By Austin Miller

FonBet Sportsbook Review

Go to the Fonbet website for the first time and it’ll probably be entirely in Russian. There is an option to flip to English, but no mistake about it, this bookie caters to Russian players first and foremost.

Editor’s rating

Our Hot Take

If you are from Russia or just have an affinity for Russian sports, this could be for you. Otherwise, you might want to check out another sports betting site.

Pros & Cons

Basic Information

FonBet Key Facts

  • HQ

    Believed to be Curaçao

    LAUNCHED

    1994

    HOW MANY PLAYERS

    Not public information

    WHERE IS IT AVAILABLE

    Russia and a lot of Eastern European countries

    CASINO

    No casino

    SPORTSBOOK

    Baseball, Basketball, Boxing, Cricket, Cycling, eSports, Football, Golf, Horse Racing, Hockey, MMA, Motorsports, Soccer, Tennis

    VIP PROGRAM

    No

Account creation

Russian Phone Number Required

Fonbet’s sign-up only asks four questions — name, phone number, email, and password. However, to complete registration, you’ll need to input a verification code they send via text message to said phone number. One problem: you can only input phones with the country calling code +7 (Russia). 

A workaround to this is using online-based SMS receivers. These are “fake” numbers that can be found online and inputted into Fonbet. These numbers can still receive texts, which are shown on the webpage. It’s actually much more simple than it sounds, and usually free of charge to use.

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Account Creation Screenshot

Welcome Bonuses

No Deals For Newbies

New players might be disappointed to find out that Fonbet doesn’t offer any sort of welcome bonus. None. Go to the site’s promos page and you won’t find much of anything matter of fact. Occasionally they’ll have an event-based promo, say on Bundesliga betting, but even those are far and few inbetween. 

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Application Screenshot

Deposits

Options Galore For Bettors

Bank cards, electronic wallets, M-commerce, and retail chains — those are four different methods that you can deposit money into Fonbet with. Within those, there are multiple options for funding. Collectively, there’s about 20 separate routes you can go, which should be more than enough for most bettors. Moreover, deposits made with any of these are processed instanously.  

Bitcoin: No Cryptos Supported

While there’s dozen upon dozens of funding options on Fonbet, Bitcoin — or any other cryptocurrency for that matter — isn’t one of them. This could be a deal-breaker for those deeply invested in digital currency. 

Credit Cards: Good Crop of Cards

Bank cards, both debit and credit, are perhaps the most widely-used deposit method. Fonbet’s support includes Apple Pay, Mastercard, VISA, and a few more Russian-specific cards. That level of options beats out many competitors who only accept Mastercard and VISA. Max deposit limits for bank cards is 500,000 RUB.

Withdraw Winnings

Less Selection Than Deposits

Remember the 20 or so ways you can fund your betting account on Fonbet with? Well, that number gets shrunk down to a half dozen when it comes to withdrawing. Still, the options that do remain — Mastercard or VISA, e-Wallets, M-Commerce — should suffice for most bettors 

Credit cards: Sticking To The Basics

Apple Pay and Russian-specific cards don’t make the cut here in spite of being deposit methods. Only bank cards that can be used to cash out are Mastercard and VISA. Processing times can vary, but in the worst-case scenario, it can be as much as five business days. The max withdrawal limit is 450,000 RUB. 

Placing a Bet

Easy-To-Do Process

If you click on “sports” in the main menu, you’ll be led to a list of available wagers for the day. Typically, it’s a long list and we mean long. To filter it down further, use the sub menus atop. Here is where you can categorize by sport and league within that sport.

Once you see a game you’re interested in, click on it to get the full betting menu within that game. Of course, you’ll get regular game lines, but also plenty of in-game props. Click on any to add it to your bet slip. Before you finalize the wager, enter how much you’ll be risking and that should do it. Easy enough, right?  

Politics Betting

Not Finding It Here

Looking for political wagers? Well, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Fonbet, true to its Russian roots, really doesn’t care about the US Presidential election nor any other countries for that matter. 

eSports

Around-The-Clock Action

What’s great about eSports is there's betting lines available at all hours of the day. That’s due largely to the global reach of the “sport” with countries far and wide deeply ingrained into gaming. At Fonbet, the eSport scene is dominated by popular titles like Counter-Strike, Dota, and League of Legends. Whether it's weekday or weekend, morning or night, there’s usually action to be had on Fonbet for eSports. 

Virtual Sports Betting

Not Part Of The Selection

Sports simulation betting gets most of its use out in Europe. Thus it was a little surprising to see Fonbet not offer it in any capacity. 

NBA

International Basketball Catalogue

You better believe the NBA is a large part of the Fonbet menu. However, so is a number of other pro hoop leagues dotted across the map. China, Nicaragua, Spain, just to name a few countries, are all represented here.

US Open

Tennis Thrives Here

A world-wide sport such as tennis has a strong presence on Fonbet, where a plethora of pro leagues can easily be found. Still, ATP and WTA still get the lion share of attention with must-bet events like the US Open, Wimbledon, and other Grand Slam tourneys.  

NFL

Pretty Limited Selection

American football isn’t exactly popular in Russia. Consequently, the amount of attention NFL gets at Fonbet is fractional — certainly compared to other bookies where NFL dominates the menu. Sure, you’ll still get all the usual NFL game lines and spreads from week to week, but the prop and futures selection is a lot more selective. 

MLB

So-So Coverage

There’s a good crop of bets available at Fonbet during the MLB season, but we couldn’t help but feel there should be more. No American sport has more betting opportunities than MLB, but a lot of the props that we’ve come to love with MLB wagering, were notably missing on Fonbet. 

More Betting Options

Soccer-First Bookmaker

No sport comes close to rivaling the attention that soccer gets on Fonbet — and it’s not even close. If you’re a diehard follower of European pro soccer, you’ll like what Fonbet has to offer. Seemingly every club and national team game from the continent is here for the taking. 

Casino

Closed Down

This may come as a surprise but Fonbet doesn’t actually have a full-fledged casino or poker room. Fonbet “sticks to sports” in the purest sense of the word. It would be nice to occasionally break up the monotony of sports betting with a slot machine or hand of poker. However, most betting sites treat its casino offering as a sidekick to its sportsbook. So what are you really missing? Mediocre casino play? 

Live Betting

Get Your In-Game Thrill Here

Fonbet has an entire section dedicated to in-play wagering. It can be found in the top menu, labeled as “live.” The betting here is fast and furious — taken very literally — as Fonbet does an admirable job in shifting odds just seconds ahead of the action transpiring on the screen. You’ll find in-play wagering available on an array of sports, but soccer being the main one.

Parlay Betting

Intuitive Enough To Do

Placing a parlay is no different than a straight bet, of course, aside from the fact you’ll just add multiple betting lines to your ticket instead of one. Besides that, it’s the exact same process so no need for us to rehash everything. 

Additional Betting Help

Free picks

Fonbet is unique in this regard in that it offers betting forecasts on upcoming matchups. Click the “predictor” title in the top menu to access the feature. How exactly these predictions are made — whether by a human or an advanced algorithm — is less certain. That’s why we advise not treating the forecasts as the gospel. Always do your own due diligence when betting.

Promotions

Occasional Free Bet

From time to time, Fonbet is known to give players a free bet for use. When looking at a bet slip, the amount of free bet available will be displayed near the gift box icon. Click on the total and tap “place the free bet” to use the gifted funds. There’s no real rhyme or reason when these free bets are distributed, but it’s at the discretion of administration. Free bets can be strictly used on straight or accumulator bets only.   

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Promotions Screenshot

Customer Service

Problematic If You Can’t Speak Russian

For non-Russian speakers, you’ll have a tough time getting help from Fonbet’s customer care team. They’re available either through phone, email, or live chat. However, they speak Russian only. Heck, even the live chat box when open, the instructions are only in their native tongue — this despite having our site setting on English. This could be a huge issue for customers that can’t communicate through Russian.

Emails

Occasional Email Here And There

Email communication from Fonbet is pretty sporadic. Perhaps that’s due to the relative lack of promotions from Fonbet. You see promo-led emails more than anything else from online competitors, but Fonbet obviously isn’t following suit. 

Live Streaming

No Capability

The ability to live stream actual games is high on bettor’s wish lists for any online sportsbook. At Fonbet, you’ll just have to keep wishing because it’s not presently there. We’d knock Fonbet for it, but then again, the feature isn’t available at many betting sites. 

VPN

Cover Your Tracks

Fonbet is accessible in most parts of the world. But in the event it’s blocked where you reside or if you just want to hide your IP address for your own sneaky reasons, you can always opt to use a virtual private network (VPN). These services will disguise your IP address and actually make it appear it’s coming from elsewhere.  

HideMyAss: Does What It’s Suppose To

VPN services are abundant, but one of the most-reliable has to be HMA. This VPN doesn’t fail — no matter which of the 300 globe-spanning servers you access it from. Not only that, but the browsing experience is seamless and lag isn’t noticeable. We gave Fonbet a spin using HMA and found no faults with the VPN. 

Conclusion

You Can Do Better If You’re Non-Russian

Unless you are Russian yourself, there’s honestly no reason to join Fonbet. We mean, it’s not a bad book, but there’s just so many better options, especially if American sports is more of your thing. A few features hold Fonbet back from appealing to the masses:  

FonBet Sportsbook Review

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Editor's rating