UK betting is a very old hobby: As far as we know, people are placing bets for all kinds of events for the last 500 years.
Horse racing, football, basketball, political events, even financial instruments: You name it, there are betting sites UK that cover it.
When done right, UK sports betting can be a fun and profitable hobby, but you really need to know what you are doing and pick the best betting deals in UK. If you are not sure where to start, we can help you with our betting guide UK:
Below, you can find everything you need to know about UK betting and a list that shows you the biggest bookmakers UK recommendations for 2023.
This will be a general UK betting guide, so it will cover all related topics: We will talk about the sports betting business in UK, give you a list of the new UK betting sites we recommend, and explain the rules and payouts of general betting options. In short, we will make sure that you can play like a pro: Let’s start.
- 1A short history of UK betting
- 2Choosing a UK betting site: What to look for
- 3UK betting guide for bonuses: How to pick the best ones
- 4The criteria we used for evaluating UK sports betting sites
- 5Gambling sites UK vs offshore: Which one to pick?
- 6Types of sports betting in UK
- 7Live betting UK: What is it and how it works?
- 8Betting guide UK for the most popular sports: How to place a bet?
- 9Basic UK betting tips and tricks
- 10Making a payment at betting sites UK: Which methods to use?
- 11Sports betting UK on mobile
- 12Gambling tax UK guide: What you need to know
- 13Pros and cons of sports betting in the UK
- 14FAQ about sports betting in the UK
- 15Start your sport betting in UK adventure today!
Let’s continue with a list of the top UK betting sites. We explained how do we pick them above, so here is the list of betting sites UK if you want to play only at the best websites.
We guarantee that these are the best betting sites UK you can find in 2023: They cover the most sports and make the best betting offers UK.
When you sign up, don’t forget to pick your no deposit betting UK bonuses and free bets. Good luck!
Best UK Betting Sites in 27 September 2023 – Updated List
Remember that this UK betting sites list contains only our top site’s recommendations: We have dozens of more sports betting sites UK to recommend.
No matter what do you want to place a wager on (learn here more about how to place a bet at the bookies), we can offer several betting accounts UK for you: Our database contains lots of UK sportsbook for any sports: betting for UK open darts, betting on UK ice hockey, or even betting UK prime minister – no matter which one you are looking for, we got you covered.
We can even offer you UK betting tips for today, just keep visiting our website and check the news section every day. We have lots of new UK betting sites (including 5 pound betting sites) to recommend.
A short history of UK betting
The history of sports betting in UK begins in 1541. (Yes, the 16th century.) The Games Act 1451 declared all forms of gambling and betting illegal. Until the Games Act 1845, all kinds of UK betting activities were prohibited by the law. The 1845 Act made “games of chance” legal. However, this was a very “shady” policy: Nobody was sure whether betting UK activities can be considered as “games of chance” or not.
The Betting Act of 1928 cleared up the issue: According to the terms and conditions of this document, UK betting activities were legal. The Act stated only horse racing and greyhound bets, but the industry was eager enough to cover all betting types. In this context, we can say that betting UK became legal in 1928.
The Betting Act 1960 cleared up the issue a little bit more: It made all kinds of UK betting and land-based casinos legal. And with the Betting Act 2005, online gambling (and betting) became legal too, as long as it is regulated. The United States Gambling Commission was established to supervise and license the gambling industry.
We will give more details about the legality of UK betting below, but for now, know that this is one of the largest regulated industries in the world, with a yearly revenue of billions of Pounds. We are not kidding: The 2023 numbers are not published yet but the gross gambling yield in 2019-2020 was 14.2 billion Pounds.
We have a UK betting guide for other topics too
As mentioned above, this UK betting guide contains lots of information but it is still a general guide. If you want to learn more about UK betting, we have prepared different articles/guides for every aspect of betting in UK. Make sure to read these guides too:
Choosing a UK betting site: What to look for
Below, we talked about the criteria we used to select the best online sports betting sites in the UK. However, choosing a UK betting site is a personal thing and requires you to consider your own priorities, but for more read also sports betting benefits.
For this reason, we recommend that you use the following criteria in addition to ours:
- Make sure that you can play on any platform. Your PC will not always be with you, so make sure you can use the services offered on the site with your mobile devices. A separate mobile app is not a must, but it should be working on mobile without any problems.
- The sports you are interested in should be within the scope of the service. If you like cricket betting, for example, you don’t need to be a member of a site focused on football betting. Almost all UK betting sites list the sports they cover in a menu on the left side of their main page. In this menu, find the sport you are interested in and see how many matches/leagues are covered. Choose the sites that offer as many options as possible for the sport you are interested in.
- Stay safe. Make sure the site you choose is licensed by UKGC. Also, SSL encryption must be used on every page. Below, we provide detailed information on these two topics. Whatever site you choose, make sure you’re safe first.
UK betting guide for bonuses: How to pick the best ones
You will find lots of promotions at UK betting sites and each one will promise you the stars: Get this money and place a bet. Claim your free bet bonus and win.
Don’t forget to grab your no deposit betting UK offer. Thing is, only a couple of them will be truly good and worth taking. First, let’s take a look at the general bonus types that can found in betting UK websites:
Type of bonus
All of these offers sound good but they are never truly “free”. You must complete a wagering requirement for each of them. This means wagering a certain amount of money to unlock the bonus funds. The wagering amount is determined by the operator and it can be anything from 1.5x to 20x.
And that’s why most bonus offers are not worth taking: You should focus on the ones that offer fair rates and terms. Make sure to read the terms & conditions of all bonus offers before taking them.
The benefits of betting in the UK in 2023
It is a good time to start placing bets in the United Kingdom, because:
- Now you have more information sources than before and you don’t need to learn sports betting from another person: After spending an hour on the Internet, you can learn 90% of what you need to know. This online betting guide UK alone is capable of increasing this figure even more! Learning sports betting is fun and easy – you just need to find the right betting guide UK.
- Speaking of fun, UK betting is no longer an activity performed by middle-aged men in dark and small rooms filled with cigarette smoke, as before. On the contrary, it is a very fun hobby: You can have fun and earn money by using the right resources.
- You don’t have to go to the bank to make a payment or withdraw money. There are countless payment options that can be used from literally anywhere: You can complete any payment within a few seconds with your credit card, wallet, or a bank account.
- You don’t have to carry a PC with you to place a bet. Thanks to mobile technology, every mobile phone can turn into a bookmaker: You can bet wherever and whenever you want thanks to applications and browsers.
Odds of UK betting: Fractional or decimal?
There are two types of betting odds: Decimal and fractional. Decimal odds are popular in Europe and they look like this: 2.5, 9.0, 1.25, etc. By using the (odds * stake) – stake formula, you can calculate the payout of any decimal odd. For example, if the stake is 5 GBP;
- A bet with 9.0 odds will pay 40 GBP (9 x 5 – 5 = 40)
- A bet with 2.5 odds will pay 7.5 GBP (9 x 2.5 – 2.5 = 7.5)
And so on. Fractional odds are used in UK betting. While there are betting UK sites that offer decimal odds, fractional odds are mostly preferred, especially in horse race betting. They look like this: 9/1, 4/1, 1/3, etc. The figure on the right shows the stake and the figure on the left shows the payout of the bet. So,
- A bet with 9/1 odds will pay 9 GBP for every 1 GBP you bet
- A bet with 1/3 odds will pay 1 GBP for every 3 GBP you bet
And so on. In general, we can say that the fractional odds are specific to UK betting market: The rest of the world (the USA included) uses decimal odds.
Joining online sports betting sites in the UK
So, how can you join and register for an account at UK betting sites? This process is quite easy: We can explain it in five steps.
How did we review betting sites in the UK?
Before we start, let us tell you about or review process. We worked long and hard to give you objective and fair results. While preparing our best betting UK guide:
• We signed up personally, made deposits, and played for a long time. We did not simply take a look at the website and be done with it: We became members, made actual deposits, and played for at least 15 days on each and every one of the bet UK website.
• We checked all of the odds and the coverage of major sports events. We played actual bets and find out how competitive the odds really are. We also checked for how many sports events/leagues are covered. Our goal was to use the same betting UK website for all of our gambling needs.
• We used different devices to play. We played on desktop PCs, mobile devices, and tablet PCs to ensure that you are getting the same experience & features on all platforms.
• We tested customer support personally. We created “doomsday” scenarios and found out how fast & helpful customer support really is.
• We checked the deposit and withdrawal times. We made deposits, withdrawals, and found out how seamless & fast the process is.
The criteria we used for evaluating UK sports betting sites
We evaluate new sports betting sites UK according to our high standards and a long list of criteria. Our goal is to give you the opportunity to play at the best UK betting websites.
For this reason, we look for the following while preparing our reviews:
• Software Quality. By saying betting software UK, we mean the platform support: You should be able to use any device you want. Mobile phones, tablet PCs, Linux, macOS – no matter what you are using, the online sports betting UK website must be able to offer you the same features and performance.
• License and Security. We only pick betting companies UK that are licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission and make sure they are legal. We also check the overall security and integrity of the website, so your financial information always stays safe.
• Available Bonuses. We check and test all betting offers UK personally and make sure that they are fair. Sport betting UK websites cannot fool us with big numbers: We know where to look and what to check.
• Odds And Payouts. And, of course, we make sure that you are getting the best UK betting odds for all events. We only recommend betting sites UK with competitive odds, to ensure that you are getting the highest payouts.
• Payment Options. Credit cards, e-wallets, bank transfers, blockchain payments: We even look for telephone betting UK options and make sure that you have multiple options for making deposits & withdrawals.
• Ease of Use. Lastly, we check for how practical to use the website itself: Can you place a bet easily? Are there any navigation problems?
Only the betting sites UK that managed to satisfy us can enter our “top” list: We know what you are looking for and ensure that you are getting the best possible experience.
Gambling sites UK vs offshore: Which one to pick?
Most people think that UK betting sites on Brexit will be negatively affected, so they look for alternatives. Even if you are not worried about that, there is the “problem” of bonuses: Offshore bookmakers make much better bonus offers than the betting websites UK. You can see this even with a simple search: At the time of this article, William Hill online betting UK was offering a 30 GBP welcome bonus. Even the simplest offshore bookmakers, on the other hand, offer at least 300 GBP: They simply give more.
You may think that betting in the UK from abroad and playing at these offshore bookmakers will be more advantageous, due to higher bonuses. You are right about the bonuses being higher, but the experience itself won’t be that good: Have you ever heard the saying “if something looks too good to be true, it isn’t true”? Well, this is exactly the situation here.
Offshore bookmakers can make higher free bets in the UK offers because nobody is auditing them. Most of them don’t even have a license – nobody knows who owns them. Anybody can offer you a 600% match rate and a 1.000 GBP welcome bonus: Writing big numbers and offering lots of free bets no deposit UK bonuses aren’t that hard.
However, when it comes to getting your bonuses for real, you will see that this is not possible at all: The operator will tell you that you still need to wager the bonus. Or, it will simply claim that you have violated the terms and conditions. And there is nothing you can do: There is no official agency that checks and audits that operator. Legally, you are on your own.
Gambling sites UK, on the other hand, are licensed and audited by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Betting regulations in the UK are handled by this commission and it ensures that every operator plays nice.
As a consumer, you have rights, and the Commission makes sure that you can use them. If you experience a problem with a specific betting UK website, for example, you can get legal help.
So, how does this commission really work? And what is the legal status of gambling and betting sites in the UK?
Types of sports betting in UK
OK, you got the basics about the betting sites UK: They are legal, they are fun, and they can give you lots of useful bonuses, as long as you pick the right online betting sites UK. So far, so good, right?
Now, let’s take a look at what your options are:
What are the sports branches covered by bet sites UK? What betting on sports UK events can you bet on?
Football betting sites in the UK
Football is probably the most popular sport in the world and also considered the easiest sport to bet on. You can easily find several football betting sites UK; this category is covered by hundreds of bet UK websites. Make sure you are getting the best odds for the La Liga, Bundesliga, and EURO 2020.
Horse racing betting
Horse racing is the oldest form of UK sports betting: People were placing bets on horses even during the 16th century. Pick bookmakers that cover the most important horse racing events: The Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, Preakness Stakes, Travers Stakes, and Breeders Cup Classic.
NBA betting in UK
Basketball is not very popular in the United Kingdom, but there are still several opportunities for NBA betting UK. We recommend picking betting sites UK that offer you live streams, so you can also watch the events in real time.
NFL betting in UK
This can be classified as “exotic betting UK” too: NFL is an American league but it is still popular all over the world. There are a couple of NFL betting UK sites that offer you live streams, stick with them.
MMA betting in UK
For some reason, people enjoy placing a bet for fighters. Well, there are several options for this opportunity: UFC betting UK and MMA betting UK are pretty popular and the majority of sport betting UK websites cover them.
e-Sports betting in UK
CS:GO, Overwatch, Starcraft, and many more: eSports betting UK is pretty popular nowadays and the most popular event is the CSGO UK – there are dozens of CSGO betting sites UK out there. Almost all of the new sports betting sites UK cover these digital sports.
And of course, there are several other sports that are not as popular as others but still available: We are talking about real exotic options here, like betting UK prime minister, golf betting system UK, and even The Voice UK betting odds. No worries: No matter what you are looking for, there is a UK sports betting website for you. If you are interested in such bets, we recommend taking a look at betting exchange UK sites. These websites offer more betting opportunities for almost any outcome that can happen. For example, if you are interested in UK political betting, exchange sites will offer the most options.
Cricket betting in UK
Cricket is very popular in the United Kingdom and you can find a sports betting in UK guide about it on almost every website. Well, we have one too, so make sure to check it out. Since the 18th century, UK players enjoyed placing cricket bets and this situation still continues today.
CSGO betting in UK
This is a type of esports betting, as explained above. CSGO is short for “Counter Strike Global Offensive” and it is a competitive FPS game, played between two teams. We can say that it is the most popular esport nowadays and there are lots of CSGO betting sites UK you can use.
Betting exchange in UK
This is not the name of a bet type, it is a type of a betting service. Betting exchange sites do not have a single bookmaker: Players create their own bets and exchange them among each other. Since there is no bookie, the house edge is pretty low and the odds are higher than classic UK betting. We explained this in detail below.
Of course, these are only the most popular categories. In general, sports betting sites UK websites offer you the chance to place a bet for any sports event in the world.
You can play cricket betting UK or even get X Factor UK betting odds: No matter what you are looking for, there is a bet online UK opportunity for it, you can be sure. You can also check out our guide on buying points sports betting so you’ll never lose a bet again.
Live betting UK: What is it and how it works?
A large part of UK betting is completed before the event in question begins. So, if you want to bet on a match between teams A and B that will start on February 20 at 19.00, for example, you must place your bets until 18.59 on the same day at the latest.
While this is the general rule, many betting companies UK sites also allow you to place bets after the match has started. This is called “live betting” (in-play betting) and is a term used for bets that can be placed between the start and end times of a match (i.e. as long as the match continues).
It is much more dynamic than traditional betting and the odds offered are usually always higher. You can get a new bet offer while the match is running. For example, if a player change happens, the UK betting site may make a new offer and new odds for this new situation.
Ideally, a website that offers live betting service should also be able to broadcast live. In other words, you must be able to watch the match you bet on live on the same site. Otherwise, you will be distracted because you will have to use more than one resource. The most important thing to know about live betting is that you should not be distracted as long as the match continues.
With classic bets, you don’t have to watch the match: You just need to learn the result. In live betting, it is very important to watch the game without interruption in order to benefit from changing odds and new betting offers. If you are going to place a live bet, make sure you have time to do it.
Betting guide UK for the most popular sports: How to place a bet?
Our UK betting guide is not completed without giving actual examples. So, here is a couple of practical “how to” examples for different sport types, based on the options in the sports betting market in UK.
How to place a bet on football?
This will be a short football betting UK guide if you are truly a beginner. There are two teams in football and lots of outcomes that can happen.
We can summarize the most common betting options for football as below:
Football Betting Type
How to place a bet for horse racing?
And here is a short guide to horse betting UK: This sport requires guessing the result of a race or multiple races.
There are lots of horse racing betting sites UK and they offer the following options:
Horse Racing Bet Type
How to place a bet for cricket?
Cricket betting UK is as popular as football or horse racing, as cricket is kind of an “official” sport in the United Kingdom. Here are the most popular options you get for cricket matches:
Cricket Betting Type
There are, of course, many more other sports and different betting types. As you can guess, we cannot list all of them here: These are the most popular sports and their betting options. We have prepared a separate online betting UK guide for each of these sports, so you should check them out.
Are you looking for a guide about esports betting UK? or USA Or, do you simply want to learn more about the UK betting industry? We can offer you a separate sports betting in UK guide for each of these topics and many more. We have even prepared a guide about making a living on Betfair.
Important UK betting terms & Types of bets
Matched betting UK
Here is the short version of a matched betting UK guide: This is a technique that somehow guarantees a profit from free bet promotions, like “deposit 10, get 20 free bet” bonuses. It basically works like this: Place a bet for a positive outcome with your deposit.
For example, bet on the possibility that Team A will win the match. Next, use your free bet bonus to place a bet for a negative outcome for the same event, for example, Team A will lose the match. Now you have two bets for the same event that cover all possibilities: One way or another, you will win this bet.
When done right, matched bets can guarantee you a profit. Just like arbing, sharbing or dutching, matched betting UK is not illegal but it is also very hard to do right. As can be understood from this example, match betting UK requires using two different free bet bonuses at the same time. Finding these bonuses and using them correctly can be more challenging than you think. You can also find out here what unmatched bets and partially matched bets are.
This term is the name of a special type of service offered by almost every UK betting site. Simply put, it allows you to get your money back before the event you placed a bet is over. Moreover, if you do this at the right moment, you can earn more than your initial investment.
This feature is especially common on football betting sites UK, but it can be used for every sport. This is not a football betting UK guide, but we can give an example using this sport:
- Let’s say you bet on the favor of Team A for a match between teams A and B. You deposited 20 GBP for this outcome.
- You can use the cash out option before the match ends: This option is available on the page of the respective match or on your profile page. Search for a button or link called “cash out”.
- When you click on this button/link, the betting UK site will offer you a payout. The amount of this payment will vary depending on when you used the cash out option. For example, if you use it near the end of the match and at a time when it is clear that Team B is going to win, the money you can get is naturally not much. However, if you use it at the beginning of the match, for example, at a time when Team A is still likely to win, you can even receive 30 GBP, which is higher than your initial deposit.
After completing the cash out process, the outcome of the match will not concern you: No matter which team wins, you will get paid the proposed refund amount.
Spread betting UK
This is also known as “point spread betting UK”. It means trying to even the minimum odds between two unevenly matched teams. It is similar to handicap betting (European handicap included here) and uses the point differences to gain an advantage.
For example, if Team A is listed as “+1.5”, this means it is the favorite team and it must win the match or lose it by less than 2 points (a regular loss won’t be enough). By placing a bet on these possibilities, you can increase your chances and get higher odds.
Betting exchange UK
This is a literal term: A betting exchange UK website works as a real exchange. Normally, players place their bets against the bookmaker – there is one person/company who collects all the bets and makes the payouts.
Betting exchange sites, however, don’t work like that. Members of these bet UK sites place a bet against each other, without a bookmaker. Any member can offer a betting opportunity and other members can place money for that offer. In other words, everybody can become a bookmaker. The betting exchange site is just an escrow and takes a small commission on winnings for this service.
Arbitrage betting the UK
UK betting odds are not the same: For a particular event, all UK betting shops will give different odds. Sometimes, the difference between these odds is so high, it can be used to gain an advantage. Arbitrage betting UK is based on using this advantage: The odd difference can be used in favor of the player.
Here is a simple example: There is a match between Team A and Team B. First UK betting site offers 2.10 odds for the victory of Team A. Another UK sports betting site offers the same odds for the victory of Team B.
If you place a 100 GBP bet on both these sites, one of them will pay you 110 GBP, no matter what the actual result of the match – you simply placed a bet for all possibilities. Arbitrage betting UK is not illegal but the majority of sport betting UK websites won’t allow it.
This is not about sports: UK financial betting is about placing a bet for the value of an actual finance instrument, like a currency. Binary betting UK is a good example: You buy points first and hope that the market will be closed with those points.
For example, the offer is that the “gold” market will be closed between 47 and 49 points. You place a wager for 49. If the market really gets closed with at least 49 points, you win that bet. Forex trading can be another example of financial betting UK.
Peer to peer betting
Peer to peer betting UK is another name for the betting exchange. However, this time there are no regular UK betting agencies that offer this service: The entire exchange runs on the blockchain, which creates a peer to peer connection between players. Such exchanges have very low commissions, so the players can earn more.
Once again, these are the main categories: There are several other terms and bet UK types to know about. However, they are also the most popular ones, so you can make a good start by knowing what they mean. Take a look at our other betting in UK articles to learn more – we have lots of other UK betting guides available.
Basic UK betting tips and tricks
• Get UK betting and predictions from reputable sources. We offer you basic & advanced betting tips but we are not a full-featured “UK betting prediction today” website: That is a whole different category. Find UK betting tips sites that can give you accurate predictions about daily events.
• Make sure to do your research. There is no magical bet that will make you a rich person in a split-second. Gambling UK is a business and like any other business, it requires hard work. You need to make your research and work hard – do not trust only your luck, that won’t take you too far.
• Pick the right bookmaker. Do not focus on bonus numbers and “amazing” offers. Instead, check for the sports coverage, average odds, and wagering rates of the bonuses.
• Do not take chances on sports you do not know. If you have no idea what cricket is, don’t place a bet on it just because it offers high odds. Learn everything there is to know about sports you want to place a bet on.
Making a payment at betting sites UK: Which methods to use?
There are several PayPal betting sites the UK you can use; it is the most popular e-wallet service in the world. The UK betting PayPal is also very secure: PayPal betting sites the UK cannot see your financial information, as the whole process happens on the official PayPal website. If it is not available, you can use Neteller or Skrill as alternatives.
If you value your privacy, prefer Bitcoin betting the UK. Making payments over the blockchain gives you complete anonymity: Nobody knows who did what, which may be very useful to deal with the betting tax in the UK. There are not many Bitcoin betting UK sites but you can use our website to find them all.
And, of course, you can always use your VISA or MasterCard for deposits & withdrawals. They are not as secure as e-wallets and blockchains but they are very practical and fast.
The first thing that comes to mind when somebody says “credit card” is VISA: It is the latest credit card provider in the world. And we are pretty sure that you have one in your wallet too. Well, you can use it to make deposits & withdrawals, like any other online payment. VISA payments are safe, fast, and free of charge.
And MasterCard is the second credit card brand that comes to mind – it is almost as popular as VISA. In fact, it is much more common in third-world countries. MasterCard can be used for making a deposit and withdrawal at UK betting sites too. If VISA is not available, simply use MasterCard.
PayPal may be the largest e-wallet provider in the world but Neteller is the king when it comes to iGaming. It is much more common than PayPal and available in almost all betting UK websites. It also has a mobile app and offers safe & fast payments to its users.
Skrill is the “sister” of Neteller. You may remember it under the name “Moneybookers”. Well, the name is Skrill now and it is as popular as Neteller. Both brands belong to the same company. Skrill is also the owner of Paysafe Card, which is a very popular pre-paid card service.
ecoPayz is another e-wallet service provider that is popular especially in the Middle East and third-world countries. It is as safe and fast as Paypal or Neteller. In fact, we can say that using ecoPayz is much more practical. It offers a pre-paid card too, which we recommend using for withdrawals.
You can always use the good old bank transfers for making deposits and withdrawals. However, you should use it as a “last resort”: We don’t recommend using bank transfers. Yes, they are the most secure method but they are also the slowest: Making a withdrawal by bank transfers can take more than a week.
Sports betting UK on mobile
Nowadays, you don’t need to switch between devices to use betting sites UK: Thanks to the HTML5 technology, almost all of the online sports betting UK sites work on all devices, without having to make a download.
These are called “instant-play” betting sites, which means they can run on browsers, no matter what the device is. As long as your device has a browser, you can play at any UK sports betting website.
This means downloading a native application for mobile is not required. You can simply choose to use the mobile website. But if you want to use an application, we have a different guide about the best betting app UK: You should check that out. In general, the best betting app UK is the one developed by your own bookmaker.
In other words, don’t simply look for the “best app”. Instead, pick a betting UK website and use its native app.
A short mobile betting UK guide: How to find the best app?
That being said, using a mobile app has its benefits too. In some cases, even using an application can be much more advantageous, especially if you’re not afraid to do constant updates.
We will talk about them in this short mobile betting UK guide. By using a mobile betting application, you get the following advantages:
- Zero compatibility problems. You do not need to consider whether any type of service or type of bet is compatible with your browser and/or phone. Everything presented in the application runs smoothly.
- Better bonus offers. Players using the mobile app get better no deposit betting UK bonuses and free bets. The reason for this is very simple: Operators prefer mobile players because they cost less. For this reason, they offer better bonuses to make mobile betting attractive. For example, if desktop users get a 100% match for their first deposit, this rate will be minimum 125% for mobile players. In the long run, mobile players will receive higher percentages and better offers.
- Push notifications. This is the best part of using a mobile app. Thanks to push notifications, you will be informed instantly about every important development. For example, you do not need to check the active promotions page, as new bonuses will be delivered to you via a notification. If you have placed an in-play bet, you will receive instant notifications about developments in the match and changes in the score. In other words, your phone literally starts working for you.
So, how do you find the best betting app UK? As we mentioned above, we recommend that you first choose the application of the website you are a member of. In addition, you should be aware of:
- Make sure that the app supports all platforms. Just because you are currently using an iPhone does not mean that you will continue to use it in the future. If you switch to the Android platform after a few years (or vice versa), you want to continue using your old apps. So make sure the app has both iOS and Android versions.
- Check for a special offer. As we mentioned above, mobile players receive good betting offers UK on mobile. So when you start using the mobile app, make sure you are offered a special bonus. The best UK betting offers are usually obtained through mobile applications.
- Compare desktop and mobile services. Make sure all the services available on the desktop site are also available on the mobile app. There should be no difference in terms of available services and performance. In this context, also consider the design: Using the mobile application should be at least as practical as using the desktop site.
We recommend trying mobile betting UK at least once: According to a report published by EGBA (European Gaming and Betting Association), 43% of sports bets in Europe are placed from mobile phones. Mobile betting is on the rise and you should join it today.
Top popular & trusted betting sites in UK
UK betting industry is quite big – we are talking about billions of Pounds here. Some of the betting sites UK are global companies traded on the stock exchanges.
If you are wondering which ones are the biggest bookmakers in UK, the top 3 list is as follows:
1) 888 Holdings
Currently, the holding owns the 4 famous gambling brands: 888, 888Casino, 888Poker, and 888Sport. It also owns lots of bingo brands, such as Wink Bingo, 888Ladies, and Posh Bingo.
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2) William Hill
William Hill is the second biggest one, with annual revenue of 1.7 billion Pounds. It is also one of the best-known British brands because it is recognized all over the world. William Hill is also famous for its online casino; sports betting is not the only service it offers.
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Unibet is launched in 1997 and it is a part of the famous Kindred Group, which owns several other famous gambling brands such as 32Red, Stan James, and Maria Casino. The website of Unibet is active since 1999 and it offers online casino games & sports betting together. It has more than 300.000 members from more than 100 countries and sponsors lots of UK football teams, such as Aston Villa and Middlesbrough.
Preparing this list was not that hard: We just checked the revenues of these operators.
All of them are traded on the London Stock Exchange, so this information is easy to find. However, you must remember that this is the “biggest” list, not the “best of” list.
In other words, being best and being big is not the same thing: There are lots of UK online sports betting sites with smaller revenues but much better service quality. When evaluating betting sites UK, we recommend ignoring the size of the operator, as this may mislead you.
Gambling tax UK guide: What you need to know
We know you’re wondering if you need to pay taxes when you bet and win, so let’s prepare a short gambling tax UK guide too. In this respect, we have good news: Players with betting accounts UK do not pay any taxes when they score a win. In other words, gambling revenues (including betting revenues) are tax-exempt: If you win any money with your bet, it’s all yours. You don’t even have to make a declaration to HMRC.
So, who pays taxes? The biggest bookmakers in UK. Tax liability belongs to the operators: The government collects the tax of the gambling related payments from them. According to legal regulations, operators have to pay a fixed 15% tax. This is a bigger figure than you think: According to sports betting in the UK statistics, nearly 3 billion pounds of tax revenue was generated in 2018, all of which were paid by UK betting sites.
While this is the general rule, we recommend that you consult a tax expert: Yes, the earnings of casual players are tax-free but if gambling has become a professional business for you (if you make a living by placing bets), you may have to pay an income tax.
Safety and security: The “safe” side of UK betting sites guide
Sports betting regulations in UK do not only regulate betting types and protect consumer rights: They also set the online safety rules that UK betting sites must comply with.
Following these rules will increase your online security and prevent both your personal and financial information from unauthorized third parties. For a safe betting UK experience:
- Make sure that minors under 18 are not accepted on the site. The legal gambling age UK is 18 and the operator must have taken all necessary measures to prevent younger people from becoming a member. If these rules are not followed, the UK betting site is acting against the license terms and maybe its license is questionable too. Do not join sites that do not strictly follow the rule of “age 18 and older”.
- Make sure all the pages on the website are protected by SSL. All pages must be protected, not just the payment page. It is very easy to check this: Look at the left side of your browser’s address bar. If you see a green lock icon, your connection is encrypted. In other words, data traffic between your computer and server is encrypted and cannot be captured by third parties.
- Make sure that the bonus terms are reasonable and fair. For example, if a free bets no deposit UK offers you 100 GBP, this is too good to be true. You know what it is said for such offers: If it is too good to be true, it is not. As we have explained above, fair bonus terms are a license obligation. If the operator makes very exaggerated offers or sets the wagering rate too high, that offer is unfair. Do not play on such UK betting sites.
- And, of course, also make sure the security of your own computer. If you do not have sufficient technical knowledge, be sure to use security software. Most security problems are caused by vulnerabilities in the user’s computer.
Betting in UK is legal
But if you want to learn when was betting made legal in the UK, we can say that since the 60s, gambling and UK betting are legal. (And betting age UK was always 18.) They weren’t illegal before that, but they also had no legal background. The Gambling Act 1968 legalized both of them.
When the internet revolution began during the 90s, lots of online betting UK websites appeared. They operated without a license for a long time – around 10 years. However, they also became legal with the Gambling Act 2005. The law stated two simple things: First, whether land-based or online, all gambling and bet UK activities are legal. Second, in order to be legal, all gambling facilities and betting websites UK must have a license.
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC for short) is established in 2007 for this reason. Its primary goal is regulating all kinds of gambling and betting on sports UK activities. UK horse racing betting, NBA betting UK, betting on UK snooker, and even UK political betting: If it involves wagers and bets, UKGC is authorized to regulate it.
All UK licensed bookmakers and betting sites contain the logo of UKGC on their website.
This means two things:
• That betting UK website is regulated and licensed by UKGC. The government knows who the owners are and make sure everybody plays fair.
• That betting UK website can accept members from the United Kingdom legally.
Now, the UKGC makes sure you are protected as a consumer too. For this reason, it takes the necessary steps to ensure that the advertising campaigns of online betting UK sites are not misleading and exaggerated.
Responsible Gaming practices are the result of these measures. UK sports betting sites must provide self-exclusion services and not promise “too good to be true” things in bonus campaigns. Otherwise, they are subject to various legal sanctions.
This is why UKGC licensed sports betting sites cannot offer huge bonuses: They should not be an incentive.
Pros and cons of sports betting in the UK
- Regulated companies and responsible gambling practices, due to license conditions
- A broad content service covering almost every league and sporting event in the world
- Lots of native applications for mobile betting UK
- Legal regulations protecting customers
- The chance to get localized help
- Bonuses are not that impressive due to marketing regulation
- Players from many other countries are restricted from joining UK betting sites
FAQ about sports betting in the UK
According to the official numbers, the size of the UK betting industry was 14.2 billion Pounds for Apr 2019 – Mar 2020 (0.6% decrease from Apr 2018 – Mar 2019). We don’t know the 2022 numbers: They will be announced on Q2 2023.
KYC is short for “know your customer”. It means verifying the identity of the customer, in compliance with Anti-Money Laundering laws. Due to UKGC license terms, all betting sites UK must verify the identity of their members.
Betting tax UK does not exist for players. That’s right: Even if you hit the jackpot, you don’t need to pay any taxes. Gambling taxes are only paid by operators. However, note that if you are a professional gambler, you may still need to pay an income tax, as this is your job.
Nothing. Betting sites in the UK are regulated by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, which is an independent agency. Even after the Brexit, gambling will still be legal in the UK and betting sites won’t be affected at all.
Or, in other words, is online sports betting legal in the UK? The answer is yes: All forms of gambling, including sports betting, is legal in the United Kingdom for more than 50 years.
Since the Gaming Act 1960, which made bingo halls legal. Land-based casinos became legal with the Gambling Act 1968. Finally, the Gambling Act 2005 made online gambling (casinos & bookmakers) legal.
There is no institution to declare official numbers, so your guess is good as anyone else. However, in general, it is accepted that football, horse racing, and tennis are the most popular three sports to bet on, in that order.
It depends on what you mean by gambling. If you include the lottery, 47% of the UK population is a “gambler”. But if you only mean UK betting, it is estimated that there are approximately 2.1 million gamblers in the United Kingdom.
Start your sport betting in UK adventure today!
You are ready to start betting in UK now: We told you all the basic things you need to know. If you want to learn more, take a look at our advanced UK sports betting articles: We cover all topics and offer content for all levels of experience. Or, you can simply pick one of our recommended betting sites UK and jump-start your journey – it’s your call.
No matter what you do, make sure to visit us often: We update our lists and content regularly. Good luck out there!
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