SBObet are a major player in the online gambling world. Licenced in both the Philippines, and Europe (Isle Of Man), they operate as an international bookmaker. Recent changes to legislation in the UK now requires all firms to hold a licence in the country, and since late 2014, SBObet can no longer offer their services to UK residents.
Owned by Celton Manx Ltd and in business since 2004, SBObet specialise in Asian handicap betting. The company is renowned for accepting very large stakes and a large number of European bookmakers use the SBObet odds and market moves to guide their own trading strategies.
In addition to a bookie, SBObet offer a live casino, games and a financials section. In this review, we look at the services on offer, the depth of the markets and the overall quality of SBObet as a bookmaker.
As could be expected, the website is very professional and well designed, following the increasing popular layout adopted by many bookmaking firms. A several tone blue theme is utilised, with the list of sports down the left hand side of the page, popular matches in the centre of the page and the bet slip on the right and side. Customers can flick between sports, live casino, classic games, racing, games, financials and poker by clicking the links on the menu bar at the top of the page.
Next to each set of odds is a number which represents the number of additional bets for the match, and there is also a small bar chart icon which links to the statistics section.
SBObet do have a web app, which is automatically accessed when visiting the site from a mobile device. However to view any of the odds or markets, customers must log in on the app. Apple customers can download an SBObet app from the iTunes store and there is also the option to view the site in a desktop view or they can use the WAP version (very basic).
The website can be viewed in English, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Burmese, German, Russian, Spanish, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean and Thai.
Widely considered one of the world’s premier bookmakers, it comes as no surprise that SBObet have a comprehensive list of sports to bet on, with 30 different disciplines available. Their bread and butter are football, with matches covered from all over the world.
In most of the major leagues, there are usually two Asian handicap lines for each match, which give one team a certain number of goals head start, making the odds similar. With most of their business conducted on the Asian lines by big staking punters, there is no desperate need for SBObet to compile an extensive number of additional bet types for each football match. For instance, 48 hours out from English Premier League matches, to supplement the 1X2 and handicap fare, there were only an extra 24 bet types for customers to sink their teeth into. At the same point in time, BetVictor had 75-80 and Coral 130-140.
The Asian handicap theme runs through the other sports and is the most popular choice for punters in basketball games. NBA games typically have around 18 extra bet types including over/under, highest scoring quarter etc. With many of SBObet’s clients coming from the continent, Asian basketball, and in particular the South Korean action gets a lot of attention.
Horseracing has its own devoted section that can be accessed on the menu bar at the top of the page. SBObet provide odds on racing from England, Ireland, South Africa and UAE, but curiously, users have to be logged in to their account to view any of the markets on display.
SBObet is built on handicap betting, which is particularly popular with customers in the Far East. Why? Because the margins are low as there are only two outcomes available on any one event, and it makes the odds for both teams broadly similar.
The competitiveness of odds can be determined by the total book percentage. A betting book with no inbuilt profit margin would equate to 100% and therefore the closer to that figure, the more generous the odds being offered by bookmakers.
The English Premier League Asian handicap odds work to a very impressive 101.5-102% – again evidence of SBObet’s low margin, high turnover approach to bookmaking. The same margins are available for games across other top leagues in Europe, and even the lower divisions have fair book percentages. While the handicap odds are very generous, the 1X2 books for the top leagues are far less competitive, working to 107-107.5% books.
The ‘moneyline’ for NBA matches is effectively the same as the Asian handicap, with one team receiving a head start. The prices for basketball’s premier league typically work to 102.5%, which is again very fair. Some of the European leagues work to a slightly higher 103.5%, but in the grand scheme of things, the odds are some of the best that punters will be able to find.
Handicap betting in the NHL (where unlike the moneyline, is determined after the end of regular time) works to around 103.5%. European matches are a little higher at 104%, but the odds are still competitive.
New customers are eligible for a lucrative sign up bonus. When using the promo code DEPBON12, users can claim €250 (or currency equivalent). Whilst the concession offers quite a large bonus, customers are made to work for it. They must rollover the qualifying deposit amount 10 times before the bonus is credited to the account. If there an insufficient funds in the account, the customer is able to deposit further in order to meet the wagering requirements. Selections must be made on non-live events, with odds of 1/21.50-2000.50-2.000.50 or bigger.
Be sure to keep an eye on the sign up offers, because they generally change from month to month, with the previous month offering only a €180 bonus.
SBObet is an international firm, and as such they have payment options to satisfy clients from around the world:
There are also several online banks who can be used to transfer money to SBObet.
SBObet’s staff are very easy to access. There is a live chat feature which is manned by friendly and knowledgeable staff. Customers are also able to contact SBObet via:
Fax – +44 1624721966 – Europe, +63 28563766 – Asia
Skype – sbo-css
SBObet are a top bookmaker, used by professionals worldwide. Serious football bettors (and punters on other sports) who dabble in the Asian handicap markets need not look anywhere else. While the 1X2 prices across different sports are uncompetitive, they appear to be somewhat of an afterthought, with the total book percentages for the handicap markets being extremely competitive. Large stakes are accepted and there is a fair sign up bonus (although the rollover requirements are quite extensive).