Match.Center – For your best bookmaker match!

Match.Center – For your best bookmaker match!

Publication date: 18/01/2023

We're not the sort of site that gives 9 out of 10 to everyone, we use a thorough grading matrix to ensure our rating is based on merit. Match.Center experts have rated every legal bookmaker in the country based on nine parameters. These results have been compiled to give a comprehensive and objective assessment of how the bookmakers compare to one another. We outline how the scoring process works below.

Many of the bookmakers in our rating get low scores for one of the three reasons listed below:

  • We work in the bettors' interests, in your interests, and therefore it's impossible to buy a score in our ratings;
  • We know a lot about how bookmakers operate in different countries, including the best practices, so our standards are very high;
  • We focus on betting products, so integrating casinos, bingo or lotteries does not add "easy points" to a bookmaker.

Our nine parameters are divided into three categories: Technology & Product, Offers & Payments, UX & Support. Each parameter is marked on a scale of 0 to 10 with the average used to rate the bookmakers. In addition, the betting site which is rated as the market leader in one of these three categories unlocks an achievement.

Below, we detail how each category is evaluated and provide examples of outstanding bookmakers in the most competitive European market, the UK.

Technology & Product

Here we assess the quality of the betting product and betting coverage: what kind of bets the site offers, what features the platform supports, and what level of odds we can expect.

Events and markets

We calculate the number of sports to bet on, the number of pre-match markets for a popular game and the margin on a big market, for example, Over/Under 2.5 Goals on football. 10 points in this category means 30+ sports, 500+ football markets and a low margin, not higher than 4%.

We have a clear scoring system for the number of disciplines and the size of the margin (more details on the screenshot).

Gradation by number of sports

Gradation by number of sports

Gradation by size of margin

Gradation by size of margin

Evaluating by the size of a market does not give the full picture. For example, at some bookmakers you can bet on dozens of options for the final score in a football match, however there are only one or two options for Over/Under. There are plenty of bets, but we wouldn't consider this a good quality range of markets as betting on Over/Under is much more popular than betting on the correct score. That is why we consider the number of betting options and also their relevance.

Here is an example of how we assess the quality of the markets for UK bookmakers.

Evaluation of markets in the Match.Center rating

Evaluation of markets in the Match.Center rating

In our UK rating, it wasn't Bet365 who were awarded 10 points for the markets, but the much lesser-known betting site VBET: for their 30+ disciplines, excellent range of markets and the best odds on top football matches compared to all bookmakers in the country, with a margin as low as 2.5-3%.

Live streaming

The main marker used to evaluate the quality of the live service is live streaming. In Play betting is offered by all bookmakers in 2023, and with the focus on different sports, it would be difficult to objectively judge the quality by the number of bets or markets within an event. However, not all companies, even the big ones, offer a wide range of live streams. A variety of live streams is a good indicator that the bookmaker wants to provide the best possible betting experience to customers.

The more sports streamed on the bookmaker's website and app, the higher they score. We pay attention to whether there is live video for popular leagues like the EPL and NBA, and the conditions for watching: is registration required, is a positive account balance checked, or do you have to place a bet to access it for 24 hours? We also add a point for the streaming schedule and broadcast graphics, even for a bookmaker without live streaming, which we feel is fair, because it is a step in the right direction.

In the UK, for example, Ladbrokes, Sky Bet and Bet365 are among the live streaming leaders with the highest score. These bookmakers regularly stream horse racing, greyhounds and NBA events, some football championships in Europe, the occasional European football cups, as well as niche tournaments in various sports.

Mobile apps

A great app will be less valuable if the overall product is bad as we know that it is difficult to separate the app score from the overall bookmaker experience. This is why we take a detailed look at the apps in our reviews, however, in the ratings, we simply note their availability: the bookmaker gets five points for the Android and iOS apps.

The logic is the same as with live streaming: developing and updating apps is a difficult and costly task. The availability of apps confirms the bookmaker's intention to reach the whole market and make betting more convenient.

We don't like the practice of displaying an Android and iOS logo on a site, which is in fact just a shortcut to the website via the browser despite looking like a "mobile app". We're exposing them by checking the functionality of the links to see if the app starts downloading.

Offers & Payments

Everyone is happy to receive bonuses and withdraw winnings. In this category, we evaluate how good they are by separately reviewing the supported payment systems, bonuses for new customers and for regular bettors.

Payment systems

We award one point for each of the deposit methods accepted as it expands the customer's options and is a good indicator of the platform's quality. We understand that in practice, you will probably only use one or two methods, however, in our experience the best bookmakers support as many choices as possible so that potential clients can quickly become real customers.

We evaluate the number of methods very strictly. For example, bank cards of all standards (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro) are only 1 point, not 3. Why? We believe that it makes little difference which debit card you use to fund your betting account; it is still a bank account, a piece of plastic in your wallet, and your financial information in the bookmaker's system.

The same goes for the other methods, such as electronic wallets (Skrill, Neteller, etc.), one more point for mobile payments and another one for cryptocurrencies (and this is not allowed in all countries). Thus, it is very hard to get 10 points for payment systems in the Match.Center rating.

Once again, let's look at our rating as an example. UK betting site William Hill received 10 points for its support of payment systems. The bookmaker accepts money by ALL legal methods and provides detailed deposit instructions on its website. In our Spanish rating, however, the same William Hill only gets 6 points for payment methods — as there is a much smaller choice.

Bonuses for new customers

You should take all the bonuses you legally can, there's no financial reason to "stay loyal" to one bookmaker. However, keep in mind that some bonuses are easier to get than others, and this is reflected in our ratings.

A higher bonus amount doesn’t guarantee a higher rating, for example, if £10 of a £30 bonus is a casino bonus and £20 of a bonus is for a sportsbook with complicated wagering requirements, a bonus like that can get you just 1 point despite its fancy signage.

A no deposit bonus of £10 or more deserves the highest points. Also, 10 points can be awarded to a bookmaker that offers several welcome bonuses with above-average conditions to choose from, such as separate bonuses for sports and horse racing bets.

We do not assess casino bonuses in this way. If they are available, we point them out, but that's it. They can, however, negatively impact the rating awarded, for example, if there's a combination offer where you're required to not only bet, but also spin the slots, that's a disadvantage. Our view is that sports betting is more intellectual than casino games, as your decisions in the latter don't change the probability of success over time, it all depends on the RTP setting.

Bonuses for existing customers

Bookmakers usually focus on bonuses for new customers in their advertising campaigns in an attempt to extend their reach. For those users who already have an account and bet regularly, it is far more important to have bonuses that can be obtained many times.

The bookmakers with Free bet clubs deserve the highest score in our rating. These are promotions where you can get a Free bet every day or week, depending on the amount you spend on betting. In a good Free bet club, you get a bonus even if your bets win.

We also add points for the loyalty programme, regular enhanced odds to single and acca bets, as well as BOG and extra places for racing fans.

An example of this can be seen in the UK, where there are over a hundred legal bookmakers and they fight hard for customers. Here we have noted Sky Bet and Quinnbet as having exemplary Free bet clubs. With these bookmakers, you can get bonuses on your turnover every week.

UX & Support

At some point, most clients will contact customer support or start reading the rules. This often happens when they are unhappy with the bet settlement or haven't received the bonus they were hoping for. It is important that at this point the bookmaker gives all the necessary explanations: quickly, politely, and comprehensively. We thoroughly check the level and quality of service provided to the customer when these situations occur.

Registration and customer support

It is not enough to provide a username and email to create an account on a legal betting site. The bookmaker legally requests a lot of information. The best bookmakers make sure that the process remains transparent and simple. We evaluate how the bookmaker structures the sign-up process step by step.

Customer support should be available for prospective customers, not just those who have an account. We assess what communication channels are available, whether you need to go through a live chat bot to contact the operator, whether the support team is 24/7, and whether you can contact them in one click.

Legal information

Match.Center only evaluates legal betting sites, and this information should be visible so that you can see whether the betting site is legal. We check whether the links are clickable and if there is detailed information about the bet settlement for different markets and sports.

Ease of navigation

Although ease of navigation is usually considered to be a subjective parameter we have tried to evaluate it objectively.

In addition, we take into account the navigation tools that help you find a bet quickly: search, favourites, and smartphone notifications that you can customise.

If you can see everything at a glance we believe that the platform's interface will be user friendly, even for newcomers and that’s worth 10 points.

What we don't consider

  • Reviews on the Internet. We know that favourable reviews for bookmakers are very rare. So we have decided to concentrate on evaluating the bookmaker's product and not deal with the praise from bots and swearing from offended customers - we trust our experience more.
  • Reputation on the market. This concept is too abstract, we cannot measure it. Moreover, we know that size does not guarantee quality. There are small niche bookmakers where the client is king and there are large corporations where, year after year, they pay more and more attention to casinos and less to sports betting.
  • Partnership. For Match.Center ratings, betting sites are evaluated using the same methodology, regardless of whether they are our partners or not.
  • Bonus restrictions for white label networks. If a company supports multiple betting sites with bonus programmes, the T&Cs may state that you can only get one bonus from the company and not from each of its sites. We don't like such terms, but we are evaluating bonuses, not company policies. We urge you to pay attention to this.

So what are the final scores?

We compiled the data from all nine parameters to reach our final ratings. Here is the table with the top ten legal UK bookmakers for your reference:

Take a look at the Match.Center backend a summary table with UK bookmakers’ ratings.

Take a look at the Match.Center backend a summary table with UK bookmakers’ ratings.

We update our ratings regularly. The most frequent changes are the scores for live streaming, bonuses and payment methods.