Reviewed By James Molloy
The Royal Panda core products for over 10 years have been the casino and live casino but the operator introduced a sports betting service in 2017. The New Zealand Gambling Act of 2003 allows residents of the country to register with Royal Panda. The site is licensed and regulated by the Malta Gambling Authority
The sports betting platform operates in partnership with BetConstruct who are leading suppliers of gambling software solutions. As a relatively new sports betting operator, Royal Panda is competing against some established brands. The company does have the potential to develop an award-winning product which can attract sponsorship and partnerships.
|Betting markets across about 40 sports||No horse racing service|
|Live betting interface with cash out||Relatively low value welcome bonus|
|Easy to achieve welcome bonus|
New customers with the Royal Panda sportsbook who register from a location in New Zealand can claim $20 in the form of a free sports bet. On making an initial deposit, players must opt-in to this sign up offer. The minimum deposit is $20 and the qualifying bet is $20 at odds of 2.0 or bigger. The free bet is credited once the qualifying bet has been settled.
The free bet does not count as cash but winnings are added to the account balance and can be withdrawn. There are no wagering requirements beyond the qualifying bet. Any profit from the free bet does not include the free bet stake. The Royal Panda sportsbook new customer free bet expires after 90 days. However, customers who cash out the qualifying bet are not eligible for this promotion.
At the time of the Royal Panda sports review, there were no ongoing promotions for existing customers. However, the site does offer Top Price on selected events. The operator promises to match the best price with a number of competitors that appear on an odds comparison site.
The guarantee applies to advertised events and the offer is subject to Royal Panda’s general Terms & Conditions. The Top Price offer does not include promotional odds and any back odds that appear on a betting exchange. The maximum stake is set at the discretion of Royal Panda.
This Royal Panda sports review did not identify any free bets in addition to the welcome bonus. Customers in New Zealand who meet the qualifying criteria benefit from number of promotions related to the casino product. The absence of free bets for current players is offset by the Top Price guarantee and a loyalty programme that allows customers to earn points across all products.
The Refer-A -Friend scheme also provides reward points for current members, including Royal Panda sportsbook customers. As the Royal Panda brand becomes more trusted in New Zealand, the operator could introduce sports and event specific free bets and bonuses that focus on local games. Customers could be informed on social media and by email.
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‘Sports’ is the third option on the main menu, after Casino and live casino. This position reflects the fact that the sportsbook was added to the website some years after the casino was launched. Betting markets are displayed in the categories of Live and Pre-Match. There is a search box that can be used to locate a competition or team. There is a most popular list of the day’s betting events, which are mainly related to cricket and football. Similarly, the most popular competitions are leagues in cricket and football, the most bet on sports by customers residing in New Zealand.
The English Premier League in football is the most popular for betting. Royal Panda displays the match result betting market which has three outcomes: Home Win, Draw, Away Win. There is a link to over 350 related markets which appear under the following headings: All, Match, Total, Handicap, Half, Minutes, Players, Corners, Cards, Shots and Throw-Ins.
There are fewer markets for cricket fixtures but the offer includes Match, Innings, Wickets and Players betting. In other sports, the most bet on markets are match winner, handicaps and totals.
There are about 40 categories in the full list of sports. Rugby league and rugby union are popular betting sports in New Zealand. Bettors in the country can also place wagers on the following North America leagues: NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA. The Royal Panda sportsbook also features betting markets for the global sports of golf, tennis, motor racing and boxing. Odds are published for niche sports such as beach volleyball and surfing. In addition to the regular sports, customers located in New Zealand can select from markets in Politics, Esports and TV Shows and Movies.
Account holders living in New Zealand can take advantage of the following features that aid betting:
Registered customers locate the preferred market and click the odds. At that point the Bet Slip appears. As more selections are added, the Bet Slip displays the betting options which can be singles, multiples or system bets.
The customer enters the stake or selects from three default amounts and places the bet. Royal Panda confirms the bet and updates the account balance accordingly.
Royal Panda displays the live betting events under a specific title. There are three views: Event, Overview and Calendar. Selected fixtures can be watched on a live streaming service which focuses on minor leagues which are not barred by TV contracts.
Royal Panda takes down odds after a key event, such as a goal in football or wicket in cricket, and publishes the latest odds after a short delay.
The cash out facility allows live bettors to close bets in selected markets before expiry and the final outcome is known. The purpose of cash out betting is to secure a known profit or fix the loss before the bet closes.
The value of the return is based on the odds and stake for the original bet and the market when the customer makes the request.
Residents of New Zealand who are considering registering with the Royal Panda betting site click ‘join now’ on the Homepage. As you would expect, the operator verifies the identity of any new customer for reasons of security.
The new account screens include fields for a Username and Password and an optional Royal Panda bonus code. When the required fields have been populated, the new player confirms they are of legal age and acceptance of the general Terms & Conditions and creates an account.
The Royal Panda review finds the following payment methods: Bank Transfer, e-Wallets such as PayPal, Neteller and Skriil, Visa and Mastercard debit and credit cards and prepaid safe cards. Deposits are free and immediate, with a minimum value of $10 and maximum value of $50,000.
Withdrawal methods can carry a charge, depending on the provider, and can take up to 5 days. The minimum withdrawal is $10 and the maximum is $100,000 but $50,000 with cards.
The sports menu structure can take a little getting used to and there are plenty of menus and featured links. The main sports screen displays information about promotions and pre-match and live betting. However, the main betting events and leagues appear prominently and navigation to these areas takes just a few clicks.
The structure of the sports page is a slight negative but the Royal Panda betting site displays the most important information for bettors in New Zealand. The mobile version of the website has the same structure and navigation features so the same comments apply.
There is a downloadable sports betting app for iPhone devices but restrictions mean there is not the same app for Android smartphones and tablets. However, the Royal Panda website can be installed on Android devices when the browser is optimised correctly.
There are no mobile-specific free bets and bonuses but the standard promotions can be activated by mobile users.
Royal Panda offers the following odds margins for a key betting market in the three most bet on sports:
|Football||Match result after 90 minutes||105.38%|
|Cricket||Match result including draw||105.61%|
|Tennis||Match winner 2-way||108.10%|
There is average value in the football odds while the cricket margins are better for the customer than similar margins with competitors but other operators offer more competitive tennis odds.
Account holders in New Zealand have access to the following customer support options:
The quality and responsiveness of customer support with Royal Panda is one of the positives of the operation. The department takes Live Chat for 15 hours every day.
Royal Panda does not have a VIP programme but does offer a loyalty scheme, called Loyal Panda. Customers receive points based on deposits and stakes. There are different payout rates but for each $10 bet on sports , a player receives 1 point.
The Loyal Panda store allows customer to exchange points for free spins in the casino and prizes such as iPhones and holidays.
‘Responsible gaming’ is one of the options on the footer of each page. Customers can use the following measures to have some control over their gambling:
Royal Panda has partnerships with bodies in New Zealand that provide support and guidance for problem and addictive gamblers.
Customers with Royal Panda located in New Zealand enjoy a comprehensive sports betting experience across about 40 sports and pre-match, live and ante post markets. The live betting interface provides live events for the most popular sports and is enhanced by the cash out facility. The welcome bonus is for a relatively modest value but it is easy to claim in the time frames and there are no excessive wagering requirements.
The lack of ongoing promotions for existing customer is offset by the Top Price promise and loyalty programme. Despite some minor negatives, such as no Android app, bettors in New Zealand should have a look at the Royal Panda sportsbook.
The minimum withdrawal amount with Royal Panda is $10.
Sports bettors in New Zealand with Royal Panda can bet on about 40 sports.
Customers can deposit funds in New Zealand dollars.
There is an app for iPhone but not Android devices.
Royal Panda provides a safe and secure betting environment.
Withdrawals are processed over between 1 and 6 days.
Royal Panda is licensed and regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).
"I've worked in the betting industry on product, operations and customer service for several years. A class operator will deliver on many aspects and we cover them all."