As bettors and – in our case – critics, we tend to focus on the actual platform when assessing a sportsbook. It can be just as instructive, though, if not more so, to look at the company who’s created it. After all, if we look past the marketing, branding, and so on, it’s the operating company who are actually running the thing!
While some companies choose to focus exclusively on one or two websites, others prefer to have a whole array of brands. ProgressPlay – the creators of BetDukes – are definitely an example of the latter. They’ve expanded aggressively in the past couple of years, with BetDukes the latest of several brand-new sportsbooks they’ve opened.
Can this scattergun approach still result in a high quality sportsbook? Is BetDukes still a compelling option for betting newbies and veterans alike, or does it need more attention paid to it? These questions, and a whole lot more, will be answered in our BetDukes review.
Sign up offers are important even for the oldest brands, to keep new customers coming in and those profits growing. For a complete unknown like BetDukes, though, they’re absolutely vital. After all, these types of promotions are a tried-and-tested way to make a mark on the busy sports betting landscape.
BetDukes don’t exactly grab hold of your attention with the name of their welcome offer – ‘Bet £10, Get a £10 Free Bet’. Immediately doubling your spending power is nothing to sneeze at, of course, but plenty of other welcome offers give you two, even three times that amount in free bets.
Before writing off this offer too quickly, though, let’s look into its details. Firstly, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to actually use the promotion:
So far, everything seems easy enough. The eagle-eyed amongst you, however, will have locked in on that mention of a ‘free bet rollover’. This is explained further within the T’s & C’s, along with a few other matters:
As you can see, those rollover requirements seriously damage the value this offer seemed to have. Needing to bet through any winnings 10 times is a crazy enough requirement. Needing to do so within a single week? Well, turning a profit that way will be tricky, to say the least!
In fairness, you’re only being asked to bet £10 of real money here, and are still free to keep any winnings from that qualifying bet. The chances of you realistically making money from the free bet are pretty slim, though.
BetDukes’ welcome offer will hardly prove irresistible, for the reasons we’ve outlined above. In situations like these, you’d normally hope to see some tasty ongoing promotions in place, to help pick up the slack.
In the case of BetDukes, however, this simply isn’t the case. In fact, their ongoing promotions suffer from exactly the same problems as the welcome offer, as you can see below.
Like the sign up promotion, this Motorsports Offer looks pretty appealing to start off with, promising you a £10 free bet. To get this, you must simply deposit at least £10 – using the code ‘PITS’ – then spend £25 or more on eligible motorsports markets.
A £25 spend to get a £10 free bet is certainly fair value, as ongoing promotions go. Unfortunately, however, this deal comes with exactly the same rollover requirement as the welcome offer – namely, that you need to bet through any free bet winnings 10x before they convert to real money. While you are given 30 days to do so here, rather than seven, this is still a seriously nasty requirement.
A quick look at BetDukes’ promotions page would suggest that this is a sportsbook packed out with deals. Football, NFL, tennis, horse racing, eSports, and more all technically have their own promotions. Some of them even seem to be shorter-term specials for the biggest current competitions or sports news stories.
In reality, however… all those deals are almost exactly the same. You deposit some money using a particular code, bet a certain amount on eligible markets, get a free bet, and must then wager any free bet winnings 10 times before they convert to real money. The lack of variety here really is pretty astounding!
We’ve been pretty critical of BetDukes’ promotions so far… and with good reason! In fairness, though, there is one shining light amongst this pretty dim collection. Sports League is a genuinely good offer, and it’s just a shame BetDukes couldn’t muster more like it.
In short, this is one big leaderboard, which any user can enter. To do so, as with the other offers, you must deposit £10 (using the code ‘BOOST’ here) then wager at least £25. Do so, and you’ll automatically be eligible for the leaderboard, which ranks all bettors’ performance in a given month. If you manage to rank within the top five, you’ll get a cash prize of at least £50, which ramps all the way up to £150 for the overall winner.
BetDukes’ promotions don’t exactly make an amazing first impression, to put it lightly. Experienced bettors, however, will know not to overrate this. They’ll know that – over the long haul – there are more important things to consider. A broad range of betting markets, which is constantly refreshed, is definitely one of them.
BetDukes rebounds in a big way here, therefore, with their selection of betting markets proving absolutely excellent. Football leads the way, as you’d probably expect, and we’ll explore that section in more detail shortly. Suffice to say, though, that it’s truly outstanding, and can genuinely compete with anything you’d find at a much older, larger sportsbook.
The same can actually be said regarding several other sections too. The likes of tennis, rugby, cricket, boxing, golf, and motorsports are all shown a tremendous amount of attention, with coverage tending not only to cover a few large events, but many less-heralded ones as well. Perhaps just as impressive are sections for the main American leagues – the NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA – and those for less glitzy markets like darts and snooker are also very good indeed. Rounding all this out is a decent handful of more niche betting markets, such as volleyball, table tennis, Aussie Rules and handball.
A special mention should also be given to the eSports markets. eSports is one of the fastest-growing betting areas, and it’s pleasing – therefore – to see how much attention BetDukes has paid to it. CS:GO, LoL, Dota 2, and more are all represented here.
Whether through the amount of advertising they devote to it, or the prominence it’s always given on their home pages, there’s no doubting the sport which the vast majority of bookies devote the most effort to. Football is the clear number one, and as such – if you’re a new sportsbook – it makes sense to prioritise this above all other betting markets.
That seems to be exactly what BetDukes have done, and we’re pleased to say that they’ve made a huge success of it. Their football section is packed to bursting, and – despite the youth of the brand – boasts a selection of markets as good as any you’re likely to find online.
It all starts with the sheer variety of matches you can bet on, which is incredibly impressive here. All of the biggest domestic, continental, and international competitions are present and correct, which – of course – are those you’re most likely to be interested in. These naturally include the likes of the Champions League, Euros, and so on, but also a full suite of top European leagues. Below these, though, you’ll also find some considerable depth, with plenty of lower league football and less-heralded international matchups also available to bet on.
Not only are there a huge amount of games to bet on, but there’s also a whole lot of variety in how you can bet on them too. These are just a handful of your options for specific bet types:
In addition to those, you’ll find a fair few high risk/high reward bet types – like First Goalscorer, Correct Score, and Player to be Carded – plus a decent number of outright bets for the bigger competitions.
Football may be the most-heralded online betting market nowadays, but horse racing certainly isn’t too far behind. As such, it’s a little disappointing to see how unremarkable BetDukes’ racing section is.
In fact, at the time of writing, you can literally only bet on races in one country: the USA. While this still gives you access to quite a few racecourses – and by extension dozens of races each day – it obviously lags massively behind what you’d get from any premium sportsbook.
In fairness, licenses for horse racing aren’t easy to acquire. Once BetDukes have had time to do so, we’d expect to see this section get a lot busier.
For whatever reason, tennis seems to be a routinely underrated betting market. BetDukes certainly haven’t made this mistake, though, providing a very good – if not great – selection of markets for it.
As you’d expect, all four slams – Wimbledon, and the US, Australian, and French Opens – are featured here. Pleasingly, you can not only bet them match-by-match, but place longer-term outright wagers too, including on the overall winner. BetDukes also do a great job of representing the less-prestigious tour events, meaning that – even in the gaps between slams – you’ll still have high-quality matches to bet on here.
BetDukes might have shown plenty of attention to the three major markets we’ve looked at, but the fun definitely doesn’t stop there. Their coverage of the other major traditional markets – namely cricket, golf, rugby, boxing, and motorsports – is also impressive. Again, not only is there a good breadth to the markets here, but there’s plenty of depth too, and the range of bet types tends to offer plenty of room for creativity.
The same is true of American sports – like basketball and baseball – and eSports too. Even when it comes to the less glamorous sports – like darts, snooker, and speedway – their commitment to excellence remains commendable.
A solid range of pre-match markets would have been enough in days gone by, but it’s certainly not any more. Nowadays, it’s arguably just as important that you get your live betting right.
Once again, we were pleased with what we found here. BetDukes clearly have confidence in their live betting – offering you several prominent ways to see their in-play markets – and it’s easy to see why. Their coverage of ongoing matchups – not only in football, but in tennis, basketball, rugby, golf, and more – is very strong. There aren’t quite as many bet types as there are before the game, but that’s to be expected, and there are more than enough ways to get involved.
If we were launching a new sportsbook right now, mobile features would be pretty near the top of our list of priorities. After all, the popularity of on-the-go betting has not just approached that of traditional, desktop-based usage in recent years. It’s arguably passing it.
Clearly, BetDukes don’t think mobile betting is as important as we – and most other people – do! Whatever their priorities were, this certainly wasn’t one of them, with their mobile features being either poor in quality, or simply non-existent.
For starters, there is no mobile app whatsoever, either for iOS or Android users. That absence certainly doesn’t scream ‘premium bookie’, but it’s not a huge problem if you’ve chosen to focus on your mobile website instead. Unfortunately, BetDukes haven’t! The mobile version of their platform not only looks unattractive, but isn’t particularly intuitive either. Technically it still possesses all the basic functionality you need to manage your account and place bets… but that’s really the best thing you can say about it!
While special features are always fun to use, it’s fair to say that bettors have wildly different views on how important they actually are. Some see them as a genuine reason to sign up with one bookie over another. Others put more stock in the fundamentals – betting markets, interface, customer service, and so on.
If you fall into the former camp, of caring significantly about special features, you won’t be very impressed with what BetDukes have to offer. While the likes of live streaming, bet builders, bet boosts, and expert tips have become commonplace with bigger bookies, all of these tools – and just about every other one you might think of – is absent here.
In fact, just about the only features you’ll find here relate to live betting. It’s possible to both place in-play wagers, and cash out bets you’ve already placed, and we’re pleased to say that both tools perform extremely well. They’re reliable, and – most importantly – responsive, allowing you to act quickly to take advantage of any short-term opportunities.
Aside from that, however, you’ll find very few noteworthy features at all on this sportsbook.
Bettors generally want two things from their banking options: a few different choices, and speedy processing times. BetDukes certainly succeed on both counts with their deposit methods. These not only include Visa, Mastercard and PayPal, but also feature ecoPayz, MuchBetter, Paysafecard, and Payviaphone, plus Trustly for bank transfers. All deposits are instant, and there are no fees attached.
Aside from Paysafecard, the same options are open to you when making a withdrawal too. There’s no minimum amount – which is a nice touch – but this goodwill is quickly wiped out by the ridiculous £2.50 fee which is imposed on all withdrawals. We could do without the ‘pending period’ as well, which pointlessly delays all withdrawals by a whole three days.
It’s one of the fundamental duties of all sportsbooks to make it as quick and easy as possible to register for their site. Not all bookies actually manage to achieve this… but we’re pleased to say the BetDukes do! We’d expect you to have no problems at all with their sign up process, which takes barely a couple of minutes to complete.
You kick things off, unsurprisingly, by heading to BetDukes.com, then clicking the big ‘Join Now’ button. The first screen should now pop up, on which you must enter your email address and phone number, and set a password for your new account. With both these tasks completed, click ‘Submit’.
The second screen looks a bit busier than the first, but – for the most part – you’re just being asked to provide further personal details. These include your name, date of birth, address, and – weirdly – your job. You can also set your preferred currency here, and are given the chance to decide your marketing preferences. Once you’re happy, just agree to the T’s & C’s and hit ‘Submit’ once again.
The third and final stage simply involves you activating your account. To do so, take the code which will have been sent to you via email and SMS, and enter it into the field that’s provided on the website. Just press ‘Submit’ a final time to confirm your account activation, and congratulations – you’re done!
The need to verify each customer’s identity must be a pain for sportsbooks, and it’s not exactly enjoyable for the customers either! This requirement has been put in place by regulatory bodies for a good reason, though, and at least on BetDukes the process is relatively quick and painless.
These are the steps you need to go through to get your identity verified on BetDukes:
As touched upon, although flash features and alluring promotions are all well and good, there are arguably other fundamentals which should be a bigger priority for a new sportsbook. The layout is definitely one of them. After all, if your platform is awkward or annoying to use… people simply aren’t going to stick around for long!
Fortunately, the interface is one of the most impressive parts about the entire BetDukes website. It is highly straightforward, making it nice and approachable for inexperienced bettors, but veterans of other platforms will find it equally easy to use.
The areas in which you’ll do your actual betting are clearly laid out, and given plenty of room. Every eligible sport on the platform is listed on one long menu, with its individual competitions neatly arranged within collapsible sub-menus. Clicking on one of those competitions opens its upcoming matchups in a new section, while clicking one of those displays the game’s individual betting markets. Find a price you like, and you can add it to your betslip and set a stake with faultless ease.
Elsewhere, all the other important sections – including account management, deposits and withdrawals, and customer support – are accessible via large menus along the top and bottom of the home screen.
BetDukes come close to hitting premium heights in a few areas, without quite managing it. The same is true of their customer support. It’s not bad by any means, with both email and – more importantly – live chat support available 08:00-00:00 each day. Many top-notch bookies nowadays, however, will actually offer 24/7 support, with telephone as an additional contact option.
There’s certainly nothing premium about BetDukes’ indirect support, which is pretty underwhelming. Technically there is an FAQ section, but it’s poorly laid out, and is only really concerned with the casino half of the platform. A couple of other individual pages do explain deposits and withdrawals well, though.
As noted in the introduction, BetDukes are operated by ProgressPlay, a company highly experienced in online gambling platforms. While they initially focused more on casinos after launching in 2012, ProgressPlay have been making a strong move into bookmaking in recent years. In theory, this sports betting focus should bode well for BetDukes as an individual platform.
Aside from that, there are few specific details available about BetDukes. We know that they’re based in Malta, and hold licenses with both the MGA and UK Gambling Commission, but that’s about all.
We started this review off by asking whether ProgressPlay’s approach to sportsbooks – managing several of them at a time, rather than focusing on one – could pay off for BetDukes in particular. The answer is… a little complicated, actually!
On the plus side, this certainly feels – for the most part – like a highly professional platform. Most of the fundamentals, and particularly the interface and range of betting markets, have been handled extremely well. We also appreciated the streamlined nature of both the signup and ID verification processes.
Elsewhere, however, there’s simply a feeling that BetDukes aren’t quite there yet. They’re close in some areas – such as customer support, and payment options – but currently come up just short. Others, like their ongoing promotions and mobile features, need some more serious work.
In the near future, once ProgressPlay have had time to iron out the kinks, we’d expect this to be a pretty excellent sportsbook. As it is, even though BetDukes certainly doesn’t qualify as a premium brand yet, there’s still already enough here to enjoy sports betting in comfort. Particularly if you value the execution of fundamentals over flashy features, we’d recommend that you give BetDukes’ ‘Bet £10, Get a £10 Free Bet’ welcome offer a shot, and simply take things from there.