Coral Review

Coral are a big player with a top reputation in both online and bricks-and-mortar betting.  Now part of the Ladbrokes-Coral group, the UK's biggest betting company have some weight to throw around to give customers long term value. Renowned for their regular promotions and loyalty free bet rewards for existing customers, Coral have remained one of the nation’s favourite betting companies for generations.

Coral have some of the best live betting and streaming (over 2,000 live events each week) on a range of sports including football and racing, along with daily radio commentary and TV service that rounds off the package nicely. Often regarded as one of best places to bet for horse racing, football, tennis, and golf, in particular, Coral have good competitive odds especially when betting live, and they accept a wide range of payment methods for UK punters.

  • Best Retention Free Bets - Excellent for regular free bet and insurance offers.
  • Superb Live Package - Live betting with dedicated radio commentary and epic TV service + full and partial Cash Out.
  • Flexible Finances - Complete control over the money in your account and great customer service.
Welcome Offer: Bet £5, £20 in Free Bets
18+. UK+IRE only. Min first bet £5 at odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £20 credited as 4 x £5 free bets. Not valid with Cash Out. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. T&Cs apply.
New customers only T&Cs Apply, 18+ BeGambleAware.org

What’s on Offer

Coral's long history and high street presence has resulted in a large and diverse customer base made up of all demographics. This means they not only have to meet the demands of the digitally initiated but also the old school punter who still wants to walk his dog to the betting shop. Coral therefore offer a huge range of markets, betting lines, and ways for you to play.

In fact, there are 50 different betting categories in the A-Z which, quite frankly, blows much of the competition out of the water - although a good few of them were completely dead when we looked. Granted, they were the less dominant sports like Handball, Curling, Hockey, and GAA, and it could be argued that Coral can’t offer odds on games that aren’t happening, but there must be a Hockey fixture happening somewhere each week.

Coral markets 850px

For big events like major men’s football matches you will never be short of options, and can bet on 150+ betting lines as standard for English games and top tier international fixtures. Bet types can include anything from half time/full time to the number of bookings, and although they don’t tend to think too much outside the box here, you can always use the #YourCall option if you don’t see what you are looking for.

Other sports that are given a lot of attention include Tennis, Horse Racing, Greyhounds, Rugby, and Basketball. American sports, in general, don’t get the coverage they do elsewhere but you will find all the top competitions on show, and there are so many Specials that they have been split into separate categories like Movies (next Bond), TV Specials (The Voice winner etc), and Royal Specials.

It has to be said that they provide a very thorough line in Politics betting, covering events you might not even be aware of - like the Newport By-elections. They can also be a little tongue in cheek, such as offering 200/1 on Leo Di Caprio becoming POTUS or Russel Brand becoming PM before 2030.

Stranger things have happened - especially in America!

Prices & Odds

Coral are able to offer competitive odds on all major markets giving you confidence that you are always getting a good price (although not always the very best price) whether on the site, mobile or in store. Coral have a particularly strong reputation for horse racing offering best odds guaranteed on all UK and Irish horse racing.

For large wagers on markets other than horse racing, or if you are someone that likes knowing that you couldn’t possibly have done any better, it’s worth shopping around, since Coral’s margins have been known to stray into the higher end at times, although the same isn’t usually true for in-play prices.

Coral odds 850px

Enhanced odds promotions are offered on a regular basis with Coral, from money back deals on ‘to win’ and ‘both teams to score’ football accumulators if one team of loses, for example, to enhanced odds accumulators, or if your horse or dog is beaten by less than a head or length respectively. Check out the promotions section of the site before placing your bets to see if you can get better terms, especially around a big event, as this can sometimes turn odds that don’t feel competitive into some of the best of the bunch. These may also be highlighted on the homepage or the associated sports category page.

Odds are available in fraction and decimal format, and if you would like a price for an event not listed you can usually get these on request as we touched on above. If you don’t use Twitter then get in touch with customer services to action this.

Let's Talk About Money

Method Min Deposit Min Withdrawal Fees Withdrawal Time
Debit Card £5 £0.01 0% 2-5 Days
Credit Card £5 £0.01 0% 2-5 Days
PayPal £10 £0.01 0% Up To 24hrs
Skrill £5 £0.01 0% Up To 24hrs
Neteller £5 £0.01 0% Up To 24hrs
Cash - Coral Connect £5 £5 1800+ Locations n/a
PaySafeCard £5 N/A 0% N/A
Bank Wire £5 £0.01 BACS Free 2-5 Days
ecoPayz £5 £0.01 0% Up To 24hrs

Deposit

bigstock beer5020 banking 400pxCoral are a great bookmaker for UK bettors and supports all of the major payment options, but they are lacking when it comes to non-UK customers. Currency options with Coral are really limited, with operations only in the UK and Italy the transactional currency is British pounds (GBP). If you want to bet in another currency you should either convert this to GBP prior to depositing or use another bookmaker.

Despite the distinct lack of currency options, there is a good list of banking options available to deposit via. The minimum deposit is £5 across the board (Paypal £10) with no maximum in any 24 hour period, and all digital payments are instant with no associated charges.

The cashier is very easy to use too, you can deposit any odd amount that you like but there are suggested amount buttons to speed things up if you want to use them; £10, £20, £50 etc.

Withdrawals

You can withdraw funds in GBP – although you must withdraw using the same card or method you used to deposit your funds. In cases such as Paysafecard where this is not possible you will be able to withdraw via another method. All withdrawals are free of charge with the exception of some bank international wire transfers and Western Union payments, and any fee will be clearly displayed on the withdrawal page.

Do not forget, a stand out feature of Coral is the ability to withdraw you money in cash (up to £1000) from one of their betting shops – as long as you are registered for the Coral Connect service. One account serves the entire site too so there is no messing about.

Whereas withdrawals are all processed quickly by Coral they can take 2-5 working days to appear due to banking procedures. Funds can clear in hours through other services such as Skrill, Paypal and Neteller. The min/max withdrawal amounts are easy and clear with no limits stated, so you could withdraw a penny if you really wanted to. Mess around with piddly withdrawals too much though and they will probably be in touch with a warning of some sort.

What you can Bet

bigstock andamac betslip example 400pxCoral were initially lauded in the ’60s as a bookmaker not afraid to take big bets, and these days, they don’t mind taking tiny ones either.

Minimum and maximum bets with Coral are defined by the odds or the type of selection(s) and are shown on the bet slip. The minimum bet can be as low as £0.01p although it is usually £0.10 for most lines, while telephone betting requires a minimum bet of £10 to use the service, which is fair enough.

There are no stated maximum bet limits so beware your stake doesn’t hit the payout cap if you do go on to win.

As a working example, the maximum payout on Athletics is £100k meaning a stake higher than £1000 on a 100/1 bet would take you over this limit. This would effectively be a waste of money because you could wager less for the same potential return.

Limits are however negotiable for certain events and you can place higher stakes by contacting Coral in advance.

What you can Win

You might think you don’t bet enough to worry about maximum payouts, but be careful if you place big multiple bets or stake single bets with long odds as you may hit these limits without realising. If the first you know of a maximum payout is when your big win gets capped you could end up feeling very sore indeed, despite what you have won.

Maximum payouts vary a lot from one sport to another but can be up to £1 million for major markets such as ‘grade 1’ football as Coral refer to it – effectively, major men’s football leagues and cup competitions in Europe. Coral also offer up to £1 million maximum on horse racing in UK and Ireland televised on Coral TV, but only £50k for those not shown.

Maximum payouts are easily searchable and listed in the FAQ section and you should always view the terms and conditions for a specific market before placing a large wager, or indeed a smaller wager with very high odds. If you want to compare max payouts from one bookie to another you can do that here.

Coral Connect

coral connect 400px

As a real world bookie, Coral are able to provide customers with the ability to bet both online and in store from the same account using their Coral Connect Card (or app). This allows you to deposit and withdraw to/from your online account in cash should you wish to.

For instance, if you put a bet on a horse in the morning on your way to work and the bet won at around lunchtime, you could nip out from work to your local shop and have your winnings in your pocket before you have finished you sandwiches.

All you need to do is register online, your Coral Connect card and pin will be sent to you, then pop into any shop with your card, pin, and ID and you can start betting or withdrawing your online winnings (sports and casino). Your Coral Connect card can also grant additional rewards allowing you to collect points and claim personal free bets or qualify for exclusive Coral Connect offers and bonuses.

Coral Connect can also be used as a means to play online without the need for a bank account since you can fund it with cash in person.

Navigation, Performance & Features

coral homepage 850px

The Coral interface has been re-designed to give it a more classic look of late, with soft muted shades of blue mixed with white creating the theme and also helping to differentiate between the various sections on each page. This has the added bonus of feeling like a pleasant place to bet that won’t give you eye strain.

It’s simply laid out stylistically but effectively organises the endless betting options available by cleverly revealing information as the user moves through the site. In this way, you should see more of what is relevant to you and less of what is not.

It’s a relatively fast website to use and once you are inside the Sportsbook everything contained there loads within the interface rather than needing a full page reload, which helps a great deal. There are also a few tiny features that actually have a big impact on the experience, like the ‘back to top’ icon that shows up if you have had to scroll more than half a page – it just cuts out the annoyance of scrolling back up. They have also employed the use of quick links at the end of a long scroll to save you needing to go back to the top of the site at all. Little things like this make all the difference and show a customer focussed mentality.

The multi-functional Betslip serves as a great tool to keep track of and manage your bets and bet history, and it is very simple to use despite its many uses. It is also collapsible if you have a lot on there and feel it is getting in the way, not that it should; the only feature it shares screen space with is your Favourites.

Finding Your Bet

coral finding your bet 400pxCoral know what is popular on their site and have made these options the easiest to locate. Quick links to Football and Horse Racing etc are available without using the A-Z and anything currently in-play is visible on the homepage so you don’t need to waste time digging around for it.

For future bets, once a category has been selected you will be offered the most popular options within that category as a starting point, with everything else easily accessible below; for example, in the Football section the most popular leagues are front and centre.

This trend continues at every stage. Even once you select a specific match the most common bet types will already be expanded from the collapsible menu’s – match odds, over/under markets, etc.

If you aren’t someone who bets on the most commercial of events things look just as rosy, you just might be in for slightly more scrolling and scanning, but this site does work to the best advantage of the majority.

Going Live in 3, 2, 1…

Live In-Play Betting 

coral live inplay 830pxLive betting with streaming is a great way to bet, offering new betting lines that wouldn’t have been possible before online betting came to the fore. Coral’s live in play betting service is fully equipped to allow you to bet on all major sports and events as they occur from wherever you happen to be.

The in-play section isn’t too fussy in design, and displays the number of available live fixtures by sport, or lists all live fixtures currently playing out, or those that are upcoming. This gives punters of every persuasion the flexibility to manage their activity as they choose. With Football, you can even switch between the bet type when viewing all fixtures in a single list, so if you just want to bet on the over/under for a number of different live games, you don’t have to do it one by one.

The types of live markets aren’t always that imaginative, and once you have selected an event proper you can’t see highlights from other events like you can on some other sites, which could make multi-tasking tricky. Still, Coral are certainly in the top 5 for live betting and streaming; combined with news, results and form features they provide a solid all-round betting package.

Most importantly, everything updates almost instantly with obvious colour changes to the odds, so you can take full advantage of a sudden change in fortunes without any delay from the site.

Live Streaming

coral live stream 830px

Integrated live streaming and in play betting can enhance your betting experience no end, especially if you’re twiddling your thumbs waiting for the result to come in anyway. Coral stream in the region of 2,000 live events each week, which adds up to over 100,000 a year, and often at no cost to the punter. Sports include Football, Horse and Greyhound Racing (bet £1+), Tennis, Snooker, Rugby, Darts, Basketball, Badminton, Handball, Ice Hockey, Volleyball and more.

Live betting odds accompany the live stream giving you full control of your betting. Just beware that there is generally a short time delay on the stream and an additional delay while your bet is processed. So think fast.

The quality of the streams is excellent with no lag if your connection is good, the viewing box is nice and big and you can even make it full screen if you wish. Live horse racing with integrated betting and offers is much better than most others, too, so if you place most of your bets on the nags stick with Coral.

Going Mobile

coral mobile 250pxAs is so often the case these days, the Coral mobile website and app are almost identical in every way, so which one you use will come down to personal preference mostly, and we will talk about them both as one here.

The app is well put together and feels like a weighty product that has a lot contained within it, but whether it is this or just the framework it was built on that makes it feel a little tired is unclear. It’s not always slow but response times can be delayed enough to make you wonder whether or not you need to press the button again. This can make the app feel like it is struggling to keep up at times which becomes frustrating.

It’s great to have quick access to cash out, in-play and the majority of popular sports categories from the header and footer menu’s that appear as you navigate each page, as it saves time hunting for them. Cash out is a particularly useful quick link for the mobile bettor as seconds count when you are betting live.

Speaking of live betting, the streaming content is still available via mobile and while it doesn’t work quite as well as it does on the desktop, this is probably to be expected. There aren’t many instances of lag or jumpy moments, and the fluctuating odds seem just as timely.

It’s a good effort from Coral and they have a lot to fit into the smaller screen space, but they are also one of the biggest bookmakers in the country so it would have been nice to feel a bit more of a wow factor. You won’t find any issues with usability, market depth, or navigation - in fact the mobile site is fairly strong in these areas – but the performance felt laboured.

The Help Centre

coral help 400pxUnfortunately, Coral cannot be contacted 24/7 other than via the live chat. It’s good that it’s there but since there is someone on the other end of it, they could have kept the phone line open too. The phone line is manned between 8am and 10pm and only offers support in English. Other methods include a dedicated Twitter account (although it’s not the sparkiest) and of course e-mail.

Despite the lack of overnight coverage customer services are rated highly by current customers in terms of service, and from a quick search you can see high satisfaction levels. Agents are friendly and will generally resolve your problem there and then. From my own personal experience, you sometimes need to contact the bookmaker due to missing promotional payouts though this is quick and painless.

The Help Centre is where you can find all the answers to your questions and it’s pretty good with the content it holds and the way it functions. However, contact options are not made immediately obvious and are spread across a few different pages, so you do have to hunt for them, and there is some contradictory information on there so it clearly needs a good going over. This is so easy to rectify that it comes across as a low priority for Coral.

Main Selling Points

The overall Coral experience is excellent, you get the feeling they are always improving their game and forcing other bookmakers to get better. The live betting, live streaming, and cash out options are fantastic in particular and make Coral a strong contender for the attention of in-play bettors. The free to use Coral radio is another customer favourite and helps bettors really engage with the event they have bet on.

Customers seem to love the interaction on the site and through the app, and regular fun promotions along with generous free bet clubs keep you coming back each Saturday. Plus, as a mainly UK focussed bookie you can feel special knowing that everything they do is done with you in mind.

Coral also add something that online-only merchants can’t by offering full integration of online, telephone and in-shop betting - with the Connect card being the icing on the cake. If you are a loyal customer and you want to keep your bets in one place but with flexibility then Coral are the bookie for you. For example, if your internet goes down and you’ve got no phone signal you can’t walk down to an online only bookie now can you?

Casino Package

coral casino 850pxThe Gala Coral Group have a rich history in the world of casino gaming with Gala casinos currently holding around 1/5 of the market share. Coral, therefore, has a lot of expertise under the bonnet and can provide a wide range of online casino, gaming and bingo services.

Coral offers a plentiful range of games and slots thanks to their many industry partnerships and these can be played on site and conveniently on the main mobile app too. The live casino plays host to a stack of roulette and blackjack games (plus a few others) via live stream but if you would rather go it alone you can stick to the table games area.

The full review of the Coral casino is here.

The Bookie That Joe Built

coral logo 400pxJoe Coral established the bookmaker business in 1926, initially operating pitches at greyhound meetings with money borrowed from a local café owner. With his good friend, Tom Bradbury-Pratt, the pair went on to found and run many greyhound and speedway meetings, and in fact, they still own greyhound tracks such as Romford. This link to their past strengthens their reputation as a bookie steeped in history.

In 1960 legislation was passed to allow off-site bookmaker betting shops and Joe was one of the first to take advantage, opening his first highstreet shop in 1961. Famed for being prepared to take large bets Coral quickly grew to around 650 shops before being acquired by Bass in 1981, although the shops retained the Coral brand and Joe remained in the picture.

Following a failed attempt by Ladbrokes to buy out Coral in 1997, it was eventually sold in 1999 to a private equity group who merged the company with an internet betting group to create Coral-Eurobet. In 2005 after a deal worth over £2bn they merged again to create the Gala Coral Group Ltd, the UK’s third largest bookmaker with over 30 real world casinos at the time. Late in 2015 Ladbrokes were finally successful in purchasing Coral, however, the brands were kept separate and punters are perfectly able to have an account with both bookmakers, including claiming both welcome packages. 

Coral now employ over 11000 people across their 1800+ betting shops and UK based head offices. In 2011 however, like many online bookmakers, Coral decided to relocate a large proportion of its online business to Gibraltar for tax purposes, so they also have a staff presence there.

Coral launched an online betting platform in 2000, and this early adoption meant they quickly attained a top four position, which they maintain to this day. Coral services are primarily focused in the UK and Italy and so do not offer the international coverage and range of languages/currencies that others do. Saying that, as a UK focused bookmaker it is tailored to the UK market - referring to football instead of soccer for a start.

Admin

  • Name: Coral
  • UK licence ref/No: 39071
  • Registered Company Name: Gala Coral Group Ltd
  • URL: http://www.coral.co.uk/
  • Customer Services: Freephone 0800 44 00 11 (UK), +44(0) 208 507 5544 (Non UK)
  • Coral Shops: 8:30am - 9:30pm (0800 169 0299)
  • E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Customer services address: New Castle House, Castle Boulevard, Nottingham, England, NG7 1FT
  • Phone betting: Freephone 0800 242 232 (UK only)
  • Text betting: Not accepted
  • Twitter: @coral or @coralhelp
  • Company address: Suite 711, 1st Floor, Europort, (6-7) Europort Road, Gibraltar GX11 1AA.

 

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