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888sport Sportsbook Review & Promo Codes
888sport is coming to Ontario! The popular iGaming service provider officially discontinued its sports betting operations in the United States as of December 15, 2021 in order to fully focus on an expansion into Canada. With Ontario’s brand new iGaming market set to take effect on April 4, 2022, 888sport is geared up and ready for new beginnings up North!
888 Brand Background
888 Holdings PLC, the parent company behind 888sport, is a revolutionary online gaming provider that has been serving the industry for over 25 years. Originally founded as ‘Virtual Holdings Limited’ by two sets of entrepreneurial brothers in 1997, the brand’s first offering was as an online casino website called Casino-on-Net. The website’s operations were based out of Antigua until 2003, when the company decided to move its administrative center to Gibraltar. Nearly two years later in 2005, 888 Holdings was listed on the London Stock Exchange for the first time ever.
Expansion into the United States
Shortly after, the company saw early success in the United States through its ‘Pacific Poker’ platform, however they were forced to suspend operations following the US Congress’ enactment of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. As a result, 888 Holdings would not resume any services in the United States until 2013.
In the meantime, the company kept busy overseas, rolling out its first ever sports betting product, 888sport, in March 2008. By 2010, the brand was thriving in Europe, racking up sponsorships with Fontwell Park Racecourse, former Valencia GK Santiago Canizares, and former Arsenal superstar Ian Wright, among others.
888 Holdings would finally make its much-anticipated return to the United States in 2013 when the Nevada Gaming Commission licensed the brand to provide its online gaming services in the state. As a result of the deal, 888sport became one of the first online betting providers from outside of the U.S. to legally operate within the country.
Despite its breakthrough in Nevada, 888sport would have to wait another few years before expanding further throughout the U.S. Following the Supreme Court’s 2018 abolishment of PASPA, the federal ban on sports wagering in the United States, legalized bookmakers were officially given the green light to begin offering action.
As a result of the historic legalization, 888sport was among the first brands to dip their toe into the U.S. online sports betting market. 888sport’s mobile app went live in New Jersey on September 10, 2018, marking just the 7th brand to launch in the Garden State at the time. 888sport joined heavy hitters such as DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars, which also happens to be the same brand that helped launch 888’s poker and casino platforms in New Jersey back in 2013.
888sport exits the USA Market
After about three years of struggling to make their mark on the United States online sports betting industry, 888 made a groundbreaking announcement in the winter of 2021. Beginning on December 15, 2021, the company would no longer be accepting or offering any sports betting opportunities in the U.S., according to a message posted on the front page of their app and website. Active users were informed that any pending or unsettled wagers will be honored, however players will need to withdraw the winnings immediately or use them over at 888poker or 888casino, both of which are still in operation today.
SI Sportsbook Taking Over for 888sport in the USA
While many were left wondering what exactly had led to 888sport’s abrupt dismissal from New Jersey, the company’s U.S. Director of Business Development, John Atkinson, helped clear the air a bit. Atkinson informed the press that 888 would be focusing on launching a new Sports Illustrated-branded SI Sportsbook throughout the United States rather than their own 888sport product.
After 888’s sports betting arm failed to capture more than 1% of the thriving NJ online gambling market, the company opted to go all-in on their partner’s much more notable name and branding. In exchange for exclusive rights to use the Sports Illustrated name, 888 agreed to pay an undisclosed amount in licensing fees to SI’s parent company, Authentic Brands Group.
SI Sportsbook launched for the first time ever in the United States when the app went live in Colorado on September 7, 2021. The launch marked the brand’s first and only active state (at the time of this writing), with many more expected to follow. With market access already secured in New Jersey thanks to 888’s previous ventures, SI Sportsbook is expected to arrive in the Garden State at some point in the near future. Furthermore, 888 also locked up access to set up shop in Indiana and Iowa prior to their closing, so it isn’t out of the question to anticipate SI Sportsbook’s arrival to either of these locations.
888sport Ontario up next
While SI Sportsbook is clearly in the process of taking over 888’s sports betting operations in the United States, the company is actually opting to stick with its original 888sport app and website when it eventually launches in Ontario. Following the Canadian government’s passage of Bill C-218 in June 2021, bettors up North are now legally permitted to wager on single-game sporting events. The bill’s passage officially opened up the doors for third party operators such as 888sport to begin offering their services to Canadian bettors, however only residents of Ontario will benefit right out of the gate.
Despite the recent breakthrough, the legalization does allow each of Canada’s thirteen provinces and territories to determine their own rules and/or market structure, and only Ontario appears to be going ahead with major changes involving brandname bookmakers from the United States.
With that being said, players aged 19 years or older who are located within the province’s geofenced borders will be able to begin wagering with 888sport as early as April 4, 2022, when Ontario’s new and improved iGaming market is expected to take effect.
To help prepare all of Ontario for this exciting new sports betting journey, we’ve got you covered with everything there is to know about the 888sport brand. We’ll break down the mobile app and website, review banking options, run through the sports markets offered, and much, much more – all down below.
888sport’s sportsbook basics
As stated above, in order to get an account started with 888sport, you’ll need to be at least 19 years of age or older.
What some people get confused about in regards to Canada’s unfolding sports betting market is that anyone can sign up to sportsbooks such as 888sport, regardless of their location. However in order to place any legal wagers, players must be physically present in a province where 888sport is licensed and regulated. In this case, only players located in Ontario will be able to successfully use 888sport’s services, for now.
The sports betting options throughout the site are solid. 888sport can offer one of the bigger ranges that we’ve seen, with more than 20 different sports markets offered in total.
888sport is able to back its coverage up with a good range of bet types as well. To give you an idea, NBA games generally have over 200 wagers for most of their games, including player and game props and alternative spreads, with NFL games having a similar split.
A recent highlight was their phenomenal coverage of the NFL Conference Championships and the Super Bowl. The “Big Game” had over 700 wagers to take advantage of before the start of the game, one of the largest selections in the industry.
In terms of software, 888sport cut ties with Kambi in January 2021 in favor of its own in-house technology known as Spectate, which powers both its online and mobile versions of the sportsbook. It’s a platform that is tried and tested, and although it can still use some minor improvements, it is strong, diverse, and gets the job done.
888sport mobile app
The app is one of the areas that 888sport has improved on most in Europe, and its Canadian version takes all the good work taken from that and applies it to this market.
- Availability – The 888sport app can be downloaded for free on both iOS and Android devices. iOS users can head over to the App Store, while Android users can grab it from Google Play.
- Speed – Generally, the app has proven relatively quick. Aside from the initial load up screen, you can switch between sports markets without much load time.
- Stability – Throughout our testing, the app has been rock solid. No crashes and no bugs to report.
- Appearance – The black and orange that is synonymous with the 888sport brand shines through here. Not the best looking, but more appealing than the desktop version.
- View/Layout – The layout is pretty simple. The homepage has a list of upcoming games or markets that you can bet on, and then you’ve got your menu section at the top. Also included here is a search bar, which helps with navigation.
- Responsiveness – No complaints here as buttons are easy to click and scrolling smooth.
- Bet slip – Your bet slip is hidden until you start to add selections into it. It takes up a small part of the screen, and then you can even minimize this further if you like. We like that it includes a “cash-out” symbol for bets that are eligible for this feature, which is becoming commonplace among legal U.S. sportsbooks but certainly welcome.
888sport’s web-based platform is also powered by Spectate. The technology pictured may seem familiar to those who have used SI Sportsbook in the past, as 888sport uses the same structure. It does feel a little dated, and if you compare this to a site like FanDuel, 888sport could probably use some updating and polishing. That being said, it’s a platform that is very much tried and tested, and its goal is to get down bets efficiently. It succeeds in doing just that.
Within the home page, you get the menu down the left and then the bulk of markets down the middle. As you move through each sport, the menu stays, but the middle section then gets some sort of navigation at the top and then a long list of games that are taking place.
This may be organized by league, or “trending” (popular) events, or based time slots, which is common for basketball given tip-off times vary.
888 betting options and types
The betting options at 888 are one of the standout features for us. It’s always been a brand that has worked hard on creating a big platform, and we can see that this hard work has paid off.
We want to start with the number of sports on offer. We’ve conducted dozens of sportsbook reviews in the past, and we have found that anywhere around 15 and over, in terms of the number of sports covered, is excellent. 888sport has more than 20.
You have mainstream ones such as football, hockey, basketball, baseball, soccer and tennis. But you also get some exotics thrown in there as well, such as rugby league, Australian rules football, cricket, and darts.
Wagers for each of the sports were exceptionally high. To give you an idea, coverage for both rugby league and rugby union (two exotics) has over 300 different games covered with a substantial range of wagers attached to each.
Coverage of football, basketball, baseball, and most importantly hockey are not far too behind. Plus, the breadth of American collegiate sports betting options is pretty wide. Of course, in terms of the number of markets for each game, it’s considerably lower than the pro leagues, which is common. Especially come Saturdays during basketball and football seasons when there’s hundreds of games going at the same time.
The range of game props at 888 are very good. During football season, for example, the book offers tons of points races (such as race to 20 points), first scoring plays, team to get most first downs, longest punt returns, team to score in each quarter, safety to be scored, 2-point conversions, and many, many more.
Coverage throughout the rest of the sportsbook is excellent. Basketball spreads are robust with over 30 “alternative line” markets for each NBA game. Football and soccer include features like Bet Builder that allows you to create your own parlay for a single game, which is essentially 888sport’s take on the popular ‘Same Game Parlay’ betting format. Also with football, players can use the “Teaser+” feature, which allows spread and total teasing based on the alternative lines as priced out — as opposed to a static table, which often results in more favorable pricing. Hockey betting options include some of the best scorecast and wincast selections that we’ve seen anywhere.
The good work that’s been done with the market coverage does unravel some when it comes to pricing. What we will state is that 888sport isn’t badly priced, but it’s incredibly inconsistent, to the point that it struggles with some of the competition.
To put this into some context, we wanted to start with their betting margins. Let’s kick things off with college basketball.
The reason college basketball is a good barometer here is that there are lots of games, but given that it can be an unpredictable betting market, margins can fluctuate a lot.
It’s not good news. We tested over 20 upcoming college games (moneyline only), and we found that with exactly zero of the games we looked at, did 888sport have a margin lower than 6%. There were times the margin here was above 7%.
What does this mean?
Well, to put that into context, most sportsbooks we see are around 5% for college basketball. Take a look at some NBA and NCAA basketball games, and you’ll see spread prices at -114 on one side and -113 on the other. And on another game, standard -110 on both sides. What’s going on here, fellas? So, 888sport often is taking more from the price it gives you than other sportsbooks. Pick your spots.
Meanwhile, lots of their soccer bets (1×2) were solid. Its margins were lower there (around 4.5%), and as a result, highly competitive. It struggled with prop bets and spreads though, again, just lacking that consistency that others have shown. We’ll see if they come closer to the norm as time passes.
One of the bright spots for the pricing section was its futures. 888Sport was able to offer a great range of future bets and also prices as well. Soccer was another highlight here, and it was best priced for more wagers here than just about any other section that we tested. Notable mentions for the NBA and MLB have to be included as well.
Some additional redemption is the “profit boosts.”
Profit Boost Tokens (PBT) are chips that can be awarded either through a promotion or by making a certain number of qualifying bets. PBTs are basically an odds boost, but you get to choose the bet. PBTs are awarded in your offers tab and can either be used on any bet or specific matches or games depending on the promotion. PBTs are awarded by percentage and can range from 10% all the way up to 100%.
For example, if you are awarded a 50% PBT, your +100 bet will now have odds of +150, so your $100 bet pays out $250 instead of $200. To activate a PBT, follow the steps below:
- Login to your 888sport account
- Select a bet and in the bet slip, click on the offers tab and this will reveal your PBT
- Click on the “Profit Boost” token, enter your bet and click “Place Bet.”
Overall user experience
Using the sportsbook is one experience that we’ve enjoyed. We touched on it feeling a little dated, and it is, but it works, and if this was your first foray into a sportsbook, then you should be satisfied with the user experience.
Building bets is incredibly easy as it highlights the bet and price via their bold orange blocks and then includes the popup for the bet slip at the bottom of the page. The best thing about this is that it’s out of the way until you need it.
We like to contact customer support for each review that we run and one disappointment with 888sport is that the only way to get in touch is via the contact form. The majority of competitors offer live chat as an option, and some of them even operate 24/7. They weren’t quick to get back to our multitude of queries as well, which was rather disappointing.
That being said, it includes an extensive FAQ section that covers a wide range of topics. For queries that aren’t personally linked to your account, there’s a good chance the information you need is in there somewhere.
Deposits and withdrawals
Banking is one of the highlights at 888sport, and it’s a sportsbook that’s transparent about how each process works. In fact, it has a full guide for each payment method citing who can use it and the timeframe you can expect for each transaction.
Here is the list of methods for deposits:
- Debit/Card Card (Mastercard and Visa)
- Apple Pay
- ACH transfer
- VIP Preferred e-Check
- Online banking
- PayPal — Eligible for this method if you deposited via PayPal.
- ACH transfer — Takes between 3-5 business days from time transaction is approved.
- E-Check — Same as ACH.
The most convenient method for most players here is going to be that of PayPal. Deposits, as they do with all payment methods, start from just $10 per transaction. You can also withdraw directly back to PayPal, with the sportsbook stating 3-5 working days, but we actually got our money within 48 hours.
A couple of points that are worth noting here is that you cannot withdraw back to Mastercard or Visa. And you may very well have trouble depositing with either credit card, too. If you use any of these, then you will need to add another payment method to your account to get your money back out.
We tested deposit via PayPal and withdrawal via ACH, and both worked quickly. The withdrawal did require submission of a bank statement as a safety precaution.
Brett Smiley is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Sports Handle, which joined forces with the US Bets team in November 2018. He focuses on the sports betting industry and legislation. He's a recreational sports bettor and DFS player himself, focusing on the NFL. In a past life, Smiley practiced commercial litigation in New York City and previously wrote for FOX Sports and SI.com. He lives in New Jersey with his family.
- Sign up now!
- 888 Brand Background
- Expansion into the United States
- 888sport exits the USA Market
- SI Sportsbook Taking Over for 888sport in the USA
- 888sport Ontario up next
- 888sport’s sportsbook basics
- 888sport mobile app
- Web-based platform
- 888 betting options and types
- Overall user experience
- Deposits and withdrawals