Andrej’s been around since day one. Let’s just say that he could get around an online casino blindfolded. That’s not to say that he does, he’s a perfectionist at heart. Fine print? There is none with Andrej.
If you've ever looked for an online casino or betting site, then you're probably aware of bet365. They're one of the biggest online gambling sites out there, and for as long as I've known them, they've always been the ones that other sites in the industry end up following. As someone who's been reviewing online casinos for a while, I'm glad to be able to show you why I think bet365's position at the top is well deserved.
One of the first things that really struck me was how quickly I managed to register and set up my account on bet365. I was up and running in around 5 minutes! Once I was through the door, the sheer volume of available games was phenomenal. All my favourite games were there, and I even discovered some new ones too, and that's something I don't see very often.
I was also really impressed with how many different options I had when it came to contacting customer support, including 24/7 live chat and free phone lines. Speaking of options, I was also really blown away by the selection of payment methods available.
I expected that it would take me ages to go through the sign-up process, but registering an account and completing the KYC at bet365 didn't even take long enough for my tea to go cold. The actual signing up happened on a single page, where they asked me for the regular kind of details you'd expect, like my address and my contact details. I liked that all I had to do was pop in my postcode and it auto-retrieved my address for me.
The KYC procedure took no time at all. All I had to do was send them the documents they asked for, and I was good to go. One of the first things I saw when entering the site as a registered player was their New Player Bonus (i.e. what a lot of people call a 'Welcome Bonus'). What struck me about their new player bonus the most is how easy it was to understand what I needed to do to redeem it. I've been on other casino sites where just trying to figure out if a welcome bonus was worthwhile or not took lots of scrolling, zooming in on tiny fonts, and whipping out my phone to use as a calculator.
The bet365 new player bonus gives you a chance to get 100% of your first deposit matched as bonus funds between £10 and £100. Of course, every welcome bonus comes with terms and conditions, so I wanted to see how high the wagering requirements would be to actually redeem those bonus funds. Some online casinos out there make the wagering requirement so high that your average player isn't able to redeem it, but at bet365 all I had to do was wager my initial deposit and the bonus funds fifteen times. In my opinion, that's much more reasonable than most other online casinos, so no issues there. Then I saw that I had 30 days to meet those requirements, meaning that if I played my cards right, I'd be able to redeem my new player bonus without any much difficulty, depending on how big of a bonus I wanted.
I decided to start slow, and I aimed to get £25 in bonus funds. All I needed to do then was make my first deposit of £25 and use the "Bonus100" bonus code when making that deposit. And as soon as the transaction was complete, my £25 bonus was sitting right there in my Bonus Funds balance. All I needed to do then was wager my £25 bonus and my £25 deposit 15 times within 30 days, and my bonus funds were redeemed and ready to withdraw. The one caveat was that I couldn't use place any single wagers of over 30% of my bonus when trying to redeem the funds, meaning I had to stick to wagers around £8 at first.
These are the Key Bonus Terms and Conditions I saw on bet365 when Signing Up
Instead of trying to just rattle the terms and conditions off from memory, I'm going to let bet365 speak for themselves here. The following terms and conditions are reproduced from bet365's new player bonus page. They are the same terms and conditions that I was subject to when I redeemed my new player bonus at the beginning of my bet365 casino review process:
I've known for a while now that bet365 are actually pretty well known for their promotions and bonuses. I hadn't looked at the site in a while, and I was eager to see what bet365 would have in store for me.
bet365 change up their bonuses for existing players every month, which was great news for me because I love having a new reason to keep coming back for more. Obviously, this also means that the promotions I saw will likely have changed a few times over before you read this. Nevertheless, though, my experiences should give you a decent idea of the quality of promotions you're likely to find at bet365 yourself.
I had three different options available to me other than the new player bonus, and they weren't mutually exclusive, so I was able to give all of them a go. Two promotions could reward players with free spins, and one that gave me cash back for playing a specific live casino game. I loved the fact that there was a promotion for the live casino section of the games library, as that's a section that a lot of casinos don't give enough love to.
The first promotion I tried was a relatively simple one, I had to predict who would win a boxing match and then play £10 on casino games to lock in my choice. Anyone who chose correctly was rewarded with free spins to use on a number of games, all of which were listed in the terms and conditions. I, unfortunately, didn't make the right call and didn't win my free spins, but I loved the experience of that promotion anyway. I'm not a boxing guy, but I found myself checking the results on my phone while out and about because I was so excited to see if I'd won any free spins.
Speaking of free spins, the second promotion I tried was called the Free Spins Builder, and I was able to actually claim some free spins on this one. All I had to do was play any of a number of specific slot games on particular days of the month, and if I got 5 free spins for staking the first £50, and another free spin for every £10 I staked after that. It was limited to 100 free spins, and I had a blast with it. It was also an excellent incentive for me to try out some new slots games.
The third promotion I went for was the Live Blackjack Cashback offer, which gave me 10% cashback if I played live blackjack for at least 10 rounds on Tuesdays and ended up under. As a fan of live blackjack, I'd likely to have been playing it anyway, but I think it was a great way to bring in players who might not have typically gone for a live casino game.
I've been in and out of bet365 for quite a few years now, and when it comes to keeping users safe and responsible gambling, they're basically the site that all the other sites end up copying. Of course, though, when it comes to writing a review, my anecdotal evidence and general feelings don't quite cut it, so I went looking for any records of shady behaviour or fines from licensing authorities. There was absolutely nothing out there connected to player safety or data security whatsoever.
I'm also a big believer in the systems doing their jobs. A quick glance at the footer (as well as the fact that I could access the bet365 website from the UK at all) told me that bet365 are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). This is basically the government department that's responsible for making sure that online gambling companies meet a set of stringent rules to be given a gambling licence.
I saw that bet365 have really put a lot of resources into their responsible gambling efforts too. Even when registering my new account, bet365 gave me the option to set reminders to not play for too long, and their site includes several tools. Like the ability to set deposit limits on yourself, to set yourself a "Time Out" if you think you need a few days or weeks away from gambling, as well as the option to self-exclude yourself, which is like putting yourself on a blacklist so that gambling sites won't accept new user registrations from you.
In terms of fairness, I trust bet365 there too. All I had to do was scroll down to the footer and click on "Fair Payouts", and all of their RNG certificates are listed, described, and linked to. They've paid several third parties to audit their fairness and then made those results public.
I've never, personally, had any issues with bet365 before that had any impact on how trustworthy I think they are, and even when I went looking for one, I just couldn't find it.
I'm one of those guys who likes my online spending and my real-world spending to all run on the same system, and I rarely get that experience when using online casinos. When it came to bet365, however, I was in heaven.
For some context, I'm an Android user who's really heavily invested in the ecosystem. My home is full of smart devices that run on Google Home, and while I use a Macbook, my phones have been Android phones for years, and even my fancy Bose headphones have Google Assistant built it. When I'm out and about I generally pay for everything with Google Pay by tapping my smartwatch on terminals, no faffing about with my wallet or making sure my phone is in hand. A flick of the wrist and the transaction is complete.
I headed to bet365 fully expecting to need to use one of my e-wallets or my VISA debit card, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that they support Google Pay deposits! And I saw that they support Apple Pay too, so anyone on the other side of the Android / iPhone divide isn't left out either. I made probably seven or eight deposits over the few weeks I spent with bet365 for this review, and whether I was depositing £20 or £400, it was a couple of clicks (or taps, if I was using the app), and I was good to go.
As for withdrawals, when you use Google Pay or Apple Pay as a deposit method, you need to use wire transfer as a withdrawal method. I'm the kind of guy that just makes a regular, monthly withdrawal, so waiting 4 or 5 days for the wire transfer wasn't an issue for me. Of course, I knew that there would be people reading this that wanted faster withdrawals, so I made one more deposit with my PayPal account.
I found that withdrawing funds with PayPal was incredibly fast. As in, the money was in my account the same day. The bet365 website says that it could take up to 24 hours for a PayPal withdrawal to go through, which is still a shockingly short amount of time.
Overall, I found it easier to make transactions on bet365 than I do on most online shopping sites, which is no small feat in 2020.
This is one area of bet365 that I think needs a little more work. The games library is likely going to be different depending on when you live, but here in the UK, the games library is phenomenal.
Small disclaimer: I initially thought that a lot of the games that I know and love weren't listed. It was only after a few days on the site that I realised that a lot of the games just aren't where I'd expected them to be. You can read more about the UI below, but if you think that a game you're looking for isn't there, make sure to look at all the different sections of the site.
I was really pleased to see all my favourites listed, like Bood of Dead by Play'n Go and Starburst by NetEnt. I was thrilled to see that they even had my guilty-pleasure game, Moon Princess by Play'n Go. After spending a decent amount of time with bet365, I'm pretty sure that you'll be able to find most, if not all, of your favourite games on there.
While I was there, I also played a lot of table games, particularly blackjack and roulette, and I had a great time. I tried to play a few different types of games to get a real feel for the library, but as a fan of roulette and blackjack, I can honestly say they bet365 really do table games justice.
I'm not the biggest video poker guy, but in the spirit of trying new things, I spent a good few evenings whiling away the hours with Deuces Wild. My real love, though, are jackpots. You'll find the biggest and most popular jackpots like Mega Moolah by Microgaming and Mega Fortune by NetEnt, but don't stop there. I found so many more jackpots that gave me such a good time. I even ended up falling in love with Age of the Gods: Epic Troy by Playtech, a game that's exclusive to bet365, which was a really lovely surprise.
While I spent most of my time with bet365 using the desktop version of their website, I have a pretty long commute every day. For the few weeks I spent with bet365; however, I decided that I'd put their mobile site and their app to the test.
For starters, the mobile site has all the same functionality as the desktop site, and without that bizarre request to enable Flash in my browser. One of the first things that caught my eye, though, was a prompt to install the app. So I clicked the link, which took me to the Google Play Store, and a minute or so later, the app was downloaded and installed. I popped in my bet365 login details, and I was signed in straight away. I loved that the mobile app was hosted on the Google Play Store, as opposed to having to download an apk file and sideload like used to be the norm with casino apps.
I was able to do almost anything on the bet365 app that I could do on the desktop site. Of course, there are always going to be a few games that weren't designed to be played in portrait mode or with a touchscreen. By and large, though, I didn't have too many issues with game compatibility. The only problem I had was with the UI, but that's for all the same reasons I mentioned above.
Like I said above, I'm into my blackjack and roulette, so the live casino section is an important one for me. There's something that's just really immersive about knowing that a real live dealer is dealing real cards or spinning a real wheel in my game, even though I was just sitting around the house in my pyjamas during most of those games.
I really liked the lobby system that bet365 have in place, and I found myself being sorted into games really quickly with very little waiting time. There was enough variety that I never really felt like I wished there more, and the games themselves were a great time.
One thing I noticed was a lack of VIP tables in the live casino section. However, I know how weird and secretive some casinos can be about their VIP programme, so I decided to behave like my mother-in-law and harass customer support until I got the answers I needed. After talking to a lovely customer service representative on their live chat, I discovered something a little surprising, there are no VIP tables. VIP members are given a higher betting limit than regular players, but they don't have any tables specifically for VIPs. What they do have, however, are high-roller tables with much higher minimums than your more casual tables.
For starters, I headed to the bet365 games library. I was immediately transported to the past as I got a notification informing me that I needed to enable Flash for the plugin to work. While bet365 do have a desktop client available for Windows users, Mac users need to use their browsers and need to use Flash-enabled browsers. Luckily for me, I use Google Chrome, and all I had to do was click a prompt to get it up and running.
Secondly, as I said above in the Games Library section of this review, the site isn't the most straightforward to navigate. While most bookmaker/casino combo sites split their sites into three main sections ('Sports', 'Casino', and 'Live Casino'), bet365 split their casino offering into 'Casino', 'Games', 'Vegas' and 'Live Casino'. To be perfectly honest, I didn't even notice the 'Games' or 'Vegas' sections and assumed that all the casino games would be in the 'Casino' section.
I then discovered that the search function on bet365 doesn't work across different sections, meaning if I searched for a game that was in one particular section from anywhere else, it wouldn't show up. This means that if you want to play Mega Moolah, and search for it from the 'Casino' section or the 'Vegas' section, it won't show up. What you need to do is search for the game from the 'Games' section. While I could clearly see why some games were in one section and not another, there were a lot of times that I just couldn't predict where the game I wanted would be. I really do love bet365, honestly, but this particular design choice is something that I absolutely can't stand.
Another thing that made it difficult for me to find the games I wanted was a total lack of filters on the site. I like to be able to narrow things down without needing to type a specific term into a search bar, that's how I tend to discover new games (or at least, games that are new to me). Instead of filters, each of the sections that the games are sorted into (and I use "sorted" loosely) have a Netflix-esque series of carousels with titles like 'Recommended', 'New', and more. This is something I actually usually love, however when combined with the three different site sections and the lack of filters, culminates in a frustrating labyrinth of a user interface.
A lot of online casinos keep their VIP programme under lock and key, so when I couldn't find a VIP page on their website with basic information, I got straight on the live chat and started talking to their customer service representatives, and then a very odd thing happened.
I first spoke to a customer service representatives about VIP tables in their Live Casino (I mentioned this briefly above), and that customer service rep. told me that they do have VIP tables, but they only appear for VIP members. It seemed reasonable enough, so I just went about my day. A few hours later, I went back to the live chat and tried asking a second customer service representative for some more information on how to become a VIP or what their VIP benefits were. This second customer service representative told me that not only are there no VIP tables, but there's no VIP programme for casino players at all, just for Bingo and Poker players.
To say that I was confused would be an understatement, but I figured that you know what, third time would be the charm. This third customer service representative would be the tie-breaker. I contacted customer service one more time about this, and this third CS representative told me, in no uncertain terms, bet365 does indeed have a VIP programme for casino players.
At the end of each week, on a Friday, the VIP and Loyalty team hand out bonuses to accounts that catch their eye. I was told that if an account continues to get these bonuses consecutively, they'll be considered for the VIP programme. Once an account is a VIP account, the types of bonuses you get are catered to your style of play.
During my time with bet365 working on this casino review, I contacted customer care several times. For starters, I really liked how many options I had when I needed more information. Before we get into what it's like to contact customer support, let's get into their FAQ section. I loved the bet365 FAQ section. It's full of questions, the questions are sorted into categories, and their FAQ section is searchable! I don't think that, as a reviewer, there's anything that quite gives me joy like an FAQ section with a search bar. I could jump in, type a keyword, get the info I needed, and be done in like a minute.
When it came to anything that either wasn't covered by the FAQs, I had a lot of different options to choose from when it came to how I'd contact customer support. I mostly used the live chat, because I'm a millennial and it's the most immediate way to get answers without having to speak on the phone, but I did use their freephone twice just so I could test the feature out. I also emailed them once, just to see how long it would take to get a response, but I didn't send in a query through the post, even though that is an option they have.
As I mentioned above, my bet365 customer support experiences were mixed. Just finding out if they had a VIP program was a Shakespearean experience told in three acts. The second customer service representative ended up being wrong, but they were never rude or impatient, so there's at least that. Except for that particular CS rep., all of the others I communicated with seemed super eager to make sure that I'd leave the chat satisfied and with all the information I needed, so while my experience wasn't perfect, it was a good experience overall, and I loved that their customer service representatives were available 24/7.
If you like using the same payment methods at the corner shop as you do online if you like knowing that there's a UK freephone number always available if you need help, then bet365 is likely the place for you. They've clearly put a lot of emphasis on making things as comfortable as possible for UK-based players. They have made the sign-up process as straightforward as possible, despite the UKGC regulations requiring them to collect so much information.
My experience with bet365 in the UK has been pretty great, overall. Sure, there's one or two things I'd change if I had the opportunity, but when it comes down to the brass tacks of what's essential for an online casino to have, bet365 tick all the boxes. They have a UK freephone line for their customer service, as well as live chat and other options. They have a varied amount of payment methods, including the super convenient Google Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal options; and they have a great selection of rotating promotions for existing players. If you're looking for a casino that you can excited to come back to, I definitely recommend signing up at bet365.