Founded in 2007, Meridianbet Sports are owned by Meridian Gaming Ltd and licensed out of Malta. To comply with the updated gambling regulations, they also hold a UK Gambling Commission, and as such are legally able to offer their services to those residing in the UK. In addition to a sportsbook, customers can bet in-play and use the casino (table games, slots, jackpots, video poker etc.). In this article we review Meridianbet, analysing how they stand up in the online bookmaking marketplace.
The vast majority of bookmaker websites nowadays are relatively homogeneous in design; a list of sports down the left hand side of the page, live events in the middle, and the bet slip on the right hand side of the page. Meridianbet are different, choosing an original layout that engulfs the whole screen. A blue, white and grey theme is adopted and the links to the different betting options (sportsbook, in-play, casino etc.) can be found at the top of the page.
When clicking on the sportsbook, a drop down list appears, with a number of different icons indicating the sports on offer. The dropdown is a horizontal bar which doesn’t actually list sports by name, but just by their small logo. The major sports have their own icon, but the smaller events are clustered together under what looks like a plan white ball. Page loading isn’t always instant which can be frustrating.
The centre of the page is devoted to both in-play and sportsbook action, with football at the top of the pile. For each match, there are a number of different bets on offer, with the display following more of an Asian bookmaker style. When selecting a market, it loads beneath the previous one viewed, and therefore users have to click on the rubbish bin icon at the top right of each league/game etc. to delete that set of odds.
Customers can access an extensive statistics section (powered by Betradar), where a large amount of data can be found for a range of sports, enabling punters to make more informed betting decisions.
Meridianbet do have a web app which is loaded when accessing the site from a mobile device. It follows a similar colour scheme and customers can flick between the sportsbook and live betting.
The Meridianbet Sports website can be viewed in English, German, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Russian and Chinese.
As alluded to, the sportsbook menu bar has a list of the most popular sports, with the smaller events all grouped together. Football, tennis, basketball, ice hockey, volleyball, handball, table tennis and skiing make up the main sports, with some of the latter named more unconventional as flagship sports for an online bookmaker.
There are odds on football matches from 31 different countries around the world, with prices also available for international competitions. The English football coverage is by far the most comprehensive, with a total of 11 leagues and 3 cup competitions. The German action extends as low as the third tier and the Spanish and Italian fayre extends as the top two divisions. There is a noticeable absence of betting on Middle East and Asian games – the focus is very much on Europe.
When selecting a league, each match will have 1X2 odds, over/under, first half result, first goal scorer (team), draw no bet and both teams to score odds displayed. Punters can access additional bets by selecting the button to the right of the odds which indicates how many extra bet types there are for each game. Four days out from English Premier League matches, Meridianbet had 33 additional bets, which is quite low by industry standards. To compare, SkyBet had 55 at the same time and PaddyPower 77.
Tennis betting encompasses the majors, challenge tour matches, the ATP tour and the WTA. The depth of markets and geographic coverage of basketball and ice hockey are fairly poor in comparison to most established bookmakers.
Bookmakers vary in terms of their competitiveness when it comes to odds. If a market had no inbuilt profit margin, then the odds when equated to percentages would equate to 100%. As such, the closer a bookmaker’s market is to that 100%, then the more competitive their odds are.
Odds for the English Premier League are usually the most competitive. This league has such exposure that knowledge about matches is as near to perfect as it can be, and therefore prices can be compiled with confidence. Meridianbet’s Barclays Premier League matches typically work to around 106% – a respectable if not market leading percentage. This is roughly in line with firms such as SkyBet, William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral etc. but falls behind market leaders BetVictor, Bet365, Pinnacle Sports and MarathonBet.
Unsurprisingly, odds on less popular sports such as handball are not as generous, working to total book percentages of around 113%. This is less competitive than most established firms who tend to operate in the 106-112% range.
Overall Meridianbet’s football odds for the top leagues are reasonable, but for other sports they are not hugely competitive.
Meridianbet Sports have created a number of different promotions to entice and retain customers, including a 100% sign up bonus to a maximum value of €50. The terms and conditions attached with the bonus are both stringent and confusing. The initial deposit must be rolled over a total of 8 times before the bonus funds are credited to the account. Bets must be placed on four folds and up and must not have any selections containing odds off less than 1/21.50-2000.50-2.000.50 (1/2). The maximum stake per bet towards the rollover requirement is €50. There is no indication of the requirements once the bonus has been activated. In reality, it seems very difficult to retain the initial stake required to activate the bonus, let alone make any money off the concession. The offer is not available to customers residing in Armenia, Bosnia & Hercegovina, Ukraine, Romania, Poland, Portugal, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, China and Taiwan.
There are other promotions on an ongoing basis, with concessions such as 5% cashback on 5 selection + accumulators with minimum odds of 3/14.00+3003.003.00-0.33 or bigger.
Meridianbet customer services are very accessible, which is refreshing. There are several email addresses that customers can use to contact the firm:
General enquiries: email@example.com
Users can also write in to: Meridian Gaming Ltd, Villa Seminia, 8 Sir Temi Zammit Avenue, Ta’ Xbiex XBX1011 Malta, can call in +356 2131 9493 or fax +356 2131 9406. There is a live chat feature, although the representatives at the other end of the keyboard are not the fastest to respond and don’t have a complete knowledge of the business, regularly referring customers back to the help section on the website.
There are a range of deposit options for Meridianbet customers:
The Meridianbet service is just okay. The website is slow loading but at least unique in design. The odds are not outstanding for any sport, and uncompetitive for many. The sign up bonus is very sticky and customers are likely to lose their initial deposit when trying to extract it – there are better offers out there. On the plus side, the football betting in England is decent enough, and customer services are accessible, so they seem like a legitimate operation.