There might not be an actual present for those who make the 'Nice' list but making the top three is certainly a reward in itself!
Check out our list below of operators we feel standout among the rest for success in 2018 or were highlighted for poor practices throughout the year.
(And don't worry, we made sure to check it twice.)
Experienced online casino players and sports bettors will already know that 888casino & 888sport are among the premier international gambling brands within their markets but in 2018, 888 not only expanded their player pools across Europe, they exploded onto the US scene - or more specifically, the New Jersey market.
First, 888 redesigned their online casino to much fan fair. Then, the New Jersey brand specifically bolstered a lineup of brand new games and promos. In June of 2018, 888 and Evolution brought live online casino gaming to New Jersey only to follow that up with launching mobile sports betting in the now legal NJ market.
The operators's last bang of 2018 was securing the NFL's first online gambling sponsorship when they agreed to sponsor the New York Jets. Establishing themselves as leaders in the budding US market while still continuing to gain new players in their major European markets is what puts 888 at the top of our 'Nice' list in 2018.
If you win both 'Sports Betting Operator of the Year' and 'Mobile Sports Product of the Year' at the industry's top award show, it's safe to assume you'll be a contender to our 'Nice' list and that's exactly what bet365's online sportsbook did in 2018.
Similar to 888, bet365 also leaped across the pond and entered both the growing US casino and sports betting markets, signing a deal with the well know Hard Rock brand in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Combining their jump into the US markets with such a big name and the stellar sports betting options bet365 offered in 2018 puts the operator just shy of the top spot for our 'Nice' list this year.
One of the largest names in gambling got even bigger and better in 2018. Ladbrokes Coral, the parent company to some of the top betting firms, merged with GVC creating the world's largest gambling brand.
With improved resources throughout 2018, Ladbrokes Coral took advantage offering exciting new betting features and increasing their market coverage. All of which combined to push them over the line and into the last spot on our 'Nice' list.
The Malta Gaming Authority brought to light the fact that hundreds of players went unpaid at 21kbet.com and their use of the MGA logo was fraudulent. Downright theft is what puts 21kbet.com at the top of our 'Naughty' list for 2018.
While there's always been a bit of tussle between advertising standards in the UK and gambling sites, this year has seen a few companies go that one step too far in trying to entice (or fleece, depending on your point of view) potential new customers. bgo Entertainment Ltd join our naughty list for using misleading adverts on its affiliate sites.
The UK media were in a frenzy this year when in November they found out Betfred was withholding a £1.7 million jackpot over claims the jackpot was only won due to a computer glitch. Although the player clearly won the life chaninging jackpot from his perspective, Betfred withheld the winnings, one of many reasons they make our 'Naughty' list again in 2018
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