Your guide to soccer betting…

Review: Bwin

Overview

The review and verdict below represent the subjective views of the reviewer at the date of the review. Most likely this opinion will change over time, as bookmakers change their services from time to time. The verdicts should not be regarded as a common views of this bookmaker. Everybody must make up their own opinion about who they are dealing with. Bettingadvice.com can not guarantee the correctness of the informaton mentioned in the review.

Opening account

Very good procedure. When entering a site for registration, a window pops up, and you're being asked for the usual stuff (adress, name, zip, etc). you can choose your own username and password, and you can choose you language from 4 different languages. What's impressive is all the options you have with different settings. You can ofcourse change your personal details on site (password, email adress, adress, etc).. You can set specific settings, such as "Standard bet" (to save time, if you normally bet the same amount on all events), you can choose not to view pictures on the site ("professional mode"), which will enhance download speed, you can choose to receive emails of winning bets, and bets you have played, change date, time, etc. Actually you can change everything there is to change in your account from the website. Highly impressive, and the best I've seen from a bookie in this criteria. You'll even get a welcome mail upon registration, but you don't get your userid and password in this mail. You can not change your currency once you've decided one (although you can't choose currency during the registration process (but in the deposit routine), I still mention this in this criteria) Not far off 10/10, but could perhaps offer a few more languages ??



Transactions

You can bet in a few different currencies, at the time of writing CHF, DM, US$, NLG, ATS, ITL, and Euro. Note that you can only choose the currency once (on your first time transaction). For credit card transfer, you may use Diners (only in US$, Euro and DM), VISA, Mastercard, and Eurocard. 2% fees. Security is state of the art, using Wirecard's 2048-bitRSA/448-bit Blowfish encryption, which is far better than the standars SSL 128 bit encrytion used by many site (and still regarded as safe). You can also deposit trough bank transfer, Western Union, and by cheques or cash payments. If you wish, credit card payments can be done manually via the phone, instead of trough the Internet. For withdrawals, Betandwin require a faxed, or emailed scanned copy of an official identity document (such as a driver's license, passport, etc). This is only nescessary on the first withdrawal, and it's a security in best interest of the clients. Betandwin will pay all charges by their banks, and eventual credit card fees. Only offer chargeback to creditcards, as normal with bookies. Bank transfer to your bank account is offered. Charges from you bank, however, must be dealth with by yourself (for instance when cashing in on cheques). High security, and good procedures. Some may think it's unescessary to fax official documents about them selves, but this is a part of Betandwin's Austrian license agreements. It's 9/10. Excellent with no fees.



Navigation

Navigation is very easy on this site. There are 2 pull down menues, one for the events on offer, and one for the personal settings, and other stuff. It's also made space for easy navigation for last minute bets, most wanted bets, result service, and calendar (directly to the Betandwin database of upcoming events). If you manage to screw it up when navigating on this site, it's your problem, not Betandwin's as I think they've done a good job with the navigational part.



Design

Framed site, with all the menues in the top, and left hand frames, and all the essential info in the main frame. Database driven website, which may sometimes seem a bit slow. At least I've experienced the site rather slow rather often, even when I've opted for the "no pictures" option in the settings. This is probably due to high traffic, but they do use a 3 Mbit connection to the Internet.... The design has been carried out with care, I can see that. Good use of colors, easy to read.



Graphics Speed

Makes use of quite a lot of pictures and gifs to lighten up the site, espescially in sections like the Magazine. Also gifs in the menu sections. I don't think the use of these pictures hampers the download time too much, but it's clear that betandwin makes use of more pictures than other bookmakers tend to do. I don't think iut's too excessive though, as the reduced site speed I've noticed may very well be due to the heavy encryption of the site, and the database. 7/10 due to some annoyance over download speeds (although this may not be due to graphics !).



Bet Procedure

First of all: You have a lot of options about how to get to the events. You can sadly not view all odds in one bulk file (not very common, but would've been nice to see all soccer odds in one file, for instance). You can view "most wanted bets" (nice option), and the "last minute bets", which are bets approaching deadline. Very nice. When you've opted for a game, or an event, you just mark it, and enter the stake. A window pops up, asking you to confirm the bet. Click OK, or Cancel. If you want to place combos, you just use the combo-link next to each event. Easy and understandable. You can even choose to bet with money, or Arena$, which is a currency which can be changed to the internet currency beenz (and the other way back). Arena$ can be earned trough various ways, but you usually get 50 or 100 Arena$ upon registration. You can change the Arena$ into beenz, and buy stuff at beenz.com. They could perhaps had an option where you get sent an email upon placing the bet. However, you can choose to get emails sent to you with the results of the bets you have made (or just your winning bets), by making changes in the "myAccount" section. I'd say they have a good and easy understandable bet procedure.



Service

Judging by the look of their help section, Betandwin have really done their homework. Here you can find answers to almost everything you may need to ask about. So far they have impressed me with services like the Magazne, the calendar database (upcoming events), the Arena and Trivia quiz where you can win Arena$, and espescially the myAccount section, which is state of the art. As mentioned under the "Open account" criteria on the top of this page, you may change just about everything on the website. To further enhance their service level, betandwin are working on a WAP-supported website, and a site for PDA's. As for the crew, I've not talked to them on the phone at the time of writing this. Contact info is easy to find on the site. Sadly the tend to set low limits on customers who win a few dollars, and this is a way of saying: "you can bet with us, but if you win, we only allow you to set a few pennies" !!! Due to the excellent features for changing details on site, and for setting personal preferences, I'll suggest 6/10.



Reliability

Bwin is an Austrian public licenced company based in Feldkirch, Austria. They have a 10 year licence for Internet sportsbetting granted by Austrian authoroties. As part of the license a bank guarantee of over 1 mill ATS has been set, to guarantee for liquitidy. The company has just aquired Alpenland, and is expanding in the business. In my view, BetandWin is a highly reliable and respectable bookmaker. I've not heard anything negative about them or their service. As an Austrian company, you know what you get. Austrian bookies are generally very solid, and this also goes for this bookie.



Odds

Not too bad, but they are not among the best in class in this criteria. From what I've calculated, their profitmargin varies between 13-15 % on the more known leagues, but I've seen down to 17% on lesser known leagues. The odds is acceptable, but could very well be better. They do not slash their odds as often as certain other bookmakers do, which is positive seen from a punters point of view



Event on offer

Offer a reasonable assorment of soccer, although I do sometimes miss a few of the 2.divs in different countries. Also offer tennis, baseball, US football, motorsports, golf, icehockey, and basketball + specials.



Verdict

Bwin is a very accomplished bookmaker. But there are some weaknesses. One of them will have to be the odds scale which could've been higher sometimes. They could perhaps also offer a few more leagues (soccer). Another weakness is that for customers winning a bit, they will usuallly cut limits, so you are only able to bet rather small stakes after a while. Their service is excellent though, and the site is well designed and easy to navigate. Security is very high, and well taken care of, which is always ensuring for punters. As a punter you can change almost every personal setting on the site, and there are lot's of "extras" on the site, like result service, trivia quiz,Magazine with sports news, etc. Bwin is a respectable and highly reliable bookmaker, listed on the stock exchange in Vienna, and they hold an Austrian bookmaking license. We certainly have no qualms in recommending Bwin. Written 11.10.2000, updated 11.09.2003 by Terje Grefstad, Bettingadvice.com




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