Coral

OVERVIEW
Coral is a long-established bookmaker based in Britain found online at www.coral.co.uk and is a part of the Gala Coral Group. The Gala Coral Group is the only gambling company in the UK with significant businesses in the bookmaking, bingo and casino markets, both on the high street and online.

In 2006, at the UK Gambling Awards, Coral was named “Bookmaker of the Year“ overcoming stiff competition from Betfred, Blue Square, Bet365, SkyBet, VCBet, Ladbrokes and William Hill.

Coral have betting offices in three of Britain“s biggest racecourses; Cheltenham; Epsom and Sandown Park. Coral also own two greyhound racing stadia within Britain, at Romford and Brighton & Hove.

Coral have sponsored the “Coral“ Eclipse race, which takes place as Sandown Park, since 1976 and continues to feature Classic winners.

The Gala Coral Group have welcomed over 574,000 unique players to its sites, with over 123 million visits in total and are among the bigger names and sites in the UK betting market.

CORAL BACKGROUND
Founded by Joe Coral in 1926 who opened his first licensed betting office in 1961, one of the first to ever open in the UK, after legislation was passed in 1960 allowing off-course betting shops. Coral merged with another bookmaker, Mark Lane, in 1971 and by 1977 Coral had evolved into one of the four major bookmakers owning nearly 24% of the 13,254 registered shops operating.
In 1975 the company became the Coral Leisure Group and began to offer other leisure activities such as social clubs, hotels and casinos. However, in 1981 the Coral Group was purchased by Bass plc. but did however retain the name, Coral. Being acquired by one of the UK“s oldest established companies helped Coral to grow throughout the 80“s with acquisitions of Bartletts and Heathorns in 1984, PTS in 1985 and Leisure Bookmakers in 1989, acquiring over 160 betting shops in addition to their own.

In December 1997 Ladbrokes acquired Coral from Bass. However, the acquisition was referred to the UK Monopolies and Mergers Commission and they concluded in September 1998 that Ladbrokes should not be allowed to retain ownership of Coral.
Coral Group was then sold in a management buy-out backed by Morgan Grenfell Private Equity in February 1999. At the end of 1999 Eurobet, an internet betting business was acquired and the Group“s name was changed to Coral Eurobet.
The Coral Eurobet Group was then sold in a further management buy-out in September 2002 which was backed by Charterhouse Development Capital.
As of 3rd August 2009 Coral owned 1630 licensed betting shops operating in the UK, as well as hundreds in Italy trading under the Eurobet name, employing over 11,000 betting shop staff within the UK and the Gala Coral Group currently employs over 19,000 people in total.

Coral“s broadcasting department currently operates out of Milton Keynes and contains a purpose built studio to manage its new TV channel, Coral TV. Coral“s Head offices operate out of Nottingham, and also have offices in Barking and Woking.

CORAL FREE BET OFFERS AND PROMOTIONS

In partnership with Coral we are able to offer a great welcome bonus for registering with Coral from this website.

Get £20 free bets by following the links to Coral on this website. Just make a deposit and bet at least £5 on a selection with odds of 1/2 (1.50) or more and Coral will match it with a free bet bonus worth a huge 400% of your original stake.

The free bets may only be placed in sporting markets, but all sporting markets are available for use. The free bet is valid for 30 days.

The free bet can be redeemed on win or each-way bets on Coral“s website, and can be used for single, double, treble, 4-fold and upward accumulators as well as forecast, combination forecast, tricast and combination tricast bets.

Coral“s account setup is a straight forward to process and is very quick, and is well guided with user-friendly forms on www.coral.co.uk.

Unlike other offers, the Coral free bet has the advantage of not containing any rollover requirements. This makes the offer much more appealing when compared with similar deals that require customers to place a number of bets before claiming the free bet award.

CORAL BETTING ODDS AND MARKETS
Coral.co.uk has an extensive range of sports betting markets ranging from Horse Racing, Greyhounds and Football to American Football, Handball and Volleyball. The website has a strong focus on Horse Racing and Greyhound racing with all other major sports being well represented which have a good depth of betting markets on offer and a competitive selection of odds.

In play markets are offered, and odds update regularly during play and there are a massive range of betting markets for Football, Cricket and Snooker. There are a great number of special bets, coupons and nearly every event is represented in some form.

There are also some special novelty markets available such as TV and Entertainment, Politics and Lotto which seem to offer a good number of markets for current events.

Horse racing is very well covered at Coral, and contains a good range and depth of markets that you“d expect to find from a leading bookmaker. Each day“s races are displayed clearly and covered thoroughly as well as specials, jockey challenges, match bets, virtual racing and more being offered.

Coral update their website and betting odds quickly and tends to offer very competitive margins in comparison with other bookmaking websites, and while Coral odds compilers tend to take a conservative position in many betting markets, they provide good value for customers. Coral have a strong online presence and are among the market leaders within the UK in online betting

CORAL WEBSITE
Coral“s website, www.coral.co.uk, is very slick and tidy on the whole. The colour scheme works well, and is kept constant throughout. The website operates quickly, and there is very little delay in any pages loading or updating.

Registration for the site is easily done, and there is a tutorial video that demonstrates this well. The forms are simple and easy to complete, and what should be expected when registering to a bookmaking website.

The side bar navigation on the sports section of the website works very well, and drop down menus are easily viewable and load very quickly. Odds are easily found and bets are easily placed. A taskbar along the bottom of the website helps with navigation further, and clearly displays the time and the way that odds are displayed, which can be changed.

Collapsible menu“s help make the feel of the website tidier, as for example, football markets are extensive but you can easily show only those that you are interested in at that time.

In play events are clearly shown, and are brought to the forefront when they are taking place. A quick bet feature is also used to good effect to make betting during in-play markets easier and as the name suggests, quicker.

Betting in play loads its own section to the site, which retains the theme of the sports homepage. Times and schedules are clearly presented and odds are displayed and trends are shown colour coded as expected.

Disclaimers are clearly displayed at the bottom of each page, but are unobtrusive and effectual.

There are very easily visible buttons and adverts redirected to the Poker, Casino, Bingo and Games section to the Corel.co.uk website. The individual pages for each of these seem functional and well presented in accordance with the rest of the site.
Deposits may be made by Moneybookers, VISA Credit Card, MasterCard Credit Card, VISA Electron Debit Card, Bank Transfer, Western Union, UK Maestro Debit Card, VISA Debit and SOLO Debit Card with a minimum deposit of £5.00 is required. Minimum bets are £1.00 for a single bet, and £0.10 for multiples.

Withdrawal methods are identical to the Deposit methods. Deposits are immediate and are placed in your Sports balance, and may be transferred to other areas but only funds in the sports balance may be withdrawn. Transfers within the website are instant.
Details of past bets are easily viewable, as well as existing bets that have been placed and a transaction history is easily found in your Coral account.

Live streams of events and races are not available on the website which is disappointing from a bookmaker of Coral“s stature and Coral do offer Mobile betting. However, Coral offer a good telephone betting service that is rated highly.

The bookmaker is heavily adapted to players in the UK and as such is ideal for users within the UK, but may not be suited well for non-UK residents. However, poker games are played in US Dollars ($) and when funds are transferred will be converted using the closing SPOT rate as listed in the financial times on the previous day.

Horse forms, Football Stats, Cricket Scoreboards and rule sets are all easily accessible in the websites “Extras“ section. Finally, Coral.co.uk offers a bet calculator and its own Radio station, Coral Radio.

CORAL CUSTOMER SERVICE
Coral offer a very good range of tutorial videos including setting up an account, finding markets and placing bets. They are well presented and serve their purpose well, providing all the necessary relevant information needed to navigate and operate the site effectively. Video tutorials are rarely found among even the biggest websites in bookmaking, and Coral should be commended for going to the effort and cost to make a very useful tutorial series.

The tutorials are easily found in the help tab, where a lot of other helpful information can be found. There is a customer support 24/7 e-mail service; however there are no Live Chat Support services. Other help with placing bets is found clearly in the betting slip.

Coral are contactable via E-mail, Telephone and FAX and offer a Store Locator service which works well.

Coral place a lot of pride in providing the best experience for their customers they can, and in which I feel they succeed largely, and offer reliable and informative customer service where possible.
The company highly promotes ethical habits and responsible gambling. A statement from their Chief executive, Dominic Harrison reads:

“We want all our employees to work as a high performing team, which is customer focused, behaves ethically and achieves outstanding results, and we want all our partners to have a similar aspiration!“


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