- How betting odds work in the UK.
- What the best bookies currently available for a UK bettor are.
- What the best new sports betting sites in the UK are.
- What betting markets are open to the UK bettor.
Full List of the UK Bookmakers
As mentioned during the intro to this article, quite a few online bookmakers currently considered to be the leading operators globally are based in the UK. World-renowned names like Betfair, Ladbrokes, and William Hill are set up inside the UK. While they operate globally, they offer bettors from their home country exclusive promotional proposals and betting markets. These operators are consistently placed towards the head of the Top 10 UK bookmakers lists due to their excellent selection of sports gambling options and additional betting features, as well as their reliable and thoroughly-researched odds.
It is often the case that you find a few offshore bookies high on these lists of UK bookmakers. British bettors can also enjoy a range of international/offshore betting sites with no restrictions. Unibet and Betway are some of the most popular sportsbooks for a UK-based bettor, as these operators provide some more unique international betting markets that some UK-only bookies do not offer. In summary, if you are looking for a top-tier betting experience that is considered excellent not only on a national level but a global one, then you cannot go wrong with William Hill, Ladbrokes, or the Betfair Exchange.
Popular Betting Bonuses & Offers for British Bettors
Punters currently living in the UK have an incredible range of online bookmakers. The UK betting industry understands their apparent competition in this somewhat crowded market, hence why many UK-based operators frequently give out a range of promotional offers on their betting platform. The top UK bookies will give their loyal customers a regular supply of bonus offers. Similarly, the best British bookmakers will also provide advantageous welcome bonuses to attract new players to join the website. Some of the best bet offers in the UK include free offers, no deposit bonuses, and matched deposit bonuses.
When choosing which promotion best suits you, you should select an offer that best fits your play style. If you are new to the betting scene, you should use these promotions to experiment. Place low-risk bets to get the feel of a website, or use a free bet offer to try your hand at a betting market you are unsure of. The best betting offers in the UK will give you a decent reward while asking very little of you in the process. For example, most William Hill offers targeted to new customers only require you to register an account with the operator and place your first deposit. After this, the reward can be claimed via the “Promotions” page on the site.
Free Bet Offers
As mentioned above, some of the UK’s most common forms of betting promotions are free bet offers. For those entirely new to online betting, a free bet offer is when a bookmaker rewards you for registering an account with the website and depositing a specified amount. This reward comes in the form of a free bet. It will be worth a specific amount and can then be used on a range of betting options featured on the site. The best free bets in the UK will require a small deposit, roughly around the £10-15 mark, and will give you a free bet worth a high amount, usually coming in at about £30-50.
Additionally, the best operators will let you use these free bet deals on many betting options. However, it should be stated that some operators only allow their free bets to be used on a limited range of sports betting events/games. The best type of bonus bet promotion is the “free bets, no deposit required” offer. This type of bonus rewards you only for registering an account with the site; no deposit is required, meaning that you never have to risk any of your real money.
UK Sports Betting Market Overview
|📅 Sports Betting Legal Since:||1960|
|🏢 Regulatory Body:||Gambling Commission|
|⚖️ Legal Acts:||Gambling Act 2005|
|🧾 Taxation:||Winnings are not taxable|
|⚽ Favorite Sports to Bet on:||Football, tennis, rugby, and cricket|
|🏅 Widespread Tournaments\Competitions to Bet on:||The Premier League, the FA Cup, the Gallagher Premiership, and the Cricket County Championship|
|🎰 Other Popular Gambling Markets:||Arcades, bingo, casinos, gaming machines, society lotteries|
|⭐ Most Popular Sportsbooks:||Betway, LVBET, Mr Green|
Bet of the Day for the UK
While it is true that there are many UK-based betting companies currently operating on the 2023 market, unfortunately, that does not mean that all of them offer the same level of quality in the betting experience that they provide their customers with.
British bookmakers can be seen to range from the top-tier, leading operators to very middling bookies that offer little in the way of specialised or additional betting options. For example, while all UK betting sites will offer sports gambling in some capacity, only the best sites will let you wager on an extensive range of UK-based events. From British sports teams to local competitions and tournaments, to even British TV award shows and game events, the best UK bookies will have betting markets open for all types of British-based wagers.
Bet on Sports
Sports have always been popular in the UK. Many sports are hardwired into the country's DNA, having been conceived centuries ago and evolving alongside the country itself. Globally popular sports like football and cricket originated in the UK, with football being first conceptualised in the 19th century and cricket being speculated as created even as far back as Norman or Saxon times. Since then, these sports have continued to flourish in the UK, adapting over time to suit the growing popularity and commercialisation of the sports industry.
Every online bookmaker in the UK will offer at least a few football and cricket betting options. However, the best UK bookies will offer an extensive football and cricket betting market in which you can bet on various fixtures and odds. To find football bets or bet on cricket, you will need to head to the “Sports Betting” page of your chosen operator. Once here, you must select your desired sport from the drop-down menu in the A-Z list of sports or the “Featured” section. The Rugby Union and Tennis betting markets are also highly popular with the general UK betting crowd.
Bet on Competitions
The UK betting market adores sports competitions. A flock of new bettors enters the online betting scene whenever a popular sports competition rears its head. British sportsbooks tend to capitalise on every sports competition they can, giving out a full range of promotional offers to attract new players to the site and keep existing players loyal. Because of the competitive UK sportsbook market, many leading operators offer incredible betting options associated with any currently ongoing sports competition.
Some of the most popular sports competitions in the UK include the Premier League, the FA Cup, the Gallagher Premiership, and the Cricket County Championship, to name a few. These popular sports contests can usually be found directly on a sportsbook's main “Sports” page, underneath the “Competitions” tab on the page's left side. When the competition is in season, betting options surrounding the event will likely be placed right at the top of the “Sports” page in the “Featured” section. Clicking on the competition you wish to bet on will bring you to a page full of fixtures, predictions, and odds about the various games or matches coming up in the event.
The best operators will let you wager not only on the outright winner of the game but also on a whole host of other betting options, including fixtures and predictions about specific teams in the event or even individual players.
Bet on Tournaments
Betting on tournaments in the UK is much like betting on competitions. They are extremely popular as many sports have grown and evolved with the country, as have the tournaments that take place around those sports. While football, rugby, cricket, and tennis may be the most popular sports in the nation, darts and snooker are still incredibly in great demand in the UK, often appearing in many online sportsbooks.
The tournaments surrounding the UK darts and snooker sports are trendy sports gambling options in season. For example, The Master's Snooker event and the UK Open Darts event can usually be found in the “Featured” section on many UK bookmaker websites when they are on. The British betting market is a wide one. British bettors seemingly like to wager on an expansive range of sports and events. That's why many bookmaker sites from the UK usually have the best sports and tournament betting options. The Formula 1 British Grand Prix, the Grand National horse race, and the Open Championship Golf tournament all make annual appearances on most UK betting sites. The best sites feature great odds for every event fixture.
Many UK bettors can also access a whole range of international tournaments, with popular betting markets being those that still feature British teams, such as the Six Nations Rugby tournament.
Bet on British Teams
The UK has no shortage of sports teams. Even just their number of football teams is staggering. Luckily for UK bettors, though, this does mean that there are plenty of betting options to choose from when it comes to wagering on individual sports teams. Due to football's extreme popularity throughout the UK, many football betting markets are prominently featured on a UK bookie website. These betting markets often let you wager on an individual team.
As many UK bettors have a team they “support”, they often place bets on one particular squad. Commonly bet on football teams include Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool F.C., Chelsea, and West Ham. However, there are plenty of UK football teams to wager on that have not been mentioned here.
To bet on an individual squad, head to the “Sports” page on your chosen betting site and choose the sport you wish to bet on. Once on that page, find a game or match your desired team is playing and a fixture that revolves around the chosen squad. The UK betting market is not just a football-centric one; however, there are plenty of local and national teams to bet on. UK players can wager on practically every Great Britain Olympic team during the Olympics, ranging from the National Men's/Women's Football Team to the National Relay Team.
Bet on British Players
While it is almost standard for a UK-based bookmaker to give you plenty of UK-centric betting options, not every bookie lets you place a bet on an individual British player. The best UK sportsbook operators will let you put a wide range of bets on multiple players on UK teams.
Harry Kane, Andy Murray, Mo Farah, Marcus Rashford, Jessica Ennis-Hill, and Tyson Fury are all popular UK sports personalities to bet on due to their great success in their respective sport. The odds surrounding these personalities, in particular, are usually outstanding, especially on websites in the UK. It is often the case, especially with football, that many UK players are transferred to international teams, usually at the peak of their respective sports careers. These international teams are often European, such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, and PSG in football. These are considered to be highly prestigious football teams on a global scale.
UK bettors often bet on British players within these teams, such as Gareth Bale, who transferred from Tottenham to Real Madrid. To bet on an individual player or athlete, head to the “Sports Betting” page on the website of your choice, select the sport you want, find out a match or game in which your chosen player is competing, and find a fixture that revolves around them.
New Betting Sites in the UK
Whilst many of the biggest betting companies in the UK are often considered the best, some UK bettors prefer to use smaller, newer betting sites. Many punters tend to switch from a well-known sportsbook to a brand-new operator. The newer one usually gives some betting experience that cannot be captured easily on traditional betting websites.
The newest betting sites in the UK will offer a truly contemporary and modern betting experience, including new features, new wagering markets, and state-of-the-art website design. Before registering with a new bookie, you should ensure that the operator is legitimate and safe to use. You can do this by searching for reviews of that operator. If a review clearly explains how untrustworthy a new betting site is, then the likelihood is that that bookmaker is not worth registering with. If you register an account with an untrustworthy or illegitimate operator, your personal information and banking information may be at risk.
You don't want your data to be leaked onto the internet, so you should always remain cautious of a brand-new betting site as it will likely not have been tested by an official testing agency yet. That being said, if you can find a new bookmaker that is entirely trustworthy, it is worth checking out as their modern approach to the usually-formulaic online betting experience may suit your preferences more than a well-known site.
How to Choose the Best British Bookmaker
When choosing a UK sportsbook operator that best suits you and your own particular needs, there are several key aspects that all bettors should be on the lookout for. Some of these aspects are not immediately apparent, especially for brand new to the UK betting scene. In an attempt to help guide you to your ideal sportsbook, we have compiled a step-by-step list of some of the most important things that you should be looking for from an online operator:
- If you are unsure of an operator, you can use reviews to help inform your decision. It is essential for new operators as they will probably not have been officially tested yet, meaning their safety is not guaranteed. Using reviews can help you understand a bookmaker better and see what the betting public generally thinks about the operator. For example, looking at a Bet365 review will tell you exactly what is on offer at the sportsbook and tell you what betting options and additional features are available and how trustworthy the site is.
- Don't be afraid to register with a bookmaker to see what is available there. The vast majority of bookies will let you register an account for free, allowing you to browse everything that the site has to offer without needing to put down any of your hard-earned cash in the process.
- Choose an operator with plenty of betting options that appeal to you. While you may intend on only betting on one particular sport or event, you should find an operator with a few betting markets that appeal to you, including any additional and unique betting markets, such as a casino section or live betting area.
- Ensure that you choose an operator with good odds, particularly in the betting market you are looking to spend most of your time in.
- Try to select a bookmaker with a regular supply of promotions. Additionally, don't be hesitant to sign up with multiple operators to use their welcome bonuses. Just be sure that you don't spend too much of your own money in the process.
Which UK Bookie Has the Best Odds?
Because many worldwide leading operators are UK bookmakers, the betting odds are generally pretty excellent. While many UK bookies have specialised betting markets with incredible odds, the vast majority of the odds featured on these leading sites will be excellent. Every fixture has odds thoroughly researched by a team of industry professionals, and all of the odds featured on a site will be kept updated until the event has reached its end.
When choosing a UK bookmaker with generous odds, you can't go wrong. Leading sites like William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, and Bet365 all have great odds for their sports gambling markets. However, something that pushes these companies over the edge is their “Best Odds Guaranteed” feature. It is often an option that is exclusive to the leading sportsbook operators. For those unaware, this best odds guaranteed feature allows players to take an early price bet, and if the starting price (SP) is more excellent, then the bettor is paid out at the better odds. It is a great feature that puts the leading operators ahead of the competition.
Popular Deposit Methods
Every bettor across the world is different. Each has its preferences regarding betting options, features, and markets. A bettor's financial preferences are just as unique and important. The right UK bookmaker will give their players a good selection of deposit methods. Giving a new bettor plenty of payment options to select from is an excellent way to make that bettor feel more comfortable with this new site. Their money can be handled in the way best suits them and their particular financial situation.
When registering with a betting website, many operators will ask you what your preferred payment method is and what currency you would like to use on the site. Bettors in the UK will likely want to choose the “GBP” options that allow your account to use the British Pound. Choosing a deposit method that best suits you should be fairly straightforward, despite how many are usually offered.
The best deposit methods are often E-wallet options such as Neteller or PayPal or card options from trusted providers like VISA and MasterCard. However, there are some additional deposit methods should you require them. Cryptocurrency payments such as Bitcoin are sometimes accepted, as are bank transfer options and prepaid card options like PaySafeCard. To place a deposit, head to your “Account” page, click on the “Deposit” tab, select a method you wish to use, and enter the amount you want to deposit. The money should appear in your account within a few hours.
Popular Withdrawal Methods
In most cases, if an online operator gives you plenty of deposit methods, they will also give you plenty of withdrawal methods. Before you withdraw, many operators require you to earn enough money by placing successful bets. The minimum withdrawal amount on leading UK sportsbook websites is only around £15-20, meaning that you can withdraw your earnings relatively quickly if you are a skilled bettor. This lower minimum withdrawal also means that new bettors will not have to wait too long before making their first payout.
When you have enough money for a payout, head to your “Account” page and click on the “Withdraw” tab, you must select your payment method and enter the amount you wish to withdraw. Any money left in your betting account can be used for subsequent bets on that site.
Many British bettors use a payment method with a fast withdrawal processing time, such as PayPal or Neteller. E-wallet payments take the least amount of time to process, usually having the money in your account within around 1-2 working days. VISA and MasterCard payment options also take a shorter time, generally processing within approximately 2-3 working days. Bank transfer options tend to take the longest process (around 3-5 working days), so only choose this option if you are not in desperate need of your cash anytime soon.
The Best UK Mobile Betting Apps
The online betting landscape has frequently adapted and changed to meet the latest popular trends in the technology market. Mobile betting has become an increasingly popular trend in the online gambling industry in the last few years. Many bettors now prefer to use their mobile phone or tablet over a desktop or laptop for their daily betting practices. The primary reason for this is simplicity and accessibility.
Nowadays, not every person in the UK has a desktop or laptop, but almost every one of the legal gambling age will have access to a mobile phone. Most online bookmakers now ensure that their website is completely mobile-friendly. This means that all the websites can be accessed via a mobile device, from their account page to the live betting area. It is incredibly convenient as you can use your mobile phone anywhere and at any time, meaning that the expansive world of online betting is just a few taps away at any given time.
Additionally, many of the best UK betting companies have produced a dedicated mobile betting app that captures the same excellent gambling experience from their website and brings it to your mobile device, streamlining the mobile betting experience in the process. There are many UK betting apps to choose from in the current market. Still, the best betting apps in the UK are those developed by leading UK operators such as Bet365 and Ladbrokes. These apps bring the high-quality online betting experience associated with the operator straight to mobile devices with no drawbacks.
Live Betting and Live Streaming
In this modern age of online betting, it is no longer enough for a sportsbook to provide classic sports gambling options. Instead, current bettors desire more unique betting opportunities. Many leading UK operators have opted to employ a live betting service on their website to answer this call. This live betting service allows players to bet on various live, in-play sporting events or races. To access this, you need to register with an operator that offers the service and head to the “Live Betting” or “In-Play” section on their site.
Some operators ask you to place a specific amount before you can access the live betting section of the site. Still, this required deposit is usually only around £10-15, and you were probably already going to place a deposit of that amount regardless. Once on the live betting page, you can select a range of sports or ongoing events.
Clicking on a sport or game will take you directly to the corresponding page, where you can view all the statistics, odds, and predictions surrounding the in-play event. Some of the best UK betting sites let you live stream the event directly from your browser or app once you have placed a bet. This way, you can watch as the game or race unfolds before your eyes.
Generally, the live betting odds are fairly decent across most leading UK bookies. In particular, the horse racing live odds and the football odds tend to be the best of the live betting market in the UK.
The Legality of Sports Betting in the UK
The UK is one of the only countries in which every form of gambling is legal. The UK has practically no restrictions at all against gambling in any form. It means that both in-person gambling and online betting is allowed for players situated within the UK. It has essentially been the case in the UK since 1960.
The Gambling Act 2005 sets out how gambling in Great Britain is regulated. It came into force in September 2007 and covers arcades, betting, bingo, casinos, gaming machines, society lotteries, and remote gambling (including online gambling). It also created and set the functions and objectives of the Gambling Commission as the principal regulator. In 2014, it was amended to cover all online gambling companies that offer gambling to customers in Great Britain, wherever they are based. Gambling is reserved across Great Britain but devolved in Northern Ireland.
While gambling is completely legal across Britain, which is not to say that it is without its official regulations and standardised rules. Every country, and even some individual states within those countries, has its official gambling authority. In essence, this authority determines whether or not an online operator can be accessed in that country or region. In the UK, the official source that gets the final say is the UK Gambling Commission. This gaming authority rigorously tests new bookmakers to ensure they are safe to use. If an operator passes a thorough inspection and has enough money for an official license, they can operate within the UK.
If you can legally access a betting site in the UK, that operator will have all the necessary licenses required to work there. Gambling laws in the UK also allow British bettors to access a whole array of offshore bookies. From US sportsbooks to Scottish Bookmakers, there are plenty of excellent bookmakers out there that UK players can access.
Sports Gambling Taxes
In other countries, online forms of gambling can incur a tax. This tax is usually taken from any winnings you wish to withdraw from an online betting site. Thankfully, UK players do not pay any taxes on their winnings. While UK bettors used to be charged a tax on their earnings, this was abolished in 2001. The operator must instead pay a gambling tax of 15%. When using an offshore betting website, check whether their operation incurs a tax on your earnings.
The Legal Gambling Age
The legal age for any sports gambling in the UK is 18. It also encompasses any form of online betting. A UK citizen must be 16 or above for scratch cards and lottery tickets.
Local British Bookmakers vs. Online Betting Sites
The UK is full of brick-and-mortar betting shops. Ladbrokes, Admiral, Coral, William Hill, and more litter the high streets of the biggest UK cities and towns. While many older UK bettors still use these betting shops frequently, most UK betting audiences have moved to online betting platforms. It is primarily because of their convenience.
As previously mentioned, practically everyone nowadays has a phone in their pocket, meaning that online forms of betting are only a few taps away at any time. It is far more convenient to use your phone or a laptop for your daily betting habits than to travel to a local bookie shop and wait to place one bet. Online betting also lets you freely browse the options available to you, whereas a betting shop expects you to know what you want to bet on before you arrive.
How to Win at Betting in the UK
As can be expected from some of the information in this article, if you are looking to place successful bets on UK sportsbook sites, you should focus on the football betting market. The most important piece of advice to take away from you is understanding the market you are betting on. Take some time to thoroughly research the sport, understand how the odds work, and look at general trends. Before even placing your first bet on the sport, you should know all of the ins and outs of the betting market.
Specifically, a few strategies can help you place successful bets in the football betting market. You can try bets on niche markets within football, such as betting on how many corners are taken within one match. The odds for these niche markets will often ensure that your win is very rewarding. Betting on the favourites will also mean that your bet will likely be successful, although the potential returns may be lower overall.
How to Use Betting Tips and Predictions
Free betting tips in the UK are a great way to get ahead of the betting market. A betting tip is when a third-party source predicts an upcoming event, game, or race. This third-party source will be particularly knowledgeable in this field, probably having more insider knowledge than the bookmaker you are using. You can then use this knowledge to make a more informed bet. Suppose the operator still has the prediction in question at a lower amount. In that case, you can capitalise on this and potentially win a higher amount if the prophecy comes to fruition.
Matched betting is a popular form of betting in the UK and worldwide. A matched bet is when a bettor uses promotional offers to ensure a successful wager. It is done by betting equally on both possible outcomes of an event, therefore ensuring that one of the stakes is successful. A profit is guaranteed as a free bet offer has been used on one of the wagers, meaning you have not risked your own money.
The UK betting scene is quite a complex topic to talk about. If you need a quick refresher on some of the more important information about this subject, see the list below. This list should give you a condensed view of some of the most prevalent aspects of the British betting industry:
- The capital of the UK is London. The UK consists of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Some of the biggest cities include Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast.
- The UK's official language is English, but Welsh is sometimes spoken in Wales, and Gaelic is occasionally used in Scotland.
- The official currency of the UK is the British Pound, but Euros are sometimes accepted.
- Popular payment methods for online betting in the UK include Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, VISA, MasterCard, PaySafe, Skrill and Neteller.
- Some of the best UK bookmaker sites include William Hill, Ladbrokes, Betfair, and Coral.
- Some popular sports in the UK include football, tennis, rugby, and cricket.
- Several well-known sports competitions in the UK include the Premier League, the FA Cup, the Gallagher Premiership, and the Cricket County Championship.
- Some of the most famous sports teams in the UK include Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool F.C., Chelsea, and West Ham.
- Some of the UK's most popular sports personalities include Harry Kane, Andy Murray, Mo Farah, Marcus Rashford, Jessica Ennis-Hill, and Tyson Fury.
- £6.9 billion Total GGY for Remote Betting, Bingo & Casino Sector (April 2020 – March 2021) (18.4% increase from April 2019 – March 2020)
- £1.7 billion Primary Contributions (to good causes) from The National Lottery (April 2020 – March 2021) (4.0% increase from April 2019 – March 2020)
- 2,439 Gambling operators in the market (April 2020 – March 2021) (5.4% decrease from April 2019 – March 2020)
- 3,368 Gambling activities licenced (April 2020 – March 2021) (4.6% decrease from April 2019 – March 2020)
We hope that this thorough report on the UK betting scene has been sufficiently informative and has helped give you a clear outline of the online betting landscape within the UK. If you are currently living in the UK and searching for an online operator that will give you plenty of betting options to choose from and is entirely trustworthy, then head to one of our recommended sites today.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the best online betting site in the UK?
UK bettors have plenty of online betting sites to choose from, including local betting sites and offshore bookies. Some of the best betting sites available for a UK bettor include Ladbrokes, William Hill, Betfair, and Coral. These bookmakers are trustworthy, keeping your personal information safe via new encryption software. They also give you plenty of betting options with thoroughly researched and continuously updated odds.
Which betting site withdrawal method is fastest?
If you want to get your winnings into your account as quickly as possible, the following sites offering instant withdrawals (taking into account the processing time at the payment provider) will suit you: Betfair, Paddy Power, BetVictor, Ladbrokes, Coral, William Hill
What is the best UK betting app?
Many leading UK operators have produced a dedicated mobile betting app. These apps can be downloaded for free on your device's respective app store. The best UK betting apps are usually from renowned leading operators such as William Hill, Ladbrokes, and Betfair. These apps perfectly capture the top-quality betting experience available on these operators' websites and streamline it for mobile devices.
Do you pay tax on gambling winnings in the UK?
Fortunately for all UK bettors, you do not need to pay any tax on your online betting earnings while living in the UK. While operators are charged a 15% tax, the individual bettor does not have to pay any form of tax on their winnings. If you are using an offshore sportsbook, you may need to check their tax policies, as some international betting sites charge some tax due to their headquarters' location.
How many online bookmakers are there in the UK?
The most recent survey, taken in 2019, shows that around 80 online bookmakers operate legally within the UK. All 80 of these sites will have been tested thoroughly by the UK Gambling Commission and determined safe to use by the agency. These operators will also hold all of the licenses required to operate within the UK.
Who is the biggest UK bookmaker?
The biggest UK bookmaker is currently Ladbrokes Coral. While they operate as two individual platforms, Ladbrokes and Coral are owned by the same company. The combination of these two online bookmakers makes the Ladbrokes Coral brand the biggest in the UK, with William Hill coming in a very close second place.