SBG Global is an established online bookmaker which provides a range of services to bettors. They offer a sportsbook, racebook, casino and a poker room as well as live betting. Hanging their license in Costa Rica and serving clients online since 1999, SBG Global can definitely be considered an industry veteran. In this review, we focus on the sportsbook, assessing the quality of odds on offer, looking at the markets available and rating the customer service.
At first glance, the SBG Global website looks out of date and poorly designed. The actual content of the page is confined to a very narrow column in the centre – it is difficult to comprehend why they didn’t utilise more of the screen and spend a little more on the design. At the top of the page, there are sliding graphics which show the promotions, prizes and sports on offer with SBG Global. These are accompanied beneath with information on the different aspects of the service, from deposit methods to customer service to the USP’s of SBG Global. The website can be viewed in English, Bulgarian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Japanese.
Customers can login or join using the links and forms on the right-hand side of the page. Until they are logged in, clients are unable to see the list of sports available on the website (this is fairly common with North American facing bookmakers). Once a bettor has logged in, they are redirected to another page which again is sparse and doesn’t look like it has had too much TLC applied. There is a horizontal menu bar that offers customers access to the sportsbook, racebook, casino etc. Once the sportsbook is selected, the list of sports is displayed down the left-hand side of the page. By clicking on the desired sport, a drop-down list will appear, providing the different leagues/countries/events for each discipline. Users have to check the tick-box on a sport and then they by clicking the ‘view lines’ button at the bottom of the page, the odds will appear in the centre. While the sport remains ticked, the odds will stay on the page, so when users are done with an event, they can uncheck the box and refresh the page.
SBG Global focus their efforts on a select number of sports. The company pride themselves on offering all of the major European sports, which is true, but they don’t have any of the more niche disciplines. The full complement of sports available at the time of review are; baseball, basketball, American football, soccer, golf, auto racing, tennis, boxing and futures (for a range of the aforementioned sports).
Baseball is the summer sport in the USA, and the odds for matches are very competitive. The margins for the moneyline are razor thin, compiling to 101.5% (100% would indicate a book where bookmakers make no profit, so a 1.5% margin is very generous to bettors). The run line and over/under markets are a little less competitive at 104-105%, but in the grand scheme of things, those margins are comparable to most betting sites around the world.
In the years where there are no international tournaments, summer is slow for soccer. However, with a few games on (CONCACAF etc) a review of the odds and markets is possible. The match between Costa Rica v Honduras had a 102.5% book for the 1X2 market, 103.5% for the Total Goals market and 103.3% for the Asian handicap. Those percentages can be expected to get even lower for the major European leagues (English Premier League, Spain’s La Liga etc.). There are not very many extra prop bets for each game, but occasionally bettors will have the option of a few extra bet types.
Wimbledon is the biggest tennis tournament in the world, and as such should logically have the lowest margins. For the moneyline, the odds compiled to 103.5% and spread (Asian handicap on set betting) to 104.5%.
Under the auto racing banner falls Nascar racing, Formula One and Indycar. SBG Global also have solid coverage of MMA and boxing. In addition to a sportsbook, SBG Global offers a racebook. Not content with just providing odds from the US action, bettors are able to strike wagers on the action from the UK and Australia, which is definitely a plus.
SBG Global do offer their clients a sign-up bonus and other concessions, and they go one step further and educate bettors on rollover requirements and the tricks that other bookmakers use in order to attract bettors and have them tied in to stringent rollovers that are unrealistic to achieve (ultimately resulting in bettors losing their initial deposit and bonus). Their initial bonus is a 30% ‘re-up’ sign up bonus – so once bettors fund their account for the second time, they will receive a 30% bonus up to a maximum of $1000, which has just a 4x rollover requirement before it can be withdrawn. SBG Global also do other regular concessions and promotions such as rebates on horse racing losses and ad hoc deals.
SBG Global facilitate many different ways for customers to fund their accounts:
Skrill – Min $5/Max $2,000 (No USA, China, Malaysia or Israeli residents are allowed.)
Credit card – Min $20/Max $2,000
Bitcoin – Min $1/Max $40,000
Cash MG – Min $50/Max $5,000
Cash WU – Min $50/Max $5,000
Credit Card MG – Min $50/Max $750
Credit Card WU – Min $50/Max $850
Skrill – Free
Bitcoin – Free
Poker Transfer – Free
SBG Global offer around the clock service for customers through their live chat option (available at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen), via the phone; 1-888-BETEASY (1-888-238-3279), or via e-mail; firstname.lastname@example.org. Unfortunately, there is no FAQ section for clients to refer to and the customer service is not the most responsive. Furthermore, they also always ask for user’s account number and password before they will discuss anything – this is a little unusual as the vast majority of bookmakers implore customers to keep their passwords private.
Although the website appears to be targeted at the North American markets based upon the sports on offer etc. SBG Global do not actually currently accept players from the USA. Interestingly enough, they allow users to register for an account and then send an e-mail which states:
“We apologize but SBG Global is no longer accepting customers from the US. However, to prevent further inconvenience to you, we have taken the liberty and have created an account for you with Youwager, a highly respected and trustworthy company.”
This is a shrewd approach by SBG Global as they are clearly linked to YouWager and are able to retain the clients under the main umbrella without actually offering their bookmakers to the clients. There is not an official list of restricted countries and customer services keep their cards close to their chest so clients will only know whether they are able to open an account once they have gone through the registration process.
Betting On The Go
SBG Global does have a mobile site, making it easy for bettors to strike wagers from their handheld devices. The mobile site is compatible with iPhones, Android devices and other smartphones. The optimised site loads automatically when visited from a mobile phone, but on the desktop site SBG also put up a barcode which when scanned on a phone, will load up the site.
Once in, customers are faced with the menu of options; sportsbook, racebook, casino etc. They can also visit the cashier, get weather updates and more. There is no option for live chat on the mobile site, so customers need to call or e-mail with any queries.
When selecting the sportsbook, users must first determine what type of bet they want to strike (single, parlay, teaser etc.). From there they will see a list of sports which have the available bets. The app is functional and allows bettors to place their wagers, but aesthetically it could be improved and as a customer with funds in an account, it seems a little disconcerting how basic everything is (from a security perspective).
There are plenty of reasons to criticise SBG Global, but ultimately, they offer all of the main sports and are very competitive in the process. Not the best sportsbook in the West but worth opening an account with the firm.