1Bet are a relatively new online bookmaker. Established in 2011 and with a licence under the Curacao jurisdiction, they offer both casino and sports betting. Below we find out how they fair in the online gaming environment.
When it loads (which it doesn’t always), the 1Bet landing page is fairly basic. A blue, white and navy theme is used, with a list of the promotions dominating the bulk of the screen, and the different options for users are listed in a menu bar at the top of the page. The graphics are ok if nothing special.
The home page has clearly been designed with SEO in mind, which is off-putting. Half of the page is dedicated to text explaining more about 1Bet. The grammar and punctuation are poor, paragraphs are too close together and a basic font is used. Essentially this layout and design does not scream a professional outfit, which is vital when customers have to trust their bank details and funds with a bookmaker.
Once clicking on the ‘Sports’ section and entering the bookmaker area of the site, users are greeted with a list of 8 sports on the left hand side of the page, with featured matches and in-running betting in the centre of the page. The individual sports are not always the fastest loading in the centre of page with the site not always immediately responsive.
1Bet do have a mobile friendly WAP site that can be reached on wap.1bet.com. It is very basic but the different features of a customer’s account can be reached, and bets can be struck.
1Bet can be viewed in English, Spanish, German, Chinese, Russian, Greek and surprisingly, Romanian.
As mentioned, 1Bet only list eight different sports on their website;
The sports which receive the most interest and turnover (football, American football and tennis) are all listed on the site, but other events such as boxing, handball (popular in central and northern Europe) and golf are all conspicuous in their absence. Horse racing and greyhound racing are also not covered (although many betting sites do not have the resources or desire to cover racing events).
When looking at the odds layout on 1Bet, there is the option to view the site in ‘Asian style’. That is, each match/game/sport is displayed with the 1X2, Over/Under and Asian Handicap odds for both teams and for football betting, there are additional odds for the first half markets.
There are 31 leagues covered from around the world. The number of markets pales in comparison to the established major European bookmakers. On match day for the English Premier League game between WBA v Manchester United, 1Bet offered a mere 36 additional markets to their 1X2 fayre. This is eclipsed by William Hill who had 223 additional bets types, Bwin with 215 and Bet Victor with 103.
The lack of market depth is again displayed when looking at an NFL match on game day. 1bet have five additional markets on top of their handicap odds. William Hill had 66 extra bets, with Bwin providing 47 more options and BetVictor 30.
The odds that 1Bet use are quite unusual. The default format on their site is decimal, which is quite common, but while most online bookmakers adhere to similar increments and odds, 1Bet use obscure numbers to represent the probabilities of outcomes in different markets. For instance in the Russian league, the odds on offer for one match were:
Most firms would use odds of 1/101.10-10000.10-10.000.10, 63/107.30+6306.306.30-0.16 and 28/129.00+280028.0028.00-0.04. The unusual odds may well alienate some punters, especially the beginners or novices.
In terms of odds competitiveness, 1Bet are not terrible, but nor are they at the forefront. For the aforementioned WBA v Manchester United match, the sum of 1Bet’s odds when equated to percentages came to 105%. This was better than William Hill (105.8%), but worse than Bwin (104.1%) and Bet Victor (102.2%). If the bookmaker had no built in profit in their book, the odds would equate to 100% and therefore the larger the discrepancy, the more profit the bookmaker are building into their odds.
A similar pattern can be witnessed when looking at their Asian Handicap lines. For the Houston Texans v Pittsburgh Steelers American Football game, on the -3 line, their book came to 103.4%. This compared favourably with William Hill who were high at 104.7%, but didn’t compete with Bwin (102.6%) and BetVictor (102.5%).
It appears to be de rigeur for new betting companies to make their customer service departments’ online only. 1Bet is no different, but this doesn’t gain the confidence of the customer who wants to be able to reach someone immediately with a problem. That being said, 1Bet do offer email, live chat and Skype in addition to a fax number (csd-1bet), so their options are better than some.
It can’t be said that 1Bet have a limited number of payment options for customers who wish to fund their accounts.
In addition to the Paysafecard (a pre-paid card), there are a range of online wallets including Skrill, Neteller, Neteller 1-Pay and WebMoney.
Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard and Maestro are all accepted bank cards and there are a range of different bank transfer options depending on which country the customer resides.
The bookmaker promotion offered by 1Bet is a head scratcher. Users are able to receive a risk free bet of up to £20 by depositing £100. The minimum stake that has to be placed by the customer to activate the bonus is £10 and 1Bet suggest they will credit customers who have a losing first bet with a refund of up to £20. (At least £20 needs to be staked). In essence, the whole deposit amount does not have to be staked, but the firm want users to credit their account with the £100 presumably so they end up punting it anyway.
In order to withdraw the bonus, the deposit needs to be rolled over five times…i.e £500. To make matters even more confusing, the terms and conditions state:
“Only single bets made with odds equal or less than 1/21.50-2000.50-2.000.50 are eligible for the first risk free bet.” 1/21.50-2000.50-2.000.50 or less – so they only want customers backing the shorties to activate their free bets? Obviously this is a typo but again reinforces the view that 1Bet are not a fully professional outfit.
To participate in the promotion, users have to email email@example.com to state their intention of being part of the promotion. It would far easier if it was an automatic process.
The immediate impression gained from 1Bet is not inspiring. An unimaginative homepage, overpopulated with text, and a limited number of sports and markets does not suggest that this relatively new company are ready to compete with the established firms. 1Bet claim to accept large staking customers and their site is geared towards Asian handicap betting, but could you be confident parting with large sums of your hard earned cash with a relatively unproven firm based out of the Caribbean? The suggestion is no. 1Bet need to invest in website redesign, increase their number of traders and work on the marketing side of affairs. A more lucrative sign up bonus, customer services contactable via telephone and more conventional odds would go some way to help attract customers and build a brand.