One of the most common misconceptions about the sports betting scene is that sportsbooks stand alone – that when you bet with a bookie, you’re betting with that one, single brand. In reality, almost all of these bookies have parent companies above them, and it’s these companies which really call the shots.
When we say that Guts was only launched in mid-2019, you might think that they’re brand new. Their lack of experience might even put you off! But in reality, their parent company – Gaming Innovation Group (GIG) – are sports betting veterans, who’ve been operating in the industry since 2008. All of this experience and savvy will undoubtedly have been brought to bear when setting up Guts.
Has GIG’s wealth of experience paid off? Is this already a fully-formed and competitive option on the busy betting scene? Keep reading to find out, in our comprehensive Guts review.
Notable range of markets
Solid customer service
Excellent football section
Guts Sportsbook Sign Up Offer
As noted, while Guts itself might be a new brand, the people running it are highly experienced in online betting. As such, they should know their way around the fundamentals of running a sportsbook. Having a quality welcome offer in place, which has the ability to entice newcomers to sign up, must clearly be one of these cornerstones.
We were absolutely baffled, therefore, to find that there is currently no Guts new customer offer whatsoever available on the sportsbook. A little internet research reveals that they have had welcome offers in the past (which admittedly didn’t look very appealing)… but there definitely isn’t one any more!
Considering how important welcome offers are – particularly when you’ve only launched recently – this is a mind-blowing oversight by Guts. It’s especially remarkable considering that they have welcome offers in place for all three of the other sections on their site – Casino, Live Casino and Poker. If you could put offers together for those… why didn’t you bother putting one together for the sportsbook too?!
Needless to say, this does not create a good first impression on the Guts sportsbook. In fact, it suggests that – of the various gambling avenues on their site – they care least about sports betting.
Guts Ongoing Promotions (Updated On: April 2020)
Things could hardly have gotten off to a worse start, thanks to the complete lack of a welcoming Guts offer. Can this young bookie can get back on track with some enticing ongoing promotions?
The short answer is a great big ‘no’! Head to the ‘Promotions’ section, then to the ‘Sports’ page, and – at the time of writing – you will once again find absolutely nothing there. Literally the only entry on the page is an article promoting Guts as ‘A sportsbook that listens’. Well, if you are listening to us, Guts… get some promotions on your website, as soon as possible!
In truth, there actually is one offer available at the moment, though the fact that it’s not actually listed on the Guts promotions page is bizarre. Head to the football section though, and you will find an ‘Odds Boost’ area which is fairly well populated. It contains a few different options for multiples bets on the biggest upcoming games (i.e. games that you might actually want to wager on), with the odds being boosted quite significantly.
It’s not hard to put a few basic offers together, which give at least some extra incentive for users to both sign up in the first place, and keep coming back. The Guts Odds Boost offer shows this; it’s simple, yes, but it’s also effective. Figuring out why Guts have only bothered to create a grand total of one promotion on their entire website, therefore, is beyond us.
Guts Football Features
We’ve mentioned already that there are certain fundamentals that all sportsbooks should be focusing on. Having already flunked both their welcome offer and ongoing promotions, let’s hope that Guts can put in a stronger showing with another pillar for most bookies – football features.
While football does have its own dedicated section here, we’re really not crazy about the layout. Rather than having a long list of matches, as most bookies do – which allows you to scan through all the markets and odds nice and quickly – Guts instead stick each match into its own rectangular box. These take up a lot more space, and – in turn – require a whole lot more scrolling when browsing. There’s also no option to change which odds are shown on your main screen by default – you’re stuck with regular 1/X/2 markets.
Those gripes aside, the overall layout is okay. All the major subsections for football are laid out for you near the top – ‘Overview’, ‘Starting Soon’, ‘Outrights’, and so on. There’s also ‘Browse Football’, in which you’ll find a huge range of competitions from all around the world, and ‘Odds Boosts’ – the promotion we mentioned earlier – also has its own area.
When it comes to actual features, Guts’ selection is respectable but hardly revolutionary. Both in-play betting and a Guts cash out tool are in place. While there’s no actual streaming for live games, you can keep up with them comfortably thanks to a very good visualisation tool, which shows ongoing attacks, constantly updated stats, and so on.
Finally, Guts actually have one very interesting trick up their sleeves. Alongside regular football markets… they offer markets on fantasy football too! Right now, these take the form of simply picking who will have more fantasy points, between two players. If Salah and De Bruyne are playing on a given day, for example, you might bet Salah to have more points at 0.95/1. Given the explosion in popularity of Fantasy Premier League, we think this is an excellent idea, and applaud Guts for their initiative!
Other Betting Markets
Whilst the football section on Guts is generally impressive, you must focus on more than just the beautiful game in order to craft a truly successful sportsbook. Guts go some way towards realising this goal, but their range of other betting markets isn’t perfect, by any means.
Most of the major sports are available for betting here. The likes of tennis, rugby, golf, cricket, motorsports, boxing, and North American sports are all present and correct, with a good selection of competitions and live betting supported for each. That said, there are a couple of notable absences, with horse racing being the most egregious. It’s fairly common for a new bookie not to feature racing, though, so we’d hope to see this addressed in time.
Mobile Betting Options & App
You would think that nowadays – given the proliferation of mobile phones – on-the-go betting would be a priority for just about every sportsbook. If this were so, you’d guess that just about every bookie would also have their own mobile app.
In reality, though, a surprising number of bookies have chosen to skip this pretty basic requirement… and unfortunately, Guts also fall into this category. That’s right – there isn’t a Guts Android app available, either on Google Play or elsewhere, nor is there an iOS version. Considering how big their parent company – GiG – are, this absence is more than a little confusing! In this day and age, people generally expect a bookie to have a mobile app. That one with so much funding doesn’t is a bad look for Guts.
Regardless, in this context the mobile version of the main sportsbook becomes more important than ever. And as with the desktop site, the Guts mobile sportsbook is generally fine, without being anything special.
It still follows the chunky, boxy aesthetic when it comes to displaying games and markets, although this actually looks a little better on a mobile device, and it’s quicker to scroll through them all when using a touchscreen. The wider navigation works impressively well. Near the top of the screen you can use a scrolling menu to move quickly between different sports. At the bottom, you have an ever-present menu through which you can access the main sections of the website – ‘Promotions’, ‘Search’, and so on. Everything loads at an above average speed too, and we didn’t experience any crashes during our testing.
Overall then, while we’d prefer to have an actual Guts app in place, the mobile site is still good enough to allow effective betting while you’re out and about.
Whilst Guts might have some serious experience behind them, it’s highly unlikely you’ll have actually heard of this brand before. With that in mind, ‘Is Guts legit?’ is a perfectly reasonable question to ask.
Such worries can immediately be put to rest by Guts’ licenses. Most importantly, they are fully licensed and regulated by the prestigious UK Gambling Commission, with a Malta Gaming Authority license also helping to give peace of mind.
Elsewhere, Guts do have a ‘Security’ section in their FAQ, which provides a few details on how your money and data are protected. All customer funds are held in a separate account from the company’s own money, personal information is only accessible by senior security personnel, and encryption is used to protect all data transfers.
Opening an Account
As with most modern sportsbooks, the registration process on Guts is nice and easy. In this case, it’s split up into three simple steps.
You begin by creating the basic details for your account; namely, an email address, username and password. You must also provide a valid phone number here, to which a verification code will be sent. At the next stage, you’ll enter your address and pick your preferred currency. Finally, you’ll give Guts a few personal details – your name, gender, and date of birth.
Once all that is done, simply enter the code that was sent to your phone, accept the basic T’s & C’s, and you’re free to start betting!
Payment methods can be hit-and-miss with any non-premium bookie, and are often especially problematic with newer sportsbooks. In the case of Guts, though, you’ll actually find a pretty impressive range.
In addition to Visa/Mastercard and bank transfer (processed using Trustly), you can also deposit using PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Paysafe and Revolut. The minimum deposit for each is an industry-standard £10, and there are no fees attached.
When making a Guts withdrawal, you must use the same method as you did for your deposit. The minimum amount is also £10, they should be processed within three days, and you must provide ID verification before making your first withdrawal.
As with payment methods, this is one important hurdle over which newer bookies often stumble. Not so with Guts, though!
While a phone number isn’t listed, there are still two main ways to get in touch with the Guts customer service team. One is email, which you can use directly via an email address provided at the bottom of the screen, rather than through a ticketing system. More importantly, live chat is also in place, and you can start using it at any time using an ever-present button in the bottom-right corner.
If you don’t need to make direct Guts contact, you can use the FAQ instead. This is very easy to navigate, having been smartly split up into eight main sections – ‘Account’, ‘Deposits & Withdrawals’, and so on. There are plenty of entries in each section, and – although they vary in terms of actual length – all are clear and helpful.
Guts Company Details
Guts has actually existed since 2013, but until recently it only offered casino products. When the sportsbook launched in June 2019, the parent company – Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) – specifically stated that they wanted to make Guts a “sportsbook first” brand.
GiG are an experienced and well-known name in the online gambling industry, and have approximately 650 employees on their books. They’ve been in business since 2008 (originally as Donkr International Ltd), and operate a series of other internet casinos in addition to their one on Guts. Both Guts and GiG are registered and headquartered in Malta.
Guts Sportsbook Bottom Line
Considering GiG’s pedigree in online gambling, we came into this Guts review with high hopes. What we found was often baffling, particularly considering – as we mentioned – their own desire to make Guts a “sportsbook first” brand. The lack of either a welcome offer or any real ongoing promotions for the sportsbook – especially when the casino section does have them – is simply unforgivable. How do you expect to draw new customers to your brand without giving them any incentive whatsoever to do so?
That’s a pretty hard first impression to recover from, and Guts never manage to do so. The strange layout doesn’t help in this regard, and neither does the lack of a mobile app or horse racing markets (the second-most popular sport to bet on). There are things to like about this bookie, from their solid customer service to their respectable football section… but it’s simply not enough to make up for the massive shortcomings.
In time, Guts could well become a very good sportsbook. Right now, though, it’s simply not a viable option.