At the heart of sports broadcasting in Britain since the 1990s, Sky’s impact on the sport – and especially football – has been huge. In the early years, the TV company’s money bankrolled the Premier League and football subscriptions powered a media giant. Sky Bet is a logical extension of the brand – but is it backing a winner?
One thing that really sets Sky Bet apart from the competition is powerful branding. Sky TV has a huge number of famed pundits, and they feature prominently on the site. Similarly, the trademark football shows are also channelled at the bookmaker, with popular anchorman Jeff Stelling featuring prominently. That immediately gives Sky Bet a distinctive feel, especially for football fans. It also means that while you’re watching the shows, you’re likely to get a fair amount of subtle encouragement to have a flutter – fine when it’s a bit of fun, but not so good for customers struggling to keep their betting under control.
Sky Bet also has a high profile sponsorship arrangement with the English Football League – the three tiers of pro soccer below the Premier League. Bearing in mind that, when fans are allowed into games, the Championship competes with the French top flight for a place among Europe’s top five best-supported leagues, that’s some marketing reach. Thus, it’s no surprise that football plays a big part in the Sky Bet offer.
Sky Bet opts for a spacious layout. There’s plenty going on, but it doesn’t feel overpowering at first sight.
That’s partly a question of familiarity. The standard features are all present and correct and are where you’d expect to find them. Sky Bet, like many sites, has a left-hand sidebar steering you to different sports, a bet slip – plus details of any free bets – to the right-hand side and details of promos, boosts and the like scrolling across the top of the page. It won’t be winning any prizes for innovation, but if it ain’t broke, Sky Bet ain’t going to waste time trying to fix it.
If you like a stream of your game, and if Sky Bet can offer it, you’ll find the screen size is bigger than average – check out this image from an Italian Cup tie between SPAL and Monza. More good stuff – the game you’re watching will stay on screen as you move around the site, so you don’t lose track of the action while researching another wager.
One small gripe – switching the odds format could be easier. Many bookie sites offer a simple toggle somewhere near your account balance. Sky Bet, though, needs you to click on the balance to get to your account details, then scroll down to ‘edit account details’, select ‘Odds Format’ and finally get to where you want to be. Then, after selecting your preferred format, you need to log out and log back in again. That’s a long-winded process that could be solved in half the time.
It should come as no surprise that Sky Bet covers a wide range of different sports – and goes deep into the lesser-known markets. In terms of the sheer range of activity to bet on, Sky Bet is up with the likes of Bet365.
The weakness comes in the odds. It’s rare to find Sky Bet among the best prices on any market, and at times – especially for big events – the odds can be among the worst on offer. Take, for example, the PSG vs RB Leipzig Champions League tie. At 1.57 about pre-game favourite PSG, Sky Bet was adrift of all major competitors; nobody else had less than 1.6 about a home win. It was a similar story about the draw, with 4.33 equalled on some sites, but nothing lower available. A Leipzig win at 5.0 was at least in line with the market, but overall it doesn’t add up to a value proposition.
On the in-play markets, things are encouraging. There’s a lot of live-action to bet on, and plenty of streams to help you follow it – in particular, the horses are well covered, even if you’re following a race in distant Chile. Plus, as noted above, the size and quality of streamed images are great – a pleasure to watch on a laptop. Cash-out is present and correct, if not hugely generous. For games without live images, Sky Bet offers a straightforward animation plus a decent selection of stats. Unfortunately, this is not always available in other sports – at least not for low-level fixtures. Proceed with caution if you’re looking at Kuwaiti basketball or Russian women’s ice hockey.
Sky Bet also offers all the casino options you’d expect, as well as poker, bingo and lotto. Another fun game, with a potential £250,000 prize is the Soccer Saturday Super 6. Here, the afore-mentioned Jeff Stelling picks out six games from Saturday’s coupon and challenges you to guess as many correct scores as possible. The best predictions can claim a share of that big prize fund. It’s a long shot, of course, but it’s free to enter. On selected Sunday’s there’s a follow up with big cash prizes for predicting the number of goals, corners and cards in Sky’s Super Sunday televised match.
Football lovers might also relish the Fantasy Football package included free of charge. The format is familiar enough – select 11 players who you think will have a big (positive!) impact on the weekend’s Premier League action and watch as they tot up points for goals, assists, tackles, saves, clean sheets and the like. If your team collects enough points over the course of the season, Sky Bet will give out prizes worth up to £50,000. It’s something of a long-term commitment, although there are monthly competitions and a knock-out cup to keep the interest alive even if your managerial skills prove to be more Steve Bruce than Jurgen Klopp.
If the horses are more your thing, have a look at the ITV 7. It’s a bit like fantasy horse-racing: pick a horse for seven races on today’s cards and, if they all win, you’ll scoop a share of a jackpot that often clears five figures. Sky Bet also has consolation prizes for the best performer each day if nobody nails a magnificent seven.
If betting on the move is your thing, Sky Bet’s apps will surely be of interest. You can find Android and iOS versions of the site in the relevant stores, although you’ll need to download separate apps for the sportsbook, casino, bingo etc.
The Sky Bet welcome bonus is a generous one: bet £5, get 2x£10 bet tokens, plus anything you might win from that opener. The only ‘catch’ is that your first bet must be at evens or higher, so you won’t get away with a sneaky in-play back on a team that’s 2-0 up midway through the second half. There’s no time limit on using those freebies, a rare benefit, and after placing my qualifying bet I was credited with my freebies right away – no waiting around for the original punt to settle and, presumably, no restriction on cashing out your bet early.
That initial £5 bet can also be put towards your first entry at the Sky Bet Club. This weekly promotion promises a £5 free bet if you stake £25 in total. Bets can be on any sport and can be placed before the action or in play. Again, there’s a minimum stake requirement and this time cashed-out bets won’t count. It’s similar to the Paddy Power bet club, although PP allows qualifying bets with shorter odds. Opting into Sky Bet also qualifies customers for an enhanced odds to bet each day – at the time of writing, this took a 2/1 shot about four different players having a shot on target in the evening’s Champions League action and boosted it to 3/1. There are 10 free spins on offer as well, after staking £30 on the slots.
Regular offers involve boosted odds for football and horse racing, free spins at Sky Vegas tied to goals scored in one of the day’s big football matches and so-called ‘surge days’ where lovers of the slots can harvest bigger wins than usual via a range of different promos. There’s a daily spin on the prize machine for a chance of small prizes – a free scratchcard, free spins on a slot or a few pennies in cash – and Sky Bet Casino also offers a similar spin with bigger prizes for punters staking £10 or more on slots that day.
Less frequent, but more valuable, are offers of a free £5 bet when betting in-play on selected football markets, usually tied to the big game of the day. Depending on your tactics, you might use the freebie as instant insurance for your original punt, or you can hold it indefinitely until you see the bet that you want to get into.
There is a three-stage process before you can join Skybet, but none of the queries is complicated. Step one is all about personal details: name, DoB, contact details. Step two collects account details: user name, security question, a PIN code to log in to your account and a chance to opt into promotional mailings. Step three deals with attaching a bank card and invites you to make your first deposit – at this stage, customers can also set a deposit limit. And that’s the end – you’re ready to place your first bet.
The security process feels a bit more complicated here, compared with other counts. That’s probably not a bad thing. In addition, SkyBet reserves the right to ask for additional verification of each customer’s identity. Therefore, in some cases, new accounts will be frozen until the user can submit scans of the requested documents – a piece of a photo ID and proof of address usually suffices.
It’s worth noting that Sky Bet operates in a limited number of territories – basically the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar. Sky Bet Deutschland, as the same suggests, is licensed for punters in Germany. However, for much of the world, this is a closed book at the present time.
With relatively few countries able to access Skybet.com, it’s no surprise that accounts are only managed in Euros or Sterling. Cash is easy to deposit using most major debit cards but following recent changes, it is no longer possible to add Pay Pal or other electronic wallets to your Sky Bet account. If you use a card, Sky Bet requires a minimum deposit of £5 and a minimum withdrawal of £10. The minimum stake at Sky Bet is 5p.
Like most bookies, Sky Bet has payout limits. The highest limits are on football – specifically the big European and international competitions – and golf, where you can win up to £500,000 in a day. Other major sports – horse racing, cricket, rugby – have a cap of £250,000. More niche events have lower limits, with wrestling at £10,000 coming in at the foot of the ranking.
Security and reputation
Sky Bet is regulated by the authorities in the UK and on Alderney, the Channel Island where the parent company is based for tax purposes. As such, there are no serious questions about its integrity as a bookmaker. Data security is handled in partnership with Verisign SSL – although this info is not easy to find on the site – while the gaming offer is handled by familiar names in the industry, ensuring fair and reliable gameplay.
Away from the technical stuff, Sky Bet did get into hot water with the Advertising Standards Agency over its promotions for its Build-a-Bet service. The ASA initially found that ads for this feature placed an undue emphasis on gamblers’ ‘level of control over the outcome of a bet’, although a subsequent review under new guidance later ruled the advertising acceptable.
It’s easy to see why Sky Bet is one of the most popular gambling sites around. A good sign-up bonus and the potential to collect plenty more free bets as you go makes this an attractive option for any punter. Throw in good quality streams and a huge range of markets on which to bet, and there’s plenty to get excited about – and that’s before we even look at the extras like the ITV 7 or the Soccer Saturday Super 6.
If there’s room for a gripe, we might note that the betting club is less generous than Paddy Power’s equivalent – minimum odds of even money for qualifying bets are a tougher ask than the 1.5 that Paddy demands – and the pre-game odds are not always the most competitive in the market. Overall, though, this is an account well worth adding to the arsenal of any serious punter.
Sky Bet operates only in English.
Products and apps
Sky Bet offers Sky Bet for Sports Betting on Football & Horse Racing, Sky Vegas, Sky Bingo, Sky Lotto, Sky Casino, Sky Live Casino and Sky Poker services. Only Sky Lotto and Sky Live Casino options are not designed as apps available for Android and iOS platforms, though they are available in the mobile version. Sky Bet: Sports Betting on Football & Horse Racing offers the same services as the web version including live translation, match centre, deposit & withdrawal options and 24/7 live support.
You can fund deposits in Sky Bet via VISA, VISA Electron, Mastercard, Maestro, Nationwide and Barclays debit cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay. The minimum deposit sum is £5. The maximum is unlimited. The processing time is instant. No commission is held by the bookmaker for deposits.
The withdrawal can be made only through above-mentioned debit cards methods. The minimum withdrawal is £10. The maximum amount is unlimited for all except for Nationwide and Barclays debit cards (£1500 per transaction). These 2 payment methods are a part of Sky Bet Fast Withdrawal scheme and the withdrawal processing takes up to 2 hours. However, the processing time of other debit cards takes from 2 to 5 business days. No commission is held by the bookmaker for withdrawals.
Sky Bet accept only Euros and British pounds.
Sky Bet offers 3 ways to contact with its support team: Facebook Messenger, Twitter (@SkyBetHelp) and live chat.
Sky Bet is licenced and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission under Sky UK Limited. The bookmaker company also owns the Alderney Gambling Control Commission licence.
The UK Gambling Commission
🔗 How long does it take to withdraw funds from Skybet?
Withdrawals typically take between 2 – 5 days. If your bank is a partner of the Fast Withdrawal Scheme, Barclays or Nationwide, debit cards are refunded within the space of 2 hours.
🎁 How can a user get free bets on Sky Bet?
As a Skybet welcome offer, new users will receive £20 in free bets when staking £5 on a single or each-way bet. This will be credited in 2 x £10 increments after you have staked £5 on a single or each-way bet at odds of greater than 1/1.
✏️ How can I make multiple Sky Bet accounts?
It is the policy of Skybet not to allow multiple accounts per customer. If a customer is found to have more than one account, Skybet reserves the right to immediately close this account and may refuse new account registration for the same customer.
🗺️ How many games are there in the Sky Bet championship?
The Skybet championship runs annually from August to the following May. There are a total of 46 games as all participating 24 teams play each other twice, once at home and once away.