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Before we get into what’s what and what’s not when it comes to mobile betting, you need to make sure you’re armed with the right equipment. Firstly, if you want to use an app rather than a mobile site, you’ll need either an Android or iOS device with at least average specs. You certainly don’t need a the very latest model but something from the past year or two, like an iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S5, or OnePlus 3 should be perfectly suitable to ensure you can keep up with the quick-fire betting action.
If you’ve never bet on a smartphone before, you’re in for a treat. Here are some of the main things our reviewers look for when they rate a bookmaker’s mobile betting app:
Feature-Rich Platform – Mobile betting is no longer the sidekick of the online betting world, so you shouldn’t be expected to put up with a half-baked betting experience. Choosing the right platform is key, as they are by no means all created equal. What you want is a mobile betting app that comes loaded with features. In-play betting, live streaming, easy betting slip management, and cash out are features you really don’t want to be out if you want to experience mobile betting at its very best.
Mobile-Only Bonuses – Mobile betting is now the home of not just the best markets, but often the best bonuses too. Even if you plan to bet exclusively on your mobile, you’ll still be in line for whichever welcome bonus the bookie is offering to desktop players. But often you’ll find that mobile signups garner an even more generous offer. From ‘100% matched up to £200’ at Bet365 to ‘bet £10 – get £30’ at Paddy Power, all free betting apps are looking to welcome new members with an enticing sign-up incentive.
User-Friendly Interface – When you want to place a bet on the move performance really does matter. Our reviewers are often struck by the big differences from one bookie to the next. If you share our experience, you’ll probably find they’re not equally easy to use. How simple is it to navigate the market selection? How quickly can you submit a withdrawal request? How easily can you find relevant specials and promotions? When we rank a site, these are some of the questions we ask to ensure that you experience the best on offer.
Betting Markets Aplenty – Last, but by no means least, comes market range. Bonuses, usability, and features are all for nothing if a bookmaker doesn’t offer up countless ways to place a wager. What you want is markets, and plenty of them. From top-class football betting down to the lowest leagues in the most far-flung countries, from horse race betting to niche sports like floorball. Everything you can bet on via the desktop site should be available on their app.
To help you experience everything the mobile sports betting world has to offer, we’ve picked out six of the best apps and given you a little preview of what makes them great. If that wasn’t enough, you can follow our secure sign-up links and become a part of the action in seconds:
Betfair: Available for iOS and Android devices, the app stands out for a few reasons. Firstly, you’re guaranteed the best odds on all horseracing events from the UK and Ireland. Secondly, deposits start from a meagre £5 when you use PayPal. For those not in the know, that’s extremely low. For us, however, the most impressive things about the Betfair sports app is its simplicity. Instead of trying to be too clever, the designers have kept things basic. This means separating live, daily and future races into separate tabs. What’s more, when you want to return to the home screen, clicking the X button gets you there in a second. Overall, if you’re a newbie that wants easy access to a ton of odds, Betfair is perfect.
Mr Green: If you’re always missing out on the latest odds and offers, Mr Green sports has you covered. Although notification tools are nothing new, Mr Green’s iOS and Android apps do a better job than most when it comes to keeping you informed. By fixing the notifications link to the bottom of every page, you can always know when a new deal is available. Another notable feature is the bet finder. Let’s say you want to find all the in-form jockeys. Mr Green’s app allows you to select the “in-form” option and choose a racecourse. At this point, the software will filter the stats and present you with a list of hot jockeys.
Betway: Depending on your preferences, Betway sports has three mobile apps. For football or sport there are specific apps. This seperation is great because it allows you to skip directly to the latest odds without any fuss. However, it’s also possible for you download the casino app and still find sports betting odds. On a more specific level, Betway has some of the more visually pleasing apps, with each sport represented by bold, well-designed images. Beyond this, the quick links are fantastic. By opening up hidden menu (button in the top left), you can skip directly to the latest results, cashout options, bet combinations and promotions.
SportNation: For a more flexible betting solution, SportNation has a fully optimised mobile betting website. When you use this site, the neatest little trick you’ll find is the one-touch return button. Basically, once you’ve scrolled down a page, you can click a button and it will take you back to the top in a second. This cuts down navigation times, which is never a bad thing. For odds and offers, SportNation also stands out. Active customers can get £5 in free bets every Monday, while acca boosts can be as high as 70%! What’s more, you can join the operator’s WhatsApp group and negotiate your own odds directly from your mobile.
Paddy Power: Paddy Power sports has always been the go-to bookmaker when it comes to novelty bets and this isn’t lost when you download the operator’s app. In other words, if you’re looking to have some fun, Paddy Power is happy to oblige. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not serious about betting. Inside the app, you’ll get the best odds on UK and Irish races and the odds will update automatically. So, even if you bet at a lower price, the software will pay you at a higher price if the odds move and your bet is successful.
Royal Panda: Another mobile optimised operator, Royal Panda Sports is hot on numbers. One of the best features at Royal Panda is that the day’s odds are segmented by time: i.e. events starting in three, six, 12, 24, 48 and 72 hours. By separating everything out in this way, the operator has made it extremely easy to find the best odds at a time that suits you.
Until recently, Android users didn’t have the option to download betting apps via the official Google Play store. Owing the Google’s policy against gambling related content, developers had to seek out alternative ways to get their products out to the masses. Many of the larger operators were able to create and distribute their Android betting apps internally i.e. through download links on their websites.
Using the APK installation files direct from the operators was deemed the safest way to do things. In instances where this option wasn’t available, unofficial app stores such as Betcade became home to many of the industry’s top brands. Fortunately, however, all this has now changed. The announcement that betting apps were now permitted was first made in July 2017. Within a month, a handful of betting apps went live. Although the policy only extends to the UK, Ireland and France at the moment, Google has this to say about betting and gambling content:
“We allow content, services, and ads that facilitate online gambling, as long as they meet certain requirements. We also allow daily fantasy sports apps that meet certain requirements.”
With Google’s team now assessing the credentials of every sports betting app, you can be confident that the product you’re using is highly safe and secure. Although people outside of the UK, Ireland and France will have to find alternative download methods at the moment, this is likely to change in the coming years.
As you’d expect, the list of available apps is always growing. However, Android users can currently find these brands and more inside Google Play:
Apps are almost always the best way to get your betting fix on the move, but there is an alternative option if you don’t fancy heading down the download route.
Mobile betting sites, while not as seamless, can still provide a reliable and powerful betting experience. In terms of key differences, speed and features will be the most obvious. On the plus side, you may be able to use them with non-Android or iOS devices, where a compatible app is not available.
Mobile betting apps are generally more complete and usable, but require installation and regular updates. Mobile betting sites offer instant access, with no download required, but sometimes sacrifices are made when it comes to features, functionality and load time.
Our reviews cover the differences between app and mobile site offerings, so you’ll always know where to find the best experience for your device.
|Native Apps||Mobile Web Sites|
|Load quicker than web app||Run on wider range of devices|
|Launched with single tap||Doesn’t use any phone space|
|Notifications of events||Full functionality of desktop site|
Mobiles have become an integral part of modern life and the sports betting world has certainly moved with the times. When you survey our top-rated betting apps, you’ll get a ton of added value. Whether it’s Mr Green’s smart software, Paddy Power automatically giving you the best odds or SportNation’s acca boosts, there are plenty of reasons to bet via your mobile. In fact, because sports betting is all about finding the right odds at the right time, it makes sense to use your mobile. Having the ability to check the markets anytime, anywhere is, in our opinion, the best way to stay on top of the game and, if all goes well, beat the bookies.