The Pools UK Review - Is It Safe or a Scam? (2024)

Licence number: 048272-N-326340-004 UKGC Licence

The Pools is a fairly new sports betting site which launched in October 2018. New players will find a comprehensive sportsbook and online casino, but also some of the best football pool betting options available in the UK. With that said, is it worth signing up? Let's take a look.

Isak Möller
Reviewed by Isak Möller
Last updated: 13/03/2024
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Thepools offers

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£50+ Free Bets Every Week + Deposit £10 Get 100 Free Spins

Turnover no wagering
Max. Amount £50
Min. Deposit £10
Expiration 7 days
18+, UK only. Min odds and selections apply per offer. Cashed out bets and bets on non-runners do not qualify. Free bets are credited at bet settlement and will expire 7 days after being credited. Full terms apply per offer. 18+, UK only. First deposit and Stake £10 on casino slots. On qualification of the promotion you will receive Free Spins on Big Catch Bass Fishing. Qualifying players will have the Free Spins automatically credited to their account. The value of each Spin awarded as part of this promotion is £0.10 per spin. Full T+Cs Apply.
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Deposit & Stake £10 Get 100 No Wager Free Spins on Big Catch Bass Fishing

Turnover No wagering
Max. Amount 100 free spins
Min. Deposit £10
Expiration 7 days
18+, UK only. First deposit and Stake £10 on casino slots. On qualification of the promotion, you will receive 100 Free Spins on Big Catch Bass Fishing. Qualifying players will have the Free Spins credited to their account the following day by 5pm. Free Spins will expire 7 days after award. Full T&Cs apply.
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The Pools Overall Score

Bonus 9
Sportsbook 7
Casino 8
Customer Support 9
Payment 7
Licensing Safety 10
Design and Usability 7
Overall 8
Reviewed by Isak Möller

The Pools is well-known in the betting industry above all for its pool betting offering, having been around for a very long time. So how does the sportsbook and casino stack up? Fairly decently, as it turns out, with a decent selection of markets in the sportsbook and a good range of games in the casino. Both of these sections are also further elevated by some really good promotions, which is always nice.

On the other hand, The Pools currently does not have an app and this is a huge drawback, seeing as most punters tend to bet on mobile apps these days. Furthermore, only a few payment methods are offered and these are two aspects that The Pools will have to improve in order to fight with the best bookmakers in the UK. On a whole, though, the site is still a good option for most punters.

Isak Möller

About The Pools

Pool betting in the UK has been around for more than 100 years. In fact, sports fans have been able to bet on the outcome of matches in this way since before the Football League was even set up. Littlewoods, Vernons and Zetters were among the largest companies to offer pool betting back in the day, with prizes of £1 million offered.

In 2007, these three companies decided to merge and create the online pool betting platform The Football Pools, which was then launched in 2008. After achieving great success with these, the site was renamed to simply The Pools in 2018 as regular sportsbook markets and casino games were introduced, hoping to cater to a much larger audience.

It should also be noted that The Football Pools was sold to the private equity company OpCapita in 2017 for £83 million. This naturally helped speed up the rebrand and the brand has gone from strength to strength since. Although the authority in pool betting is established, which we will come on to later, potential new customers might be wondering what the sportsbook and casino offerings are like.

Therefore, in this review, we will take a look at everything you need to know about The Pools. We will also highlight the pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision about whether to sign up or not. Our main focus will be on the sportsbook and the casino, though, rather than the pool betting section.

Is The Pools Safe?

The Pools has a very long history in the betting industry, with one of the founding companies Littlewoods launching back in 1923. Potential new customers can thus feel safe knowing that the brand has survived for a long time, which must mean that it is doing something right. In addition to this, The Pools is of course licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission in the UK.

Another good safety layer for the customers is IBAS, the Independent Betting Adjudication Service. Any customer can solve a dispute by escalating it to IBAS, where an independent ruling will be made on the matter. And for sites that are registered with the service, of which The Pools is one, the ruling is also legally binding.

Finally, taking a look at Trustpilot, The Pools has a decent rating for a betting site at three out of five stars. Above all, punters have praised the customer support at The Pools and this should not be understated, given that good support can be hard to come by these days. Overall, therefore, it must be said that the site is very safe to bet on.

The Pools Welcome Offer

Welcome offers have become very important in recent years, with punters browsing the internet for the best ones available. Those who are looking to sign up at The Pools can claim our exclusive welcome offer for the site, with £20 in free bets up for grabs. All punters need to do is deposit and place a bet of £10+ with a minimum odds of 4/5 (1.80). It must be your first bet on the site, it should be noted, and also on mobile.

The Pools Welcome Offer

Once the qualifying bet has settled, 2x£10 in free bets will be credited to your account (though there could be some delay). The free bets can be used on any sport but must be placed at a minimum odds of evens (2.00), and they will also expire after 7 days. Nevertheless, it must be said that the welcome offer at The Pools is decent indeed.

Those who are looking for the most value possible, and specifically with a low stake, should check out the bet £5 get £20 deals offered by both Coral and Ladbrokes.

The Pools Promotions

Given that the sportsbook product of The Pools is still relatively new, one might be surprised to see that there are actually many promotions offered on the site. For example, punters can get £10 to spend on an acca each week provided that they place 2x£10 accas (4+ legs, min odds 2/1) between Monday and Sunday, after which the free bet will be credited.

A similar promotion is in place for bet builders, as punters can get half of their stakes from 3+ bet builder bets back as a free bet (maximum £10). This is also a weekly promotion and it is clear that The Pools wants to reward its customers on a consistent basis. In addition to the sports section, The Pools has also set up one just for its horse racing promotions.

The Pools Promotions

Best odds guaranteed is offered for all UK and Irish races, as you would more or less expect these days, and extra places are regularly offered on the site for selected events. It does not end there for horse racing enthusiasts, though, as money back as a free bet (max £10) is offered if the horse you backed finishes second to the favourite. And for some selected horses, the money could even be refunded as cash!

Overall, we would say that The Pools has done a great job with the promotions offered, and this should not be taken lightly given that there are many good promotions offered in the UK. Beware of potential changes, though, so always make sure to check out the latest on The Pools' dedicated promotions section.

The Pools Deposit

Although you cannot really tell by the welcome offer and promotions, this is where The Pools' infancy starts to shine through, at least when we talk about the sportsbook and casino. Debit cards and PayPal are the only payment methods available, in fact, and this is a lot less than most of the new betting sites in the UK.

It could be worse, though, since the popular e-wallet PayPal is available after all and the minimum deposit limit is set at just £5. This is among the lowest in the UK, even though it is possible to make £1 deposits. Below, we have compiled the little you need to know about the payment methods available at The Pools.

Payment Methods Minimum Deposit
Debit Cards (MasterCard, Maestro, Visa, Visa Electron) £5
PayPal £5

How to Deposit at The Pools

  1. Make sure you are logged in to your The Pools account
  2. Tap on 'Quick Deposit' to start the process
  3. Pick a pre-set deposit amount or enter your own
  4. Choose the payment method and enter the relevant details
  5. Tap on 'Deposit' to complete the process

The Pools Withdrawal

As with the deposit, customers at The Pools will not have a lot of options when withdrawing funds from their accounts. We would even label the options as subpar, not just because of the few methods but also for the long withdrawal times. In fact, The Pools states that all withdrawals will be processed in 2-5 business days.

There is no separate mention for PayPal, which is usually one of the fastest withdrawal methods, but we can only hope that The Pools has forgotten to add this information. Nevertheless, punters who are looking for many options when it comes to withdrawing funds should look elsewhere. Below is all the information about the options at The Pools:

Payment Method Minimum Withdrawal Processing Time
Debit Cards (MasterCard, Maestro, Visa, Visa Electron) £10 2-5 business days
PayPal £10 Not specified

How to Withdraw From The Pools

  1. Make sure you are logged in to your The Pools account
  2. Tap on 'Withdraw' in the account section
  3. Choose the preferred payment method
  4. Enter the amount you would like to withdraw
  5. Tap on 'Withdrawal' to complete the process

The Pools Sportsbook

Throughout the years, The Pools' main focus has been pool betting and the sportsbook was only recently launched, but this is actually not very obvious when browsing the site. The latter does have a rather boring design, it must be said, but there are around 30 sports on offer and this is in line with most of the UK bookmakers.

As you may have figured out after reading the 'The Pools Promotions' section, football and horse racing are the top two sports to bet on at The Pools. The promotions are indeed beneficial and punters will find a good range of markets as well. For a Premier League game, for example, we found that The Pools had around 150-200 markets available as well as a decent bet builder feature. Not as good as the top football bookies, but still decent.

The Pools Sportsbook

In our betting margins test, we found that The Pools had an average of just 5.51%, which is among the lowest in the industry. Punters who are looking for the best value should thus consider signing up on the site. If you want to know more about this, you can read our guide on betting margins, explaining what they are and how it works.

The horse racing offering is very comprehensive and extra places are regularly offered by the site, as we touched on in the 'The Pools Promotions' section. There is no live streaming, though, which is typically offered on the most prominent horse racing betting sites. In addition to football and horse racing, sports such as tennis, NFL, Cricket and even smaller ones such as handball and badminton are available to bet on.

Virtual, politics and special markets are available on The Pool as well. Politics betting markets include the next leader of the US and the UK, while specials that are offered include the winner of the annual Sports Personality of the Year award. Virtual markets include horse racing, greyhound racing, table tennis, motorsport and football.

Betting on Esports has grown in popularity over the last few years and The Pools has made to cover this area. Punters on the site can bet on everything from League of Legends and CS:GO to Dota 2, King of Glory, Rainbow Six, Valorant and more. This makes the sportsbook rather comprehensive overall, which is certainly need to compete with the biggest sites out there.

Football Markets (Premier League Game) 150-200
Betting Margins (Average) 5.51%
Horse Racing Coverage (Countries) UK & Ireland + International

Pool Betting at The Pools

Customers will be able to find a range of different options when it comes to pool betting at The Pool, which you would expect given the brand's history. The most popular one is the Classic Pools, which has a jackpot of £3 million and requires punters to predict which games will end in a draw. It is far from easy, but fun given that the stake can be as low as £1.

Another popular one is Goal Rush, which has a jackpot of £1 million and requires punters to in which games both teams will score. The minimum stake is slightly higher for this one at £2, it should be noted. In any case, there are many fun pool betting games offered on The Pool site and if you are interested, be sure to claim our welcome offer and head over there.

The Pools Casino

In addition to the sportsbook, The Pools have also expanded beyond pool betting with their casino section. This has become very common among UK bookmakers, with many online casino sites around, but how does The Pool stack up? There are over 1500 games available on the site, by our estimation, and the site now offers a live casino which it previously did not.

Slots make up a majority of the library at The Pools, as you would expect, but there are also some classic table games such as Blackjack and roulette. The live casino is quite nice with games from providers such as Evolution Gaming. This means that players who sign up at The Pools will be able to play the popular game Lightning Roulette.

The Pools Casino

Jackpot slots are offered and the big prizes here are bigger than those that can be found elsewhere. At the time of putting together this complete guide to The Pools, the top jackpots that were up for grabs were around the £7 million mark or more. With some other top online casinos in the UK having jackpots that are quite modest, these top prizes are really rather impressive.

However, it does also state clearly in the terms and conditions at The Pools that it has a maximum winning limit of £250,000 per account in any one 24-hour period, apart from for its various pool-based competitions where the jackpot is expressly stated to exceed £250,000.

Players who join on the casino side rather than at The Pools online sportsbook can get 100 free spins to be used on the Big Catch Bass Fishing game with no wagering requirements if they deposit and stake £5. More free spins are up for grabs every Wednesday to existing customers too, while a weekend deal sees 30 free spins dished out for playing Megaways slots.

Casino fans will love the offers and promotions at The Pools and it is worth joining just for the 100 free spins offered in its welcome bonus, though the site's design could be improved.

The Pools Mobile App

At the time of writing, despite a few mentions of an app on the website, The Pools does not have an app for customers to download. We even confirmed this with customer support, who told us that it will be available soon. However, most punters are focused on the now and betting via a mobile app has become the most popular method in recent years.

Therefore, new customers who are keen on placing their bets on an app should check out the best betting apps. In fairness to The Pools, though, the mobile version of the website actually works quite well and will certainly suffice for the basic betting needs. Then again, the convenience of an app cannot be understated.

The Pools Responsible Gambling

It has become increasingly important for betting sites to take more precautions to ensure responsible gambling among their customers. On the website of The Pools, there is a section dedicated to 'Safer Gambling' where customers can find all the information they need on the subject. In addition to this, there are also some tools in place:

  • Deposit limits (Daily, weekly, monthly)
  • Reality checks
  • Time Out
  • Self-Exclusion

Customers at The Pools are urged to contact the customer support stream immediately if they are struggling. For others, deposit limits are a very good place to start, as these force punters to reflect on their betting habits. The aforementioned tools are essential and it is good to see that The Pools is taking the matter seriously, also displaying a safer gambling banner at the top of the site.

The Pools Customer Support

As we mentioned in the 'Is The Pools Safe?' section, The Pools has received some praise from punters about customer support. Taking a look at the options on the site, one can certainly understand why, as the 'Contact Us' page is very clear and informative. Here, customers will be able to find contact options such as email, telephone and even a letterbox address.

Live chat is also available on The Pools, with the chat icon located in the bottom right, but it should be noted that customer support only is available between 8:30 am to 10 pm Monday-Saturday. On Sundays, it is available between 12 pm and 10 pm. When the support agents are not in, customers will simply have to rely on the FAQ page, which will probably be able to answer most queries.

Our test showed that an agent responded within just a few minutes, which is certainly very good as even the bigger sites can take much longer. Overall, therefore, the customer support deserves praise although the opening hours could be improved.

Chat Yes
Phone 0800 500 000

Opening hours

7 days a week 8:30-22:00

How to Get Started at the Pools

If you are looking to sign up for an account at The Pools, you can follow our step-by-step guide on how to do so below:

  • 1

    Head Over to and Tap on ‘Join'

    You can also use our link at the top of this page, which will bring you straight to the exclusive welcome offer that we have.

  • 2

    Enter Your Account Details

    In the first step of the registration, you will be asked to enter your email address as well as your preferred password. You will also be able to opt in/out of marketing messages. Once that is done, tap on 'Next' to proceed.

    The Pools Registration 1
  • 3

    Enter Your Personal Details

    In the second step of the registration, you will be asked to provide your personal details such as full name and date of birth. Once you have done that, tap on 'Next' to proceed.

    The Pools Registration 2
  • 4

    Enter Your Address and Choose a Username

    In the final step of the registration, you will be asked to enter your home address and telephone number, You also need to choose a username for your The Pools account.

    The Pools Registration 3
  • 5

    Tap on ‘Submit’ to Complete the Process

    You are now done and ready to bet! Make sure to comply with the verification process, should The Pools ask you for additional information.

ThePools FAQs

User Reviews


June 23, 2022

The Pools site is ok could be abit faster to bet and needs abit updating to skybet level on odds & cashout but is good for free bets & doubling deposits for loyal customers so overall a better site than some big names..

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