Betfred have been plying their trade since 1967, although they began life under a different moniker; and are now regularly accepted as being the 4th biggest bookie in the UK, claiming a seat among the notorious big 5.
They have proclaimed themselves as The Bonus King, and to be fair they are well within their rights to do so since not only did they introduce the idea of Best Odds Guaranteed to the industry, but they also offer a shed load of other bonuses and benefits to make your wagers worth more.
While they don’t always stack up to other big brands in terms of market range and scope there is still an awful lot to bet on, and Horse Racing fans would be remiss to go anywhere else, especially if they like to watch live.
A lot of people value the ability to visit a bookie in person, and since Betfred operate more than 1,650 of them they certainly tick that box; but their desktop and mobile sites tell two very different stories.
Markets & Odds
Being the owners of the Tote, it is obvious that Betfred put a heavy focus on Horse Racing. They cover every UK and Ireland race and offer Live Streaming on the lot, as well as covering plenty of Internationals; plus, they offer Best Odds Guaranteed alongside a number of other racing promotions on ante-post bets. If you are someone who bets on the horses (or the dogs for that matter) then Betfred is a solid contender for your business.
Football is another area with good coverage, from real low league games across the UK to U18 Internationals, and you might find some price boosts in this category too alongside a couple of fun coupons. Market depth tends to be strong, try 25 – 35 for 2nd tier European fixtures; but they aren’t always particularly creative, so if you are someone that likes to dabble in the nitty gritty you will find more choice elsewhere.
Surprisingly for a bookie of this size their list contains less than 30 sports categories. 30+ is more usual for big brands so there is something lacking here, although all of the main events are sure to be available.
No one will be getting particularly excited about the odds at Betfred if taken at face value, but if you take advantage of the many promotions and use them in conjunction then you could be looking at some high value selections. This is especially true when betting on the Horses, Football, or NFL.
In summary, there is plenty here and at a fair price too, and if they were just another bookie we would be singing their praises. As one of the big 5, however, we feel Betfred are dragging their feet a little.
If we are talking Horse Racing then you will struggle to find much better. Every UK and Ireland meeting is available to stream as long as you have made the customary £1 bet, and the quality is great. For everything else, you can count on around 50 live streams per day that are free to watch as long as your account is funded.
The great thing about the Watch Sports Live area is that it opens in a new window. Usually, this would feel overly busy, but in actuality, it allows for uninterrupted browsing of the rest of the site while still keeping an eye on the game. You can bet within this window too and it is very well designed.
The in-play area fares better than the rest of the site in terms of functionality and user friendliness, since the interface has more room to breathe and there is less info on display. This helps it to be much more ergonomic.
A minimum of 100-150 events should be available at quiet times of the day, with Ice Hockey, Tennis, Basketball, and Football most prevalent; although some of the less well represented sports boast many more markets since only the bigger games are being covered. For example, there is currently one American Football event with 45+ markets, whereas there are 67 Football events with an average of just 20+.
Odds are a little flabby for in-play markets, however, so keep an eye on those promotions to add more value and use cash-out wisely.
There is good news and bad news here. Minimum deposits are low enough to make gambling affordable for almost everyone, although processing times at Betfred’s end can be as long as 48 hours; and with some online bookies getting it done in just a few hours Betfred could certainly trim the fat a little in this area.
There is plenty of choice, though, so you won’t struggle to find a banking method to suit you, however some withdrawals could be subject to a fee so always read the full banking T’s and C’s before you commit. For example, you only get one free withdrawal via Bank Transfer every 28 days – the next will cost you £12!
With Betfred being a physical bookmaker, you have a few options that you don’t have elsewhere: unlike with most other bookies you have the added ability to bet over the phone and instore, offering even more flexibility as to how you conduct your business. Betting over the phone carries a £10 minimum deposit and a £250 maximum withdrawal, whereas you are free to do as you please instore. You can withdraw online funds instore but it’s not a simple process and anything over £250 will require photo I.D and 48 hours notice.
For everything else, see below:
|Banking Method||Min/Max Deposit||Min/Max Withdrawal||Withdrawal Time|
|Debit Card||£5-£40,000||£10-£10,000||Up to 3 Working Days|
|Mastercard/Visa Credit||£5-£20,000||£5-£20,000||3-5 Working Days|
|Skrill||£5-£8,000||£5- £8,000||1-3 Working Days|
|Neteller||£5-£15,000||£5-£15,000||1-3 Working Days|
|Paypal||£5-£15,000||£5-£5,000||1-3 Working Days|
|Bank Transfer||No Limits||£25-No Limit||3-5 Working Days|
Betfred are excellent for offering plenty of features and new reasons to keep coming back. There are numerous ongoing and weekly promotions that we won’t go into, as well as a very rewarding VIP scheme for all you high rollers – since Betfred sponsor so many sporting events their VIP invitations can be envious.
#Pickyourpunt doesn’t need much explaining and is available on events selected by Betfred, while a few other features are examined below:
The Totepool works in a similar way to a lottery. All of the money wagered goes into a pool with the winner or winners claiming all or a percentage of that pool once the race is over: a single winner would claim 100% of the pool whereas two winners would get 50% each.
Within this, there are various different bet types to allow for a fun and flexible experience with varying jackpots that can break the £1 million pound barrier.
This is an entity in itself so we can’t cover it in detail here, but it’s well worth looking into and not nearly as daunting as it might sound.
If you want to dig a little deeper have a look at our Tote review here.
This nifty little feature allows the punter to listen to commentary on a variety of different sports including Horse/Greyhound Racing, Football, and Cricket.
It’s perfect for keeping up with the progress of your sure thing while simultaneously plotting your next move and it’s completely free to listen.
It will pop up in a small new window and you can select which event you want to listen to from the list. Piece of cake.
If you are one of those people who bet on Virtuals then Betfred is one of the best in the field. There are nine categories: Football, Speedway, Boxing, Darts, Motor Racing, Cycling, Tennis, Horses, and Greyhounds.
The Boxing, in particular, is great fun, and visually they are mostly all impressive with Darts even using a combination of CGI and real footage. Football is the one area where graphics were a slight issue.
Commentary varies from excellent (Boxing, Football) to almost pointless (sorry Darts) but all in all this is one of the best virtual offerings we have used both in terms of variety and quality.
It’s not always a wise move to make, but it is always a fantastic option to have at your disposal. It won’t always be an option, but Betfred offers Cash Out on single and multiple bets on Football, Golf, and Horse Racing (win and each way). The Cash Out symbol will be evident on qualifying bets.
It’s a simple feature; during your chosen event you can opt to end your bet early with new odds based on the current situation or let the wager run its natural course. The cash out amount you are offered may be more or less than your initial stake, but given the circumstances you may decide it’s your best option.
It’s a useful way to claw back a bit of capital if you feel your selection is doomed to lose or to ensure a profit if they are currently in the lead but you feel their luck is about to run out.
It may not appeal to all of you, but if you can’t resist a companion lotto bet alongside your sports betting activities then Betfred grants access to draws from New York to Poland.
If you have a few quid left over and nothing to spend them on then this is a great little punt with high returns. Of course, it’s all blind luck, but sometimes a break from all the analysing of sports stats can be a welcome relief.
You aren’t entering the lottery itself, mind you, rather you are betting on what the outcome of that lottery draw will be.
The Casino itself is powered by Playtech, but the Games and Vegas areas contain plenty of slots from other providers as well, and the Live Casino creates a more immersive environment if that appeals to you.
There are around 350 games in total, with a lot of branded content in the Slots category plus plenty of Jackpots and Table Games like Blackjack and Roulette.
A downloadable Poker product also exists for the hardcore amongst you and there are plenty of Bingo rooms if you would prefer to keep things light.
We have reviewed the Casino in detail here, and it’s a cracking read if we do say so ourselves.
It might just be us, but we aren’t fans of the desktop site at all.
To start with, the interface is squashed into the middle third of the page meaning everything feels very small and cramped, with acres of empty/advertising space either side. For a site with so much content, this severely restricts the flow and requires expert precision to hit the right button or link. We found it a little slow to respond at points as well, although it would be unfair to call it sluggish overall.
One of the issues is that a lot of the links appear as text rather than as tabs or buttons, which makes them difficult to quickly scan and digest, and consequently, it feels like an effort to look through them. Meanwhile, the A-Z is infuriating in that you have to click through various stages in each sports category before you are shown any odds; Tennis – ATP World Tour Finals – Singles Round Robin Matches – Page Load – Odds (finally…). A category overview would have been nice.
There is nothing fluid about it and the page has to reload what feels like every 5 seconds. We wouldn’t say it is particularly difficult to navigate but it’s certainly frustrating to navigate.
It does the job, and in some areas does it quite well, it’s perfectly serviceable, but it is not contemporary or ingenuitive. Saying that, plenty of people seem to like it so maybe it just contains a lot of our pet peeves.
Thankfully, we got on a lot better with the mobile site than we did with the desktop site; it feels like it has been designed by a different outfit entirely.
The choices are presented clearly and ergonomically with quick access to the most popular or useful features, and everything else separated into sensibly divided areas under the Menu button – you can jump to other areas of the site from here as well, such as the Casino etc.
The in-play area works especially well on mobile and the Watch Live area is just as user friendly if not more so. Drop down collapsible menu’s make everything so much easier to organise and it moves at lightning pace.
It all feels bigger and easier to digest, which is probably thanks in part to the fact that Betfred have had to break their products up on the small screen; so in effect, the Sports, Casino, Live Casino etc are all on separate pages so they can each run more efficiently, although as a punter this will never be apparent or cause an issue.
We really enjoyed using the mobile site. You can glide from one part of it to another with ease, it’s remarkably easy on the eye, and nothing ever gets in the way of what you are trying to do next. Highly recommended.
If England hadn’t won the World Cup in 1966 there would be no BetFred. Hard to imagine – almost as hard to imagine as England winning the World Cup again – but that is a conversation for another day.
Fred and Peter Done won big on a bet that England would be victorious in 1966, and they used their winnings to open the first Done Bookmakers in Salford, in 1967.
30 years of steady growth followed, until in 1997 the Done brothers acquired another bookie by the name of Robert Walker which gave them a grand total of 100 licensed betting shops. This was the spark which ignited the flame, and just two years later that number had doubled to 200, with the continuing expansion reaching London by 2002.
2004 was a big year for the company, as not only was this the year that they rebranded to Betfred but it was also the year that the website and all of its associated products was launched. Further positive press came their way at the end of the year when the first ever betting shop millionaire was made in a Betfred shop back home in Salford, the winner netting more than £1.1 million on the totescoop6. A year later and their shop numbers had passed 500.
From 2006-2013 Betfred was the official betting partner of Manchester United, and on several occasions lost out big time by paying out early on bets that United would win the league. They were the first company ever to do this, but on the one occasion Arsenal ended up taking the trophy by one point, and on another Man City stole the trophy on goal difference. So, if Betfred ever offers to pay out early on United again, maybe back the other guy.
The company is known for sponsoring events throughout the sporting calendar, but probably their biggest deal came in 2011 when they won the bid to take control of the Tote from the UK Government. They paid £265 million for the pleasure, and pledged £155 million more into racing over the 7 years of the deal; although currently, the future of the Tote is uncertain.
Today, Betfred employ over 10,000 staff and operates over 1,650 betting shops countrywide. Geoff Hurst has a lot to answer for.
Why Bet With Betfred?
If Horse Racing is a staple part of your gambling diet then Betfred is a brilliant choice. If you couple this with a variety of sports bets then it’s even better.
The plethora of bonuses on offer make up for average odds if you have the inclination to use them, but if you find that all a bit faffy you might be better served elsewhere.
We wouldn’t recommend them for those punters who mainly use a desktop site to wager but if you tend to use your phone you are sure to be impressed. Betfred operating so many bricks and mortar shops is another huge benefit.
You would expect nothing but the best from a company like Betfred, and frankly, there would be no excuse for anything less. Gladly, when it comes to support avenues, they have got your back from every angle.
The Live Chat is a constant feature on every page of the site, and although it looks like something from the internet dark ages (otherwise known as the 90’s) it performs speedily and the staff are great.
The number of e-mail addresses for various different problems is legion, which actually feels a bit messy and convoluted, but they will all get you a swift response within 24 hours; and if you prefer a human touch you can use the 24/7 phone line. Again, there are a few of these, one for Sports, Casino, Phone Betting etc.
The tiny Help icon is your gateway to all of this and will initially plonk you in front of a Betting Glossary. There are too many options here, and the FAQ is a further click away which seems the wrong way around, and it is also split up which makes things more confusing. It’s not rocket science but it can cause unnecessary delays.
There is a Contact option that will bring up all of the information below and more.
Licence & Contact
Live Chat – A 24/7 service ever present on the website so you never have to search for it. You will be connected almost instantly even at busy times.
Email – There are many many email addresses but if you use firstname.lastname@example.org they will forward it on to the right department.
Phone – UK customers can reach the support team on 0800 028 7747 any time of the day or night. Good news for all you night owls. Telephone betting, on the other hand, is 0800 032 0878.
@Betfred – A great account this one. Live updates, odds info on top markets, and video interviews.
Address – Petfre (Gibraltar) Ltd, 5.2 Waterport Place, 2 Europort Avenue, Gibraltar, GX11 1AA
UK Gambling Licence – 39544