Sports betting and gambling have an important place in UK history.
The first commercial casino in the United Kingdom launched in 1961, but people were already gambling way before that.
In other words, if we prepare a list of the best bookmakers in UK, it will contain names from more than a decade ago.
Since the first Gaming Act that legalized gambling in 1968, betting booths and top UK bookies of today started to appear in the streets of London.
Today, the biggest UK betting companies are a part of the city’s history and culture: Statistics show that nearly 5% of the local population visited these booths at least once.
It is also a pretty common thing to see commercials of British bookmakers on TV, even during the prime time.
And Britain is the home to the biggest bookmakers in the world, since a long time. In short, British people love to gamble and they have a special interest in sports betting.
Therefore, an important question arises: Which ones are the top UK bookmakers?
- 1Top 10 Most Recommended Bookmakers In the UK:
- 2How Big Is The UK Online Bookmakers Market?
- 3Famous english gambling firms and land based casinos
- 4Five questions & five answers about the largest bookmakers in UK
- 5How To Find The Best Bookmakers In UK?
- 6UK Bookmaker Bonuses: Use Promotions To Your Advantage
- 7How to join the most popular online bookies in the UK
- 8Unique Features Of UK Bookies
- 9New UK Bookmakers Vs Big Ones: Which One Is Better?
- 10Pros & cons of the largest gambling companies in the UK
- 11FAQ: Choosing the Best Online Bookmakers In UK
- 12Pick A UK Bookie And Start Playing Today!
Top 10 Most Recommended Bookmakers In the UK  – Updated List
UK gambling statistics tell us a great deal about the industry, but the challenge is still to find the best bookmakers. How to find the best UK bookmakers and how to evaluate their features? What does the list of the best UK betting sites look like?
These questions require expertise to be answered fairly and objectively. Well, don’t worry: We have that expertise and more. In this article, we will talk about the best UK online bookies and new UK bookmakers, and give you a current list of bookmakers UK with guidelines on how to evaluate them.
The online sports bookmakers we mentioned have all met our stringent standards and can be trusted by casual and veteran punters. Once you are done with reading, you will learn everything you need to know about the English bookies and the largest UK bookmakers.
Contrary to popular belief, finding the biggest bookmakers in the UK is not a hard job: The stocks of these international gambling companies are traded on the stock market, so we exactly know how big their revenues are. In other words, looking at the stock market data will show us the UK’s biggest betting companies list easily. They provide exceptional betting football games in UK, opportunities and the chance to play in a safe environment.
Note that these values show only the size of the top UK bookmakers, and being the biggest does not always mean being the “best”. So, yes, if you are looking for the best bookies to get the most competitive football odds, for example, using the list of biggest bookmakers UK won’t be enough.
You also need to take a look at the brand new UK bookmakers and pay attention to a lot of different features. For many punters sports live betting is the determining factor, while others emphasize the importance of top odds.
We will elaborate on this topic in detail below, but for now, let’s continue with the list of the biggest bookmakers UK. Below, you can find the biggest bookies in UK according to their yearly revenue. In other words, here is the answer to who is the UK biggest bookmakers question. While the largest UK bookmakers are not necessarily the best, these listed below are definitely the top 10 online gambling companies in the UK. They are also respected bookies that don’t limit players’ accounts unless they have valid reasons.
Yearly Revenue: 2.500.000.000 GBP
There was a time when William Hill was the biggest British betting company, but this title belongs to the Ladbrokes/Coral group now: They are on top of the biggest bookies in UK list. Both are very famous bookies and as independent companies; they are already in the list of top UK bookmakers. They also have quite a history: Ladbrokes is established in 1886 and Coral in 1926. Back in the day, notions like future betting didn’t exist, but these bookmakers have adapted and found a way to stay ahead of the curve.
The group also owns BETDAQ – it is the biggest betting exchange in the United Kingdom (right after Betfair exchange). In other words, they have an impressive infrastructure when it comes to online bookmaking and they are the first names that comes to mind when someone says best bookmakers in UK. Create an account, complete Ladbrokes login, and see for yourself: Almost all of the sports and global leagues are supported with very competitive odds (especially football odds, if that’s your poison).
GVC Holdings, the owner of the group, is also a big one: It also owns and operates lots of other famous brands, such as BWin, PartyPoker, and SportingBet. Simply put, Ladbrokes/Coral group is at the top of two different lists: Most popular bookmakers in UK and biggest betting companies UK.
They provide British players with an extensive list of locally popular sports, but also Australian rules betting and other niche sports appreciated in other countries.
Yearly Revenue: 1.700.000.000 GBP
The founder of this bookie is Mr. William Hill (hence the name), and the company is established in 1934. Ironically, Mr. Hill believed that “betting was a sin” but for some reason, he followed a quite aggressive strategy in the online betting UK market. Mr. Hill passed a long time ago, and nowadays the company does not have a real “owner” – only shareholders.
William Hill is also probably the most widely known UK bookmaker outside of the United Kingdom and one of the largest betting companies UK has to offer.
It is also one of the biggest UK bookmakers that operate globally. In other words, it is as popular in the rest of the world as it is in the United Kingdom: If we prepare a list of the most popular bookmakers in UK, William Hill will surely be in the top 3.
This is a great place for betting on golf, greyhound betting online and also for wagering on niche sports and exotic markets.
Yearly Revenue: 1.650.000.000 GBP
These two companies merged in 2016 and they became one of the biggest bookmakers in UK. PaddyPower is the oldest company in the merger: It is actually an Irish brand and founded in 1988.
Betfair sportsbook is fairly new (established in 2000) but it launched the first P2P (peer to peer) betting exchange in the United Kingdom. This was quite a revolution back in the day, so Betfair sportsbook gained popularity quickly.
It always features when ranking UK bookmakers by size and enjoy a privileged position among those betting soccer matches and placing international bets on tennis.
Back in the day, it was at the top of the list of new UK bookmakers and used this advantage to become one of the biggest gambling companies UK. If you want to see what a betting exchange is and how does it work, create an account, complete the Betfair login and start applying the Betfair trading strategies immediately. Basically, it is sports betting between bettors. The betting exchange is perfect for both traditional sports live betting and future betting on many sports.
Yearly Revenue: 751.000.000 GBP
Unibet is founded in 1997 by Anders Störm. Believe it or not, it was a “garage company” back then, operating from the home of Mr. Störm. 2 years later, the company gained a license from Malta and moved its headquarters there.
In 2015, it acquired Stan James & Betchoice brands and became the “Kindred Group”. Today, Unibet has more than 1 million registered customers and offers its own poker & bingo networks too.
Yearly Revenue: Unknown
The Genting Group is very well-known for its land-based casinos all over the United Kingdom. They have a casino in almost every city and “Resorts World Birmingham” is also owned & operated by them. The company is based in Malaysia and gambling is only one of the industries they are interested in.
You may remember them from their Aston Villa Football Club sponsorship too. Gentingbet is their online gambling brand and an extension to the land-based gambling services.
Yearly Revenue: Unknown
Novibet operates from Isle of Man and covers more than 65.000 sports events. It also offers casino and live casino services too: You can play more than 2.000 games in different categories.
The founders of the company are probably Greek, because Novibet is quite active in Greece too. It offers lots of advanced betting options and uses the betting platform of Gaming Synergies. The fairness of Novibet is guaranteed by GLI Labs.
Yearly Revenue: 540.600.000 USD
888Sports is established in 2008 and owned by 888 Holdings, which is a public limited company founded in 1997. If you remember the “Casino On Net” website (it was quite famous in the 90s), it was the first gambling brand of the company.
“888” is the general brand used by different sections of the company, so the casino section, for example, is known as “888casino”. 888Sports is a member of ESSA and owns a license to operate in Nevada too. It recently acquired BetBright, which is one of the largest bookmakers in Ireland.
The rest of the biggest UK bookmakers list contains also familiar and famous brands, such as Bet365. The companies in this list are also the top new UK bookmakers. Of course, there are other English bookmakers who setup shop recently, but we only pick the reliable and trustworthy ones.
In other words, our list of top new UK bookmakers consist of safe, secure, and legal websites. They include the top UK betting companies by revenue, but factor in other key, core qualities of sportsbooks.
In fact, we are sure that you saw the betting booths of these English bookmakers all over the United Kingdom if you live in this country: They all offer online and “physical” betting services. This is the common feature of all the biggest gambling companies UK: They are active both online and “offline”.
Any comprehensive gambling industry report will look at both these numbers and try to paint an accurate image of what these bookies have to offer.
However, as mentioned above, being big does not mean being good and just because a website is one of the UK biggest bookmakers does not mean that it can also offer a high-quality service. Use this list just to get a general idea about the UK biggest bookmakers but do not think that they are your only option to get the best online bookies UK service.
Once you realize how many bookmakers are there in the UK, you will feel the paradox of choice, but we can help you sort them up and keep you up to date with the latest football betting sites in UK options.
These two are different things, and finding best bookmakers in UK is different than listing largest bookmakers UK. We will discuss this topic in more detail below.
How Big Is The UK Online Bookmakers Market?
All of the largest bookmakers UK are controlled by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) and they share pretty detailed reports every year. In other words, this question is also easy to answer. According to these reports, here are some of the interesting facts about the UK bookmakers market:
- The overall income (casinos included) of the UK gambling industry is 14.400.000.000 GBP per year. These include the most popular bookmakers in UK, but also new independent bookmakers, which are less known.
- Non-remote (physical booths) betting industry is worth 3.254.000.000 GBP in total.
- The online bookmakers UK industry is worth 5.391.000 GBP in total and the top 3 (UK bookmakers by size) are GVC Holdings, William Hill, and PaddyPoer/Betfair UK.
- There are 8.406 betting booths in Great Britain some belonging to the biggest UK gambling companies.
- UK gambling statistics indicate that sports betting covers 23% of the overall gambling industry.
- There are a total of 2.820 licensed gambling operators in the UK, and 20% of them are betting operators.
- 029 people are employed in the sports betting companies.
- Surprisingly, 49% of employees in this industry work at English bookmakers.
- Remote betting (online bookmaking) sector grows 13.8% every year.
- Football and horse betting are the most popular types of sports betting at British bookmakers.
- The biggest bookmaker payout is 1.000.000 GBP for a 50p bet. This happened in 2008 and a lucky punter named Fred Craggs beat the “2.000.000 to 1” odds by betting 50p on three horses. To this date, this is still the biggest payout according to the bet amount. It led to a surge in the UK race betting market, as other players were provided with an incentive to bet on horses and replicate that triumph.
The interesting fact here is that while casinos take a larger part in the gambling industry, online bookmaking employs a lot more people and gains a lot more revenue than casinos. This is actually normal: Most of the casino software can work fully automated and does not require “human” intervention that much. Knowing how many bookies are there in the UK makes it easy to estimate how many jobs are created.
Bookmaking, on the other hand, is still a delicate job that requires “human touch”. In terms of revenue, it is also normal that bookmaking makes a lot more profits: The house edge ratios are higher than casinos and sports betting can be played via physical booths too – you can literally walk into a store and place some bets. Even the William hill sports betting mobile service and the telephone betting Paddy Power offers create more jobs than regular online casinos.
Famous english gambling firms and land based casinos
Online bookmakers are only the half of the gambling industry: Land-based casinos represent the other half. According to statistics, there are 154 casino buildings in the United Kingdom and the game machines in them generate 2.8 billion Pounds GGY every year.
Note that this figure is 2.1 billion Pounds for online games – in a way, land-based gambling is still very much popular in UK. That’s also probably the reason why the most profitable British gambling companies own both bookies and casinos.
When it comes to land-based gambling, it is possible to see new names in the list of the best online gambling companies in the UK. Getting International Casino, for example, is the largest casino in the United Kingdom and can host up to 2.000 people at the same time.
(And yes, Gentingbet is owned by the same company.) Aspers Westfield, The Palm Beach, and Empire are the other famous brands in this specific industry. Once again, most of them are owned & operated by the biggest UK online betting companies in Europe.
Five questions & five answers about the largest bookmakers in UK
Our guide has a long and detailed FAQ section in the end, but some questions are so “popular”, they deserve their own section. Below, you can find the answers of the questions about the most popular online bookmakers in UK.
How many betting agencies are in the UK?
According to United Kingdom Gambling Commission reports, there are around 9.000 betting shops in England as of 2020. Since gambling is regulated, it is easy to find the exact number of betting booths. With this many betting shops you can easily use sharbing for making profits.
And if you are wondering, there are 651 bingo premises and 179.556 game machines too.
What is the first British betting company?
Harry Ogden. You never heard his name before, right? Well, Mr. Ogden decided to accept bets for horse racing in 1795 and opened a shop near the famous Newmarket Racecourse. Pretty soon, lots of other companies started to do the same thing.
As a result, the British government banned bookmakers with the Gambling Act of 1845, and until 1960, no company was able to open up a legal betting shop. The Tote was the only exception: It is established in 1928 and owned by the British government. In 2011, it is sold to the Betfred group.
Who is the biggest bookmaker in UK by revenue?
There is no straight answer to who is the biggest bookmaker in UK question: It is a tie between William Hill and Coral. We can say that William Hill is slightly ahead but the race usually ends with a tie when the annual income reports are published. Both companies surpass 2 million Pounds every year, they are the biggest bookies in UK market share.
What is the KYC procedure of the largest UK bookmakers in the world?
You need to send a copy of your photographic and government issued ID, credit card, and a utility bill to customer support of the casino/bookmaker. They are used to verify your age, address, and other information provided during registration.
As a general rule, your account won’t be activated until you verify your ID. Biggest betting companies UK listed above have the strictest identification rules due to their license. Other online bookies do not ask for verification until you deposit/withdraw 2.300 EUR in total.
Which one is the most famous bet company in UK?
To be honest, there is no fixed answer – there are lots of “legendary” bookmakers in this country and all of them are kind of famous. In our opinion, it is William Hill: It is one of the top 5 betting operators UK listed and probably the most recognized brand outside the United Kingdom.
How To Find The Best Bookmakers In UK?
And now, here comes the “not so easy to answer” part. Like we mentioned above, being best and being big are two different things, so do not pay attention to the size of a company when evaluating its features. Best bookmakers UK have some distinctive features and sometimes, they can be found even in the “smallest” brands.
Famous bookies obviously enjoy better coverage and can advertise their services, but not only the biggest online gambling companies UK has to offer maintain a high standard.
Over the years, we have developed lots of criteria to examine, review, and pick top bookies UK. Below, you can see them and find out what to look for when evaluating all UK betting sites.
- Fair and competitive odds. There is a lot of confusion in this regard, because “high”, “good”, and “competitive” odds are very different things. Allow us to explain with examples: Let’s say the (fractional) odd of an outcome is 9/1. This means you have the opportunity of winning 9 GBP for every 1 GBP you bet. This is a “high” odd and you can find this type of odds at all UK bookies. But the probability of this outcome happening is only 10% – so this is not a good offer, just high. A “good” odd would be 1/4, for example, which means you can win 1 GBP for every 4 GBP you bet. This may seem like a low figure but the probability of this outcome is 80% – this is a “good” odd. Seeking value in odds is just as important if you dwell on cricket betting in UK, online greyhound betting or Australian rules betting among others.
- “Competitive” odds are somewhere in between good and high: For example, 4/1 odd means that you can win 4 GBP for every 1 GBP you bet, and the probability of this outcome is a flat 20%. Now, this is a risk you can take – you make a very low investment with the 20% possibility of high returns. We always check whether the bookmaker offers UK are competitive or not. Only the bookies that offer advantageous odds can enter our best UK bookies lists. Betfair sports betting is one of the betting exchanges that are also featured and they are famous for offering top betting odds on weekend football and other sports.
- User-friendly website and app. Nobody wants to spend minutes while trying to figure out how to navigate in a website or app. Even the biggest betting companies UK can make this mistake and design an unpractical interface. We always check for how easy it is to use the website/app and how practical it is to place a bet. This is especially important for live betting; as even seconds are important in that feature and you need to quickly figure out how to react. If you cannot take action because of a badly designed interface, even the biggest bookmakers UK sites are pretty much useless. Paddy Power live betting fans for example, know how important is for the odds to load quickly and bets to be place without delay.
- Lag-free streaming and live betting options. The most important thing about live betting is the necessity of watching a match from start to finish. You need to keep track of events in real time and analyze the odds – this is how you make money. Biggest betting sites UK offer the real-time streams of every match and these should be broadcasted without any lags. In addition, you should be getting dynamic and constant new offers during the match – smart bettors know how to analyze these new odds and make the best out of every outcome. In short, the best bookmakers must provide live streams and keep the bettors interested with new offers during matches. This allows them to cash on fleeting live betting chances.
- Lots of betting types and sports categories. Odd-hunters know that foreign leagues and exotic sports usually get the best odds. Everybody can place a bet on UK football teams – that’s why their odds will never be high enough. But there are only a couple of people who follow the football leagues of Africa, for example. Or, a sumo wrestling match in Japan – the important thing is, you should be able to place a bet for any sports event in any part of the world: the more the better. If you seek Aussie rules betting odds, you will be just as pleased as if you were in the market for the current betting odds on major football competitions. So, we make sure to pick UK bookies that support lots of foreign leagues, exotic sports, and a variety of betting options.
- Professional customer support. Best online bookmakers UK offer multiple ways to contact the support team and make sure all agents are properly trained. You should be able to reach an agent at any time of the day and all of your complaints must be resolved in a reasonable time frame. As doing this will also require providing localized support methods, we will give more detail about the subject below.
UK Bookmaker Bonuses: Use Promotions To Your Advantage
Actually, bonus offers are also an important part of the criteria above, but we decided to create a separate section for them. While creating the best UK bookmakers list, we prioritize the fairness of bonuses and other promotions, that are available to both new and current members. Coral bookies offer bonuses to new players, without forgetting about those who already have an account and gamble here routinely.
Note that we did not say “big bonuses”, because like every other thing in this industry, being “big” and “fair” are two different things. Let’s start with a short list of bonuses you can find in bookmakers UK sites, then we will explain what we mean by that. Just as you don’t have to worry is matched betting illegal in the UK, you should’ve have to concern yourself with the bonuses for betting football games.
- No Deposit Bonuses: This type of promotions usually gives you a small balance to place a free bet. Making a deposit is not required, as the name implies, you get your free bet coupon (usually for 5 GBP or so) as soon as you complete the registration process. If you win that coupon, the profits are yours to keep but with some conditions. William Hill gambling sometimes provides its members with such bonuses.
- Welcome Offers: These offers are available only for new members and they require making a certain amount of deposit. For example, you are asked to deposit 10 GBP and get 30 GBP as bonus funds in return. You cannot withdraw these funds but you can place bets with them, and the winnings are yours to keep (again, with some conditions.) Usually, new UK bookmakers offer the best welcome bonuses. The packages at established companies such as Sportingbet UK might be smaller, but still tempting.
- Reload Bonuses: Same as welcome offers but these reload offers UK can be used more than once and by all members (not only the new ones). You get a free betting balance according to the deposit amount you make, usually every week. These are great for in play football betting, as well as occasional wagers such as Cheltenham festival betting, as they provide punters with a clear path toward boosting the bankroll.
- Cashback Bonuses: The betting site refunds a certain percentage of your losses, usually between 15-25%. This promotion can also be used every week and there is a maximum limit of the money that can be refunded.
- Free Bet Bonuses: These can be a part of the welcome bonus or the reload bonus. All of the best online bookmakers in the UK offer them. If they are a part of the welcome bonus, it is usually required to make a deposit. For example, William Hill, one of the most famous English online bookies, gives a 30 GBP free bet balance for depositing 10 GBP. If it is offered to current members, it always requires making a deposit. For example, you win a free bet balance of 10 GBP after depositing 10 GBP on Fridays. In any case, you get to keep what you win with your free bet bonus.
Now, all of these sound good and advantageous, but they should also be fair. Allow us to explain: Every bonus offer comes with a playthrough/turnover requirement. This means your bonus/refunded funds are actually “locked” and they will become usable only when you complete this requirement. Coral bookmakers and smaller sportsbook protect themselves in this manner from potential bonus abusers.
To complete it, you are asked to place bets with a certain odd until you reach a total. For example, a betting site may ask you to playthrough a welcome bonus with 1.25 odds and 5x rate. Let’s say your bonus funds are 50 GBP in total.
This means you need to deposit a total of 250 GBP (5×50) and use them to place bets with 1.25 odds minimum. Once you do that, your bonus funds will be unlocked and can be withdrawn.
You can use the funds on open betting odds or wait for the end of the week and dwell solely on Sunday football betting.
These odds and rates must be fair in order for a bonus to be advantageous. If they are too high (or have a short time limit to complete) you won’t be able to benefit from them at all.
Please note that the “size” is not important when it comes to fair bonus offers. In fact, sometimes the richest sports betting companies in England are the ones that have the highest wagering rates. Most of the time, the fairest rates can be found in smaller and newer websites, not the most profitable UK bookies.
That’s why we pick only the fair bonus offers when creating our best bookmakers in UK lists, and we are not fooled by high rates. If you choose to set up a Coral betting account, you don’t take any chances and can expect a fair treatment.
How to join the most popular online bookies in the UK
We shared a list of UK online bookmakers by size above. You can pick any of them to start betting today: We guarantee that you will get the best odds & service.
However, if this is your first time, completing the registration process can be challenging. So, we explain what you need to do, step by step:
Unique Features Of UK Bookies
- A UKGC license. All bookies UK are licensed from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission; this is the most common feature they have. They can be licensed from other agencies too (such as MGA and eCuracao) but in order to accept British members, having a UKGC license is a must. Check the bottom of the main page of the site to see the UKGC seal. If you click on the seal, the UKGC verification page should be opened. Ladbrokes online betting has such a seal of approval, just like other licensed bookies.
- Localized customer support. UK online bookies must be able to offer telephone support in the United Kingdom. Now, telephone support is a feature that can be seen in other betting sites too, but we are talking about a telephone number in Britain here, not an international one. And once you dial that number, you should be connected to English speaking agents.
- Localized payment methods. UK bookies online support local payment methods for deposit and withdrawals, as well as global ones. For example, bank transfers and credit cards are a global payment method and can be found in all foreign betting sites. But support for Delta, EuroCard, and Solo/Maestro cards can only be found in UK bookmakers. SO you will be getting payment methods specific to your country. Boku betting sites are increasing in popularity in UK. Although still just a few offer direct Boku payments, you can combine it with Neteller, as this one is found with most bookies.
- Fractional odds. The world of sports betting is divided into two when it comes to odd formats: Europe (UK included) mostly prefers fractional odds and USA-based operators use decimal odds. Fractional odds have a history in the United Kingdom and for most British bettors, they are easier to understand. For this reason, if you are seeing the odds in fractional format, this means you are visiting a UK bookie website. To clarify, fractional odds look like this: 1/4, 9/1, 1/1, etc. Decimal odds, on the other hand, look like this: 1.25, 2.32, 2.00, etc. Note that they are actually the same mathematically, and they do not offer different probabilities (or payouts). EVS betting means placing bets on even odds (1/1 or 2.00). Ladbrokes tennis betting odds are expressed by default in this manner, as the fractional odds format is the most popular in the British islands.
- Good old British betting terminology. Everybody knows what sports betting is but only the British will understand the meaning of “punter”. Or “dam”, or “fillie”, or “jack”. (If you are wondering, first two are horse racing terms and the last means 5 GBP.) In other words, the British have their own gambling terminology and UK bookmaker websites use this terminology too. Paddy Power rugby betting can have its own special terms that one needs to get familiar with, to make the most of the gambling experience.
New UK Bookmakers Vs Big Ones: Which One Is Better?
We mentioned that being big and best does not mean the same thing multiple times in this guide. This is true: Not all big UK bookies are the best and sometimes, small and independent bookmakers are more advantageous in terms of odds and bonuses. New UK bookmakers have a tendency to offer quite good deals and odds because they need to increase their member numbers.
Biggest UK bookies, on the other hand, already have thousands of members so they do not feel the need to make new and exciting features. In other words, you may be happier with new online bookmakers UK companies, as long as you pick them well. Do your research and look carefully at the current betting offers to see who has the best package and make an informed decision.
The biggest names have the advantage of being reputable – they belong to large companies and can satisfy even the most paranoid bettors. You know that there will be no problems in regards to payments when you pick a “big” bookie to play.
Picking a new UK bookmaker, on the other hand, is a little riskier: They do not have the history nor reputation yet. But for the same reason, they are eager to gain new customers and offer better odds & bonuses.
As long as you follow the criteria we listed above and play at our recommended UK bookmakers, there will be nothing to worry about. Our advice will be creating multiple accounts at both “big” and “new” bookmaker sites. That way, you can get the best of both worlds.
Use your account at new bookies to take advantage of higher odds for specific matches, and use the account at big brands for everyday betting. After a while, you can entirely switch to the new bookmaker, once you are satisfied with it. As a general rule, do not stick to one site (no matter how big it is) and always be open to trying new opportunities.
New UK bookmakers offer really good features and bonuses, and as long as you pick them wisely, your betting experience will be greatly enhanced.
Pros & cons of the largest gambling companies in the UK
- They offer a complete service, casino gaming included
- They have native mobile apps and exclusive mobile bonuses
- They cover almost all sports events in the world, e-sports included
- You can take advantage of lots of free bet bonuses
- They are known all over the world, not only in the UK
- They fix the odds at a certain average
- It's almost impossible to join from outside the UK
FAQ: Choosing the Best Online Bookmakers In UK
Yes, as of 2019, all forms of gambling are completely legal in the United Kingdom. It started with the Gaming Act 1960, which made “bingo halls” legal. At that time, brick-and-mortar casinos were already available in the UK but there were no real regulations about them. (Interesting fact: The first commercial brick-and-mortar casino in the United Kingdom opened in 1961, in Wales.) The Gaming Act has been revised in 1961 and 1968. The first one made betting operators legal and allowed offshore bookmakers to operate in the UK. The second one made brick-and-mortar casinos legal.
Today, all of these industries are controlled by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, the official gambling regulatory authority in the UK. A UKGC license is quite prestigious as it is very hard to get one: Only the individuals with a perfect background can have this license and its fees are pretty high.
We have good news in this regard: No, you don’t have to pay any taxes for gambling winnings as a player, no matter how big they are. There was a time when players had to pay a 9% tax, but the 2014 revision of the Gambling Act abolished this term. At the moment, player winnings are not taxable.
The British government asks UK bookmakers to pay a flat 15% tax on all their gross profits, so in a way, the operators are paying players’ taxes too. In short, as long as you don’t own a UK bookmaker company, you don’t need to pay any taxes at all.
Yes. As explained above, UKGC is the official regulatory body on gambling, and as a natural result, it can deal with player complaints too. However, this is not as simple as writing a complaint letter to UKGC. The process works like this:
● UKGC asks players to complain to the UK bookmaker first. If you directly address your complaint to UKGC (without reaching the operator) it will be rejected. You will be asked to prove that you complained to the bookmaker first and the problem did not resolve that way.
● You must wait eight weeks after making a complaint to the operator. If you reach UKGC after contacting the operator but before 8 weeks, it will be rejected.
● UKGC cannot resolve your complaint, it is not a court. Instead, UKGC will refer you to an ADR (alternative dispute resolution) provider. These are independent agencies and you do not need to pay for their services. There are lots of ADR services and the one that is approved both by the bookmaker and the player will be chosen to solve the problem.
● The decision of ADR is not final: You can still take the matter to courts if you are not satisfied with the outcome. However, you will probably lose that case, since ADR already investigated the matter in detail. Same goes for bookmaker too. If you want, you can also complain about the ADR to UKGC. But note that this won’t affect the decision of ADR, UKGC does not have that kind of power.
The whole process is explained in detail at the official website of UKGC, so we recommend taking a look at that page too. You can also find a petition template at the site.
As a general rule, the number and scope of UK bookmaker bonus offers will be limited when compared to other foreign operators. But the playthrough rates will be much lower too, and sometimes, there won’t be any requirement at all. This is because of the terms of the UKGC license. According to these terms, promotional campaigns cannot be misleading and cannot contain unfair conditions. UKGC thinks that high playthrough rates are unfair, and UK bookmakers cannot increase their match rates or no deposit offers without backing them up with high rates. As a result, the bonus offers are not that exciting, but they are very easy to complete and use. This is actually an advantage because you don’t need to stay as a member for months just to “unlock” the bonus. You can switch between UK bookmaker sites easily and take advantage of all bonuses.
ABB is short for “Association of British Bookmakers”. It is not an official governmental body, more like a society built by bookmaker companies. ABB sets the standards for responsible gambling and safer betting practices. But it does not force any company to comply with these standards. The most important thing about ABB is that it is for “physical” bookmakers only. In other words, its standards are for betting booth operators, not for UK online bookmakers.
They can still accept complaints to an extent but the only thing they can do is canceling the ABB membership of a specific operator if it fails to meet these standards. They are not a court nor an official regulatory body. In any case, they created most of the responsible gambling practices we all know today, so they are still important.
Pick A UK Bookie And Start Playing Today!
This was a long article but it was worth it: We believe that you know everything important about the UK online bookmakers and can choose wisely now. Sports betting can be an enjoyable and profitable experience as long as you make wise decisions, and you are ready to make them – go out there and place some bets. If you also want to learn how to bet online from abroad as a UK player, check here our ultimate guide!
We will keep updating our content so do not forget to visit us often. We are your best source when it comes to new and biggest bookmakers in the UK: Visit our site first before placing a bet!
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