ApolloBet are a relatively new online bookmaker, given an online licence in 2012 by the Isle Of Man. They offer an online casino, games, lotteries and a bookmaker. ApolloBet are powered by and supported by large Irish bookmaker Boylesports.
ApolloBet agree to cooperate with IBAS (Independent Betting Adjudication Service) which is a good initial sign, as the company agree to honour any of IBAS’s decisions in the event of a dispute with customers. This is a positive as many smaller bookmakers who operate outside of the jurisdiction of Great Britain do not have a regulatory body to report to and being a member of IBAS brings credibility and a little security for customers that they will not be ripped off.
The ApolloBet website is neat and well designed. A red, grey and black theme works well and the layout is intuitive and easy to navigate around. A list of all of the sports, live betting and current promotions can be found on the left hand side of the page. The centre of the page is reserved for the markets that are selected from the list of sports and on the right hand side of the page. Customers have access to the live betting events, quick links to mini casino games and also to popular and ‘hot’ events. Once a selection has been chosen, a bet slip appears in the top right hand corner of the page, and includes the users current balance and alerts them as to whether there are any free bets available.
ApolloBet also have a bet calculator on the website which is a nice touch, allowing customers to calculate their returns for a wide range of different bet types.
Whilst there is no downloadable app, ApolloBet do have a functional web app that is activated by visiting their website off an iPhone or Android device. The mobile site is very responsive, well laid out and easy to navigate around. A list of the live betting and upcoming events can be found on the home screen, allowing users to quickly navigate to their betting selections. Smooth design work here.
As could be expected with the resources of one of Ireland’s biggest bookmakers behind them, ApolloBet have a comprehensive list of sports available on their website. There are twenty eight different sports and the depths of markets are reasonable.
ApolloBet have both horse racing and greyhound racing markets on a daily basis. For a relatively unknown bookmaker this is quite big (and again is likely due to having access to the Boylesports resources and odds compilers). Daily meetings, specials, ante post betting and international events can be found. The daily specials include things such as distance betting at different meetings, place accumulators and forecast specials.
The football section of the site is extensive. Odds are offered on matches from Qatar to Honduras, with all of the top leagues getting good coverage. In England, leagues as low as the Isthmian League (7th tier of football) have matches priced up.
ApolloBet do not list the number of additional markets they offer for each match, so it is difficult to compare with their competitors on a figures basis, but all of the bet types that could be expected are present. Customers can bet on double chance, half time/full time, winning margin, first scorer, total goals, handicap betting, both teams to score etc. Interestingly there is no Asian handicap betting available.
American Football coverage stretches as far as the NFL, college and Canadian leagues, with several additional bets on offer for each match. Other marginal sports such as pool and handball also have events and matches priced up. Showing their Boylesports influence, there are odds for both Irish sports GAA hurling and GAA football.
The odds used by ApolloBet are exactly the same used by Boylesports. How competitive are they?
Looking at the Premier League match between Leicester v Sunderland, a comparison of odds competitiveness can be made with Bet365, Ladbrokes and Betway. This is performed by looking at the total book percentage offered by each bookmaker. A 100% book would indicate there is no inbuilt profit margin for the firm, and therefore the closer to 100%, the more generous the odds.
ApolloBet actually perform better than their rivals and compile the most competitive odds out of those bookmakers who were reviewed. Again given Boylesports influence and reputation as a low margin bookmaker, this is no surprise.
A fairly reasonable sign up bonus is offered by ApolloBet. Customers can claim up to €50 cashback if meeting certain wagering requirements. Firstly a bet between €5-25 must be placed. If this loses, the stake will be matched with a free bet up to the €25. A further 5 bets of €5 or more (minimum odds 2.0) must be placed and then the average of those stakes is then offered as a further free bet up to €25. Users wishing to maximise the bonus will have to be fairly active however, as all qualifying bets must be struck within the first 30 days. The first bet is easy for those wishing to scalp a bonus, but the rest are a bit more difficult as a further €125 has to be staked to unlock a €25 free bet.
There are several other different promotions on offer to bookmaker clientele. In addition to having best odds guaranteed on all UK and Irish horse racing and greyhound racing, there are some other original concessions available. For instance if a customer bets on a first goal scorer, and that player scores first within the first 20 minutes of a match, then the bet is paid out at double the odds. If horses fail to start in horse races then the customer will be refunded up to a maximum of €100. Other promotions come up regularly with the big sporting events throughout the year.
As ApolloBet are powered by Boylesports, it is no surprise that there some issues when it comes to bet size. Boylesports are notorious for having low limits, restricting customers quickly and for having automated risk control systems in place. This means that individuals striking bets online may have them automatically knocked back and will have to call up customer services to try and get their bets placed. A definite drawback.
At the moment, there is no live chat feature on the website which is disappointing. Customers can however contact the ApolloBet team via telephone on 0808-2389680 in the UK or 1800-810001 in Ireland. Alternatively, emails can be sent to email@example.com or written correspondence can be posted to:
Apollo Betting & Gaming Ltd
Perhaps the customer base is not yet large enough to warrant a dedicated online customer support team, but this has to be marked down as a negative, especially when customers have a query and only a limited time to resolve it (race going off etc.)
Currently, Apollobet has a very limited number of payment methods for users to fund their accounts. Customers can use debit or credit cards which fund their account instantly, or a cheque or bankers draft which takes between 5-10 days to go through. This is unacceptable for an online betting firm with 99% of the other companies taking payments from e-wallets and virtual visas etc.
ApolloBet definitely exhibit some signs of promise in terms of their website, list of sports, original promotions and competitive odds – however there is also a lot to work on. The low staking limits imposed by the Boylesports risk management system will frustrate anyone who likes a half decent sized bet. The lack of a live chat function when trying to liaise with customer services is also off putting, as is the fact that there are only a limited number of payment options to add money to an account. For those bettors who don’t mind using their credit/debit card, have low stakes and like good odds, this site is fine, but for the bigger staking individual, it is unlikely that it will be long before the accounts are restricted.