What do you think when you see one of Paddy Power’s infamous ads? Much-needed banter in an industry that takes itself too seriously, or juvenile, laddish and irrelevant? How you respond to this Irish bookmaker’s controversy-baiting marketing campaigns is probably key to deciding whether this is the online betting site for you.
Paddy has become one of the biggest UK betting sites largely thanks to its carefully cultivated image, and although it’s a pretty solid bookie in most regards, there isn’t anything that obviously sets it apart from the best of the competition. That doesn’t mean it’s unworthy of consideration, though. So, let’s dive into the green and see whether Paddy Power is a site worth having in your online portfolio.
Safety and Trustworthiness
Established in 2007, Paddy Power is licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority and UK Gambling Commission. It is also a member of ESSA, the European body responsible for ensuring integrity in sports betting.
Formed from the 1988 merger of three leading independent Irish bookmakers, Paddy Power has gone on to become the third largest online bookmaker, as well as having more than 300 betting shops across the UK and Ireland. In 2016, Paddy Power merged with rival online bookies, Betfair, to form the giant Paddy Power Betfair partnership. The joint company is now listed on the FTSE 100.
All this is to say that, despite its roguish image, Paddy Power is one of the most reputable online sportsbooks around.
The only black mark that stands out is its refusal to pay up the full winnings on golfer Shane Lowry’s unexpected 2009 victory in the Irish Open. It did reach a settlement with the affected punters, though.
Deposits & Withdrawals
Signing up and making a deposit with Paddy Power is quick and pain-free. You can get it done even quicker if you deposit using PayPal, which allows you to jump into a streamlined signup process.
Paddy Power has clearly put in the time to create a mobile betting app that is approachable for both skilled and casual gamblers alike. Available through iOS and Android handheld devices, the typical green UI is rolled out, with players being given direct access to the biggest and best betting markets (14 in total) while on the move.
Breaking down what’s at hand, the layout of the app is user friendly throughout. Featured sports and popular bets are located directly on the home screen, which means that players can quickly jump into the action, both in-play and standalone. Another big plus of the Paddy Power handheld offering is that the navigation bar remains on screen at all times. This may not seem like much, but when used properly it allows you to easily hop between markets in a flash.
Paddy Power has built its name off of over the top marketing and controversial advertising. What this mobile app proves is that there is both substance and innovation behind all of the silliness.
Free Bet Offer
Paddy Power offers £30 in free bets for a qualifying £10 deposit. There are no wagering requirements in particular, and so long as you make an initial £10 bet at odds of greater than 1/2, or 1.50, you’ll qualify to receive your free bets, which come as 3 separate free £10 bet coupons.
The lack of wagering requirements is the real bonus here. Not only does it lead to much less complicated bonus terms, but also makes it much more straightforward to get your hands on your free bet coupons, and on any eventual winnings from your free bets.
As you’d expect from a bookmaker with the name recognition and reputation of Paddy Power, there are regular enhanced odds events and betting promotions, where you can pick up free bets and better odds-returns for your money.
The odds threshold of 1/2 (1.50) for the main offer are fair too, and while you don’t get to keep the staked amount, any winnings from your free bets are fair game. However, we found it mildly annoying that we had to contact support via live chat to get our free bets because they were not credited automatically. Thankfully, the team were helpful and efficient, so we won’t mark down, although Paddy Power should make it easier for new members to understand what to do. In our experience, once you’ve signed up and deposited you won’t find any mention of the offer on the site at all.
Betting Markets and Odds Quality
Registered players can place bets on virtually any sports competition across more than 30 sports, including UK favourites like football, rugby and cricket. You can also bet on basketball, motor racing and more obscure sports like beach volleyball and netball.
The sheer range of global competitions on offer for the biggest sports is almost overwhelming. Taking football as the most obvious example, there are dozens of nations’ leagues on offer (a Macau 2nd Division game was up for in-play betting at the time of writing). Meanwhile, you can expect 150 betting lines on top-level matches in the Premier League and other elite European competitions. Paddy Power is definitely a top choice for football betting offering a specific navigation box just for football, special team pages and the option to customize the page to the team you support.
If that’s not enough action to keep you satisfied, Paddy Power also offers a selection of slots, lottery and casino games, all accompanied with regular bonus offers, and all available to play from a single account.
The no-nonsense design of green wallpaper combined with white letters on a dark background won’t impress anyone, but then Paddy Power’s main goal is to draw attention to the sports betting and supporting promotion. More importantly, navigation is pretty intuitive and everything loads quickly, which is more than can be said of far prettier betting sites.
The odds on offer are far from the worst you’ll find, but don’t expect that because Paddy Power is a huge, established bookmaker that you’ll get great raw odds. Promotions like the daily money-backs and price boosts are certainly welcome but only go so far to make up for the otherwise poor betting conditions.
Paddy is famous for its money-back offers, and the recent Cheltenham Festival offer, which compensated punters with a free bet up to £20 if your horse comes in second in any of the first five races of the day, is a good indication of what to expect. It’s stake not-returned and can be used for horse races only, but apart from that there are no particularly onerous conditions attached to the use of the free bet.
Novelty bets and specials is one of the areas in which Paddy Power really shines, from television and entertainment to politics and the economy, you’ll find markets here you won’t find anywhere else. This can sometimes lead Paddy Power into dangerous waters, such as with the infamous Obama “assassination” betting line, but it’s intimately tied into the bookie’s highly successful marketing strategy.
Paddy Power’s in-play betting platform is certainly functional, but it just seems to lack the charm and zip that you’ll find throughout the rest of the site. It’s hardly the “prettiest” live betting suite we’ve seen either, as the layout and statistics on screen all seem to be cobbled together. At times it makes things a little difficult to use, as while it’s great to see a wide range of live play markets at hand, when you’re not given the game info you need to bet effectively it makes things rather frustrating.
While it probably wouldn’t qualify as a saving grace, Paddy Power does at least bring members a comprehensive selection of live streaming options. When putting both the desktop site and mobile app through their paces, we found that tens of different events being shown at any one time. From horse racing to football, players can freely monitor in-play betting efforts as the event unfolds on screen.
Let’s be honest, Paddy Power has largely missed the mark when it comes to in-play betting, as the likes of Bet365 have them beat hands down in this department. That being said, it doesn’t rank as the worst live betting platform we’ve seen either, so that’s at least something.
Cash outs are now available on Paddy Power, both pre-game and live, if there are betting markets available. Partial cash outs are not yet available. You’ll know cash out is available on one of your selections if you see a small yellow icon next to the bet.
It’s clear from their marketing that the folks at Paddy Power like to talk. Thankfully, they’re pretty good at listening, too. There was no delay when we turned to live chat to sort out our free bet problem.
The Final Word
Perhaps we’ve been a little harsh on Paddy, but then as one of the biggest online bookies around we expect an offering that really stands out from the crowd for its markets, odds and features.
Instead, we get a solid bookie with a good sense of humour. That might not be enough to turn the head of a discerning punter, but then again, the combination of Paddy Power’s banter and daily barrage of promos does make for an engaging experience. If you like that sort of thing.
True, aesthetic pleasure seems an afterthought but it does allow you to focus more on placing bets, using the intuitive interface to quickly find a particular game or market. With its highly usable mobile app, excellent live streaming and no wagering bonus, Paddy Power is unlikely to be a choice you regret.
Get in Touch
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