Virgin Bet have added a mobile sportsbook to Virgin Games which has been in operation as an online casino since 2013. Virgin are joining forces with the Gamesys Group to introduce sports betting to their range of gaming products. Virgin Bet sports betting is currently only accessible on mobile devices but a PC version may be introduced in the fullness of time. The new sportsbook has the Virgin branding which is well known due to the founder of the company, the British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson. Virgin Bet betting firm is rare in that it has initially been developed for mobile devices and a desktop version may be added sometime in the future.
New customers with Virgin Bet can claim £20 in the form of free bets.
This welcome bonus for mobile users is awarded when the Terms & Conditions described below are adhered to after registration:
The Virgin Bet welcome offer is a 200% matched deposit bonus because the value of the free bets is twice the value of the initial deposit and qualifying bet. The offer is mobile specific and few competitors offer anything similar for smartphones and tablets. The amount is relatively small but the rules are clear and the requirements are manageable. Other operators offer more lucrative new account bonuses but the specific Terms & Conditions negate some of the financial benefits. The Virgin Bet new customer bonus is not a huge incentive to open an account and is more a gesture and being seen to give new customers free bets, despite the low value.
As a new sports betting operator Virgin-Bet have not invested heavily in the welcome offer and dynamic promotions for all players. Other UK based online bookmakers offer a range of sports and event specific concessions. VirginBet are new to a crowded market and may be looking to gain some market share before committing to promotions related to a sporting event. The Virgin brand is recognisable and its activities include entertainment and rail travel.
At this stage it is unclear if new customers will be attracted to the brand. It’s a departure from convention to introduce a mobile-specific release before developing a develop sportsbook. When the Virgin Bet mobile sports betting product was launched in June 2019 customers could enjoy the benefits of the following promotions:
Virgin Bet are promising daily price boosts on a variety of sports and markets. Most online bookmakers offer enhanced odds on specific events but they are usually high-profile football fixtures in the Premier League and Champions League. A typical price boost would be 4/1 from 7/2 which equates to about 12%. Virgin Bet will give existing customer price boosts for the most popular betting sports, including horse racing and tennis. It is unclear at this stage if stakes and winnings are restricted.
A typical price boost involves the winnings paid at the regular odds in cash and any additional winnings paid in the form of free bets. VirginBet pay extra winnings in cash. The odds boosts will focus on the major events across all sports and not just football.
Customers with Virgin Bet will have bets on horse racing in the UK and Ireland settled at the best odds. If a mobile customer takes an early price and the Starting Price varies returns are calculated on the basis of the biggest odds. BOG is a common concession with UK online bookmakers so Virgin Bet are not offering anything outstanding.
However, BOG is a good incentive for all customers using mobile devices to deposit funds and start betting on horse racing and other sports. Generally, BOG applies to the win element of each-way bets and is available for singles and one line multiples.
Mobile customers with Virgin Bet can bet on over 30 sports which are displayed on a A-Z menu on the main sports page which is accessed from the Homepage.
In addition to the regular sports, customers with Virgin Bet can place bets on a number of novelty and special markets. In keeping with the position in the UK market Virgin Bet’s most popular betting sports are football, tennis and horse racing and here is some information about each of those sports:
Football is by far the most popular betting sport in the UK and other parts of the world. Football betting on mobile devices has seen massive growth in the last five years. It is appropriate that Virgin Bet offers an entirely mobile specific sportsbook and covers football comprehensively. The mobile release covers the main leagues in Europe such as the Premier League and many more obscure football leagues from all the five continents. The match odds are displayed for a typical fixture with a link to additional markets such as handicaps, totals and correct score betting. At the time of writing Virgin Bet did not offer customised betting whereby customers create a multiple bet from events in a football match. The site features outright betting on the main domestic leagues, European competitions and international tournaments such as the World Cup and finals of the European Championships.
Tennis is rare in that more bets are placed on in-play markets than before matches begin. In-play betting is suited to mobile devices so it is apt that Virgin Bet covers tennis comprehensively as part of the mobile-only sportsbook. Tennis lends itself to live betting due to fluctuations in the scoring and odds. Customers with Virgin Bet have many in-play options when betting on tennis. The most popular bet is on the match result but there is also plenty of activity using the Virgin Bet mobile sports betting app on totals, handicaps and the match and set correct score.
Mobile sports betting customers in the UK expect a decent horse racing service. It is now a common sight on British racecourse of individuals forgoing cash betting with on course bookmakers to place bets on smartphones. However, Virgin Bet not only covers racing from Britain and Ireland but offers betting options for overseas meetings and the major international races. The mobile app also features ante-post betting on upcoming races at the Cheltenham Festival and individual jumps races like the Grand National and the Classics on the Flat. Virgin Bet promises customers the best odds on meetings in the UK and Ireland. This guarantee may apply to greyhounds at some time in the future.
As has been discussed the Virgin Bet sportsbook is currently only available using a mobile-optimised browser or Android devices. An iOS version will be introduced in the near future. As there is currently no desktop version all the features of the Virgin Bet sportsbook can be accessed using smartphones and tablets. Here is a summary of the features on the Virgin Bet football, horse racing and other sports app:
These betting services are covered in other parts of this review but overall they create a positive betting experience with Virgin Bet but attracting new customers will not be easy. Any sports app must be easy to navigate and have a quick journey to a specific match and market. The Virgin Bet mobile sports betting app is fully functional and users can locate a specific market with a few taps. The app is suited to in-play betting and betting on horse racing on the move or at the track before the race.
The Virgin Bet mobile app provides a comprehensive sports betting service in terms of sports, leagues and markets and the following features
The brand’s app provides customers with many live betting events but in particular for football and tennis. Customers can bet on events over the next five minutes in a football match and on points in tennis. The in-play service covers many elements of a football match and the outcome of each point in tennis. Betting is suspended when something significant happens and this can be a goal in football or break of serve in tennis. The betting markets soon reappear with amended odds. There are detailed match statistics and scoreboards showing the latest score.
Customers using the Virgin Bet app can follow the action across a number of sports as it happens. Live streaming is suited to horse racing because races take from as little as one minute. There is a big turnover of live events and Virgin Bet makes quick payments. Customers immediately have the funds to place more bets. Live pictures increases betting turnover and this is certainly the case on the Virgin Bet betting app. A bet must be placed on a horse race before that race can be live streamed. If there are no bets access to live streaming of a horse is denied.
There is a huge amount of data online about teams competing in a football match or players meeting in tennis. Statistics are now seen as an aid to betting and Virgin Bet provide an excellent service in this respect. The information is available before a fixture and the statistics are updated during a live match. Head-to-head records and form guides are available for football opponents. Head-to-head records and form by surface help tennis bettors make their selections. The comprehensive range of statistics for several main betting sports is a strength for the bookmaker.
Customers with Virgin Bet can make payments using the main methods of debit cards, e-Wallets and Bank Transfer. Deposits are immediate and free while withdrawals also carry no charges but are subject to delay. There are daily minimum and maximum amounts for deposits and withdrawals. The operator adheres to responsible gambling measures with the amounts that can be credited and withdrawn.
Potential customers download the app for Android devices or install the app on a PC with a mobile optimised browser. The new account button on the Homepage is clicked and this action activates the new customer process. Customers registering then enter personal details and specify a Username and Password. When the required fields have been populated the user confirms acceptance of the Terms and Conditions and creates the account. There is a prompt to make a deposit or customers visit the cash section where they chose a deposit method and specify the amount. The odds in a market are selected and the options appear on the Bet Slip. Customers select the bet, enter the stake unit and confirm bet placement at which point balances update.
Customers with Virgin Bet can contact support staff by generic email, phone and postal address and a Live Chat facility could be added in the future.
Virgin is a familiar UK brand and the name has been associated with casino games since 2013. Virgin Bet and the Gamesys Group contribute different skills but it remains to be seen if the partnership can succeed in a crowded market.
VirginBet’s software providers have developed a mobile sports app that looks attractive and is easy to navigate. Getting customers to download and open the app is difficult because there are so many alternatives. When new players complete that process there is a fully functional mobile sports betting experience to enjoy. The app has many familiar features that enhance the betting experience.