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Coral was originally founded by Joe Coral in 1926, and initially operated betting pitches at greyhound and horse racing venues until opening the first credit office in London’s West End in 1943. He branched out into multiple betting offices by the mid 1960s, establishing Coral’s presence on the high-street all over the UK. After several part mergers, Coral was controversially acquired by The Ladbroke Group in 1998 for £363 million. However, the UK government viewed the deal as anti-competitive, and the business was subsequently sold in a management buyout in 1999. Ironically now both Coral and Ladbrokes are owned by Entain (one of the world’s largest sports-betting and gaming groups). Both Coral and Ladbrokes trade under their respective names and operate both on-line and in the high street as different brands (though this may change in the near future).

Sports markets available

As a well-known brand in betting and with a loyal customer base, there is a huge demand for a wide range of racing and sports markets. At Coral’s you will find everything you would expect to see as a punter (whether on-line or in their betting shops) from athletics to WWE. They are up there with the likes of Bet365 by offering many sports leagues markets within markets, including virtual sports, esports and not forgetting the more unusual bets on reality television, movies and political wagers. With over 30+ popular sports markets, alongside novelty areas such as fishing, hurling and netball (and with live streaming and in-play options) the Coral offering is excellent for all recreational punters. 

Range of racing markets available

Coral offers a comprehensive range of horse racing betting markets that you would expect for one of the biggest bookmakers in the world. They are forward thinking with their ante-post markets on big races like the Epsom Derby or the Grand National, and their maximum liabilities for horse racing multiple bets are very high (offering the allure of the big win for a small stake).

Price competitiveness & special offers

Coral are fairly competitive when it comes to football and horse racing prices, and Beth.bet punters can be sure that a full range of markets will be available on every race every morning of racing (though not usually the evening before where other operators offer up better value). However, it has to be said that they are far from the most generous in their pricing up (tending to rest on the betting shop background where going top price was not required to attract the business of already loyal customers).

For football and horse racing Coral has a strong reputation, with best odds guaranteed and enhanced odds promotions such as extra places on selected big handicap races, money back on short-head losers, generous both teams to score accumulators/enhanced odds accumulators and numerous free £10 bet incentives online. It is well worth taking a look just before a big racing event to see if better odds are available last minute. You can use Coral’s ‘bet builder’ to select horses on a number of racing markets and get your price instantly quoted. In addition, there is Coral’s #YourCall feature when you tweet @coral to request a price on any market. Coral’s welcome sign-up offer is £20 worth of free bets with a bet of £5* T&C’s apply. All offers and promotions are fairly prominent on the Coral website homepage although the offers are not as well explained or organised as some of their competitors as the offers page is hidden away https://sports.coral.co.uk/promotions/all

Website, mobile & app, account & easy of use

Coral’s mobile-friendly website and app are very easy to navigate for even the most inexperienced punter, with a classic interface and a clear layout that is simple to access the desired area of the site.

The main navigation bar at the top of the home page displays the products clearly and logically. At the centre of the screen, you are guided to the in-play section again for easy access, and there is a convenient tab to take you directly to live streaming action when you have a wager on your chosen event. Live streaming is improving gradually, particularly for horse racing; however, this is a poor relation to the Bet365 offering (who developed their website first and continue to outstrip the competition).  

The site is very responsive, and it has some great user friendly features that make using the site and app more effective, such as quick links and “back to top” navigation features which is necessary when loading markets where there is a lot of information to scroll through. The betslip function serves as a great tool for managing your betting account with organised transaction information and history clearly available. Perhaps not the most dynamic of sites when thinking about some of the competition, however it is very customer focused and gets our thumbs up because the overall experience is very positive. 

Account limitations, accepted stakes & transactions

Account deposits and withdrawals are made easy with Coral. There is a large number of banking options available for depositing funds as you would expect in the modern digital age, and these options have increased rapidly in the last few years. There is a standard minimum deposit of £5 and no maximum within 24 hours, with instant digital payments and no additional charges. Withdrawals are made simple too as long as sent via the same deposit method (or you can visit a Coral betting shop for cash withdrawals up to £1000) *T&C’s apply. All related information is detailed here https://help.coral.co.uk/en/general-information/payments 

Withdrawals are processed quickly although can take 2-5 days to appear depending on your bank. E-wallet providers are generally much quicker. Coral Connect also offers customers the opportunity to play from a central account both online and in-store using the related app or card      

Security

Coral is licensed under the Gambling Commission and the Gibraltar gambling Commissioner and therefore is required to provide responsible gambling information and assistance. It must also operate with full transparency, so customers are not exploited for financial gain and ensure all users are legally eligible to bet.

Coral has an outstanding reputation in the industry and offers its customers excellent and robust account facilities coupled with gambling support services. Funds and personal information is protected by stringent security protocols and has invested in relevant technologies across the Entain brands. 

Customer service

Customer Support is available 24/7 with a number of customer contact points available – although it gets a little clunky trying to locate the help service required on the site from the central help page https://help.coral.co.uk/en/general-information

There is a Live Chat facility, however we have found that the alternative phone contact is limited in comparison to other firms. That being said, problem resolution is quick and painless once contact is established. There are impressive responsible gambling support services available. Users can set deposit limit controls, maximum stakes, curfews and time-out functions and can access a plethora of support tools and resources. https://www.coral.co.uk/en/p/responsible-gaming

Summary

It is easy to see why Coral remains one of the most popular bookmakers on the block. The overall experience and offering is solid with their live betting, streaming services and cash out options scoring highly among in-play betting fans, and with the excellent range of racing markets which appeal to both the novice and experienced punter.

The website and mobile app also rate highly with us for functionality and Coral’s promotions and sign-up offers are decent. The main downside (and reason for only a 3-Star rating from Beth) is the lack of competitiveness in their horse racing markets, particularly early on in the day. This dates back to Coral’s betting shop mentality, where punters were loyal to a particular shop and took prices regardless of whether better was on offer elsewhere in the high street (or online). Generally, they bet to higher margins than go-ahead online firms like Bet365 or Skybet, though this may be beginning to improve since the takeover by Entain.

For Beth subscribers

Beth.bet gives on average 64 winning predictions per day for Coral (based on default settings, which each user can set up based on his/her own strategy and therefore influences the daily number of recommendations). 

In 2020 for Coral Beth generated 23250 recommendations with 14.2% average daily profit and 4104% Beth Profit for 2020 year. 

Beth's profit with Coral bookmaker in 2020

PRO’s – Long established, reputable, solid racing markets, responsible gambling resources, value for money, excellent website and mobile app.

CON’s – Help section is slightly hidden on site; some market odds are not as competitive as other rivals who are more aggressive in their horse racing prices.

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