Coral is probably one of the biggest names in the gambling world, and their dedication towards offering a high-quality, reliable, and fair range of gaming services has kept them at the forefront of what some players call premium betting.
Of course, Coral had a pretty big advantage when entering the online world, being that their high street operation is one of the largest bookmaking businesses in the UK. Coral boast over 1,000 stores, and employ tens of thousands of staff members in their high street branches.
They’re also one of the oldest gambling companies in existence, with roots dating back almost 100 years, and it’s a breath of fresh air to see a company with Coral’s background continuing to deliver an extremely high level of service to players despite their growth.
Today, Coral’s sportsbook is one of the most frequently visited anywhere online, and if you’re looking for a new bookie to join you won’t go wrong with Coral.
THE CORAL WEBSITE
Coral’s website has come under criticism in the past for being dated and out of touch, but the bookmaker has certainly taken this feedback on board in recent years.
Ever since the merger with Ladbrokes and the subsequent acquisition by GVC Holdings, Coral has delivered a site that is up to date and leaves no trace of the old school vibe it used to have.
It has a modular design which makes it easy to look at as everything is broken off into its own section, with scrolling menus and collapsible headers that makes managing the site quick and easy.
Coral have clearly gone for usability over style and from that point of view it’s a real winner, but although there is absolutely nothing wrong with the site it wouldn’t win any fashion awards if it were a clothing brand. It’s the equivalent of H&M – perfectly acceptable and in line with current trends, but not leading the way.
Coral offer mobile betting to practically every player via a number of apps or an optimised mobile website.
We’re often quite critical of mobile websites and apps – a lot of them appear to be feeble attempts to gain more players without really trying to create something that helps the user – but it’s clear that Coral really have put a lot of time and effort into developing their app, and much like the desktop site it is a modern and robust betting product.
A combination of quick links to things like cash out, in-play markets, the A-Z and more, plus a scrolling menu of the most popular sports mean you can navigate to your market in a few seconds realistically, and because the app responds so well it’s never frustrating to use.
It’s not so great for multi tasking but what mobile betting app is? Plus, you can jump from sports betting to gaming with a single tap so anyone who uses the full range of Coral’s sports betting products will be well looked after.
While Coral tend to focus primarily on live streaming Horse Racing, they do also offer a number of other sports including Football, Rugby, Tennis, and Basketball; and it’s completely free to watch the live streams, with the only requirement being that you have an eligible bet on the event that you wish to stream.
While the eligibility criteria differ depending on the event, for the most part you only need to have staked a minimum of £1 on the event. Just before it is due to begin you’ll notice a ‘Watch Now’ button appear, which will open a small pop-up window when selected and begin playing the stream.
Coral’s streams are all incredibly high quality, and while lag/freezing was a bit of an issue back in the day, it appears that the bookie have now solved this; you can even stream events from your mobile phone and tablet so you never miss out on the action.
HUGE MARKET SELECTION
Yet another reason Coral enjoys so many regular players is the incredible range of markets available, and aside from a few big name rivals, you’d be hard pressed to find another bookmaker with a selection that matches up.
Of course, you’ll find all of the classic markets like Football, Rugby, Tennis, Golf etc, you know the drill; but where Coral really shine, is their exploration into more niche and specific areas like political markets, television specials, and international tote betting.
You can view a full breakdown of all of the events offered at Coral by checking out the navigation menu on the left-hand side of the page, although it serves as a sort of catch all menu so not all of the options are sports (responsible gambling is in there along with live casino for some reason) which makes the list overly long and a bit confusing. It’s a minor point though.
If you want to bet on something and you can’t find it at Coral it’s unlikely to be available anywhere else either.
If you’ve placed a bet and one or more of your selections is winning or has won, then maybe you don’t want to wait it out to the end in order to earn an extra 20 or 30 quid; you’d rather take the profit you’ve already made and run.
Many years ago this wouldn’t have been possible, but thanks to the introduction of cash out this is completely feasible in today’s market. Coral were actually one of the first online bookies to offer the cash out feature, allowing you to run away early with your winnings in return for sacrificing a bit of the remaining profit.
The cash out feature is especially useful for when you don’t have a good feeling about your bet and you feel like the tide is turning. If that’s you, then you need to head to your betslip and see whether the cashout function is available. If it is, the price will be displayed alongside the eligible bet, and you can take this prize or choose to let your bet run instead.
Cash out in itself isn’t anything too special anymore, but where Coral gain a significant edge over their competitors is with the in-store cash out. Any bet you place in store has a code on the bottom of the bet slip, and you can enter this code online at any time to get a cashout offer even if you don’t have an online betting account. If you opt to cash out your bet like this, you just need to take your betting slip into a store and the system will recognise the fact that you have cashed out; so even if the bet does end up being a loser you’ll still be paid.
Sports Betting at Coral
One of Coral’s major strengths is the sheer scale of betting markets and products they offer. Bets on virtually every sport – plus a healthy selection of novelty and non-sporting bets – can be placed online, making Coral more than equal to the world’s biggest bookmakers.
The market the bookmaker is best known for, perhaps, is its dogs and horses; and Coral manage to attract a huge number of players due to the wide coverage they offer and the ability to bet on events both in the UK and internationally. Older, more traditional bettors tend to like Coral especially, as these markets appeal to them more than more niche stuff like esports.
It’s rare to find a market not offered at Coral though, so esports is in there, and everything else from Football, NFL, Ice Hockey, and Motorsports are available too – many with over 100 individual markets per event.
Plus, thanks to daily price boosts, some of the more popular sports (mainly Horse Racing, and Football) offer some of the best odds market wide.
Sticking with Sports to begin with, the less common markets available include: Water Polo, Volleyball, GAA and Wrestling; the latter of which is a rare sight indeed, as, due to the sport being admittedly fixed, many bookmakers are understandably hesitant due to the threat of insider betting.
Moving away from physical sports, Coral also offer a fairly substantial virtual selection to bet on. Not every player’s cup of tea, but a good addition nonetheless, especially with odds drifting as high as 250/1.
The bookie also offers a number of TV and special bets, which range wildly from bets like whether or not it will snow on Christmas Day, to what the sex of the next Royal baby will be, and so on. You can even bet on who will become the next Pope.
Coral are not a comedy brand though in the same way as Paddy Power, for example, so their unusual markets are handled with a more serious side. So while you can bet on obscure sports like Futsal and Handball, the markets available will be thoroughly researched with sensible odds applied.
How Good Are The Odds?
Coral’s online odds are, generally, a lot better than in their physical shops; and the bookie has actually come under criticism for the short odds offered in some of their betting shops in the past, particularly on Football and Golf bets.
Online however, Coral offer an above average range of odds, and their Horse Racing is where the best value can usually be found, with price boosts and extra places available on selected races every day of the week.
The only area that tends to offer bog standard odds is the in-play betting, with better prices usually to be found elsewhere.
In Play Betting
Coral’s in-play betting section, despite not offering the best odds in the world, is certainly one of the more reliable betting systems around, and while the interface itself isn’t much to look at, the bet slip and markets offered are made immediately apparent, and it takes a matter of seconds to find the market and specific event you want to place bets on.
What’s really cool about the way Coral position their in-play section, is the ‘Select Sports’ area at the top of the event selection page. This is a list of symbols for each sport, allowing you to easily categorise the games by sport without the page reloading or refreshing each time; a big bonus when trying to find events and place bets with just seconds to spare.
When looking at a particular event the interface is again highly functional and as user friendly as any you will find, but its not very exciting or feature rich. It does have a game visualisation and some stats, but it’s not a patch on some other sites and feels a little flat.
It does the job though, and since Coral offer a good deal of live streaming as discussed earlier, this definitely makes up for it in part.
‘Coral Connect’ is a feature that helped bring the bookie kicking and screaming into the modern day, and it’s proved to be one of the more useful innovations we’ve seen from a bookmaker.
The Coral Connect Card is perfect for punters who bet both in-store and online as it functions as a virtual debit card, allowing you to place bets using the money on the card, as well as withdrawing funds to the card.
It uses your online balance, meaning you can head into a store and place bets just minutes after winning a bet online, and it’s also designed to allow you to withdraw money from your online account while in store.
It’s essentially a shared balance between your online Coral account and the cash in your wallet, and while it’s not compatible with ATM’s it’s still well worth getting, as you’ll find Coral often award special promos and giveaways to Connect Card holders.
Plus, if you play the FOBTs in shops (fixed odds betting terminals) or play casino games online, you’ll get even more freebies. To get your card, simply head to your local Coral store and speak to one of the team members. It takes just a couple of minutes to set up, and comes with a plethora of potential benefits.
The cashier function at Coral is generally regarded as one of the best in the industry, and it’s rare that you’ll find a more diverse and comprehensive range of payment methods to take advantage of. Options include Visa and Mastercard Debit cards, Skrill, Neteller, and many others.
Perhaps most notable, however, is the inclusion of PayPal. Most bookmakers and online casinos can’t offer PayPal due to the stringent rules on who Paypal allow to use their service; and while most bookies are operating perfectly legally and within the regulations set forth by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, PayPal don’t need much of a reason to turn merchants down. That’s why it’s such a big deal to see Coral offer PayPal as a means of depositing and withdrawing, they are clearly doing something right.
So what is the benefit for punters? Well PayPal is fee free for starters, and deposits are instant. Where it gets really beneficial though is with the withdrawals. Once Coral have processed your withdrawal request (which typically takes around 24 hours), you’ll see the money in your PayPal account instantly. No 3-5 day waits like with some other options, with PayPal you can be spending your winnings in minutes.
Moving away from the payment methods themselves, you’ll see that Coral offer some decent minimum deposit and withdrawal limits as well, with most deposit methods allowing you to deposit as little as £5, and minimum withdrawals generally either £5 or £10 depending on the payment method you go for.
History & About
Coral are one of the oldest gambling companies in the world, first finding their feet back in the early 1920’s when Joe Coral was fired from his job for spending too much time taking bets, and decided to set up for real.
While the structure and operation of the company has changed significantly, as one would expect after almost 100 years in the industry, their core values of delivering a player focused service remain true, and they are cemented as one of the UK’s most trusted online betting sites.
The brand has been passed around a fair bit over the last 50 years, famously owned by Bass plc during the 80s and 90s, going through a failed acquisition by Ladbrokes in 1998, before coming together once more in 2016 and successfully merging to become the Ladbrokes Coral Group.
Now owned by GVC Holdings, Coral continue to expand their operations, and despite focusing heavily on the casino side of their business, they still pioneer new technology in the Sports Betting market as well, and their high street presence is as strong as it ever was.