Stan James Free Bet
Stan James offer new customers a £10 free bet. Register via the button above or right and they will match your first bet with a free bet of up to £10, so long as your first stake is at odds of 4/5 or greater.
Stan James Promotions
Stan James also offer various horse racing promotions, including a 'Second Chance' offer on a selected high-profile race every Saturday - if your horse finishes second in this they'll give you a free £10 bet. To qualify you just need to place at least a £10 win or each-way single on the selected race.
On Saturday's they also have a regular 'Happy Hour' promo (between 11 - 12), where they offer the best industry price on a selected high-profile horse running in Britain or Ireland. They also run this promotion at selected major British and Irish race meetings.
They also offer 'Best Odds Guaranteed' on all UK and Irish horseracing, which means you get paid out at SP if that is bigger than any early price you back.
For both horse and greyhound racing Stan James will double the odds for customers who pick only 1 winner in a Lucky 15 (4 selections), Lucky 31 (5 selections) or Lucky 63 (6 selections). They'll also add 10% onto winnings for those who pick all 4 winners in a Lucky 15 or all 5 winners in a Lucky 31 (5% for 4 winners) and 15% for those who back all 6 winners in a Lucky63 (10% for 5 winners).
There are some nice guarantee's for punters, including a 'Double Payout' in instances where a winner is disqualified by the stewards in the UK or Ireland - Stan James will pay out on the disqualified horse as well as the horse promoted to first.
They also guarantee best odds so that their customers can always take an early price on UK and Irish horse racing and if the starting price is greater they'll be paid out at the SP and, for bets on horse-races with a non-runner, they don't deduct the rule 4, if the deduction is for 5p.
Finally, a concession for cricket bettors who place a 'Top Batsman' bet on any One Day International, Test Match or 40 Over match. If their player scores 100+ in that innings, but is not top batsman, Stan James will refund the stake as a free bet, up to £250. The same offer applies to any Twenty20 match if a player scores 50+ runs and is not top batsman.
Stan James Bookmaker
Stan James is a privately run bookmaker founded in 1973 by Steve Fisher and the late James Holder who opened their first shop in Compton, Berkshire (South-East England).
Unlike other bookmakers such as Victor Chandler and William Hill, there never was a Stan James - the name was created by combining the first two letters of the first names of Fisher and his wife Anne - also an owner - plus Holder's first name (thus St-An James).
Steven and Anne Fisher still own the company, whilst their two children Peter and Diane Fisher are also involved in the operations and are part owners.
In 1994 Stan James were the first bookies to introduce live betting when they started taking 'in-running ' bets on the golf after Peter Fisher watched a three-way play-off between Nick Price, Scott Simpson and Hale Irwin at the 1994 Colonial National Invitation:
"I thought, if we put up prices on this, I'm sure people would bet on it while they're watching on the TV. The following week, we bet on the final round of the golf event and it proved quite popular, but very unprofitable. We had one external odds-compiler, and I would take the bets on the phone, do teletext and authorise switch payments on my own. I remember coming into the office to do all this one hour after my first child was born - they were difficult times. Finally, we got a computer system and our fortunes started to change slightly."
In 1995 they decided to trade in-running on football, setting a trend that all other bookmakers have followed and thus Stan James is synonymous with live betting, with some sports generating more bets in-running than pre-match.
In 2000 they launched their website stanjames.com and, now based in Gibraltar, the business continues to expand gradually - in December 2007 they bought the Bet Direct bookmaking company from 32Red for £5.75 million, in 2008 they bought the online betting business Betterbet and in May 2010 they also bought some regional branches of North-East England bookmaker Pagebet after it went into administration (with Stan James guaranteeing payment on all outstanding bets).
This took the number of Stan James betting shops up to a relatively limited number of around 65, with turnover primarily now generated from their online operations - although they reported a pre-tax loss of £1.7million in 2010, despite turnover soaring up from £54 million the previous year to £79 million.
The company have sponsored various major sporting events including the darts World Matchplay (2000-10), plus prominent horse races such as the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket (2006-10) and in September 2010 they announced a novel new sponsorship idea, embracing a 'tournament' approach to National Hunt racing, by sponsoring a series of top-class British two-mile hurdles races under the banner the 'Road to Cheltenham'.
Races in this series consist of the StanJames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle, the StanJames.com International Hurdle at Cheltenham, the StanJames.com Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock and cultminate with their showpiece sponsorship event - the Stan James Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival (replacing Smurfit Kappa in 2011).
Meanwhile, in January 2012 it was announced that Stan James would sponsor the Chester Cup, after agreeing a three-year deal with Chester racecourse. The deal will see the race renamed The StanJames.com Chester Cup until 2014. The first StanJames.com Chester Cup was held on 9th May 2012, the first day of Chester's annual May Festival on what is now called StanJames Raceday.
CEO Denis Kelly said: "We're delighted to be joining forces with Chester Races for the next few years to promote and strengthen one of the most popular races of the Flat Season. Punters love a great day out at The Roodee and so do we. The Chester Cup has got a long and rich history and StanJames.com is excited to become a part of the old race's ongoing story over the next few years."
Stan James see themselves as a straight talking bookmaker who aim to make betting as uncomplicated as possible and their marketing and PR usually emphasises this 'no-nonsense' attitute:
"We're about a good, honest flutter. Pure and simple. If you expect to be dazzled by bells, whistles and flashing lights, you've come to the wrong place. We un-complicate betting so as many people as possible can enjoy it.
"We';re a family company, not some uber-corporation. And we treat our customers the way we expect to be treated - fairly and honestly."
Stan James Website
Given their 'uncomplicated' vow, it's no surprise to find the Stan James website extremely functional and easy to use.
They have a central carousel at the top of the homepage with banners detailing the latest betting markets and odds, followed by a list of all current live events to guide customers directly to in-running betting. Below this there are promo boxes, each featuring an upcoming event alongside the latest odds.
The betting process is very smooth and when a user clicks on any odds that selection appears in a betting slip in the right-hand menu - with a stake box and place bet button. As a stake is entered the slip shows the potential winnings and more bets can be added to the same slip for accumulator or multiple bets.
A nice feature at the top-right of each Stan James sports betting page is a 'Mini Player' which allows users to watch a variety of live sporting events - so long as they have a positive balance in their account or have placed a bet within the last 24 hours. In addition, Stan James customers can watch any UK and Irish horse race on their website simply by placing a minimum £1 single bet on that race.
Other Stan James online services includes daily racecards, with horse, trainer and jockey form, along with race overviews and horse ratings. There is also a naps section featuring the nap of each daily newspaper tipster, plus their selections for every race.
Stan James customers can also play their own free tipping game, where they can share tips and thoughts with other tipsters, with over £1000 to be won each month in daily and monthly prizes.
Finally, whatever the sport, the Stan James website has commentary pop-up's so users can listen to how their bets are doing if they're unable to watch.
Stan James Mobile App
iPhone and Android users can access Stan James Mobile by visiting stanjames.com on their internet browser and can save the app to their phone by selecting 'Add to Home Screen'. In fact, any Stan James customer with an internet browser on their mobile can find and bet with Stan James the same way, using their online username and password.
The Stan James mobile interface is as simple as their website, with a series of icons with images of different sports followed by a list on 'In-Play' events - all allowing users to get directly to the right market without fuss.
Stan James Casino
First time players of the all-new Stan James Casino receive a 400% deposit match Welcome Bonus (deposit £5, get £20).
To earn the bonus, players must wager their deposit amount x 5, within 5 days and once they receive the bonus, play this amount x 20 within 14 days, for it (and any winnings) to be transferred to their cash balance.
Regular Stan James casino players are rewarded with VIP bonus chips for hitting monthly turnover thresholds, irrespective of whether they're winning or losing - with between £50 and £300 credited each month. All players earn Loyalty Points which they can swap for 'Casino Bonus Chips' (£1 stake = 1 loyalty point and 1000 loyalty points = £1 bonus chip).
The casino at Stan James includes favourite table and card games such as roulette and blackjack as well as a jackpot slots, including 'Mega Fortune' which usually has a progressive jackpot of millions of pounds which climbs higher and higher until it's won. In late 2011 online gamblers watched with fascination as this Mega Fortune jackpot reached almost £10 million before eventually being won by a lucky student.
In terms of graphics and game play, 'Gonzo's Quest' is without doubt the best slot game experience at Stan James Casino - with cascading reels and Gonzo alongside you all the way on your 'quest' for Inca treasure.
They have also recently launched a new Battlestar Galactica slot game, with remarkable special effects. Experienced players and sci-fi fans can enjoy endless ways to win, including the Ion Storm Wild reel feature that triggers 15 free spins with 3 or more Scatter (each of the free spins wins are multiplied by x3). Players progress from Civilian all the way up to 8th rank of Admiral while unlocking continuous Battlestar Galactica video content.
Stan James Games
There are also a variety of soft-games available at Stan James under their 'Games' tab, with scratchcards, hi-lo games, 'pub slots' and sport games such as 'virtual' horse racing.
Stan James Poker
Poker players can claim a 100% First Deposit Bonus of up to $500 at Stan James Poker.
Once players have earned the required number of loyalty points Stan James will match their first deposit and 9000 loyalty points are needed to earn the full $500 (within 60 days).
It's worth noting that, unlike most bookmakers who pay a poker welcome bonus in increments as it's earned, Stan James Poker players must email: firstname.lastname@example.org once they have earned the required amount of loyalty points to have it credited to their account. Players can view their point total in the 'My Account' section of the poker lobby.
There are no complicated VIP schemes at stanjamespoker.com - all players who rake over $50 in a week automatically receive rakeback for that week, with those raking between $50-$100 getting 20% rakeback, those raking between $100-$200 getting a 25% rakeback reward and those raking over $300 receiving 30%.
The rake period runs from Thursday - Wednesday, with all rakeback earned credited into players' Stan James account before midday every Thursday. As they would say: "Simple. Straightforward. No fuss."
Stan James Payment Options
Stan James accounts can be funded with Visa and Mastercard debit cards, as well as Electron, Laser, Switch and Maestro debit cards. They also accept PaySafeCard, Neteller, Skrill (MoneyBookers) and direct bank transfers.