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Betfred Review

Betfred was established in 1967 in the Manchester area by brothers Peter and Fred Done. By the beginning of this century, it had expanded to over 200 high street bookmakers shops, and in 2004, the online sportsbook was launched. This has now grown to cover all areas of online gambling, so there are casino, bingo, poker, Lotto and virtual betting opportunities all accessed from the main website.

Although the main corporate headquarters remain in the UK, in common with most operators, the online part of Betfred is based in Gibraltar, mainly due to the favourable tax laws which allow companies to offer better odds. A further benefit to customers is that the conditions of a Gibraltar gambling license ensure the security of personal and account details, independent auditing of games for fairness and full protection of deposited funds. All online operations are run through a company called Petfre (Gibraltar) Ltd, who emphasise their commitment to the core values of the Betfred brand.

The website is cleanly designed, unfussy and its blue background and lack of flashing images is deliberately chosen to be easy on the eyes.

Sportsbook

Sports betting remains central to the operations of Betfred and they offer all major, and many minor, sports from around the world. Being a UK focused site, just about every British sporting event is covered, and their coverage of European, US and Australian sports, which used to be fairly limited, has recently improved to almost match the range of games offered by their competitors. As well as a full horse racing, football, cricket and rugby schedule, Betfred customers will also find ice hockey, Aussie rules football, handball and a good selection of special bets on politics, entertainment and royalty.

The In Play service has a useful feature which shows which way the money is going on any game or race currently in progress, as well as the odds for the next goal scorer or game winner, final scores and over/under odds.

As well as a football analyser to help customers make their selections, there is live commentary on the major events of the day; however, there is no live video streaming.

A decent, if unspectacular, range of promotions, free bets, cashback offers and bonuses can help to make it even more profitable to play here. Typical examples of promotions include free bets for new customers, refunds if the chosen horse finishes 4th, double odds offers if selected players score twice in a football match and big payouts if several matches have goals scored in the first 30 minutes.

Casino

Available in desktop, mobile and live versions, the Betfred Casino uses Playtech software which provides 200 games. Playtech software is very realistic and the range of slots, particularly TV and film based titles, is good. The only downside to Playtech games is that because they are so good, many online casinos have chosen to use them, so players may have seen these games at numerous other places. However, Betfred Casino does offer some better than average promotions and this will often include a no deposit bonus for new sign ups, plus a welcome bonus of up to several hundred pounds. Regular players can claim further deposit bonuses on certain days of the week which can quickly add up to some significant sums, and there is a loyalty points scheme here which earns extra credits every time a player places a bet. Casino games include:

  • Roulette
  • Blackjack
  • Video Poker
  • Craps
  • Baccarat
  • Scratchcards
  • Progressive Jackpot

Slots featuring Iron Man, Rocky, Frankie Dettori, The Pink Panther, King Kong, The Incredible Hulk, Little Britain, The Sopranos and Cowboys and Aliens are all available, plus many others, all with different combinations of free bonus rounds, win multipliers and jackpot prizes. Slots like Beach Life and Gladiator can pay out progressive jackpots of well over £1,000,000 and there are several others that offer £100,000s in winnings.

The live casino provides Roulette, Baccarat, Blackjack and Casino holdem with real dealers in a real casino, while the mobile version has a limited number of the most popular titles.

Poker

Also running Playtech software, Betfred Poker is part of the iPoker network which a large number of online sites use, making it Europe's most popular choice. By being part of a big network, more players are online at any one time, meaning bigger prizes and a wider range of buy ins can be found. The software looks good and runs smoothly, with chat features, a History function and the ability to play up to 8 tables at a time. New players can expect to get a welcome bonus which gets released as they buy into tournaments or post the big blind on a cash table, while regular players can take advantage of re-deposit bonuses, and the 'Your Career' loyalty scheme, which rewards them with extra bonuses and tournaments the more they play. No deposit bonuses are also frequently offered.

Games include Texas Holdem, Seven Card Stud, Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo at Fixed Limit, Pot Limit or No limit tables, plus Speed Poker, lots of freerolls where players do not need to pay to join and satellite tournaments which can gain entry to major poker events. Like many poker sites affiliated with high street bookmakers, there are lots of inexperienced players at Betfred Poker so the useful New Players Guide is essential reading for anyone who has not played before.

Bingo

The Bingo site is part of the Virtue Fusion network, which Betfred chose over the Playtech alternative as more players are online at any time and more promotions can be offered. The site is well designed and new players can get started in just a few minutes. When a player signs up to Betfred Bingo, they can expect to get several times their first deposit amount in extra bonus funds up to certain limits, while re-deposit bonuses are very generous. Other promotions include cashback offers, refer a friend bonuses and loyalty points that are accumulated with every game played and can be converted into extra bingo funds. A good range of side games, like Roulette, scratch cards and slots can be played without leaving the Bingo site.

Virtual Sports

Unlike many places, the virtual sports are presented in their own part of the Betfred site and include horse racing, greyhounds, motor sport, speedway and football, with a new sport starting every 3 minutes. The virtual site is designed to be played beside the main areas so there are no special promotions or offers here, although the quality is good and it has proved to be a popular place to play.

Games

Betfred provides a huge selection of slots and casino games from alternative developers. Although bonuses are smaller than the main casino site, there are still loyalty points to be claimed and prize draws to enter.

Lotto

The Lotto site gives players the opportunity to bet on the UK, Euromillions, Irish and Spanish lottery results, plus a 49s twice daily draw. Like all similar sites, the bets are not placed with the actual lottery providers; instead, matched numbers win prizes, with higher wins for more matches.

Banking

Payments are accepted in 16 different currencies from most countries, except the USA. Most popular credit and debit cards can be used, as well as a number of money transfer methods and prepaid vouchers. From the UK, withdrawing funds is quick and simple, although players from other countries may need to supply ID before money can be taken back out.

Conclusion

Betfred have developed a quality site covering most of the betting opportunities that anyone will ever need. The sports betting site covers all of the major events, but is just lacking a few of the more unusual sports that can be found elsewhere. They have selected different software suppliers and networks for each part of the site to give customers the best in each area; for example, although Playtech provide what is widely regarded as the best casino software, Betfred dropped the Playtech bingo software in 2010 as the Virtue Fusion offering was seen as better for players. This is a long established, trusted company that has much to recommend.

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