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Most people in the UK and Ireland will have heard of Sky Bet, as it is advertised heavily across the Sky TV network and in the national press. Covering all of the most popular forms of online betting, Sky Bet is the sportsbook, with Sky Vegas being the casino, while Sky Poker and Sky Bingo complete the line up. The betting sites are easy to navigate, with simple links to each section and, like many of the best operators, Sky offers customers the facility to access all areas with just one account.
Whichever part of the Sky site is being used, players can expect to see a generous selection of sports, games and promotions; the company is big enough to operate as a standalone site without the need to belong to a network of almost identical places to get enough traffic - bingo excepted. They even have dedicated TV channels which, for example, show ongoing poker tournaments, and of course, Sky Sports will show many of the games that punters have placed bets on. Based in Isleworth, Middlesex, they operate under gaming licenses issued in Alderney, which gives customers a guarantee that games are fair, and that their funds are safe.
Sky Bet offers a very good selection of betting opportunities over an extensive range of sports. Horse and greyhound racing, football from the UK and Europe, golf, tennis, motorsports and cricket are all featured as well as some less well known ones like handball, ice hockey and Ultimate Fighting Championship. There are sections covering Gaelic games, TV and film specials and a selection of virtual sports should a player not find a real one to suit.
Like many online sportsbooks, Sky Bet offers new customers a free bet but, unlike others, it also features a Free Bets Club where anyone making a qualifying wager in the previous 7 days will get an extra free bet the following week. Other special offers include the unique and free Super 6 game which has a jackpot prize for guessing 6 correct football scores, daily horse racing promotions and a fantasy football game that runs throughout each season. A special Price Boost is offered for certain bets where the best odds can be found; although, there is no best odds guarantee for horse racing events.
Additional services include some top quality tips, news, a betting calculator and the Sky Bet Player where thousands of events are streamed live for viewing on a PC. Sky Bet is one way of viewing selected games without needing a subscription to their sports channels.
Sky Vegas has over 250 games from International Gaming Technologies (IGT), one of the most respected developers in the world. Many IGT titles will be familiar to online casino players with slots like Cleopatra, Rainbow Riches, Deal or No Deal and Pixies of the Forest being amongst the most widely played. Naturally, Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat, poker, video poker and Craps are all here, many with numerous versions - for example, Roulette comes in 3D, Multiball, Multi Wheel, Double Bonus and Pinball versions to name just a few. A live casino has real croupiers at Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat and Casino holdem tables while a mobile version features a number of games that can be played on iPhones and iPads, as well as Android and Windows devices.
Promotions tend to be quite generous, with the new player offer being particularly big; although, this can change as old offers are withdrawn and new ones introduced. Note that existing Sky Bet, Poker or Bingo customers cannot claim the Vegas welcome bonus and there is no loyalty points scheme. There are, however, regular competitions with prizes like cash and electronic goods or cashback deals.
Sky Poker features Texas Holdem and Omaha games at all prices, with good bonuses, a high player volume and the chance to see yourself play on the Sky Poker Channel. They were named Poker Operator of the Year at the prestigious EGR awards ceremony in 2012. A big welcome bonus, a poker Rewards program, a Priority Club for high rollers and lots of special tournaments are all there to attract new players and keep them coming back for more.
The Poker School covers the basics of how to play as well as more advanced subjects such as how to beat small stakes, how to double your money and an Advanced Concepts section. Sky Poker TV can also be watched on a PC by registered players, and it offers further advice and lots of coverage of the action at the tables and tournaments. Sky Poker offers numerous tournaments, with Sit and Gos, Scheduled and satellite versions all available, and the Sky Poker Tour travels across the UK to find the best players who get to compete at the Grand Finals each year for a big prize.
Promotions include a new player welcome bonus, no-deposit bonuses and a loyalty scheme which pays out free bonus funds the more points collected, plus entry to a Priority Club with rakeback offers for those who earn enough points.
Running on the Virtue Fusion network, Sky Bingo offers lots of free games, some decent bonuses for both new and returning customers, a good selection of side games including some famous slots titles and a friendly community with lots of chat.
A packed bingo schedule has a new round starting every few seconds, with 90 ball, 80 ball and 75 ball types all here, plus the special versions that make Virtue Fusion such a popular network like Deal or No Deal and Lucky Numbers. There are Speed games, free games and guaranteed jackpot versions, all of which can be accessed with ease from the lobby area which also links to some of the most widely played slots. These slots include X Factor, Britain's Got Talent, Clover Rollover and Big Top Tombola, as well as a daily free scratch card, Blackjack, Roulette and more. The exclusive Sky Millions game can win players a big jackpot prize, with a fun bonus round included.
Promotions at Sky Bingo include a new player bonus once a first deposit has been made, plus free bingo during the first few days after registration, cashback on certain games, big guaranteed jackpots and a loyalty points system where customers accumulate Bingo Gems which can be swapped for cash or bonuses. Although there is no re-deposit bonus offer, the range of promotions makes Sky Bingo an appealing site for anyone looking to make their money go further.
Most of the credit and debit cards popular in the UK and Ireland can be used to make deposits at any Sky Bet site, as well as a good range of e-wallets; although, no prepaid cards or vouchers can be used. By default, all withdrawn funds are returned to the payment method used to make the deposits and Sky process the requests within 24 hours. However, like any online betting company, they are at the mercy of the card providers when it comes to how quickly the money is back with the customer and it can be 3-5 days before the process is completed. Generally, e-wallets are quicker than credit or debit cards.
Sky Bet has a distinct advantage over a number of the other leading online gaming providers as they have a massive TV presence which reaches into a majority of the households in the UK and Ireland. With the amount of advertising they do, it's no surprise that so many people play with Sky but, if it wasn't backed up by a quality service, it would not stay so popular for very long. Luckily, most of what Sky offer is of a good standard.
Each part of the site is well designed and looks very appealing, with easy access to the various sports and games on offer, while there is often lots of guidance available on how to pla, or where to place bets. The software and games selection on the Vegas, Poker and Bingo sites gives clients a huge choice and, while one account can be used across all parts, it should be noted that once an individual has registered and claimed one welcome bonus, they cannot then go and claim the bonuses across each section.
The bonuses themselves range from the very generous Vegas offerings to the Bingo and Poker deals which are competitive but not outstanding.
|Trusted provider, well known and highly popular.|
|Good range of casino and bingo games, plus a wide selection of sports betting markets.|
|Decent, if unspectacular bonuses.|
|Safe, secure and quick deposit and withdrawal systems.|
|Limited range of poker types.|
|No re-deposit bonus for bingo players.|
|License Number: 38718|
|Registration Number: 601|
Appointed chief executive officer in December 2007, having previously held the position of CFO, Jeremy Darroch is the current CEO of BSkyB which employs over 22,000 people.