Matchbook began life in 2004 as a no-nonsense sports betting exchange with a simple yet effective interface. Initially targeted at all markets, Matchbook was purchased in 2001 by a group of UK investors and as a result withdrew from the US. Since 2011 this fuss-free sports betting site has been gaining considerable kudos from those who prefer a betting exchange as opposed to a traditional bookmakers.
In 2016 Matchbook surprised the online gambling industry by opening the Matchbook Online Casino. This new gambling venture was tied into their sports exchange and shared the overall ‘simplistic’ approach as governed by the sports betting options. The question is, is the site’s online casino as welcoming a venture as their sports betting offering?
Matchbook is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (for UK-based site users) and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (for the rest of the world).
There’s certainly one thing that’s traditional about the Matchbook Online Casino, and that’s the fact that the site is willing to pass you a tasty bonus if you sign up with them. The terms of that bonus are not traditional, though. Allow us to explain.
After you’ve completed your registration at the Matchbook Online Casino your next task is to make your first deposit, of at least £25. You then need to get wagering, and once you have wagered three times your deposit amount you will receive forty bonus spins on the NetEnt slot Divine Fortune. Unless we’ve read the T&Cs wrong, it makes sense to only deposit the minimum of £25 – that way you will not need to wager any amount larger than £75 to receive your bonus spins.
Your winnings from your forty bonus spins also come with wagering requirements, unfortunately. You need to wager forty times the amount of cash you won if you want to withdraw. You have thirty days by which time you need to wager your bonus spins winnings, and the contributions of various games are as follows:
- Slots – 100%
- Roulette – 25%
- Card Games – 20%
- Blackjack – 10%
- Video poker – 10%
- ‘Blood Suckers’, ‘Devil’s Delight’, ‘The Wish Master’ – 10%
Note that your bonus spins will expire after seven days if you do not use them. You cannot expect a bonus from Matchbook if you are resident in France, Romania, Spain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Portugal, Italy or Denmark.
That’s about everything covered for the Matchbook welcome bonus, but it always pays to read the bonus T&Cs before you commit to making that initial deposit so you fully understand what’s expected of you.
Range of games
Matchbook has a tighter selection of games than most, mainly down to the fact that only two software providers are used – NetEnt and the little-known software house Red Tiger Slots. We do not know a lot about Red Tiger Slots, but we do know a lot about NetEnt as we consider their software to be the best in the business. We’re also pretty sure that you’ll be ready to agree with us once you have sampled the delights of Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest and Jack & The Beanstalk.
Recently Matchbook has really upped its gaming portfolio by the addition of a whole range of table games, including live casino table games (powered by Evolution Gaming). On the tables here you’ll be able to play a whole host of both classic and modern titles. Blackjack, roulette, casino poker, sic bo, craps and baccarat are all covered. There is also a game called ‘Combat’ which seems to be Matchbook’s version of the casino game ‘War‘ – a simple game where your only aim is to beat the dealer’s single card. Completing the software-based line-up are four versions of video poker.
The live casino here has blackjack, roulette, casino poker (various versions) and baccarat. There’s also an unusual game called ‘Dream Catcher’ which is a ‘spin-the-wheel’ variant.
Pros and Cons
- Great games from NetEnt
- Small but perfectly reasonable welcome bonus
- Excellent support services
- Ideal for sports bettors who enjoy casino play too
- More providers would be an undoubted bonus
Layout and usability
As we mentioned in the intro, Matchbook have always taken a non-fussy approach to their internet offerings. Their stylings are sleek and minimal without the extensive use of images, reams of text (except where it is needed) and advertising copy.
How you feel about this approach is of course down to your own personal preferences, but we love it. The selection images are perhaps a little too big, and that means you will have to indulge in a great deal of scrolling to get to where you need to be, but that’s a small price to pay for such an innovative design.
Both of Matchbook’s wagering offerings – the sports betting side and the online casino – are housed in one tidy app for mobile devices. You can either use the software ‘in browser’ in what has become the normal fashion, or you can download a dedicated app to your Android or iOS-powered device.
This mobile app acts just like the desktop site, although everything has been specifically re-designed for smaller tablet or mobile screens.
Promotions for existing players
The only other promotion we could find at the site at the time of this review was a £10,000 ‘Fiesta Party’. To take part in a prize draw with £10,000 worth of prizes, you need to play a minimum of ten rounds on ‘Fiesta Party Roulette’ at the site. Every ten rounds you play earns you one prize draw ticket up to a maximum of fifty tickets per day. The first prize is £500, and there are five hundred cash prizes of at least £10 offered each and every day.
Matchbook it seems is a little limited in the promotions it offers, but there’s always something on offer, just check the site.
The Matchbook Online Casino does not offer a VIP scheme.
We’ve already mentioned that the games are provided here solely by those super Swedes NetEnt and a company we’ve not really heard much about – Red Tiger Slots. The games supplied by these two software houses blend seamlessly and without much fuss into the entire Matchbook Online Casino experience.
There are several ways to get in touch with the customer support services at the Matchbook Online Casino. You can use the telephone number (+44) 203 642 6867 to get in contact with someone in the UK, or (+353) 21 242 8626 to get through to support in Ireland.
You can also contact this sports book/online casino site via the email address firstname.lastname@example.org or by using Twitter: @TeamMatchBook.
Finally, if your query is of a pressing matter, then you can contact the site’s support team via a live chat facility. This is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Other betting options
As Matchbook began life as a successful sports betting exchange, it would have been kind of dumb if they had switched over completely to online casino play. Fortunately, for sports betting fans, they haven’t!
This is a true betting exchange rather than a sports book. If you are not about the difference, then with a sports book it is the bookies that lay the bets (i.e. pay out if your bet is a winner). At a sports betting exchange it is other users of the exchange who lay the bets. When you want to bet on an event, you can either back the event happening, or lay the event not happening. The ‘odds’ are not odds as such, just the differential between the ratio of sports bettors backing the event against those that are laying it. If you end up on the winning ‘lay’ side on an event that is heavily backed (or vice versa) then you can really cash in!
The emphasis at the Matchbook betting exchange site is very heavily on horse racing and football, but most major sports are covered. You can check which markets are available at any time by clicking on the ‘A-Z’ tab on the left-hand side of the screen.
We really like the look of the Matchbook Online Casino – it’s sleek and streamlined and we admire the minimal approach. However, there is more to an online casino than looks and we are afraid to say that we just cannot bring ourselves to award this online casino the full five stars.
Our reasons? Well, even though the site does have games by NetEnt we would like to see more providers. We would also like to see more bonus offers beyond the two that we could find on the site.
So, who would the Matchbook Online Casino really appeal to? Well, if you like to mix up sports betting with casino play, and if you prefer betting exchanges to sports books, then Matchbook very definitely is the place for you. In fact, you could say that it’s your perfect match!
- Payment methods available: .Visa, MasterCard, Skrill, Neteller, Paysafecard, InstaDebit, bank wire transfer.
- Currencies available: AUD, GBP, CAD, EUR, HKD, USD.
- Deposit limits: min: £10, max: no limits.
- Withdrawal limits: min: £10, max: no limits.
- Withdrawal times: eWallets: 24-28 hours. Credit/Debit cards: 3-5 days. Bank transfers: 3-5 days. Cheques: not offered.
- Pending time: 24-72 hours.
- Email: email@example.com.
- Phone: (+44) 203 642 6867 (UK), (+353) 21 242 8626 (Ireland).
- Live Chat: 24/7.