The rise of the internet and mobile technology has led to an unprecedented internationalisation of sports betting. While before British bettors would only have had a choice between British bookmakers, nowadays there are options of all shapes and sizes from regions around the world.
Marathonbet is a perfect example of the kind of sportsbook which simply wouldn’t have been available in the UK 20 or 30 years ago, despite its size. Hailing from eastern Europe, its brand awareness across the rest of the continent has increased massively in recent years. In large part, this is thanks to impressive recent sponsorship deals with Manchester City and Sevilla, and previous partnerships with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United.
So, does Marathonbet have what it takes to tempt you away from the classic British bookies? It’s time to find out, with our comprehensive Marathonbet review.
A broad range of payment methods
Lots of betting markets
Excellent mobile app
Marathonbet Sign Up Offer
The Marathonbet sign up deal, which is imaginatively called ‘UK Welcome Offer’, has a simple proposition – ‘Deposit £20, Earn a £20 Free Bet’. While this sounds both straightforward and attractive at first glance, however, matters do get more complicated when you get into the details of the deal.
Let’s get stuck into those details by taking a closer look at the most important T’s & C’s for the Marathonbet new customer offer:
- Must deposit at least £20
- Use promo code ‘MBW20’ to trigger offer
- Deposit amount must be wagered through 5x to unlock £20 free bet
- Rollover bets must be multiples, with at least three selections
- Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.50) per selection
- Rollover requirement must be met within 90 days of depositing
- Free bet must be used on a win only singles market, within seven days
- Free bet stake not returned with winnings
As you can see, what initially seems like a simple ‘Deposit X, Get Y’ welcome offer is actually more complicated. This is obviously thanks to the five times rollover requirement on your deposit, which definitely damages the promotion’s overall appeal.
Needing to bet through £100 just to claim a £20 free bet would already be tricky enough. When you add in the fact that only multiples with 3+ selections are eligible though, it’s an even tougher ask. Obviously, if you nail one of those qualifying wagers, you’re probably looking at a healthy overall profit. With multiples being inherently tough to win, however, there’s also a decent chance that you make a loss here.
With all that said, there are still a few things to like. There are no restrictions on eligible deposit methods, nor on the sports on which you can place your qualifying wagers or free bet. We also appreciate the lengthy 90 day time frame you’re given in order to complete the rollover. Overall though, because of that annoying rollover requirement, the value of the opening Marathonbet offer is pretty questionable.
Marathonbet Ongoing Promotions (Updated On: May 2021)
As noted, Marathonbet create an absolutely terrible first impression with their lack of a welcome offer. Can they get back on track, with a few respectable offers for existing customers? Well, the short answer is no… because there aren’t many ongoing Marathonbet promotions either! The ones which are in place are so well hidden that it’s almost as if you weren’t supposed to find them!
There’s no section in the main navigation advertising ‘Offers’, ‘Promotions’ or anything like that. Open up the ‘Help’ dropdown menu, and you will finally find a ‘Bonuses’ option. Actually click on that, though, and you’ll find a paltry selection with one offer that expired in 2017, and two more which haven’t been updated since 2016 and 2013 respectively.
Overall, we believe (because the entire section is highly uninformative), there are definitely two ongoing promotions right now. The first is a classic Best Odds Guaranteed deal, which gives you the better price out of your original odds and the SP on ‘certain Horse or Greyhound races’. Eligible races will have a small medal next to their names, which seems to be the only way to identify them. The other is ‘Double Result’, which is another classic racing offer. Basically, if you pick a winning horse who is subsequently disqualified, you’ll still be paid out for the winning bet.
Elsewhere, the only other Marathonbet offer worth mentioning is something called ‘Advancebet’. Theoretically this actually sounds pretty useful… but is once again explained terribly. In short, though, Advancebet lets you place bets exceeding your actual account balance, up to £150. You’ll still get the winnings from any bets using your Advancebet balance, but not the stakes (similar to a Marathonbet free bet). Lost bets will be absorbed by Marathonbet, so you’re not liable to pay them back.
Marathonbet Football Features
Three of the most common areas which will attract new customers are a welcome offer, ongoing promotions, and the football features. Marathonbet missed spectacularly on the first two of those… so let’s see if they can avoid strike three with their football section!
Visually, this section is far from the most attractive we’ve seen. The whole thing is extremely businesslike, with a pale blue, grey and white colour scheme and plain-looking text. It certainly doesn’t have the gloss or modern feel that you’ll get from one of the industry titans.
The interface is also very straightforward. You navigate the entire section via a series of dropdown menus to the left of the screen, through which you access markets on everything from internationals and the Premier League, to the South African first division. Clicking on a set of markets opens up all the relevant 1/X/2 odds in the main section of the screen, and subsequently clicking a match opens up that game’s markets. All the usual bet types are featured – including Both Teams to Score, Handicap, Over/Under Goals, and so on – and, again, are presented in a pretty visually unappealing manner.
Whilst this isn’t the most feature-packed football section you’ll find, the basics are covered capably. In addition to the aforementioned wide range of bet types and markets, you’ll find in-play betting and a Marathonbet cash out feature, both of which work well. There’s no live streaming for the beautiful game, but your in-play betting is supported ably by a very nice visualisation tool, plus a series of live statistics, and the odds on live markets are updated frequently.
Other Betting Markets
Football might be the headline-grabber for most sportsbooks, but – to become truly successful – a bookie must support a wider range of bettors.
Marathonbet have clearly made an effort to do just that, with an impressive selection of other markets on offer. The most popular options – like tennis, boxing, golf, cricket, rugby, and so on – all feature plenty of betting opportunities, and horse racing in both the UK and Ireland is also present and correct. Rounding out this competitive collection are eSports, a full suite of American leagues including the NFL and NBA, and some more niche offerings like bandy and water polo.
Mobile Betting Options & App
While they might not be a household name in the UK, Marathonbet – as noted – have been very successful elsewhere, and clearly have some hefty financial backing behind them. Even this doesn’t necessarily guarantee quality mobile features, though, with many well-funded bookies choosing to forego an app entirely and rely on the quality of their mobile website.
In this case, we’re pleased to say that there is an app in place. In fact, there’s both a Marathonbet Android app and an iOS version, which are available directly through Google Play and the App Store respectively. There aren’t enough user reviews on either to gauge public opinion on the Marathonbet app, but – based on our experience – we have to say this is probably the most impressive part of the bookie’s entire offering.
For starters, it simply looks better than the desktop version. The colour scheme – while still a basic blue, white and grey – looks modern and minimalist here. The navigation is handled much more elegantly too. You can access the four main sections – Live, Sport, Bet Slip and My Bets – using an ever-present menu along the bottom. Within Live or Sport, individual sports can be reached via a nice scrolling menu near the top, or an ‘A-Z’ dropdown list. Markets within an individual game are divided in a similarly effective manner. Everything functions well too, with live odds still updated frequently, and the various sections loading quickly.
If you don’t want to download the app for any reason, you’ll be reliant on the Marathonbet mobile site for your on-the-go betting. Whilst this also looks and feels better to use than the desktop site, it’s not quite as easy to navigate as the app, mostly due to the removal of the bottom menu.
Considering the disappointments previously encountered with this sportsbook, the high quality of the mobile app came as a huge surprise. Whoever designed that app needs to be given a crack at Marathonbet’s desktop site too, ASAP!
Marathonbet might be a highly successful bookie, but they’re still not a household name in the UK. Accordingly, asking questions like ‘Is Marathonbet legit?’ is perfectly reasonable.
For starters, they do actually have a ‘Security’ section on their website, which is always welcome. This doesn’t give a huge amount of detail, but SSL is used to protect your personal details and card information, and random security checks and anti-fraud measures are in place too.
In addition to those measures Marathonbet also holds a whole series of licenses. The most notable is with the prestigious United Kingdom Gambling Commission, which should help to hold it to industry best practices.
Opening an Account
It’s naturally in a bookie’s best interests to make it as quick and easy as possible for you to sign up with them. Fortunately, Marathonbet have realised exactly this, and have managed to boil their entire registration process down to a single page. Nice!
On this page, you begin by entering your most basic personal information, including your name, date of birth, address, and phone number. Next, you set a username (which can’t subsequently be changed) and a password, provide an email address, and create a security question.
Once you’ve done all that, you’ll be sent a confirmation email. Simply click the link within to finish the process, and you’re ready to start betting!
While there aren’t a huge number of payment methods on Marathonbet (seven in total), you’re still given a reasonable amount of choice in how you make your deposit. Aside from regular debit/credit card, you can use digital wallet services like Skrill or Neteller, Trustly to make a bank transfer, or Paysafecard. The minimum deposit amount is a nice low £5 for all methods except bank transfer, where it’s £10, and all payments are processed instantly and without fees.
The same methods and minimum amounts are in place when making a Marathonbet withdrawal. Ewallet withdrawals process within three hours, bank transfers take up to 48 hours, and credit/debit card withdrawals will take 3-5 days.
Customer service should be vital to any bookie, but – in reality – it really can go either way. In this case, though, we’re pleased to say that Marathonbet have clearly put a premium on giving their bettors the support they deserve.
There are three main ways to contact the Marathonbet customer service team: email, phone and live chat. Multiple email addresses are provided, depending on the nature of your enquiry, and there are phone numbers for both UK and non-UK bettors. Most importantly, the live chat is extremely easy to access, with a ‘Chat’ button ever-present near the top of the screen.
Aside from the direct Marathonbet contact options, you’ll also find a pretty good help centre in place. The layout isn’t great, meaning a search feature would certainly have been welcome, but there are plenty of articles covering everything from basic betting terminology to the intricacies of handicap betting.
Marathonbet Company Details
Marathonbet first launched as a brick-and-mortar sports betting company back in 1997, before making the move online in 2002. It was originally an Eastern European outfit, which enjoyed widespread success in that region before starting to spread westward. Alongside a growing collection of betting licenses, this spread encompassed a frankly ridiculous spree of sponsorship deals, which has seen the likes of Real Madrid, Man Utd, Man City and Liverpool advertising the brand.
Marathonbet first started catering to British bettors in the mid-2010’s. Excitingly, they’re not based in either Gibraltar or Malta (like most bookies), but on Guernsey… which is still part of the tax-friendly Channel Islands.
Marathonbet Bottom Line
For a sportsbook, where you’re asking people to sign up and start spending money with you regularly, first impressions are absolutely key.
Unfortunately, Marathonbet fall flat on their face at this first hurdle. In fact, between the complete lack of a welcome offer, the scarcity of ongoing promotions, and the generally outdated and dull appearance of their site, it’s pretty hard to imagine a bookie creating a worse first impression. Accordingly, we’re guessing plenty of people will give up on Marathonbet without giving it a chance.
That’s a shame, because – even if they fail in some big ways – Marathonbet still execute many of the basics well. A good range of payment methods and betting markets, or helpful customer service, might not sound exciting… but these things are actually incredibly useful for the bettor. Elsewhere, the Marathonbet mobile app really is outstanding, and it’s a shame the desktop version doesn’t reach these lofty heights.
If you’re looking for a juicy welcome promotion or a flashy interface, we can’t recommend Marathonbet. If you’re looking for a solid betting experience though, with a very good mobile app included, this bookie is well worth a look.