The Votes Are In: Your 3 Best & Worst Bookmakers Revealed

As promised, I am back today with the results of the final 2 categories as voted for by you in the 2018 SBC Awards, that of Best and Worst Bookmaker.

These awards offer a unique insight into those firms attracting both your praise and ire based on the service (or lack of) that they have offered you over the past year.

As ever these awards are based on your votes (not mine or SBC’s) so represent the general consensus of what the majority of you think on both the good and bad of the bookmaking world.

So, without further ado – here is who you voted for as both best and worst bookie…


Revealed: Your Favourite Bookmaker

Let’s kick things off firstly by examining who you voted for as your best bookmaker from last year, with the results as follows:

Best Bookmaker SBC Awards 2018

The winner of the Gold award for best bookmaker by a very clear distance was Stoke-based internet behemoth, Bet365. With a very user-friendly website, huge numbers of betting markets and a massive presence both online and on your TV screens, it’s no surprise to see Bet365 scoop this award for the second year running.


Holding onto the Silver award for this year is Betfair, who despite increasingly focusing on their sportsbook, remain very popular especially for those using their betting exchange.

To give some context as to the popularity of both Bet365 and Betfair – it should be noted that between them they took 66% of all the votes.

Making up the best of the rest and winner of the Bronze award with 7.6% of the votes was Paddy Power (who it should be noted merged with Betfair in 2016).

Mentions here must also go to both Pinnacle & Smarkets who polled around 7% of the votes between them to be the 4th and 5th best rated firms.

Your Worst Bookmaker

Onto one of the most anticipated ‘Awards’ – that of the Worst Bookmaker, where once again you voted in your droves as follows:

Worst Bookmaker SBC Awards 2018

The common element between the winner of this year’s Gold and Silver Awards is the fact that both Ladbrokes and Coral are now part of the same firm, following their merger in late 2016.

Ladbrokes also scooped the worst bookie award last year, so it seems whatever they are doing wrong at the magic sign has rubbed off on new stablemate, Coral, who appeared from nowhere to take the Silver award this time out.

Worst Bookmaker Gold Award - Secret Betting Club

The Bronze award this year also went to perennial worst bookie candidate, Stan James, who drop down a spot from Silver in 2017.

It must be noted how competitive this field was with very little to choose between the top 3 and those who finished 4th and 5th respectively – Betfred and Boylesports.

To illustrate this clearer, here is the percentage breakdown of votes from the top 5:

  • Ladbrokes: 20.08%
  • Coral: 16.73%
  • Stan James: 16.6%
  • Betfred: 14.67%
  • Boylesports: 13%

What the closeness of this vote helps indicate is just how widespread punters issues remain in general with how they are treated by bookmakers. This is not just about one rogue firm, but a malaise affecting the whole industry, where practices need to improve across the board.

Last Year’s Results:
Gold – Ladbrokes
Silver – Stan James
Bronze – Boylesports

“My Net Profit Was In Excess Of £58,000”

“I have just conducted a review of the tipster performance for 2017 and my net profit was in excess of £58,000, the majority of it coming from horse racing.”
Michael – An SBC Member For 5 Years

Read more from Michael on his profits last year



For of you interested reading more, you can gain full access to the complete 2018 SBC Awards Report with a Secret Betting Club Membership.

Here is what else you can read about:

  • The Best Horse Racing, Sports & Overall Tipster (Gold, Silver & Bronze winners)
  • The Best Free Tipster (Gold, Silver & Bronze winners)
  • The Best Tipster Newcomer (Gold, Silver & Bronze winners)
  • The Outstanding Contribution to Tipping & Editors Choice Awards (recognising some of the best tipsters and betting experts)
  • The lowdown on why 79.8% of SBC members made a profit last year from their betting.

You can currently save £45 on the cost of subscription so don’t delay, sign-up here right now and gain full access to our Awards Report!

2018 Discount 468X60

See you on the inside.

Peter Ling
SBC Editor


The ‘Oscars’ For Worst Bookmaker: Gold, Silver & Bronze Winners Revealed

As promised, I am back today with the final 2 categories as voted for by you in the 2017 SBC Awards – that of Best Odds Comparison Website and the biggy: Worst Bookmaker.

For those of you that missed my email on Friday with details on who you voted for as Best Bookmaker & Best Betting Website, you can read that here.

SBC Awards 468X60


Best Odds Comparison Website

Kick-starting things today with the Best Odds Comparison Website, a new category introduced for the first time in 2017, you voted as follows:


The inaugural Gold Award was taken by Oddschecker, who have quickly become the go-to website for many of you keen to seek out value for your bets. With a quick, easy to use odds comparison matrix and the ability to bet without leaving their website, it’s a very useful resource for punters keen to find the best odds.

The Silver Award went to Oddsportal, who offer up-to-date odds comparison on a huge range of betting markets, particularly useful for those of you betting on sports such as Football, NBA & NFL.

The Bronze award was taken by, who provide odds comparison across several different markets including horse racing.

Your Worst Bookmaker Award

Onto one of the most anticipated ‘Awards’ – that of the ‘Worst Bookmaker’ whereby voting was extremely competitive!

Here is who you voted for:


The somewhat surprising Gold Award Winner for Worst Bookmaker with 24% of the votes (I told you it was competitive) was Ladbrokes. Having taken the Bronze Award last year, whatever it is Ladbrokes have been doing in the past 12 months has clearly irked enough of you to put them forward as the worst bookmaker out there. Certainly the ‘Ladbrokes Life’ is not something many of you seem to be aspiring to!

Less surprisingly, the Silver Award went to Stan James, who continue to cement their place as one of the most universally-disliked bookmakers after claiming just under 21% of all votes. Stan James have long been known as one of the worst culprits for betting restrictions, a strong reason behind their poor reputation.

The Bronze Award this year went to last year’s Gold Winner, Boylesports who took 19.4% of your votes. Whether this is down to any improvement or just the fact other firms have got worse is very hard to say, yet the fact still remains there is much to dislike.

Other poorly rated Bookmakers included 4th placed Betfred with 16% of the votes and 5th placed Racebets with 8.41% of the vote.

Over $1 Million In Profits Betting…

My total profits since joining the Secret Betting Club are well over $1 million of which SBC approved tipsters account for about 25% of that amount.”    
As written by Billy McPherson – An SBC member since 2011

Click here to read more from Billy on his SBC experience

Why It Pays To Know The Best & Worst Bookmakers

As well as helping us have a bit of fun at their expense, there is a serious side to this award – namely to help raise awareness of those bookmakers treating punters poorly.

One of the main reasons these bookmakers are disliked so much is due to their notoriety as firms that both limit stakes and close accounts for anyone with even a modicum of ability.

Should you for example bother opening accounts with Ladbrokes, Stan James and Boylesports if you expect to win money betting?

In my opinion it is often not worth the time, unless you are keen to take advantage of new account opening offers or simply keen to try to win as much as you can, while you can.

In terms of our own tipster reviews, we regularly mark tipsters down who quote and settle bets to top prices available with the likes of Stan James and Boylesports.

Very often, such prices are a work of fiction as in reality they are not available to all but losing punters. And as the 2017 SBC Awards Report – over 80% of our members made a substantial profit betting last year, so these bookmakers will not be open to them.

Let Them Know They Won!

As it is extremely unlikely that either of Ladbrokes, Stan James or Boylesports will acknowledge their status as the top 3 most disliked bookmakers, it is up to us to raise awareness as the poor quality of service they offer.

With that in mind, feel free to share the following Gold, Silver & Bronze Award winner images on Social Media and link to this email (Via the SBC Blog)


The Best Tipsters & Betting Sites

Alongside revealing the Worst Bookmakers, in the 2017 SBC Awards Report, you can also read plenty that can genuinely help your betting.

Here is what can be found inside it:

  • The Best Horse Racing, Sports & Overall Tipster (Gold, Silver & Bronze winners)
  • The Best Free Tipster (Gold, Silver & Bronze winners)
  • The Best Tipster Newcomer (Gold, Silver & Bronze winners)
  • The Outstanding Contribution to Tipping & Editors Choice Awards (recognising some of the best tipsters and betting experts)
  • The lowdown on why 80.3% of SBC members made a profit last year from their betting.

You can gain full access to the complete 2017 SBC Awards Report with a Secret Betting Club Membership, on which you can currently save up to £35 on the cost of joining.

Sign-up here right now and gain access to the Report & a lot more besides!

See you on the inside.
Peter Ling
SBC Editor

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