Sportsbook Website Review
The US 888 Sportsbook, run by Casino and Poker operators Caesars Interactive Entertainment New Jersey LLC out of Atlanta City, was one the last of the first half-dozen to have opened in New Jersey after sports betting became legal in this Eastern US state a few months back.
But after reviewing it, we have to say that in the case of the 888 Sportsbook, last is first – perhaps in a four-way tie with early-bird starters, DraftKings, FanDuel and SugarHouse, but maybe, just maybe, up there in front on its own with FanDuel a little further back in 4th place.
888sport certainly seems to have everything that matters.
One of those is its exceptional sports betting platform.
Powered by internationally renowned Kambi software, 888sport’s interface is clean, fun and straight-forward regardless of whether you are utilizing its website on your desktop PC or via an Android or iOS mobile app on your smartphone.
And, every bit as important; it can boast about having a better betting menu than all of its current rivals save DraftKings and SugarHouse – until now the two new US sportsbooks who were seen as having the largest lineup of sports and sporting events.
Clearly, the fact that both they and 888sport use Kambi software has a lot to do with it.
Because, like 888, the majority of New Jersey’s new, first-time online sportsbook operators have come into this new market riding on the backs of other longer-established online gaming institutions like Casinos and Fantasy Sport houses, most have been able to get the financial transactions side of their businesses going pretty seamlessly and in this aspect of the new sportsbook industry are much of a muchness.
But 888sports definitely has an edge on its New Jersey rivals when it comes to bonuses and promotions which are not only the biggest but are also more numerous, and I feel 888 is also a standout when it comes to educating its customers in the business of gambling and then keeping them generally well informed about the world of sport and sports punting.
Help and advice in one form or another – and especially for the rookie punters – seems to be around every corner on the 888 interface.
But let’s look now at the nitty-gritty of what makes 888sport tick.
Sports Betting Markets
As is the case with DraftKings and Sugarhouse, 888sports not only has all the big US sports covered, some of them being NFL and College gridiron Football, NBA, WNBA and College basketball, MLB baseball, NHL ice hockey, MLS soccer, NASCAR racing, NCAA lacrosse, NCAA softball, and eSports, their extensive betting menu also includes a host of global sports such as golf, tennis, F1 motor racing, boxing, cycling, cricket, rugby union, Australian rules, and even darts.
And all this is only the beginning. When you start clicking on the individual sports, you’ll find they open up to multitudes of leagues and contests.
Along with its own US Major League, their soccer, for instance, includes UK Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, the German Bundesliga, the Italian Series A and the French Ligue 1.
Then when you navigate further, you run into hundreds of more betting options, mostly on contests within each league – and on the players fighting for glory in these contests.
And at this stage, you are still only halfway there. You next need to decide what type of bet you are going to make, for there are several varieties.
If you want instant excitement and nerve-jangling action you can go for live, in-play betting where you can take instant wagers on things like the chance of a tennis player who is about to serve, hitting an ace or double faulting.
If not you can make spread bets, over-and-under bets, futures bets, as well as prop, parlay, totals and Round Robin bets.
Also on offer is the new “Cash Out” feature which seems to be so fashionable with so many sports bookmakers these days.
To the new gamer, this must all sound pretty complicated. It is not. 888sport makes sure of that.
Its excellent Help and FAQ material explain in detail how to get started, how to make deposits, how to bet, the type of bets you can make and how you can place them and then note how much you can win on their very visual betting slips.
They also make betting easier by prominently featuring key bets on the most important upcoming events in the most popular sports on their home page so there is no need to navigate anywhere. You only need to click on one or more of them to get your wagers lit up in the betting slip window.
Bonuses and Promotions
888sport’s impactful front page is also used to announce in a striking panel of moving graphics that all new members would be given a $10 free ‘Sign-Up bonus’ to bet with even before they have made a deposit and that when they do make their first deposit, 888sports will give them a 100% match-up ‘Welcome Bonus’ of anything between $10 and $500.
What this means is that if you deposit $500 you’ll find you’ve been given a $500 free bonus and an opening $1,000 credit in your betting account -and that’s easily the biggest in the fledgling New Jersey sportsbook market.
But it does come with conditions imported from Europe which are not all that popular.
You will need to make bets equivalent to six-times your first deposit bonus ($500 x 6 = $3 000) before you can start to withdraw your winnings from it.
Furthermore, wagers, using this bonus, must be placed on sports bets with odds of -200 or more and if the 6-time wagering requirement is not met within 30 days, the welcome bonus and any earnings generated from it are forfeited.
This hitch aside, 888sport at the time of this preview were New Jersey’s clear Sportsbook leaders in the promotions field.
They also had a ‘Launch Celebration’ promotion that rewarded daily and weekly bonuses of $5 for every $20 spent in bets and a ‘Start-the-NFL Season’ promotion in which you could earn another $5 for every NFL parlay bet made between Thursdays and Sundays.
Because they have been in the business of online gambling for some time via their associated Atlanta City Casino and Poker operations, you can be sure 888 will have high-class encryption technology in their sportsbook to keep your personal details and financial transactions safe and secure.
Their deposit methods are no better or not much worse than the bulk of their NJ rivals and include using MasterCard and Visa credit cards, PayPal, Neteller, online bank and wire transfers or by paying with cash at their Casino cashier’s cage.
You can also use PayPal to make withdrawals if your deposits were made through them, likewise Neteller, otherwise you can get paid your winnings via Bank transfers, a check in the post or with cash from the Caesars’s Cashiers Cage.
888sport do have a handy ‘Search’ bar and offer text ‘help’ at every turn, either through an exceptional FAQ program or via e-mail, but their customer support lags behind some of their rivals because they don’t seem to have any24/7live chat’ ‘Whats App’ or ‘phone-in’ support.
It’s early days yet in the US sportsbook industry so these kinds of services might still be coming. We’ll have to wait and see.
As already stated, 888sport is one of the brightest stars among the half-dozen and more new Sportsbooks launched in New Jersey since the Federal ban on Sports betting was lifted in 2018.
With one or two minor limitations, it seems to have everything needed to set itself on track to a successful future and as of now it is right up there, tied at the top with DraftKings, FanDuel, and SugarHouse as the current major contenders vying for the title of ‘Champion New Jersey Sportsbook’.
Using Kambi software has given 888 an early advantage in that it has enabled its operators, Caesars Interactive, to launch their Sportsbook with a betting platform that is more exciting and extensive than all the early participants in this new US industry save DraftKings and SugarHouse.
But because they too are using Kambi, their betting products at this time are almost identical to 888’s and in the long-term, this sameness could become a liability for all of them.
Right now, though, Kambi software, together with 888sport’s other strengths in things like promotions, has enabled it to come out firing with more guns than most and if you are a betting man or woman, it would certainly be worth your while registering for that free $10 sign-up bonus and laying down a bet or two.