Bookmaker.eu Review and Information
Bookmaker has been an online betting service since 1996 and has served up millions of bets since then. Players can bet on a wide range of sports including baseball, basketball, hockey, martial arts, horse racing, and much more. In addition, players can play poker at the Bookmaker.com poker room or gamble it up at their full-service casino. Whatever your betting needs may be, you can rest assured that Bookmaker.com has you covered.
Bookmaker.eu has a colorful past. Founded by a group of men who ended up doing time (but are now above-board operators), the brand has undergone several major renovations since its founding in the mid-1980s as an illegal offshore sports betting operation.
Bettors who have been in the online game for a while may remember Bookmaker.eu by its former name: BetCRIS. That operation got mired in legal trouble, and eventually the site opened with a headquarters in Costa Rica under a somewhat legitimate gaming license.
Bookmaker.eu has been taking sports, casino, and poker bets since the 1980s, with online versions of these games appearing in the 1990s, as that industry started booming. The site has a long reputation, very little in the way of bad reviews or customer complaints, and a variety of gambling options available to most people around the world, including US-based bettors.
The site is open to American bettors. Americans have had trouble finding sites to accept their wagers since the 2006 UIGEA bill, which forced most America-facing casinos and sportsbooks to leave the market altogether. If you live in the USA, it's a big plus that Bookmaker.eu is even available to you.
A variety of games and bets are available. From multiple variations of casino blackjack to horse races at obscure Midwestern harness tracks, bettors of all stripes will find something of interest at Bookmaker.
I had a hard time finding any bad reviews or customer complaints about Bookmaker.eu. This speaks to the site's legitimacy. Rogue gambling websites are quickly identified by the huge world of online gamblers, with facts displayed for the whole world to see on sites like Casinomeister and CasinoListings. Bookmaker.eu has a decent reputation, no matter what major review site I consulted.
The site is headquartered in (and licensed by) Costa Rica. Costa Rica is a notoriously lax licensing body – in fact, there's no licensing involved at all. So long as a casino operator pays a little over $10,000 a year in fees, the government of Costa Rica won't intervene. That's really shady, and it also makes me feel nervous about sending them any of my cash. I won't outright say that it's a bad idea to make a deposit to a Costa Rica-based sportsbook or casino, but I'll say: "Proceed with caution."
The DGS-designed game library is small and boring. I'm really disappointed by the casino titles at Bookmaker.eu. I cover the games in more detail below, but I don't know what's worse than boring casino games... maybe if the games were also somehow painful to play, they'd be worse.
To find out more about the latest promotions, check Bookmaker.eu's promotions page.
- Welcome Bonus
This is actually two 50% deposit match bonuses one for sports bets and the other for bets on a few specific casino games. Both bonuses are capped at $300, but the rollover requirements are different. Sportsbook bonuses require wagers totaling 10x the deposit amount only, while casino bonuses require wagers of 40x the deposit plus the bonus amount.
- Sportsbook 15% Welcome Bonus
New sportsbook customers can earn a 15% deposit match up to $2,500. This bonus is subject to a 4x deposit wager requirement.
- Sportsbook Reload Bonuses
Customers reloading their existing accounts can earn either a 10% or 15% match bonus worth up to $2,500. The amount and terms of the bonus depend on the size of your reload amount. Bookmaker will also refund you the cost of any transfer over $300 as part of this bonus.
- Early Bird Tuesday
& Wednesday Deposit $50 or more on Tuesday or Wednesday (with any method besides Neteller or Moneybookers) and earn a 20% deposit match worth up to $1,000. Online reload only.
- Racebook Horses Rebate
Qualifying racebook customers can earn up to 8% cash back daily, win or lose. Internet exotic phone wagers only.
- Casino Slots Bonus
Slots players are eligible for a 100% deposit match bonus worth up to $500. This bonus must be requested via Live Chat. Only bets on one of the site's twelve slot games count toward clearing the bonus, which requires a 25x deposit-plus-bonus rollover.
- Casino Table Game Bonus
If you plan to play blackjack and/or video poker, this bonus makes you eligible for a 100% deposit match worth up to $250. Only bets on blackjack and video poker games count toward clearing the bonus, which requires a 40x deposit-plus-bonus rollover.
- Refer-a-Friend Bonus
If you refer a friend and they meet certain requirements. You can earn a bonus worth 50% of their first deposit, up to $500. There is no cap on the number of referrals you can make.
- Credit cards:
VISA, MasterCard, American Express only. $48 - $1,500
Requires special account registration. $100 - $500
- Western Union / MoneyGram:
Terms and conditions depend on service used. $100 - $2,500
Bookmaker.eu was one of the first to accept this crypto-currency. $10 - $10,000
- Check by courier:
Delivered within five business days. Requires a $50 fee. $100 - $3,000
- Bank wire:
For high-rollers only. Requires a $900 fee. $10,000 - $50,000
- Western Union / MoneyGram:
Requires a $25 fee. Limited to $900 per transaction.
- Prepaid debit card:
Requires a $5 monthly fee. $100 - $2,500
No fee. $50 - $5,000
All Digital Gaming Systems-powered sites are focused on sportsbook services over casino, poker, bingo, or any other game. It's a fact of life in the online gaming industry, like welcome bonuses and licensed slots.
No surprise, then, that I found the site's sportsbook to be by far the most charming of all its offerings.
I love the obscurity of Surfing, Aussie rules, and Entertainment futures. It's a nice touch that most bettors will probably never take advantage of. To me, including oddball markets is a sign that Bookmaker.eu is trying to provide a full-service sportsbook and not just an NFL bet shop.
Don't think that only professional leagues are represented – if you click on a market, a menu will drop down, and almost every one of them has a decent list of amateur and pro leagues from around the world.
Sports bettors can place a variety of wagers at Bookmaker - straight, parlay, teaser, and a whole series of if-win and prop bets.
The site has a live betting section, but it seems sparsely populated and dashed together at the last minute. This should come as no surprise – DGS sites have been adding sub-par in-play betting options over the past few years, as the market for this style of betting increased. My complaints here are many – too few games, choppy presentation, and a general lack of interest on the part of the site's designers.
The collection of events covered in the live betting section varies, obviously, by sports season, but appears limited to the major world sports of soccer, tennis, baseball, football, and basketball. I read tons of reviews saying that the site's live betting choices during the Olympics is above average, but I didn't get to experience that for myself.
As for the racebook – well, it exists. That's about all I can say for it. It is nowhere near as popular as the sportsbook, which means it makes less money for the site's operators, so naturally it gets left out of the redesign process. It looks worse for the wear.
Racebook customers can take their pick from the following bet styles: win/place/show, daily double, exacta, trifecta, and boxes. Coverage in the racebook is not nearly as universal or interesting as the sportsbook's coverage, in part because the site is currently limited to US tracks only. At the time of this review, for example, the racebook offered just eight races all day long.
Digital Gaming Systems designed all the casino games currently hosted at Bookmaker.eu. DGS is the preferred platform of a number of international sportsbooks that also host casino, bingo, and other games of chances. The trouble with DGS-powered sites is that their casino games are sub-par.
I'll give some specific examples of why this software is inferior to other better-known game suites: the selection is very limited, the games are miles from the cutting edge, and the user interface itself looks dated. I also experienced more lag on the DGS interface at Bookmaker.eu than at any other online casino I've visited this year.
The entire library consists of thirty-eight games, a collection smaller than the list of progressive jackpot games at other online gambling sites. Part of the fun of casino gambling, online or otherwise, is variety. I don't know about you, but I tend to hop from slot machine to slot machine, testing out different games, wager levels, and gimmicks. That's a big part of the experience for me and for other bettors I know. Limiting your library to fewer than four-dozen titles total means you don't really care that much about your casino customers.
Here's a breakdown of each category in Bookmaker.eu's Casino section:
I'm a big blackjack fan, and I'm not all that disappointed by the selection available. I tend to stick to single-hand traditional blackjack, but I know plenty of blackjack fans who like to play around Switch or Spanish 21 from time to time. Though other casinos have a few more variations available, the ones hosted under the Blackjack Tables category at Bookmaker.eu do a decent job of covering all the variations players are likely to want to play.
- Blackjack – This is the site's standard-issue game played with six decks. Single-hand only.
- Multi-hand Blackjack – The site's traditional game but allowing for up to five hands at a time.
- Double Exposure – A variation of blackjack in which both dealer cards are exposed.
- Spanish Blackjack – A variation of blackjack in which the deck contains no Tens.
- Switch Blackjack – A variation of blackjack that allows players to swap out cards.
Naming this collection of dull old-fashioned games "Classic Slots" implies two things – one, that they are in any way classics, and two, that there is any other category of slots available. There is not. Check for yourself.
At the time of my review, Bookmaker offered twelve slots, all designed by DGS, all of them way behind the times, with little replay value and few incentives to play beyond a few rounds out of sheer curiosity.
- Legends of Hercules
- Victory Lane
- Pirate's Revenge
- Bounty Hunters
- Fruity Fortune
- Knight's Conquest
- Retro Sci-Fi
- Serpent's Treasure
- Jurassic Fire
- Touchdown Fever
- Wild 7's
- Video Poker
I've been curious about Bookmaker's video poker offerings since I started investigating the site. I'm a big video poker fan, and I've always said that it's by far the easiest game to translate for online play. Sitting at my laptop playing online video poker is so close to sitting in front of a game in Atlantic City or Vegas that the two experiences are interchangeable.
So when I saw that Bookmaker offers just five variants of video poker, I was sorely disappointed. Variety is a big deal for all bettors, but especially slots and video poker players. Variety allows us to hunt for the best pay tables and for the game rules that we enjoy playing. Limiting video poker fans to just five titles is another sign that Bookmaker.eu is just not that interested in pleasing their casino gamblers.
- Aces & Eights
- Deuces Wild
- Double Double Bonus
- Jacks or Better
- Jokers Wild
- Deuces Wild 25 Line
- Jacks or Better 25 Line
The games collected under this heading represent most of the classic casino titles you know and love. From baccarat to Euro-style roulette (with a ton of casino-style poker games thrown in for good measure), if you can play it in Vegas, you can play it at Bookmaker.eu.
Just don't expect a high-quality game. There's no way to describe what's wrong with the casino games at Bookmaker except to say that they look out-of-date. It's clear that the software hasn't seen a major update for a decade. It's also clear that DGS is far more concerned with designing a solid sportsbook interface than perfecting their (no doubt less lucrative) casino titles.
- Pai Gow Poker
- Three Card Poker
- Caribbean Stud Poker
- Stud Poker
- Caribbean Stud Poker
- Progressive Stud Poker
- Let It Ride Poker
- American Roulette
- European Roulette
Just two games make up this section – one version of video bingo and one version of video keno.
Both games are exactly as described – in video bingo, players can bet between $0.25 and $40 per card, on up to eight cards per game. In my opinion, part of the entertainment value of bingo is the social element – that may be the biggest part of it for most players. Removing that element makes the game less interesting, especially with a boring version (with an ugly GUI) like this one.
The story is no different with video keno. Keno is already one of the less interesting casino contests, in my opinion, because of its slow speed and high house edge. I can't imagine sitting in a casino for an hour waiting on keno outcomes – why in the world would I want to do it online?
But if you're a bingo or keno fan, and if you don't mind a limited selection of wages and game styles, there is a section for you.
Bookmaker.eu added their poker room in 1999, around the time they launched all of their other online services. The site has bounced around a few different networks over the past few years, but is now a member of Winning Poker.
I'll get my biggest complaint about Bookmaker (and the Winning Poker network) out right in the open – they have a crappy collection of variants. Three at the time of this review - Texas Hold'em, Omaha, and seven card stud. I get it, most players will stick to Texas Hold'em, but it's nice to have choice.
The entire Winning Poker network is averaging around 400 live cash players at any given time in the past week. The network's 24-hour peak was just 747. It's not one of the better-known or heavier-trafficked networks, which means the competition is unpredictable. Throw in the fact that many of the site's customers are sportsbook or casino bettors, and it's easy to imagine why rumors of soft competition are rampant.
At my last visit to Bookmaker's poker room, I was surprised to see such a variety of stakes in NL Hold'em, from micro- to macro-stakes, and each with a few active games. The flow of players may be small, but they are dedicated, and they're willing to spend at all bankroll levels.
You'll find the standard tournament fare running regularly at Bookmaker. Lots of Sit-n-Go games for the grinders, along with some Multi-Table Tournaments for those so inclined.
Tournaments are disappointing – sit-n-go action is concentrated in the $3+.30 turbo NL games. Games turn over about once every couple of minutes. Sure, a few high-stakes SnGs ($100+7) made while I was watching, but not nearly as many as at the $3 level. If you want to play a SnG outside of that range, you may have to wait a while. Some of the site's guaranteed tournaments are popular – the most popular is the Sunday $7,500.
The poker room earns decent reviews from the poker sites I trust – PokerScout had some interesting information and user reviews. I didn't find anything I didn't like in message boards or forums, but it's really nothing to write home about. The limited number of game variants available is enough of a disappointment for me to say that I don't recommend this site to poker players.
Bookmaker maintains a long list of telephone numbers for various customer needs. The toll-free number listed for my country worked, and I was speaking with a human being after just a few rings. My question about currency support was answered quickly in plain English.
You can also email Bookmaker's customer support team via their online form. I got a response about a language support question within fifteen minutes. That may be because my question was such a simple one to answer – but either way, it's an impressive turnaround time.
Bookmaker.eu promises immediate around the clock service on its live chat platform. Unfortunately, either the live chat service was down, or it was busy, or maybe it was outright closed when I tested it for this review. I attempted again in an hour or two, and when it didn't work, I sent an email via the contact form. I didn't get a good answer back, except that I should clear my cache and try again. That was a disappointing experience, but I'm willing to chalk it up to a tech glitch rather than any oversight on the part of the site.
The site has a colorful past but also a consistently good reputation. I can overlook the low-quality casino and poker options if I'm just a sports bettor, but that's not how I like to play. The bonus program looks interesting, and I had a decent experience with customer service. I just wish the site would abandon the ugly and ineffective DGS casino format and replace it with something useful.
Outside of the fact that they're based and licensed in Costa Rica – a major red flag, in my opinion – they seem to be an above-board operator with a long history of solid customer service. If, on the other hand, you're looking for a place to play online blackjack, slots, or poker, a dozen sites with far better features exist, and you should do more research before you commit to Bookmaker. They just don't handle anything besides sportsbook and racebook bets very well.
You can fund your Bookmaker account using the Euro, British pound, US Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Swedish krone, or Norwegian krone. Once your currency is selected at the time of registration, you can't change it back – so make sure you choose the correct one at registration.
Bookmaker currently only has support for English and Spanish.
This information was difficult to locate without attempting to open an account, and I was surprised to find that the minimum deposit (online or by phone) is $100. That's about five times higher than other online betting services.
The site is licensed by the government of Costa Rica to provide games of chance and skill, but whether or not it is legal for you to participate depends on your local laws. Consult a legal professional familiar with local law if you have serious concerns.
No; the site absorbs all costs associated with using your credit or debit card to make a deposit to your player account. Most deposits of more than $300 are paid for by Bookmaker, depending on the method used to make the deposit.