Skybook Casino Review

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Well, here is another name that has sent my memory into nostalgia mode - Skybook is the subject of this review. I remember Skybook from my early days in the online gambling industry, and it is always great to see brands like that standing after almost 20 years. The question is - is this book any good? I will be digging into the details of Skybook to determine if their betting interface has been modernized to accommodate the current style of sports betting, and to see if they are worthy of my readers pulling out their wallets and making a deposit.

Ratings Breakdown

Site Navigation

The Skybook website is clean and easy to navigate, and when you get to the betting pages after you create an account, you will see that the interface is very simple to understand. I like that I can make bets across multiple sports with ease, and the layout is the same as many of the sportsbooks I have tested in the past.

Customer service

When I review a site, I test out the customer service with a couple of relatively easy questions to see how well they respond. I am happy to report that not only does Skybook have an excellent support team, but they also offer you multiple ways to get a hold of them. This includes a live chat window which you can find on the left-hand side of every page of the website. As with all these sportsbooks, I only wish there was an FAQ section to assist with general queries.

Promotions

The Welcome Bonus options are well explained, which is why the mark is as high as it is for promotions. I want to recommend gambling sites that make an effort to engage with their players, and I am afraid Skybook doesn't do a great job of this aside from offering rebates. This is an old-school approach to marketing that harkens back to the early days of offshore gambling.

Mobile interface

While the approach to marketing may be a bit dated here, the team has really put some effort into the mobile offering. This is excellent news for my readers, as the odds are that most of you are reading this from your phone or tablet right now. I think that this interface is one of the best I have seen short of having an app downloaded to your phone. If you like to bet during a game, the speed of the lines being displayed is excellent and will let you get your wagers in quickly.

Game selection

The standard sports are available at Skybook for betting, and this will be more than enough for most of you. There are no eSports lines that I can find on the site, and this is a bit of a bummer for me. The casino has a few games but is lacking in slots content and any video poker, otherwise I would have given the site a better overall score.

Payout speed

Payouts from sportsbook sites based in Central America are never really fast, so if you want to get a check or a wire you can expect o wait a couple of weeks to get paid. If you use Bitcoin, the speed will be significantly improved, but you will have to take on the added risk of the volatility of the cryptocurrency.

About the Site and Who Can Play?

When Skybook opened its doors back in the early 2000s, they were an independent entity. Over the years, there has been some consolidation in the industry, and today the site is under the BetPhoenix banner of companies. Regardless, there is a lot of experience at this sportsbook, which is always good news for players.

The site is obviously focused on American sports and players from that country, which you should be able to tell right from the homepage of the website. Creating an account is simple - I clicked on the link, added a few details about myself and I was off and running.

It would appear that players from other countries can also play here, but I guess that if you live outside North America, you would be better off trying a European-facing book as there are much better options from the payments standpoint.

What I Liked the Most

I really like the way that the company has built their mobile platform. This is crucial in the current gambling landscape, as so many players are accessing their sportsbook accounts from their phones. The mobile platform is very intuitive - I was able to find odds very quickly and make my bets without hesitation. This is the key to being able to use live in-play odds, and Skybook clearly recognizes how much those bets will impact their bottom line. I am very impressed with the emphasis the site places on its mobile offering.

What I Liked the Least

I am not very impressed with the promotions on this site. You will see in more detail some of my issues with the Welcome Bonuses, and aside from some other deposit bonuses and rebates, there really isn't anything of substance from a marketing perspective. The industry is more competitive than ever, and if a site isn't providing sticky offers to get players to hang around, it is too easy to check out the next site they see. Hopefully, there are some more promos that will be coming to me by email.

The Sportsbook

Since this is a sports-first site, I am starting my journey in the sportsbook area. For me, the first thing I look for when I hit a sportsbook homepage is the way the lines are displayed. At Skybook, I was met with the most popular lines for that day. On the left-hand side of the screen, you will find the list of all the available sports, including the following.

  • FOOTBALL
  • BASEBALL
  • BASKETBALL
  • HOCKEY
  • SOCCER - ENGLAND
  • SOCCER - SPAIN
  • SOCCER - ITALY
  • SOCCER - GERMANY
  • SOCCER - FRANCE
  • SOCCER - EUROPE
  • SOCCER - AMERICA
  • SOCCER - AFRICA
  • SOCCER - ASIA
  • TENNIS
  • GOLF
  • BOXING
  • MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

I am a bit surprised that there are no eSports lines available in the sportsbook at Skybook - the increasing popularity of these events has most sportsbook adding the lines from the major competitions. It's entirely possible that Skybook will follow suit soon, but for now, you will have to look elsewhere if you want to bet on the world of competitive video gaming.

The Casino Games

As with most of the sportsbooks that are set up in Costa Rica and accept U.S. players, we find a small casino attached to Skybook. Now, this is typically for a couple of reasons. First, this is really a sports betting site, so the casino is more of an add-on product than a primary focus. Second, there aren't too many providers that allow their clients to accept American wagers these days so you won't find a company like Microgaming powering one of these books.

The caisno games at Skybook come from Digital Gaming Solutions, a Costs Rica based company. I have had some experience dealing with this company in the past - they are small, but they have a nice roster of clients, and the software they have built is reflective of being a provider in the sportsbook industry.

The DGS games can be played on a PC or from your mobile device, as all the games are built in browser-based code. This means you can be in front of your television watching Redzone on a Sunday and playing the games on your phone. This is exactly how I tested the games, and I found them to be of excellent speed and quality.

Table Games

As I said, these guys built their casino to be an add-on to sportsbooks, so the content is definitely skewed towards what that demographic is looking to play. There are a couple of different blackjack games, which seem to play with the same speed and quality of other games I have tried. You will find some Roulette and a handful of other table games, but this is definitely not a full array of even the standard games you would find at an online casino.

Slots

DGS offers you all of their slot machines in the Skybook casino lobby, but don't get too excited. The titles barely fill a page of the website - again, they aren't banking on people playing them who also bet on sports. I appreciate that there are any there in the first place, and I did play a couple of them to see what they were like. I am not a big slots guy, so while the gameplay was rather simplistic in my opinion, it still fits the bill in that there are spinning reels and you have a chance to play multiple paylines. This isn't a slots catalog for the casino-hungry readers of this review.

  • Aztec Magic,
  • Book of Pyramids
  • Brave Viking
  • Cherry Fiesta
  • Crazy Starter
  • Desert Treasure
  • Fantasy Park
  • Hawaii Cocktails
  • Lucky Blue
  • Lucky Lady's Clover
  • Lucky Sweets
  • Platinum Lightning
  • Princess of Sky
  • Princess Royal
Video Poker

As far as I am concerned, video poker is the best thing to play in a casino. I probably sound like a broken record if you have ever read any of my other reviews, but I really love to play these games. There is just something about the combination of speed and skill that no other game in a casino can offer.

Skybook has a tab of their caisno labeled Video Poker, so I was already excited as I never expected enough games to consider having its own area of the lobby. However, when I clicked on it, I found the poker titles that are table games (Caribbean Stud, etc.) and NO VIDEO POKER MACHINES! Ugh. What a disappointment. Skybook either has to add some games or change the tab, so players aren't confused when they are in the casino lobby looking for Jacks or Better.

Live Casino

Recently, Skybook launched some Live Dealer games. This is very progressive for a U.S. facing sportsbook, and if you haven't tried these games before I definitely recommend this is where you start your casino journey with this site. These tables feature human dealers, giving you a feeling of being in a land-based casino even though you are sitting on your couch. There are only a handful of table games available, but this is still more than many of Skybook's competitors currently offer their players.

Conclusion

Skybook seems to operate as many of the sportsbooks that set up shop in Costa Rica in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It runs pretty lean - focused on sports and the American betting market. The promotions could use a little work, but if you don't care much about that, then you will find a clean betting interface that works very well on both a PC and a mobile device. The casino product is decent but nothing to write home about, but again this a sports betting site so you shouldn't expect much more.

Overall, this isn't the best of the Costa Rica sportsbooks, but it is decent enough for me to recommend it to players. You will find the majority of what you are looking for at this book, but don't be afraid to shop around a bit as well.

FAQ's

Does the site offer anything else?
Horse racing fans will find a full racebook available at Skybook. There is no live feed from tracks to stream, however, so you will be flying a bit blind with your bets. I have seen other sportsbooks that offer a live feed to their players who have made a deposit so you may want to check out some of my other reviews if this is a high priority for you. Otherwise, you can make all the typical horse bets here, and this should satisfy the majority of sports bettors.
What are the options for payments?
When I am reviewing one of these U.S. facing sportsbooks set up in Costa Rica, I always dread having to write this section of my review. The bottom line is that since 2006, it has been damn near impossible for Americans to easily move money to and from these sites. Now, this is with good reason in the eyes of the US government, but players still want to have options for sports betting.

Skybook offers players the chance to make deposits with credit cards. However, those can be tricky and cumbersome, so I would recommend you bite the bullet and use Bitcoin or one of the other cryptocurrencies. Setting up a crypto wallet has never been easier, and since the company does instant deposits and withdrawals using Bitcoin, it is by far the best way for you to manage your payment processing. Cryptocurrency is volatile from a market value perspective so I would make sure to watch your balance closely, but it is a very secure way to move money around online and isn't going anywhere for the foreseeable future.

What is the Welcome Bonus?
Ok, so when I review a Welcome Bonus, I typically outline what the bonus entails and then tell you to check out the site for more details. This time around, however, I thought it was important to show you the Terms and Conditions of the two main Welcome Bonuses being offered at Skybook. Why would I do that? Well, you will see that there are some T&C that I want to discuss in more detail.

There are two Welcome Bonus options:

150% Free Play to $500

What are the Terms and Conditions?
  • Promotion intended for recreational players only.
  • 1 Promotion per deposit.
  • Valid for residents of the Americas or where authorized by management.
  • Promotion available for customers on regular juice lines.
  • Regular Free play rules apply.
  • Rollover is based on Deposit + Transfer fees if any + Free Play winnings.
  • Please note that Credit Card deposits must be reviewed prior to claiming your bonus.
  • Maximum Credit Card bonus awarded is $500 and comes with an 18x rollover.
  • Casino and Horse Racing action do not count towards the rollover.
  • Bonuses must be claimed at the time of the deposit and before placing any bets. Exceptions apply under management's discretion.
  • Unused promotional credits will expire and be revoked after a period of 90 days.
  • Recent withdrawals must be replenished prior to bonus eligibility.
  • Any applicable bonuses must be claimed at time of deposit, and before making use of the money deposited. Failure to claim the bonus at this time will result in forfeiture.

Or you can choose from this one:

100% Match Bonus to $1,000

    Promotion intended for recreational players only.
  • 1 Promotion per deposit.
  • Valid for residents of the Americas or where authorized by management.
  • To qualify a minimum deposit of $300 is required.
  • Maximum bonus awarded is $1000 Cash.
  • Promotion available for customers on regular juice lines
  • This Promotion carries an 20x rollover.
  • Rollover is based on Deposit + Transfer fees if any + Cash Bonus.
  • This promotion carries a two-week hold.
  • Person to person money transfer deposits ONLY. (Other deposit methods do not apply).
  • Casino and Horse Racing action do not count towards the rollover.
  • Unused promotional credits will expire and be revoked after a period of 90 days.
  • Recent withdrawals must be replenished prior to bonus eligibility.
  • Management reserves the right to nulify or revoke bonuses at it's discretion.
  • Any applicable bonuses must be claimed at time of deposit, and before making use of the money deposited. Failure to claim the bonus at this time will result in forfeiture.

So, here are a couple of points about these promotions. First of all, you can see that one applies to credit card transfers and the other applies to Person to Person transfers. This means if you use any other method (really just cryptocurrency) then you do not get a bonus.

Also, look at the minimum qualifying deposits. These are a bit high compared to other sites ($200 and $300). Most other sites set their minimum requirement at $25 to earn a bonus. I hope these guys reconsider their position.

Having said all of that, I really like that they are honest about these T&C and present them right on the bonus page. While some of the rules are not very player-friendly, at least the site isn't hiding that fact, and for that I applaud them.

VIP program?
I wish I could give you details of the VIP program from Skybook in this review, but it appears they keep this pretty close to their chests. I have to assume that the VIP program is like most sportsbook, in that it is very subjective. The sportsbook management most likely looks at all the handle of their players and reaches out directly to qualifying individuals with VIP offers.

If you happen to be a VIP at SKybook, we would love to hear from you! Let us know about the program, and I will make sure you are compensated for your time. Our readers deserve the most comprehensive reviews of every site, and sometimes that involves asking you for input.

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