SportingbetUSA is a subsidiary of Sportingbet Plc, a UK company with vast holdings in the gaming industry and a turnover of over $1 billion annually. The SportingbetUSA website has been operational since 1996 and its actual betting operation is based in Antigua, in the West Indies. Despite the credible backing however, this website fails to offer the kind of professional gaming experience that other leading sites offer.
A first time visitor to the website is bound to get lost once or twice while navigating to find the information they want. Although the web layout is relatively simple and consistent in look, menu headings vary from page to page and the site is thus unintuitive in nature. A blank, white background and lack of interesting content creates a vacant look on the website.
The website picks up the slack by offering interesting promotions and options on wagers. The usual 10% bonus offering for new members is available, as is a 5% bonus for all deposits on Thursday. What is particularly interesting, however, are some of the promotions offered in Baseball. Amongst these promotions are the ‘No-Hitter’ promotion and the ‘Slaughter House Rule,’ also known popularly as the ‘Mercy Rule’ for betters whose teams are losing by an enormous margin. The company refunds partial losses for such players, an amicable gesture.
Both sports wagering and a live casino room are available for the betting enthusiast. The live casino room is accessible from the Home Page and is presented in a pop-up window. There is no option to play for free without at least having to register, which is disappointing. In the sports room, all mainstream sports are offered. The big four American sports are accompanied by Golf, Tennis, Boxing, Motor Sports, and Soccer. An ‘Other’ category appears to list ongoing sports events. For instance, in July each year, Cycling is listed with wagers on the Tour de France. The Other category also lists odds for the 2004 US Presidential race which is always an interesting addition to any site. The odds and lines laid-out for the different sports are done so in an organized and efficient manner. This section of the website is more user-friendly than most others.
Account management is one of the better highlights of SportingbetUSA. Member screen displays are nicely laid-out and information regarding odds and updated scores can be reviewed conveniently. Account information regarding balance and transaction history is also accessible with just one click. The website offers only the very basic transaction options in Credit Cards, Western Union, Bank Wire Transfers, and Cashier’s Checks. No Internet-based carriers such as the popular FirePay or NETeller are offered. One would hope that banking options would be expanded to keep pace with other online sports bookmakers.
SportingbetUSA'scustomer support is accessible but poor in service. The website offers toll-free telephone numbers for North America, and a local number in the UK. Fax numbers are also available as contact means. The toll-free service was slow and below average, considering the resources available to the parent company. The company representative gave the impression that they were bored and uninterested in our business. While our questions were eventually answered with prodding, in time, the conversation left a sour taste in our mouths. A live chat option is also offered. The representative in this mode did not appear to be knowledgeable about any specific questions, often stumbling over typos and grammatical errors. Several email addresses are also provided for different inquiry topics. While customer support is there, the service was a let down.
One would expect an entity of gaming giant Sportingbet Plc to have an impressive and highly competitive operation running on the Internet. SportingbetUSA does not accomplish this like the company’s other subsidiary websites do. Perhaps there is a revamp in the works, and one would certainly expect that even small tweaks to the website would make a big impact on potential betters that visit this domain.
Upshot: Not Highly Recommended