RealBet Sportsbook is one of thousands of different online bookmakers. How are they trying to differentiate themselves? By focusing on North American sports, and in particular NFL, that’s how. Hanging their license in Curacao, this relative infant in the betting industry offers a sportsbook and a casino. Does their focus on North American sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAA) lead to industry leading market odds and extensive prop bet options? We take a look.
The website dons the red, white and blue of the USA, further enforcing the fact that this bookmaker is American centric. The landing page has a number of scrolling banners and graphics with the upcoming basketball, American football and hockey offerings. Bettors can access the sportsbook directly from the menu bar at the top of the page. Once into the sportsbook, the body of the site is confined to a fairly narrow portion of the centre of the page and looks a little tacky, with large text in places, and different fonts etc. Clients can log in at the top of the page, can view the list of sports down the left hand side (text is fairly big and spaced out) and can see all of the upcoming events in the centre of the page. The soon to start matches are just listed in text, there is no icon or graphic etc. to let bettors know what sport they will be betting on. All in all, the site could do with a big overhaul and needs to be modernised.
RealBet sportsbook provides a huge $1000, 100% matched sign up bonus for new clients. It is quite difficult to find the terms and conditions for this offer, but in the help section, it is suggested that sportsbook bonuses are subject to a 5x deposit + bonus rollover requirement, meaning customers would have to turn over $10,000 (if opting to take the maximum bonus), in order to be able to withdraw the initial money. Even so, the bonus is one of the best promotions online.
Sports Markets & Odds
Most bookmakers will typically offer between 20-30 different sports for bettors to get their teeth into. RealBet compile markets for a grand total of 10 sports. Some call it catering to a niche market, other would say that it’s just outright poor. RealBet sportsbook has American football, basketball, ice hockey, football, golf, tennis, MMA, boxing, baseball and rugby union. There are no e-sports, no real European sports (such as handball etc.) and the focus is clearly on the event and disciplines popular in the USA, with a smattering of other major sports around the world.
It has to be said, the margins on American football are reasonable. On NFL games, the handicap market was compiled to an average of 104.7%, the moneyline worked out to around 104.1% and the over/under markets were also 104.7%. Basketball matches in the NBA had the same percentages for the handicap and over/under markets, but for some reason the moneyline wasn’t as competitive, compiling to an average of 106.7% (the closer to 100%, the more competitive the odds).
For the NFL, in addition to the handicap, moneyline and over/unders market for each match, RealBet also offer handicap and over/under betting for each quarter. There are however, no other standard prop bets for each game. Compare this to a company like Bet365, and there is a chasm in the options for bettors – Bet365 have around 190-200 additional bets per match, providing customers with options to be on almost anything with each game.
The odds on football are poor. Looking at the English Premier League match between Chelsea v Leicester City, the odds compile to 111.1%. This is grossly out of line with most firms who offer odds that come in at the range of 103-106%.
At present, RealBet can only facilitate deposits in dollars.
Customers can currently only deposit with RealBet sportsbook via Visa or Mastercard. The company are currently looking to expand the number of methods with which customers can fund their accounts.
Unlike with many bookmakers, US citizens can bet with RealBet. There are a few countries which are restricted:
Languages / Customer Support
RealBet can only currently be viewed in English and customer support is also available in English.
If bettors have a query or question, they have two options to contact customer representatives:
Phone: 1 866 839 5255 (International – +442030264009)
RealBet can be reached from the hours of 14:00-08:00 GMT. This suggests that the company are focusing towards the American market. Customer service were quite responsive when contacted via e-mail, but it would be nice to see a Live Chat feature for faster interaction with the company.
RealBet have a mobile optimised website that definitely gets the thumbs up. It loads automatically when visiting the website from a handheld device (iOS, Android and Blackberry friendly). It has the same colour scheme as the main website and is very responsive and fast loading. Bettors can quickly access their desired market (well after all, there aren’t that many to choose from!), but they have made betting on the move an easy task.
RealBet sportsbook has clear strategy and approach in trying to attract US players to their website. Online gambling is explicitly prohibited in the USA, so the company are flying in the face of the US authorities by allowing American citizens to sign up (company is licensed in Curacao). RealBet’s approach seems a little unusual seeing as they cannot advertise in the US and therefore getting exposure may be difficult. Furthermore, the standard of their website and their sports offerings are not overly attractive. Some US bettors will be happy that they can sign up to an online bookmaker, but they may be reluctant as RealBet only currently accept payment by credit/debit card.