138 Bookmaker Review

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138.com aren’t exactly one of the biggest and best known bookmakers for an English audience. That is because they were established in Asia and have made a good name for themselves over there before shifting over to try and win the UK audience. They’re Asian background is evident as soon as you go onto the website, which I’ll talk about more in a moment, and is never far away from your experience with the company.

Fans of the Premier League might well recognise the name of 138.com and wonder why. It’s because they sponsor Watford Football Club and have done ever since 2013. That meant that when the Hornets gained promotion to the English top-flight in 2015 they took the bookies with them as their shirt sponsors and, to date, continue to be sponsored by them. They’re not the first bookie to sponsor an English team and they won’t be the last, I’m sure.

Welcome Offer - £10 Matched Free Bet

138.com's welcome offer is a nice and simple low stakes deal - bet £10 and get a free £10 bet.

How To Claim

Firstly you need to join up and deposit £10 or more into your account. Then you need to wager that £10 on one sportsbook event with odds of Evens (2.00) or over. Then the trick to claiming this bonus is to remember that you’ve got to log back in to your account once your initial bet has been settled and speak to someone on the live chat, telling them that you want to claim your £10 free bet.

What Deposit Methods Are Valid For The Free Bet?

There are no major restrictions to the deposit method you can use to claim this free bet, but it’s worth noting that only debit and credit cards, Neteller, Skrill and Moneybookers are acceptable deposit methods anyway.

How The Free Bet Works

Once you’ve requested the free bet from the customer support team you’ll find that it’s credited to your account within 24 hours. You can use it on any pre-live sportsbook market but you need to place it as one win single bet or combo bet, meaning you can’t split it up into smaller bets. You also can’t use it for system bets such as Heinz, Lucky 31 and so on. The free bet will only be valid for seven days, so use it quickly, and remember that you won’t get your stake back with any winnings.

Regular 138 Promotions

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138.com have a couple of promotions that they run regularly that you might be interested in. The first is Best Odds Guaranteed, a promo that’s ideal for any horse racing lovers out there. This offer says that if you place a bet on a horse that’s running in a UK or Irish race and the starting odds are better than the odds you took when you placed your bet, you get paid at the higher odds. So if you place your bet at 3/1 but the starting price is 5/1, you get paid at 5/1. It doesn’t work the other way, however, so if you place it at 5/1 and the starting price is 3/1 you still get paid at 5/1.

If you’re not a horse racing fan, don’t worry. The company’s Money Back If It’s A Stalemate offer is ideal for any football watchers amongst you. We’ve all been there, we’ve placed a bet on Correct Score and Half-Time/Full-Time markets only for the match we’re watching to turn out to be duller than dishwater. Well with 138.com you can contact their customer support team after the game and they’ll refund your stake from £5 to £20 as a free bet. That offer is for all top-level football, so the likes of Premier League, Bundesliga and the Champions League.

Desktop Site

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The 138.com site is basic in its appearance and I’m willing to bet that it won’t be to everyone’s taste. To be honest with you, though, I actually quite like it. It’s very pared back when you look at it in comparison to a more ‘bells and whistles’ site such as Bet365, but I like that it’s not overly busy as it makes it reasonably simple to navigate your way to what you want. That’s aided by the presence of a ‘Quick Picks’ section down the lefthand side, taking you straight to some of the most popular events of the day.

Underneath the Quick Picks area you’ll find a Live Betting icon, then there’s a list of every sport covered by the bookie. The middle section is headed by a forever changing graphic that tells you about any promotions or big matches that you can bet on, whilst underneath that you’ll have a link of actual live events as well as betting highlights and even a link to last minute bets you might want to place. The righthand side has links to specific quick bets and a live schedule. Meanwhile, if you want to get away from the sportsbook, you’ll be able to find links to the casino and any promotions on the top bar. It’s not the best site in the industry, but I appreciate it’s less busy look.

Mobile App

The 138.com mobile app is, in many way, like a shrunken down version of the desktop site. There’s the same basic appearance that is amplified by a white background colour on every page. Upon opening the app up you’ll be greeted by the welcome page, which includes the latest promotion and quick links to the sportsbook, casino and promotions at the top as well as live events, football, the casino, your account and an a-z list of sports along the bottom. Clicking on the list of sports will take to you to a page with icons for each sporting event, as well as a flashing green ‘Live Now’ banner if there’s something you can bet on in-play.

Within each sport’s main page you’ll find lists of live events with a red ‘Live’ tab indicating what’s going on there and then. The other way to move around the app is via a pull out menu in the top left, though this just takes you to the sportsbook page. Here there are quick links to the most popular sports as well as tabs for live events, upcoming matches and any betting highlights. The app is a bit slower than the desktop site, which is a shame, but otherwise they're similar and I liked them more than I thought I would when I first began using them.

Live Betting

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138.com are hot on their in-play betting simply because of the number of events they list. Whether you’re using the desktop site or the mobile app, you’ll find links to live events everywhere. You can narrow your choices down by sport or simply view a list of everything going on at the time you’re looking.

Live Streaming

You can’t live stream stuff via 138.com, but each event’s homepage has a graphic at the top that gives you an idea about what’s going on.

Markets and Odds

The odds you’ll get on 138.com aren’t likely to be the most competitive in the business, but they’re decent enough to mean that it’s worth having a look what they’ve got on offer.

It’s the depth of the market where 138.com comes into its own. As well as standard sports like football, rugby and horse racing, the bookmaker also covers less popular sports such as speedway, surfing and chess. Even within the standard sports you’ll find markets that aren’t covered by everyone. Do you fancy betting on the Finnish Cup, the Romanian top-flight or Ivory Coast 1st Division in the football, for example?

Banking

When it comes to making deposits and withdrawals you’re currently limited to the debit and credit cards, Neteller, Skrill and Moneybookers. The minimum deposit with each is £10.

Other 138 Products

138.com's ties to Asia surely mean that no one will be surprised by the fact that they’ve got a very well-established casino attached to the sportsbook. Here you’ll be able to play all of the most popular casino games on the market, such as BlackJack, roulette and video poker. There are also countless slot machines for your amusement.

About 138

138Technically 138.com is quite a young bookmaker, opening back in 2012. In truth they’ve been around for a wee bit longer than that, previously operating under the name of SunGame. It’s also worth noting that their youth is mainly when it comes to the European market; they are well-established in Asia and have a very good reputation over there. This is backed up by the fact that you can choose to view the site in English, Mandarin and Cantonese, should you want to.

The company’s Asian influence is most evident in the casino attached to the sportsbook, but you can see it across the website. The Amaya and Microgaming platforms are what power the casino side of the operation and you can tell that it’s where their real passion lies. They’ve made impressive inroads into the European market, however, and I expect them to grown in terms of both reputation and name-recognition in coming months.

Pros

The plain and easy to navigate desktop site is a big plus. It may not be to everyone’s liking, but I don’t see what’s not to enjoy about a site that you can get around without having to click on fifty different links. Their customer service support is also excellent.

Cons

The most disappointing aspect of the 138.com operation is their mobile app. I’m someone that constantly has the newest phone on the market so I know for certain that it isn’t my device that makes it run slowly. I’d also expect a company with ties to the Asian market to have the ability to make the app a little more exciting and interesting to use.

License & Contact Details

As I mentioned a moment ago, the company’s customer service is excellent. As well as an email address that gets responded to pretty quickly there’s also a 24/7 live chat function. What I what say about that is that your query is ‘answered’ immediately, but it’s more of a holding patter whilst a CS operative comes on to speak to you. They get there quickly, however, and they’re friendly and knowledgeable.

When it comes to social media, 138.com are all over it. They’ve got a Facebook page where they put up ‘humorous’ posts as well as competitions and so on. They do something similar on Pinterest and also Twitter, with the latter format also allowing for pre-match stats and facts. They don’t interact much with people, however.

138.com are based on the Isle of Man for their British operations under the name of Fesuge Ltd. They are regulated by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission and have a UK licence with them, numbered 39804.

The company’s main address is: Clinch’s House, Lord Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM99 1RZ.