There are few more established betting brands in the industry than Coral. The company have actually been through a merger with that of Ladbrokes to create “Ladbrokes Coral” in a deal reported to be worth £2.3 billion at the time, but since then both have been snapped up by a holding company called GVC (now named Entain).
Whilst technically the companies are owned by the same parent company, they still function as two separate brands, meaning that the Coral name lives on alongside that of Ladbrokes, at least for the time being. As the pair were arguably two of the biggest companies before the merger, their combined force is massive.
Football betting is probably the largest sector within the bookmaker and is the main area of focus for our review today. This section has become so popular, it’s one of the main reasons why many punters choose to use a site like Coral and we think is probably their biggest selling point as a result.
What’s important to establish from their success is what makes them tick? Often with bookmakers the size of Coral, there are numerous features and functions that cumulate into creating a great package. We would have to say that from our initial findings that this is very much the case, with very few weak spots to speak of.
The pricing structure is where we are going to start. Before even doing any research at all, you don’t get to become one of the biggest in the world by offering poor odds, so we would assume that they are going to be relatively strong in all areas. But, to separate from a solid bookie to a great bookie means they need to go the extra mile, especially considering the size of the business in its current form.
PRE-WORLD CUP FRIENDLIES PRICING COMPARISON EXAMPLE
Our research brought us to a series of pre-World Cup friendlies that were taking place around the world. There happened to be one between that of England and Nigeria which offers a great base to see how they stood.
As you can see, they don’t actually rank all that well to be honest. They are someway off the best price for an England win, draw and a Nigerian win. In fact, for all results they were pretty low in terms of the average price that was on offer.
Whilst this is a very small example and an extreme market, we actually found this trend to continue in 12 other matches that we tracked. In fact, with each of the 12 games they were never best priced or tied for best price in any of these matches. It was quite staggering actually to see such a well-regarded bookmaker be quite so far from the top.
One thing we will say is that the prices were all pretty consistent. We found the majority of other bookies to be a lot more inconsistent in terms of one price being long and another bet from the same market being short. Overall though, we would have to say a pretty disappointing start. It’s an area that we think is the most important and whilst again, we stress on the sample size being small, we’ve been consistent with this for all reviews and this definitely flagged amongst the whole team.
One thing we will add about the football betting section is that it’s all presented in a great little HUB section. It’s a kind of “all under one roof” type thing that does feel separate to the rest of the bookmaker. Everything on screen is dedicated to football aside from one or two promotions at the top of the screen.
The coverage that you get at Coral really is second to none. They are able to cater for a massive range of punters and whilst the UK market is definitely their biggest, the range of leagues and competitions that take place on site from around the world makes it feel more of the global powerhouse that the brand has become.
The bread and butter comes from within Europe and more specifically, the likes of the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and France. But, the inclusion of a huge range of American matches, mainly from the MLS just highlights how popular they have become around the world.
What is nice about this section is that you can break down what’s available by leagues and competitions. It’s a small functionality, but it’s one that works very well and saves you having to scroll through huge lists of games from all over the place. Just to give you an idea, the range is highly diverse, including games from as far as Guatemala, Oman, Peru and Venezuela.
Market coverage on site is really good. In fact, it’s one of the best that we have come across to date. Each game is going to get around 170 markets to choose from in total, which is one of the highest that we have come across. The depth of markets is pretty good, as well. There weren’t all that many that we thought were unique to Coral, but some of the more obscure markets were things like the result after 15 minutes, player to outscore opposition team and player to score with result of the match.
A nice feature that they add is their My Markets section. Basically, this allows you to favourite certain markets which then store into this section. Its’ party trick is that when you click off that game and onto another match, those markets are remembered where possible and it allows you to quickly jump into where you need to be. It’s really handy when you’re trying to create accumulator bets and need to jump into certain bets quickly to form your bet.
Coral have fairly recently introduced #YourCall. This feature allows you to Tweet the Coral Twitter handle for them to create bets for you. These can be found from the #YourCall section within each game, but you can see an overview of certain bets within the Football main menu. The traders are generally pretty down with just about any bet and often come up with obscure ones that actually look decent value as well.
Finally, it’s worth noting that Coral do include a live streaming section on site. This can be viewed in either the in-play betting section or via a standalone player and requires you to have a funded Coral account to utilise this feature. There are over 2,000 live games every week, and include some big leagues, such as Serie A, La Liga, French League 1 and Dutch Eredivisie.
The in-play betting section is one of the better ones that we have come across. The section isn’t too cluttered, and we liked the way that it was properly broken down into certain leagues and then the matches from those leagues. You’re able to see the live score, the time, and then the prices for the match result markets. Also, it highlights when prices drift (purple) and shorten (blue), which looks good also.
As you dive into matches you are going to be greeted with a match centre at the top of the screen. It’s not the best one we have seen, we will admit, but it functions pretty well and allows you to see what’s happening on the pitch and what’s happened previous. It shows you roughly where the ball is at any one time and offers a good range of information to go alongside this.
The betting markets are laid out nicely below this and we liked the fact that the My Markets section, that we mentioned earlier in the article, carries across, although it does reset for the live betting section. It’s all very simple to use and this is why we liked it so much.
Outside of football, it probably comes as little surprise to hear that horse racing is one of the most popular sports on Coral. The site actually links horse racing above football in their ‘Quick Links’ section on site. Just like football, the horse racing section seems to come into its own online and removes you away from the hustle and bustle that is the Coral homepage. What’s impressive about this is that whilst it is condensed down, it does seem pretty comprehensive at the same time, given the number of features that are on show.
The pricing structure for horse racing is much more competitive than that of football. In fact, it’s one of the better bookies that we have looked at in the industry. We feel that they come into their own for mid-range bets, often around the 10/1 mark or so. From our research, we found that they were best priced around these odds more often than any of other bookmaker.
But, we also found that they were pretty strong across the board. If you’ve read the football betting section, you will notice that this has been something that we have been critical of with Coral. The horse racing section looks like a much better price and an area where we could definitely see punters use the site as a one-stop-shop.
UK & IRISH RACING
The UK and Irish racing section on site is really good. Most bookies are pretty strong in the number of race meetings that they cover in these regions, so it would be more shocking to not see a good range than actually looking at what they’ve got on offer at the minute.
The racecard is one of the best features in the horse racing section for us. In fact, we think they are about as good as you will find anywhere. First up, you get all the basics on offer, such as number/draw, silks, horse name, jockey, trainer, form, age, weight, Racing Post Rating, Previous Odds and Current odds. But, it’s the additional features that really set it apart.
BEST ODDS GUARANTEED
Best Odds Guaranteed is another great feature that is on site. This promotion is pretty simple but offers a huge amount of value to punters. How it works is that if you place a bet with Coral and the starting price for that bet is higher than the price you took, if your selection then goes on to win the race, Coral will pay out at the higher starting price.
The site also includes two forms of live streaming. The first is linked up to At The Races, which is a satellite channel to watch all races within the UK and Ireland. This requires you to have staked at least £1 on that race to gain access. The other is that of the free virtual racing, which shows the race pan out from a virtual stand point. This runs with a couple of seconds delay, but does allow you to see view several different camera angles, which is great.
The international racing coverage has to be the best in the industry. It’s quite unreal how many races there are and from how far afield they offer, even when you compare them to their main rivals, as well. The site covers racing from all over the world, including France, South Africa, the US and many other places.
The US coverage is one that we have to note on its own as we would say that coverage is equally as good as the UK and Irish racing they offer up. In fact, we would be hard pushed to say that there are any better bookies than Coral for this anywhere in the world, which is quite the statement.
The range of Antepost markets is another strong feature on site and as you have probably already guessed, the range is great. What we really like is that each race is dated about when it’s going to start. This may seem rather trivial, but there are few sites that do this, so it’s not always a given which race you are betting on before selecting that card, especially as some have fairly similar names or even changing names due to sponsorship. The cards are easy to find as well, simply by scrolling through the menu section within horse racing part of the bookmaker.
The design of the Coral bookmaker is one that’s actually divided the office when coming up with this review. Whilst everyone agrees it functions pretty well, there are several that think it looks a little bland and it’s hard to really disagree with that. We look at some of the better-looking sites in the industry, such as BetVictor and we think that maybe it is time that Coral had a bit of an upgrade to give it more wow factor and also stop it being a carbon copy of Ladbrokes.
But, the site has a lot going on. The horse racing section alone should give you an idea as to the range of features that are included on site, so maybe this isn’t something that is as easy as it might be for other sites. Usability of the site is pretty good, although it’s not without it’s flaws. There are times where you can start to dig really deep into the site, before getting to a point where you then need to head back, with no option on screen. The browser back button is one that moves you all the way back to sports overview, which can actually get a little frustrating.
The mobile betting app is our preferred choice of access for Coral though and it’s here where we have spent a lot of time when conducting the review. It looks much newer than the online site and whilst some of the features aren’t available on mobile, for the most part, is much less frustrating than the main betting site.
The games are broken down into categories to allow you to select those that you wish to play quickly and easily. Simply choose from one of the categories, and you’ll be taken to a list of all the games currently available, this includes poker and bingo sections.
One of the good things about playing here is that many of the games offer stellar payout percentages. Often, they can be as high as 97%, so you know that you’re playing in a fair and transparent environment.
Video Slots have always been a core part of any online casino, and Coral Casino offer hundreds of titles for you to choose from.
Some of the most popular titles include Thunderstruck 2, Break Da Bank, Age of the Gods, and Buffalo Blitz but there really is something for everyone.
They even have their own game producers who have come up with titles like Big Banker so there’s wide appeal offered here.
For those of you that prefer classic casino games, you’ll find a large selection here, roulette being one of the most prominent.
You’ll find titles including American Roulette, French Roulette, European Roulette and high stakes Roulette. All the games operate in high quality HD so you won’t have to endure old school, dated designs like some still offer.
The Blackjack selection at Coral is equally as generous with Professional Blackjack, Pontoon, Blackjack Perfect Pairs, Blackjack 21 + 3 and high stakes Blackjack being just a few of the titles on offer.
With over 15 different Blackjack titles to choose from Coral offer all of the usual ones you’d expect, like American Blackjack, as well as more unique titles, such as Blackjack Peek and Blackjack Surrender.
Coral Casino offer a fair few different types of video poker, with all the titles available through the tab on the navigation bar. Inside, you’ll find a great choice of games, with regular classics like Jacks or Better and Joker Poker.
These are alongside rarer titles like Aces and Faces, 2 Ways Royal Video Poker and Jacks or Better progressive jackpot which has a jackpot climbing into the thousands.
If none of the casino games mentioned so far do it for you, you can play one of the other games, which have their own tab. Here, you’ll be greeted with a selection of titles with poker games like Red Dog, Oasis Poker and Triple Draw Chance. You’ll also find scratch card games and virtuals here amongst others.
Live Dealer Casino
The popularity of these games has grown exponentially recently, due to their completely immersing nature. Unlike traditional online croupier and dealer games where they use a random number generator, you are playing face to face with a real dealer in an actual land based casino or purpose built studio. This is done via live video feeds to your own computer.
You get a much greater feeling of actually being there without even having to get dressed to go. You can chat with the dealers or other players and place your bets like you would in a real casino. Should you be unsure, you can even just watch a couple of games until you get the hang of it.
- Live Dealer Casino Games: Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat, Casino Hold ‘Em, and Hi-Lo
- Opening Times: 24/7
- Limits: Largely subject to the game played, most tables offer a £1 or £5 minimum limit, with the higher limit tables offering maximums up to £25,000