Winner is a relatively new name to the online sports betting industry, launching in the year that Hollywood actor Charlie Sheen went off the rails and dreamed up the Twitter hashtag of winning. The two events – Winner launching and winning becoming the Twitter hashtag of choice – were unrelated but one cannot help thinking of Sheen when thinking of Winner.
By marketing its products on major odds comparison websites, Winner has created awareness of its brand in a short space of time. But most punters will not know much about the company, it’s past, it’s present or it’s future.
Zirconium Gaming, a company registered in the twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda that lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, operates the site, which had an online casino before it ventured into sports gambling. The parent group of Zirconium Gaming is Redfinger Trading.
The sports betting service has been operational since 2013 and it would appear that its odds are the same as those of TitanBet, which also uses Playtech products. Their odds are not quite as competitive as the industry average level but that is something that may change over time.
Upon arrival at the website, one is presented with a series of options. It is clear from the landing page that sport is only one part of its package and, perhaps understandably given that it has operated in the casino space for a much longer period of time, the feel that the page gives one is not that of a major sports bookmaker.
Winner’s sports website is perfectly fine to navigate – it has not reinvented the wheel in terms of design – but it does not look as slick as some of the other cookie-cutter portals in the market place. It could do with some work.
The mobile-friendly version of the sports website is very usable and it offers an app designed for both iPhone and iPad devices that was updated last in October 2013. The responsive web design for Android users also looks very sleek and user friendly.
In the rest of this review we will look at Winner’s betting options, its bonuses, its security and licensing, how it treats professional and recreational punters and its banking practices, before providing an executive summary.
Winner offers a typically exhaustive range of sports wagering options, with more football markets than any reasonable punter could expect. If one cannot find something on which to bet on at the website, one is not trying hard enough.
Judging by the positioning of items on the home page of the Winner website, the bookmaker takes servicing punters in Ireland and the United Kingdom particularly seriously. Most of the prime real estate is devoted to plugging sports bets that would be of most interest to Irish and British clients.
One click away from Winner’s website home page is its live betting system. One thinks that it kind of falls between two stools. It is graphical but it does not have the aesthetic appeal – some might say wow factor – of some of its rivals’s systems and it is not as stripped down and fast as it could be. With live in-play systems, it is probably best to be one thing or another and not fall into the trap of being both.
It pays to bet with Winner, or so the bookmaker’s marketing spiel says. Sign up for an account, and get a tasty welcome bonus.
Security and Licensing
Winner is licensed and regulated by Antigua and Barbuda’s Financial Services Regulatory Commission. With a focus on the European market – especially the British Isles – and nowhere near as much history in the business as, say, the Big Three of Coral, Ladbrokes and William Hill, one can understand why this book may be seen as a risky choice for punters when there are so many options closer to home.
Professional Versus Recreational Punters
Like most online bookmakers, Winner is much more interested in attracting recreational punters than professional ones.
Winner allows punters to open accounts in American dollars, Australian dollars, British pounds, Canadian dollars, Danish kroner, euros, Norwegian kroner, Swedish kronor, South African rand and Swiss francs. Winner does not accept punters from Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bulgaria, China, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominica, Estonia, France and its territories, Greece, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Libya, Macau, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, the Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Serbia, Spain, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey and the United States of America and its territories. Winner offers the usual array of deposit and withdrawal options.
Winner is one of the new kids on the sports gambling block and, while it has everything that one would expect of a online sports bookmaker, the case for choosing it over some of its more established competitors is weak, at least for now.