As the name suggests, McBookie Sportsbook is a bookmaker with a Scottish theme. Their company aim is to “bring the best possible service to the Scottish gambling market place”, and they have been trying to do so since 2009. Now owned by Bet Victor International Ltd., they have strong backing and in theory the idea of appealing to the patriotism of the Scots is a novel one. McBookie offer a bookmaker, in play betting, a casino and a live casino and in this review, we assess their services.
Customers visiting McBookie Bookmaker are greeted with a landing page which informs them in no uncertain terms, of the theme of the website. A navy blue theme is adopted, and a large image of the Scottish national football team sits in the background of the page. The links to the different areas of the site can be found at the top of the page, and graphics with the information on the sign up bonus and services on offer, fill up the content.
When clicking on the sportsbook, the link with BetVictor is evident. The website follows a very similar design and layout to that of its parent company. ‘Top Links’ are present on the left hand side of the page, above a list of the sports. The centre of the page lists live in play odds and upcoming events, while on the right hand side of the page, customers can find the bet slip, popular bets and a list of promotions.
Customers accessing McBookie Bookmaker from their mobile device can perform most of the functions available to users of the desktop site. The web app is automatically launched when visiting on a mobile device and the only restricted content is the live casino, which isn’t compatible with the mobile technology.
The site is only available in English.
McBookie currently offer 29 different sports for customers to wager on. The bread and butter of football and horse racing should keep most punters happy, but there are also Celtic friendly sports such as hurling and Gaelic football.
The football betting is very UK centric, with the English and Scottish leagues the only two countries covered. With such an emphasis on Scotland, it is no surprise that the coverage for the country is both extensive and impressive. In addition to all of the professional leagues, McBookie price up the Highland League, Lowland League and the West, East, North and South Region matches. They also offer odds on the Scottish Junior Cup and have ante post odds for all of the aforementioned competitions. The standard of some of these matches are very low and therefore it remains to be seen how much can realistically be staked on a game without traders restricting bets, but covering matches such as Civil Service Strollers v Heriot-Watt University, has to be applauded.
The number of additional markets for each game is decent – with circa 70 extra bet types for the top leagues in England and Scotland, five days out from match day. The closer it gets to kick-off, the more bets are added.
On top of the Scottish and English betting, is an extremely large football specials section, with a wide variety of original markets for punters to sink their teeth into, with league handicaps, next manager specials, top scorers and much more.
All UK & Irish horse racing is priced up, and there are also odds for South African contests. The domestic action is all best odds guaranteed, which means that if a punter takes a price on a horse, and it wins at a bigger SP, then they the SP. On top of the standard win markets, McBookie also have match bets and accept forecast and tricast betting.
Basketball coverage is decent, with matches from Europe and the USA priced up. There are also college games in America, which typically have around 5-10 additional bet types per match. Again, the odds on BetVictor are used by McBookie.
Unsurprisingly, the odds for the football matches mirror those of BetVictor – after all, it wouldn’t make much sense to employ two teams of odds compilers.
Utilising the prices of one of the most competitive firms in the industry, is a big advantage. Calculating the total book percentage is the best way to assess how competitive the odds are. Total book percentage is found by converting all the odds in an event into percentages, and then adding them together. A book with no inbuilt profit margin would equate to 100% – therefore a figure as close to 100% is desirable. By game day, McBookie’s English Premier League matches typically work to 102.5-103.5%+, percentage that can only be beaten by a handful of firms. Games in competitions such as the Highland League are more conservatively priced up, with book percentages of 110-112% commonplace. However, this can be expected, as there is less than perfect information about the teams etc.
In other sports, the top competitions in the darts work to 107.5%-108.5%, basketball matches 104.5%-105% and ice hockey matches 104-104.5%, all very reasonable.
Payment methods depend on the country where the user is from, but for UK and Irish customers, the following payment types are available:
McBookie Bookmaker offers a £25 matched bet bonus for new customers from Scotland only. Unlike some firms, McBookie don’t have stringent terms and conditions with their promotion. To qualify for the bonus, the first bet must have odds of 2.00 or greater (not required for bets with four or more selections). The bonus cash must then be turned over a minimum of 4 times before it is eligible for withdrawal. It is a little disappointing that McBookie have only made this promotion available to citizens from one country, as they do offer their services across the world.
There are two ways to contact McBookie – by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or by live chat. There is no telephone number to discuss any queries. The live chat does however appear to be well manned (probably linked in with BetVictor staff).
McBookie Bookmaker is a little bit of a gimmicky bookmaker, but one who serves a purpose. The vast majority of the site mirror major international firm BetVictor, with just less depth in terms of the sports and number of markets. Where McBookie do excel, is in their Scottish football coverage, and this is likely to draw in many aficionados of the Scottish game. McBookie could improve by making their sign up bonus available to all – however by excluding customers from other countries from the promotion, they are probably endearing themselves to potential Scottish users further. If you are from Scotland, sign up for a McBookie account.