The following information was obtained from the Australian version of the bet365 website at bet365.com/au.
We were immediately impressed by the soothing colour tones of predominantly grey and green on the home page. Be advised that bet365 is a Flash site, which takes a moment to which to become accustomed. We were impressed that there were no demanding banners vying for our attention, or more accurately, distracting us. After looking at the U.K. site earlier, we also appreciated that the time stamp at the top left just beneath the bet265 logo had automatically been adjusted to Oz time, as had the odds been converted to decimal format. On the far right side of the top panel were the log-in boxes and text boxes for Live Streaming, which is a key strength of the agency, Help, Odds format and Services, where website help, banking functions, promotions, and a handy way to access the mobile platforms, including iPhone and Android apps, along with the mobile version of the main website could be rapidly accessed from a separate pop-up window.
The layout was similar to the often seen three-column layout, with the exception that there is a fourth column. On the far left was the navigation menu, which led off with the in play offerings. To the right was a column taking up roughly half the screen were all the current in-play markets. Next to that were the odds, and finally, the bet slip, where entering a stake showed the potential return. A Bet Max text link was invaluable for making sense of the wide array of rules regarding the largest bet for any particular market. Below the bet slip was information regarding promotions, information about the bet365 Visa card for rapid dividend collections, and, music to our eyes, a scroll function that led off with AFL followed by NRL matches. We liked being able to get to footy so rapidly.
When we did return to the left-most column and click on Australian Rules, we returned to a three-column layout that showed a gazillion markets, beginning with prop wagers. Beneath that was a section showing all nine round 23 games. We selected Crows v. West Coast and were rapidly taken to a page showing all the available markets, and there were more than we were willing to count.
Just at this moment, the page auto-refreshed, which we do not especially appreciate. We took this time to go across to Sportsbet for our admittedly unscientific odds comparison, using the Crows/West Coast game. Bet365 was offering 1.30 for Crows backers versus 1.27 at Sportsbet. West Coast backers received 3.60 from bet365 and 3.90 from Sportsbet. Bet365 had the Crows favourites by 25.5 points; Sportsbet was at 26.5.
We have to say that we think the bet365 interface, aside from the auto-refresh business, has been our favourite of all the bookmakers at which we have looked. This is certainly a subjective opinion, but there you have it.
We next took a quick look at the mobile platform, specifically the mobile version of the website, as opposed to the operating system-specific apps. We prefer this route for mobile since we do not have to download anything. We also prefer not to grant every conceivable type of permission to an operator. Those of you out there of the Millennial generation might not object to scattering your binary data all across cyberspace, but us cranky old men find in creepy and voyeuristic.
We went to the mobile website with an Android smartphone, using a Chrome browser. We were genuinely amazed at how fast the site loaded. We were mildly disappointed that there was no icon for Aussie Rules, but we found it lickety-split using the A-Z option. In as much as we acknowledge that we do not control how well the internet performs on any given day, the bet365 mobile site was the fastest we have seen.
Back on the desktop website, we navigated to horse racing and found all manner of racing, beginning with North America, through Australia, and then international markets. Simply clicking on the North America header closed those markets and brought Australian markets to the top. Very cool. All manner of bet types and attractive promotions for sports and racing, such as a return of stake for ties in soccer games.
Our only issue with the desktop website was that the scroll bar at the extreme right was a bit on the narrow side, causing us to accidentally select unintended options on a few occasions.
Finally, with regard to the wagering platforms, bet365 has live streaming for clients in good standing, and they may just have the most live streams of any agency including excellent Bonus Bets on the Melbourne Cup