In the case of SportPesa, we find one of those sportsbooks which occupy a fascinating mid-point on the British betting scene. Having launched in the UK back in 2014, they’re neither a ‘new’ nor an ‘old’ brand. They’re far from being a famous household name, but have clearly enjoyed enough success to continue operating for over half a decade – something which certainly isn’t easy in the hyper-competitive sportsbook world.
In short, SportPesa present a confusing but fascinating proposition from the outside. Naturally we couldn’t resist delving deeper, and finding out what this bookie had to offer, with the result being this comprehensive review. Read on to discover for yourself exactly how SportPesa’s offers, markets, features and more compare to the competition’s, and – ultimately – whether they’re worth your time and money.
Attracting new customers is an essential part of business for all British sportsbooks, and SportPesa look to do just this via their excellent sign-up offering. Simply signing up for a SportPesa account enables new players to get up to £10 free following their very first bet, which holds obvious appeal for rookie and seasoned punters alike.
Here is a quick and easy step by step guide on how to claim the SportPesa ‘Bet £10, Get £10’ welcome offer:
As with any sign up offer, there are a few terms and conditions which need to be adhered to. These are the most important ones for the SportPesa ‘Bet £10, Get £10’ welcome offer:
Whilst the SportPesa welcome offer is attractive in its simplicity, it offers relatively meagre returns in comparison to some other market offerings. It’s obviously great that you don’t actually need to do much in order to trigger the offer, with no convoluted sign-up codes or conditions. Given that welcome offers elsewhere give you £30 in return for a £10 spend however, the actual appeal of what you’re being offered here is debatable.
In addition, the terms and conditions set out by SportPesa are easy to follow, but offer little margin for error. With all that said, free bet tokens are always welcome, and SportPesa’s ‘Bet £10, Get £10’ does double your initial spending power with the minimum amount of fuss.
Whilst new customers often attract much of the attention when it comes to bookmaker promotions, keeping your existing punters coming back is key for a bookie’s long-term success.
We’re pleased to say that SportPesa do indeed offer a range of ongoing offers for their current bettors, which can be utilised across a range of different sports. Let’s take a closer look at several of those promotions in turn.
Typically, once a bet has been placed, it is effectively set in stone. If it comes good, that’s obviously great. If it’s looking bad though, punters can’t usually alter the wager – they can only hit the cash out button to bail on it entirely.
The ‘Add-2-Bet’ promotion from SportPesa bucks that trend, making it possible for players to go back and actually alter an open bet. To do so, you can simply visit your open bets on the homepage, and click the ‘add to bet’ tab. From there, additional outcomes can be added to the existing bet to create a brand-new wager.
Risk and reward are the obvious key considerations for punters here. If a bet is going very well, the potential to add value to it – and potentially pick up an even greater profit – is extremely tempting. The risk, of course, is that – if an additional selection ends up taking down the wager – you’ve cost yourself all your profits.
Overall, Add-2-Bet is a fascinating and fresh take on traditional sports betting, and we commend SportPesa for their creativity here.
Accumulator betting is big business for bookmakers and gamblers alike, and the SportPesa Acca+ promotion is a highly useful tool for fans of the mighty acca.
The promotion has two parts. In the first case, if all your selections win in an accumulator with five or more selections, you will get a bonus of up to 50% on your original winnings. Alternatively, should just one selection on an acca let you down (again, with a minimum of 5 selections), your stake will be returned as a free bet.
SportPesa’s Acca+ promotion is pleasingly straightforward. In combining two classic promotion types – Acca Boost and Acca Insurance – this single offer can alternately increase your profits or reduce your losses. Another great benefit of this offer is its flexibility, as it can be used across all SportPesa sport betting markets.
Bet builders have made it easier than ever before for punters to gain control over their multiples betting. SportPesa’s take – which is packaged as the Your Bet promotion – is an excellent example.
You can mix in a whole lot of variety here, being able to choose between two and six different markets within one chosen match. It’s easy to use too – you simply have to click the ‘Build Your Bet’ tab, add your chosen picks, and set your stake, then SportPesa will compile the accompanying odds.
Your Bet has a couple of other cool advantages. Unusually, while most bet builders are only available pre-match, this one can actually be used in-play too. Also, instead of being focused purely on football, it can also be used for basketball games. As with Add-2-Bet therefore, we once again see SportPesa taking a familiar promotion type here and putting a unique, innovative spin on it.
Whenever evaluating a bookie’s selection of betting markets, we always say that it’s a case of ‘the more, the better’. The reason for this is simple. For a sportsbook to succeed, it naturally needs as many customers as possible. The best way to do that is to appeal to a wide cross-section by offering a diverse range of markets.
SportPesa undoubtedly come up short here, with there being literally only 16 sports to bet on. Considering they’ve been operating for over six years, at the time of writing, this is a shockingly low number. A typical modern sportsbook should offer between 25 and 30 sports – anywhere between 50-100% more than what you’d get here.
With all that said, SportPesa have still actually managed to cover the main bases. Football is naturally present, and has the most individual markets, as you’d expect. Other British betting stalwarts such as tennis, cricket, darts, rugby, and golf are also included, as are the NFL and NBA, and a few different eSports.
Unfortunately however, horse racing is indeed absent, as are the likes of Aussie Rules, Gaelic football, greyhound racing, and speedway. Overall therefore, this simply has to be judged as a poor all-round marketing selection.
The beautiful game holds appeal to millions of punters across the country and further afield, and the non-stop nature of the world footballing calendar only adds to the appeal. SportPesa’s recent sponsorship of Everton Football Club is testament to the importance they place on football betting, and their range of footballing betting options stands up well when compared to the much bigger and older bookmakers out there.
Whilst inevitably the English Premier League and Champions League dominate the SportPesa football betting pages, all of the major European Leagues and competitions are well represented. There are plenty of football betting options further afield too, with leagues in South America, Asia, and Africa all available to wager on, whilst international, youth and women’s games are also covered. In-play football betting is taken very seriously too, with live markets dominating the homepage as soon as you go to SportPesa’s site, and highly competitive odds available on ongoing football markets.
Depth within the marketplace is key for serious punters, and bettors can typically access up to 100 different football bets per game (both in-play and pre-match) with SportPesa. Just some of the main bet types offered here include:
This is easily the biggest absence here. Horse racing is almost certainly the second-most popular betting sport in the UK, after football. To see it being absent, on a sportsbook that’s been running since 2014, is very disappointing.
What’s particularly stranger is that SportPesa have offered horse racing in the past. They used to cover all UK and Irish races, and even provide a Best Odds Guaranteed deal. For some reason they have clearly allowed their license to lapse, but the very fact that they’ve provided racing markets in the past gives us hope that they might do so again in the future.
Similarly to football, the non-stop nature of the global tennis calendar ensures it’s always a major market for sportsbooks. We’re pleased to say that SportPesa offer all of the traditional tennis markets you’d expect from a big bookie, covering the ATP Tour, WTA Tour, and all of the Grand Slams, in addition to some decent coverage of the ITF and Challenger Tours.
Betting on tennis is easy here too. Simply head to the ‘Daily Match List’ within the tennis section of SportPesa’s website, and you can instantly build a tennis accumulator, which can go across a range of tournaments. With plenty of in-play markets available too, SportPesa truly offer a comprehensive and well-rounded tennis section.
Offering a diverse sports betting package is essential for bookmakers looking to attract a wide range of customers. With only 16 sports on offer though, SportPesa have one of the more… ‘compact’ betting sites on the market.
The eSports section is definitely a high point, with SportPesa offering excellent odds on a good range of gaming markets. With only 15 other sports however, many punters may find SportPesa a little limited. Winter sports, cycling, speedway, and volleyball are just a few of the notable omissions from the selection, but – in fairness – traditional UK betting staples such as golf, snooker, darts, and cricket are all incorporated, as are the ‘big four’ American sports leagues.
While their overall market selection might leave something to be desired, SportPesa’s in-play section is actually very impressive.
After heading to the SportPesa website, you’re instantly directed straight to the latest odds for live games across a range of different sports. Those odds do drop off relatively harshly as the action unfolds, but the general quality of the coverage – and variety of bet types – just about makes up for this.
Accessing your current live bets couldn’t be easier with SportPesa. Wherever you are on the site, your in-play wagers can always be easily located under the ‘My Bets’ banner. This makes it very straightforward to see the price you’re currently being offered for a cash out, and to execute that cash out if you judge it worthwhile.
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SportPesa offer an app for both iOS and Android users, which can be found in the App Store and Google Play respectively. Despite being an increasingly popular player on the UK betting scene, user reviews of the SportPesa app are pretty sparse, with only a handful of people rating both the app thus far.
We downloaded the SportPesa app on an iOS device, and – having already tested the desktop site – found a satisfying amount of continuity. All the key features have been ported over extremely well, with the in-play and cash out tools working particularly well. It’s generally a quick app to use, with pages in all sections loading swiftly. The white and blue colour scheme is easy on the eye too, and the intuitive interface enables you to easily navigate the app from the first time you use it.
If you don’t want to download the app for any reason, you’ll find no noticeable drop-off between that and the mobile site. The latter follows a very similar layout indeed, and also performed extremely well during our testing.
With so many online bookmakers within the crowded UK marketplace, special features can really set certain bookmakers apart. Unfortunately SportPesa are found wanting in this respect, with none of the bells and whistles – like live streaming – which you might get from a premium sportsbook.
Perhaps SportPesa’s strongest area is their in-play betting features. For starters, the placement of live bets is extremely quick and smooth, usually allowing you to swiftly lock in any irresistible odds you spot. Streaming might be absent, but live statistics and a visualisation tool still do a decent job of keeping you up to date. The cash out tool also works extremely well, with partial cash outs even being offered on certain markets. As noted in our ‘Ongoing Promotions’ section, the Add-2-Bet feature also gives you rare control over your in-play betting, allowing you to add selections to an existing wager.
As a company, SportPesa has a rich history in internet betting technology. This has undoubtedly played a part in creating a sign-up process which is as simple and streamlined as possible for new players.
Once on the website, new players can kick off the registration process by clicking the ‘Join’ button in the top-right. From there, you’ll be taken to the easy three-step process SportPesa employ to sign-up new players.
At the first stage, you must enter your most basic personal details – namely your full name, gender, date of birth and email address. Once you’ve done so, click the ‘Next’ button at the bottom of the page to progress to the second stage. Here you’re asked for your contact details, which simply consist of your country of residence, phone number, and home address. Again, click ‘Next’ when you’re finished here.
The third and final stage is called ‘Account Information’. This is at the point at which you’ll set both the username and password for your account. You can also put a daily, weekly, or monthly deposit limit in place, and enter a promo code if you have one. Finally, simply decide on your marketing preferences, agree to the general T’s & C’s, and click ‘Create Account’ to finish the process. Your account should be ready after a few moments of waiting, and you’re then free to make your first deposit and start betting.
Once a player has created an account with SportPesa, they will eventually be asked to provide proof of their identity in order to withdraw from their account. This is an important requirement of the UK Gambling Commission, to ensure bettors are of a legal age and to help reduce the risks of identity fraud.
In this case, SportPesa send their customers an ‘ID Verification’ email, in which players are asked to verify their UK citizenship and eligibility to bet. Players need to respond by preparing:
All three of these documents should be uploaded to the SportPesa verification portal. From there, customers must then submit their account verification application and – if the requirements have successfully been met – the verification process can be completed in as little as two hours.
All major debit cards are accepted by SportPesa when depositing funds, as are the popular eWallets Neteller and Skrill. With that said, be aware that – while you will eventually be able to use the eWallet options – your first deposit must be made using a debit card.
There’s an unusually low minimum deposit amount of £5 for debit card users, which means that more casual punters can get going easily enough with SportPesa. Other methods aren’t so accessible though, with a significantly higher minimum of £20 in place.
The withdrawal limits are also pleasingly flexible, with a minimum of £5 and a maximum of £5000, and the withdrawal process is simple too. eWallet withdrawals are processed instantly, while cashed out funds to your debit card should be available 3-5 working days after you’ve requested the withdrawal.
Log on to the SportPesa website, and you’ll immediately see that this isn’t the most visually striking platform in the world. The font, graphics, and colour scheme are all simplistic and unimaginative, creating a first impression of… dullness, quite frankly.
Keep plugging away however, and your feelings for SportPesa will almost certainly change. What this betting platform undoubtedly lacks in style, it mostly makes up for in substance. Almost every important part of the website is accessible with the simple click of a button, via a handy top menu. That includes the Sports, Live Betting, and Virtual Sports sections, plus the Account Management area, the deposit screen, and even the FAQ.
The interface for the actual betting markets is equally intuitive to use. All the available sports are housed within a single list to the left of your screen. Click one, and all of its markets will be displayed in the larger central section, and – within that area – you can also easily flick between pre-match, live, and outright (where available) markets. Delve into an individual game, and you’ll find the odds – even when they number in the dozens, as with Premier League matches – displayed very clearly, and split smartly up into different subsections (Goals, Corners, Players, and so on).
With any sportsbook, regardless of their size or quality, you will encounter problems sooner or later. The important thing is simply that you can get those issues addressed in a timely and helpful manner, and we’re pleased to say that this is indeed the case with SportPesa.
For starters, there’s a live chat feature with 24/7 coverage, meaning you’re never far away from getting help when you need it. Navigating to this is easy too, via an ever-present icon in the bottom-right of your screen. Alternatively, you can use either the email or phone options to get in touch with the SportPesa customer service team.
The indirect help isn’t quite so impressive, although it’s not ‘bad’ by any means. It’s delivered primarily via an FAQ section, which covers a decent range of topics – Account Verification, Bonuses, Payments, and so on. There aren’t a huge number of entries overall, but the ones that are in place are succinct and useful.
SportPesa was actually first launched in Kenya – which is pretty unusual for a major international betting brand – with their British sportsbook launching in 2014. Today they are owned by the conglomerate Milestone Games, and have shareholders based in the UK, Europe, and Africa.
As a company, SportPesa has grown significantly in the past half-decade or so, and now have over 500 employees on their books around the world. The SportPesa UK headquarters are based in Liverpool, and they also have offices in Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria, Italy, Ireland, and the Isle of Man. Finally, SportPesa are fully licensed by the UK Gambling Commission for all their British betting operations.
In our introduction, we touched upon how difficult it was to classify SportPesa from the outside. Their reasonably-long track record should indicate an experienced and successful bookmaker, and yet – perhaps aside from their major sponsorship with Everton FC – they’ve struggled to establish ‘household name’ status.
Having tried out this bookie extensively, we have a much better idea of how this has become the case. Quite simply, while SportPesa execute very well in certain areas, they have some glaring weaknesses which detract significantly from their overall appeal.
On the one hand, their mobile apps are very impressive indeed, and should easily prove good enough for the modern, on-the-go punter. The interface on the desktop site is intuitive too, the customer service is excellent, and we were struck by the creativity displayed by some of their ongoing promotions.
On the flip-side, however, there are certain issues we simply can’t ignore. The market selection is bizarrely small for a bookie with this much experience. The range of payment methods is also strangely slim, and there’s a general lack of special features to get excited about.
While SportPesa isn’t the most thrilling option on the market, they’re not bad by any means. Overall this is a competent and modern sports betting platform, with enough positives to at least give the ‘Bet £10, Get £10’ welcome offer a shot, and simply take things from there.