While telephone betting's share of the sports betting market has decreased with the growth of online betting, it still has a following amongst punters who are accustomed to using the service and appreciate the personal touch that comes with placing bets by phone.
As a result, some of the biggest and most popular bookmakers in the United Kingdom and Ireland still offer a telephone betting service to their customers.
What is telephone betting?
Telephone betting is exactly what it says it is - placing bets by phone.
Certain bookmakers offer dedicated telephone betting numbers that punters can call to place their bets. Calls are answered by bookmaker consultants who will take and place any bets requested by the customer.
Payment for telephone betting is made using either a betting account at the bookmaker or by submitting payment information using your phone's keypad.
Telephone betting has also evolved to keep pace with the digital era, and bookmakers that offer telephone betting will typically also offer WhatsApp betting as an option.
Benefits of telephone betting
Telephone betting is typically used by punters who became accustomed to making use of the service before online betting became a big thing.
However, it does offer a few benefits to punters who already have online betting accounts, these include:
- at request, it is possible to get more favourable odds on your selection than you'd get online
- the option to request special bets that are not available online, including more complex or exotic combination bets like Flag bets or up and down bets
- potential access to telephone betting specific bonuses or free bets offers
- some bookies offer a credit line on telephone betting accounts
- you can use telephone betting when a bookie website is down or when you don't have access to the Internet on your mobile device to stake a bet
- a personal touch - if you're new to sports betting you can ask questions about your bet or the betting process before placing it
- convenience - for example if you don't want to join the long queue at the bookie at your local racecourse but still want to place a bet with a betting shop representative.
Top telephone betting bookmakers
It's unusual for new betting sites to offer telephone betting as a service, as new bookmakers instead tend to focus on digital betting services.
Instead, it's the established bookmakers that also operate high street betting shops that still retain telephone betting departments.
Fortunately, these telephone betting operators include some of the best and most reputable bookmakers in the UK and Ireland.
Ireland's biggest independent bookmaker runs its Fon-A-Bet services for punters who prefer to bet by phone.
The service is available free of charge 24/7 to residents of the United Kingdom and Ireland. However, Fon-A-Bet is not available outside of this region.
Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet
While its better known for its free bets and novelty markets than for phone betting, Paddy Power also operates Dial-A-Bet as a phone betting service.
This service is easily combined with an existing online betting profile thanks to the fact that Paddy Power allows you to use one profile across all its channels.
Dial-A-Bet is also available Paddy power customers anywhere in the world - simply first create a new Paddy Power account if you don't already have one.
William Hill telephone bets
William Hill offers telephone betting to both UK and international punters. You can use your existing William Hill profile or register a new account.
You have three payment options when telephone betting with William Hill, direct debits from your debit card, a credit account with a limit of up to £500 or a direct deposit account.
Disadvantages of telephone betting
Sports betting sites are designed to make it as easy and convenient to place sports bets, whereas telephone bets are relatively primitive and complicated to place.
Some other potential disadvantages include:
- your bookie may not offer free bets when signing up for a telephone betting account
- phone betting is not a discrete as placing a bet on your mobile phone using betting sites or apps
- telephone betting services may have different deposit and minimum stake requirements to online betting sites.
Keeping safe when placing telephone bets
If you're new to telephone betting there are some things you need to be aware of before getting stuck in.
- Many bookmakers do not offer telephone betting services, and if you are going to place telephone bets you're best off doing so with established bookies. If you choose not to use an established brand, check that the telephone betting service that you use is licensed to operate in the UK by the UK Gambling Commission.
- Do not provide your payment details over the phone. These should never be requested from you by phone. The same goes for your telephone betting password.
- Be aware that making direct contact with a telephone consultant creates an opportunity for them to upsell their service by getting you to place bigger or additional bets. So don't get talked into making bets or spending money which you haven't budgeted.
Telephone betting FAQ
Can you put a bet on over the phone?
Yes, you can place bets on the phone. All you need to place the bet is a mobile phone or a regular fixed line phone with a keypad. From there on in the process is not very different from placing a bet at a betting shop, the only difference being that bet is received and placed remotely. Some telephone betting companies also offer WhatsApp betting as a phone betting option.
Which bookies do phone betting?
You'll find that its mostly established bookmakers who have telephone betting departments that were set up in the pre-online betting era. This means telephone betting sites rarely include betting sites that started off online. However, there are several smaller operators that do offer telephone betting. Before choosing one of these smaller operators check that they are regulated and licensed to operate in the UK.
How to start telephone betting
To start telephone betting, you need a mobile or fixed line phone and the number of a phone betting operator. Once you have both of those, give the number a call and the telephone betting consultant will help you take any steps you need to get set up and place a bet using your phone.
How to open telephone betting accounts
Some bookmakers will allow you to use your existing online betting account to place telephone bets. If this is not the case you will be able to set up your account by calling the telephone betting number for a bookmaker and speaking to a consultant.
How do I pay when betting over the phone?
There are a number of options for paying for betting over the phone. These include:
- using your existing account and payment method at eligible telephone betting sites
- setting up payment methods on a new account, which can include bank card debits, direct deposits or using a bookie credit line.
Does bet365 offer telephone betting?
Bet365 previously offered a telephone betting service alongside its online betting operations. However, this bookie suspended the service in 2020 due to a lack of interest from its users. At the time bet365 claimed that the service had such low demand that it did not justify retaining dedicated staff. All existing staff were transferred to other positions in the company. Fortunately, three other major bookmakers still offer telephone bets, these include William Hill, Paddy Power and Boylesports.