Most newer betting sites tend to be small and niche and can lack depth and features until they become established. This is not the case with 138.com who are in fact one of Asia’s biggest betting brands. Based and UK licensed from the Isle of Man the betting site provides a good sized alternative to many typical British and European brands.
138 are famed for their high quality customer service (an Asian influence for sure!) and range of markets that include many sports not as common with UK facing bookies. The site provides cash out, live betting, virtuals, plus a casino and live casino too.
They have every traditional British market you would expect with very good depth to go with it, but they also host a range of foreign sports and leagues not so widely cover by UK focused bookies. If you like betting on things you cannot find elsewhere this is a good option. Also one of the best sites for handicap betting.
Site of Simplicity
The first thing that strikes you when you look at 138’s homepage is how white and bare it is; it looks more like the framework for a site than the finished product, and yet this is by design.
A site that has no extra fat on the bone takes very little processing power to run, and as a result this online sportsbook is a very speedy customer. Flicking from one page to the next is an instantaneous process, and there is nothing to distract your eye as you go in search of your bet either.
There is still a flavour of 138’s Asian origins throughout the site, achieved by the logo and splashes of red as much as anything else, but it’s very user friendly for UK based punters both in the sportsbook and the casino.
The interface is also incredibly easy to navigate with an obvious layout, a simple A-Z, and a few quick links aiming to speed things up for those seeking the most popular betting markets.
The homepage is set up to help in-play bettors first and foremost, with any horse races that are imminent also taking a prominent position. This means those betting on future markets can ignore all but the A-Z and navigate to their sport category and follow the options from there.
A lot of what has been said above can be directly applied to their mobile app and website too, except on the smaller screen the simplicity and clarity is even more appreciated. In some ways it even enhances the experience.
The combination of a clean easy to use interface with the few little nips and tucks that the mobile site has been given, results in possibly the most hassle free sports betting app on the market.
The whole thing works from the top down, beginning with either a sports list, in-play, or your betslip and working through the filters from there. It’s astonishingly responsive and getting to your bet takes a matter of seconds. The only thing to change would be to have all competition tabs closed as default. As it is, you have to either close them all or do a lot of scrolling to the bottom of the page to search through ‘all leagues’ – if that’s what you’re after.
Like it’s desktop cousin though, the mobile app is designed for those betting on imminent fixtures, and for that job it is perfectly designed.
Being a global betting site 138 are in an extremely strong position when scrutinising the range and depth of their markets.
On an average day you will find all of the following sports categories have markets available:
|American Football||Australian Rules||Baseball||Basketball||Boxing|
|Gaelic Hurling||Golf||Greyhounds||Handball||Horse Racing|
|Ice Hockey||MMA||Motor Sports||Pool||Rugby League|
Throughout these sports, they offer odds on some fixtures that you won’t easily find anywhere else if you are a UK bettor, so as part of a betting portfolio they can come in very useful indeed; and if you are interested in leagues and competitions from far off lands there are few places better.
This is especially the case for football; I counted around 200 different leagues from around 40 countries, plus U21 Internationals, the Africa World Cup, and the Malaysia Challenge Cup.
That’s a good point actually – since 138 was originally an Asian betting site their coverage of Asian markets is very strong, possibly the best in the UK.
They are a good shout if you enjoy betting on the horses as well, since not only do they fully cover the UK and Ireland but best odds are available on all races too.
This is a place for the more adventurous punter for sure.
Exploiting a Niche
When you are one of the most successful Asian online casino’s trying to break into the UK market your niche should be obvious really, even if it is a specialist one.
138 stay true to their roots by using their knowledge of another part of the world to their advantage and opening new and interesting markets. Not only would this site be an obvious option for any foreign nationals living in the UK, but it’s also a fascinating site for British bettors who want to explore new markets.
The site can be viewed in English or Mandarin, although odds are only available in decimals and fractions which seems odd considering their USP. However, the ability to access customer support in Mandarin is about as niche as it gets, and as you might expect, there is plenty of handicap betting available here, too.
The casino also has plenty of Asian themed slots to explore amongst its 450+ titles.
138.com are a very successful betting site from Asia. Originally named 138SunGame, they attract customers globally and so try to offer a sportsbook and casino to appeal to a wide range of clientele. The result is a well rounded brand with a very interesting range of markets and plenty of options when it comes to funding and support.
For their European operation, 138.com are based and UK licensed from the Isle of Man under the parent company name Fesuge Limited (2nd Floor Athol House, 21a-23 Athol Street, Douglas, IM1 1LB). They’ve held a licence since 2012 and are fully compliant with all UK laws, in fact they take responsible gambling and compliance very seriously.
In an attempt to gain a foothold in the industry 138 drew up a sponsorship deal with Watford Town in 2013 and again as a sleeve sponsor in 2017. This gave them a lot of exposure to English football fans and marked their arrival to some degree. They have also worked alongside Newcastle United as a betting partner in the past.
In 2018 the company partnered with FSB Technology to re-vamp their website, giving them access to previously unavailable features and a strong ally in the industry. This new simplified site has proven popular with bettors that appreciate a more no frills experience.
All in all, 138 seem to have brought over a positive Asian influence providing an honest and respectful betting site and casino with great customer service and a genuinely impressive size.
What Have We Missed?
There are indeed one or two other things we should mention before we sign off. It’s not an exhaustive list of features but some of the other betting options you have with 138 include:
- Virtuals – It’s a good section this actually. The graphics are really fun in a computer game style rather than going for reality, and the list of sports is more original than what you usually see. There’s archery, badminton, and racing roulette, alongside more obvious things like football, greyhounds, etc.
- Cash out – You can cash out early at 138 on certain betting lines, and it available across most sports. It won’t always be an option but the bookie will make it clear when it is. It’s nice and easy to use so you shouldn’t be confused at any point.
- In-Play – This is a major sticking point for many bettors and 138 haven’t exactly gone out of their way to make waves with their offering. In terms of betting it’s got everything you need, but in terms of experience it can be a bit dry. There is no live streaming and even the match tracker isn’t available all that often. There is plenty of it though.
- Casino – We have already mentioned the casino a little, but in brief, it comprises of slots, table games, soft games (like scratch cards), jackpots and a busy live casino. The games are provided from 10 different providers and you will have heard of Microgaming and Pragmatic Play, perhaps Ainsworth too. It’s less likely you will have heard of Iron Dog Studios, Gamevy, and Magnet Gaming, so you might find a few titles you have never played before here.
- Banking & Support – It’s slim picking for banking options with only bank cards, Skrill and Neteller available, but the limits are low at £10 for deposits and withdrawals. Support is only available via live chat or email but there is someone there to help 24/7 and they are known for responding quickly.
- Promotions – This isn’t a particular strength of 138 although they do offer best odds on UK and Irish horse racing and a decent acca boost promotion. In general, if you are the sort who enjoys a special offer you are best off somewhere else.