Sky like to call themselves “the home of football”. This is where football has found a home for many years in the UK, not to mention across Europe as countless foreign channels streaming their offerings. In recent years, Sky have also been a great source for live cricket, with a dedicated TV channel created to cover the Cricket World Cup and with countless live domestic games as well.
But what about Sky’s betting arm, SkyBet? They have managed to become the kings of televised sport, but what happens when that sport is transferred to a betting environment; do this media giant standup to betting companies like Ladbrokes that have existed for over 100 years and online giants like Bet365 that have taken the industry by storm?
SkyBet was founded by Sky Plc, the same company made famous for broadcasting live sports games to viewers around the world. In 2014, they were actually sold to CVC Capital Partners, but Sky maintained a 20% stake in the company and they continued to use the Sky branding and the Sky connection.
SkyBet also owns several other gambling sites and games, most of which are linked to its homepage. OddsChecker is also part of the SkyBet brand, as are several other features that serve to enhance the site and its offerings. These include a tipping section that is spearheaded by former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp, and is contributed to by countless other members of the Sky Sports News team.
SkyBet are always trying to offer something a little different, a little better. They are in constant competition with their rivals, but they have something that those rivals don’t, they have the backing of Sky TV. This means they can offer a wealth of new features an can attract a host of new players. As a result, SkyBet has become one of the most unique betting sites out there, offering the following features that you just won’t find on many other websites:
SkyBet customer support is some of the best we have ever experienced. We had a few dealings with them during the early days of SkyBet, when they were just finding their feet. We also had dealings with them quite recently, after they had grown into one of the largest bookmakers in Europe. In both cases we were delighted with the way our issues were handled. Admittedly, they seemed to be a little better and more attentive in the early days, as is so often the case (the biggest they get, the less they care) but they are still exemplary in this department.
To give you an example of what we’re talking about, the very first issue we had was with a live betting market that wasn’t opened in time for us to place a bet. We complained, stating that the only reason we deposited and sat down to play was because those markets existed and that we were very disappointed as a result. The issue, as it would later transpire, was actually our fault. Many sites would have just pointed this out (as it would have been fairly clear to them) and say there was nothing they could do. Other, better companies, would have apologized anyway and offered a fix. But SkyBet went a step further. They apologized, they didn’t point fingers and they gave us a free bet as an “apology”.
This is the sort of behavior that deserves praise. Only once before have we ever experienced anything like this, and that was with 32Red, who may be small and under appreciated, but are incredibly helpful on the customer support side of things.
As mentioned above, the customer support aspect of SkyBet is second to none. Literally. Because we have never encountered anything like it from a sports book (in the case of 32Red, it was on their casino). SkyBet is also incredibly easy to navigate and because it is connected to Sky TV, they tend to have the biggest markets on the live, televised games.
In fact, SkyBet is so easy to navigate it has become our go-to site to discover what games are on, what markets we can bet on and what’s on TV. We all have “that” site that we visit to get this information. For some, it’s a sports site or a news site, for others it’s social media. For us, it’s SkyBet, because as soon as you visit the homepage you see a clear list of all major games to be played that day, along with the times they are being played and whether they are on TV or not.
We are also big fans of some of the extra SkyBet sections. The casino we can take or leave. It’s not special. But SkyVegas is one of our favorite places to play slots, packed with a ton of exclusive games and classic games. While SkyPoker is one of the best poker rooms not connected to a major network. In fact, in our opinion it’s better than all of the OnGame and iPoker networks and is second only to PokerStars.
Add the RequestABet and the live betting to the mix and SkyBet becomes a true king of this sector. Of course, it’s not all positive…
There are some bad points to SkyBet though. The biggest of these is the fact that it is limited to players within the United Kingdom. We’re not quite sure why this is, but it hasn’t really slowed their growth. They seem to have more of the UK gambling market than any other online bookie and this has allowed them to grow and to profit.
This might change in the near future as SkyBet looks to grow even more, but it hasn’t changed over the last few years, so who knows.
SkyBet’s promotions can also be seen as a negative, but only if you’re a high roller. Their promotions are aimed at the casual gambler, and where casual gamblers are concerned there is no better bookmaker. They are the champions of the “no-deposit” free bet, and they have had some fantastic giveaways over the years. However, these rarely go above £20, which will be considered peanuts by some.
SkyBet is also lacking in live steams. They do have a large live betting section which shows a lot of details taken from the games in question. However, there are no actual live streams, which may turn gamblers towards sites like Bet365.
There are many more positives on SkyBet than there are negatives. It doesn’t always get the respect it deserves, but only because it’s nonexistent outside of the United Kingdom. Inside the UK, we genuinely believe that there are few better options, and for the sake of everyone outside, we only hope SkyBet see sense soon and start offering their services to players further afield.