a number of variants for you to peruse. On top of that you can also get Caribbean Stud Poker, Video Poker, 3 Card Brag, Jokers Wild and Deal or No Deal Blackjack and roulette.
You’re going to have access to over 200 slots at Sky Vegas and their affiliation with both NetEnt and PlayTech means that you can access some of the best titles in the industry, such as Snakes and Ladders, South Park, Viz and Winstar, to name but a few. A night feature on the main casino site is the ability to play slots for free to get a feel for how they work before depositing money into them.
Another massive advantage of using so many software companies is the ability to tap into their jackpot games. At Sky Vegas you’ll be looking to get around 40 different jackpots, each with ranging numbers in terms of how much you can win. The majority of the more popular titles such as Siberian Storm, Plants v Zombies and Cleopatra will often get well in excess of £1million paying out for their jackpot.
When registering a new account with Sky Bingo you will be able to claim up to £35 wroth or goodies. The first part is a £25 bonus when you deposit just £5 and create a new account,. The bonus will hit your account immediately upon completion of the deposit. The bonus is non-withdrawable, but any winnings from the bonus can be kept as long as you play through your bonus amount 3 times prior to withdrawing.
The second part is a £10 Rainbow riches card. The card will allow you to enter the Rainbow Riches room and essentially play any game you like with the card until your money has run out. Again, any winnings you receive from the card will need to be played through 3 times prior to withdrawing.
At Sky Bingo they offer up new promotions every month for there players. The best thing to do is to keep checking back on the site to see which promotions are currently running. This might include, but aren’t exclusive to cash giveaways, bonus offers, triple points games, increased prize pools and bingo jackpots.
If money is a bit tight, but you still want to play bingo then you might well be suited to signing up with Sky Bingo. Basically, every month Sky offer up over £20,00 worth of cash prizes to games that are completely free to enter. Some games will require qualification for, some are just free to enter but prizes are often pretty lucrative given that you don’t need to spend a penny to enter.
Software and Games
The bingo section of Sky is powered by Virtue Fusion, who are a sister company to the casino powerhouse, PlayTech. The software is undoubtedly some of the best in the business and the games are designed to work on a number of platforms, including instant browser play and also mobile.
The mobile app can be downloaded straight from the Sky Bingo website, but if you have an iOS device then you can also access this via the App Store.
The games on offer include 90, 80 and 75 ball variants, along with speed, cash cubes (mobile only), rainbow riches, lucky numbers, deal or no deal, joker jackpot and Who wants to be a millionaire.
As with all sections of the Sky betting platform, the poker room offers up a more than generous welcome offer to its players. The first part is a 200% deposit bonus, which is worth up to £500. The bonus can be accessed by simply making a deposit and then you need to start earning Poker Points at the real money tables to release it. For every 250 points that you earn you will receive £10 of your bonus into your account. You need to clear the full amount of your bonus within 30 days otherwise any unclaimed bonus will be removed from your account.
The second part is essentially a £10 tournament ticket. This will be credited to your account before even making your first deposit and can be used on any tournament within the Sky Poker section.
Sky Poker Rewards
The rewards system at Sky means that you can earn points every time you play a real money game. The points that you earn will rack up and you can then use them from within the sky store to earn freeroll entries, MTT tokens and even rakeback, every week.
The rakeback system works in 4 tiers and to get into this system you need to earn at least 10,000 poker points each month. This will set you off at the Bronze level where you will receive 10% rakeback fro your efforts. Moving through the ranks will see you get to Silver after 20,000 points earning 12.5% rakeback, Gold at 30,000 earning 15% rakeback then Platinum at 50,000 getting you 20% rakeback.
Software and Games
Sky Poker is powered by Orbis Technology, which isn’t exactly the largest poker network in the industry. But, Sky Poker has always been about the quality of their punter rather than the quality, which gives the quieter tables more of a community feel as you often see similar faces each night.
The poker room can be accessed via a download version for PC and Mac or alter natively via their mobile Poker app, which can be accessed on all smartphone devices.
The games on offer are fairly standard in that you get Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo for your cash games and tournaments, but also variations such as 6 max, heads up, pol limit, spin up and even televised games can be played via their inclusive Sky Poker TV channel.
About Sky Bet
Sky Bet has been around since 2000 in one form or another and since then have gone on to become a real powerhouse in the UK gambling industry. What makes the company fairly unique in this day and age is the fact that they only really cater for UK customers, with a couple of European countries thrown in for good measure. This works well for punters within the UK as they tend to like the more focussed betting options and promotions a company like Sky Bet tends to offer.
In 2014 it was announced that Sky were going to be selling a good chunk of the company to CVC Capital Partners. In fact, they sold 80% of their gaming platform to them in a deal worth £800million, whilst Sky still kept a 20% stokehold in or order to make sure things were still being run under the ‘Sky’ brand.
As a fairly standard progression, Sky introduced Sky Vegas in 2003, their online casino platform which has really gone from strength to strength in that time. They started with just 3 games at that time and now host hundreds, as you can read above. The poker room was also started around the same time, and in 2007 it really upped its game by adding a dedicated TV channel for the site, which still remains today.
The company, based in the UK are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.
Banking & Payment Methods
A decent range of banking methods are on offer with all the usual suspects such as Visa, MasterCard, Maestro plus the bigger branded e-wallets such as Neteller, Moneybookers and even PayPal.