When you watch most soccer games from the top European leagues these days, jerseys and stadiums seem to be littered with the logos of online gambling sites. As many of these matches are broadcast globally, a company can gain lots of exposure by spending money on these advertising opportunities. As a result, most of the sites have a global focus.
One site in particular that seems to buck that trend is 188Bet. These folks are very focused on the Asian betting market, and while they do accept players from many other countries, it is clear after reviewing the site that it plans to bring on as many bettors from the Asian region as possible. Let’s take a look at what we found and if this site is worthy of your deposits.
History of 188Bet.com
188Bet has entered its second decade of being in business, having launched its initial sportsbook offering all the way back in 2007. The company has since added other products which we will discuss a little further on. 188 Bet is licensed by the Isle of Man Gambling Commission, which is a decent organization from a player safety perspective. We would have liked to have seen a license from the UK Gambling Commission or from Malta, but we are happy to see that there is one of the second-tier options listed on the site.
There are a few countries that cannot currently create real money accounts at 188Bet. We know this will aggravate some people who have seen the logo on one of the teams they follow, but this is the harsh reality of our business. These countries are on the Restricted List:
Australia, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Guadeloupe, Hong Kong, Iran, Israel, Martinique, Netherlands, Philippines, Romania, Réunion, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United States, Italy
Software and Site Design
Our first look at the 188 websites was the homepage, where a series of news articles and promotions are listed. We like the layout here, especially since we just wanted to get a snapshot of what we would find at the site. The different products are listed at the top of the screen, so we clicked on Sports and were taken immediately to the main betting page.
When we look at a sportsbook’s betting page for the first time, our eyes are trained to notice differences between it and any of the other sites we have reviewed. The first impression we had was excellent – there is lots of information on the screen, and the setup shouldn’t confuse anyone who heads here to make their bets. The highlighted games are in the center of the page, and the empty betting slip is on the right-hand side of the screen. We like that the site has added some incentives to the highlighted game by way of enhanced odds on a couple of prop bets.
What we really liked about 188Bet’s layout was the listing of the sports in the left-hand column of the page. Here, there is a quick snapshot of the matches that are already underway as well as how many are starting soon. For us, this makes a ton of sense as we typically head to the sportsbook in the minutes leading up to game time. Also, you can customize the column with a list of your favorite sports, shuffling the remaining sports down the page.
Finally, eSports is so prominent at 188Bet that it has its own tab at the top of the page. We can see why this is the case, as the video game-based competitions are hugely popular with Asian players. The largest competitions are held in Asia, with millions of dollars in prizes to be won by those competing. With so much on the line, the ability to gamble on the outcome of these tournaments is an added value to users of 188Bet. We saw bets available on several game titles, including the upcoming major championships.
Overall, we are very impressed with the Sports section at 188Bet. It is clear the company has invested significant resources into the product.
Not to be overshadowed by the sportsbook, 188Bet has a full complement of other products available for players. Across the top of every page, you will see tabs for Casino, Live Casino, Lottery and Poker, rounding out an excellent gaming offering
The 188Bet Casino is supplied by Microgaming and Quickspin, which means you are going to find top-quality titles in the lobby. Microgaming has been creating incredible slots games for over 20 years, including many that have content from other entertainment brands. If you want to become an instant millionaire, you should try one of the huge progressive jackpot slots games. The site boasts over 400 titles in the casino, including many of these ones that we loved during our testing.
We also checked out the Live Dealer Casino while writing this review. These games are awesome – you get to play with a real dealer on the screen but from the luxury of your couch! The games are little slower than traditional online casino games, but at the end of the day, we think that is a good thing as it replicates playing in a land-based casino. There are many games and tables to choose from in this section of the site.
Poker is more of an add-on product at 188Bet. That doesn’t mean that the product is inferior, but if you are a player who is looking for tournaments featuring huge prize pools or some higher-stakes cash games, then you probably won’t get much out of this site.
Depending on where you are playing from, you may be able to download the 188Bet app to your mobile device. The site offers an app in the Google Play and Apple app stores, but this is limited to jurisdictions where online gambling is currently regulated. Thos of you playing in gray markets will need to find the mobile site via your phone or tablet’s browser. We checked out the mobile site, and we found it to be more than adequate for betting purposes. The site has been formatted to fit mobile screens, and because the casino product is available without having to download anything, you can also play your favorite games right from your mobile device.
Most of the promotions that we found when researching 188Bet were of the poker variety, which isn’t surprising as they are network offers for all the players who have skins on the Microgaming Poker Network. From a sportsbook perspective, we are going to focus on the Welcome offer.
Up to $75 in Cash from the Sportsbook
This is a tidy little promotion that rewards frequent bettors more than those who bet huge amounts. Smaller bets are more likely to be placed by amateur bettors, putting the sportsbook at a much lower risk. Here is how the bonus works:
The Up to £/€75 Sports Welcome Cash Bonus on Sports or Racing promotion is based upon a Qualified Members wagering within the first 30 days of signing up to 188BET. The wagering requirements and cash amount to be unlocked are as follows:
- 10 – 19 Bets Placed: £/€25 Cash
- 20 – 29 Bets Placed: £/€50 Cash
- 30+ Bets Placed: £/€75 Cash
There are some Terms and Conditions that you can review on the site, but we like the way this offer is set up, and so there is no reason not to take advantage if you can.
With a site that puts this much importance on the Asian market, the payment methods need to reflect this as well, and that is exactly what we found when we were searching for ways to make a deposit. Many of the options are only open to gamblers from that region but don’t worry, there are enough global payment processors that you won’t have an issue with deposits or withdrawals. Bettors can play in a series of different currencies including all the main Asian ones.
MasterCard, Neteller, Solo, Switch, Visa Electron, Visa, Entropay, Skrill, Boleto, Delta, Direct Bank Transfer, Local/Fast Bank Transfers, Santander, Transferencia Bancaria Local, UK credit card, ThaiDirect, China online payment, WING, Brazil credit card, HSBC, Bradesco
Cheque, Neteller, Entropay, Skrill, Local/Fast Bank Transfers, Transferencia Bancaria Local, UK Visa credit card, International Bank transfer, WING, Brazil Visa credit card
Customer Service is available 24 hours a day at 188Bet, which is great news seeing that they have players in Asia and in Europe predominantly. Anyone who has an issue or question can reach the site via Live
Chat, Email or by telephone. The site even lists its mailing address if you want to send something via that method (we have no idea what that might be).
188Bet has worked hard on its site to be attractive to both the European and Asian markets, and it shows in the offering we reviewed. A full-service gambling site, sports betting is still the main focus, and the company has done an excellent job creating a great betting atmosphere for all levels of gamblers. We highly recommend this site to anyone who can access it.