The United Kingdom is among the largest betting markets on the face of the Earth and UK licensed bookmakers appeal to a very big audience, more than 2.1 million people, according to official statistics.

It was reported that the gambling industry in the UK generated a £14.4 billion yield between April 2017 and March 2018.

In September 2018 there were 8,406 betting shops within its borders and around 108,000 residents employed by the industry.

Internet gambling sites in jurisdictions all over the world want a piece of the pie but only those jurisdictions that are on the UK Gambling Commission’s “white list” have the privilege of offering their services to UK residents.

Only the best of the best are allowed to operate here which means that punters who are customers of UK-based sportsbooks can fully expect to be treated fairly.

Top 10 Licensed Betting Sites for UK [2020]

Before starting to talk about UK licensed bookmakers and new online licensed bookies UK, let’s take a look at the list of the best UK licensed bookmakers, shall we?

Below, you can see our picks for the best UK betting sites for any purpose: Whether you want to place a bet for a political election or the result of a horse race, these bookies will offer the best service and best no deposit betting UK bonuses and free bets.

Rank

Bookmaker

Bonus

Safe & Trusted in UK

Rating

Get Started

1
100% up to £50
Yes
Rating 9.99 out of 10
2
Up to £40
Yes
Rating 9.96 out of 10
3
£10 FREE BET INSURANCE
Yes
Rating 9.96 out of 10
4
£25 Free Bet
Yes
Rating 9.92 out of 10
5
BET £10 GET £30
Yes
Rating 9.90 out of 10
6
Up to £100 in Free Bets
Yes
Rating 9.90 out of 10
7
BET £10 GET £30
Yes
Rating 9.90 out of 10
8
£40 Money-Back + £10 Casino Bonus
Yes
Rating 9.85 out of 10
9
£10 MONEY BACK AS FREE BET
Yes
Rating 9.60 out of 10
10
£10 FREE BET
Yes
Rating 9.55 out of 10

Who is the UK Gambling Commission and what is its Purpose?

Established under the Gambling Act of 2005, the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission is responsible for overseeing all gambling in the UK with the exception of spread betting which is monitored by the Financial Conduct Authority.

In 2013, the National Lottery Commission also became part of the Gambling Commission. The Commission’s objective is to keep crime out of gambling, to ensure that gambling is conducted in a fair and open manner, and to protect children and vulnerable people. It is a public body which operates under the Department of Culture, Media, and Sports.

The Commission is responsible for overseeing all aspects of licensing and enforcing regulations. Aside from issuing gambling licenses, they have the authority to fine, suspend, and revoke gambling licenses within their jurisdiction.

They also ultimately decide who can appear on the United Kingdom Gambling Commission’s “white list” which allows betting sites from other jurisdictions to serve UK residents. They perform regular audits of both land-based operations and internet gambling companies to ensure things such as systems, personnel, finances, and overall operations meet compliance.

As of March 2015, the Commission employs about 270 people, had carried out over 1,300 compliance inspections, revoked 12 licenses, taken other action against 6 companies and had formal engagements with another 53 operators. They handled over 67,000 inquiries. This is definitely a very busy group that takes its mission very seriously.

You can see some of the actions they took in recent years in the list below:

  • In 2016, they fined Camelot Group 3 million Pounds for “verifying” a fake National Lottery ticket.
  • In 2018, they fined William Hill 6.2 million Pounds for not taking protective measures against money laundering.
  • In the same year, they fined Leo Vegas 600.000 Pounds for making misleading adverts.
  • 32Red got a fine for 2 million Pounds in 2018 too, for failing to stop a problem gambler from playing and offering self-exclusion tools to prevent this.
  • In 2019, they fined Ladbrokes 5.9 million Pounds for failing to prevent money laundering.

Basically, even the biggest bookmakers – UK based cannot “escape” from the “gaze” of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. New UK betting sites and old ones, as long as a website is in the UK licensed betting sites list, it gets audited by UKGC.

And this is a good thing: Such auditions protect customers and prevent problem gambling, which affects nearly 1% of the population.

Becoming one of the new UK licensed bookmakers: How to get a license?

The application process to become one of the licensed betting companies UK is not difficult: You can complete the whole process online:

Step 1
Start by visiting this link:
Step 2
Create an account and fill out the application form.
Step 3
If your application is accepted, you will receive an email about the situation. After that, the real “application process” begins: You need to deposit at least £2,933 as the application fee. This fee can be as high as £25,777, depending on your annual gross gambling yield. (You can deposit the fee online.)
Step 4
If your application is accepted, you also need to pay an annual fee between £3,408 and £494,856, based on your annual gross gambling yield, once again.
Step 5
Overall, the cost of the United Kingdom Gambling license changes between £6.341 and £520.633 in 2020, based on how big your business is.

Alert

Please note that these costs are for remote general betting only. The details (and all fees) can be found here. The cost of launching an online casino or offering a physical betting service will be very different. However, the type of betting is not important.

After getting a remote license, you can offer UK horse racing betting or esports betting UK, it does not matter. Also, remember that once you join the British licensed bookmakers list, you cannot accept people under 18 as members: Gambling age UK is 18 and above.

Only UK licensed bookmakers can accept UK players

If you want to make legal betting offers UK and accept British players as members, you must have a UKGC license, it is as simple as that. Gambling Act 2005 clearly states two things: One, gambling in the UK is legal.

Two, the person or company that offer gambling services must obtain a license to be legal. So, being on the UK licensed bookmakers list makes your services legal and government-regulated.

Can sites without a UKGC license accept British players? Of course – there are no rules that bind them as they don’t own a license. But even if everything goes well, it will be almost impossible to make withdrawals: Gambling-related payments from abroad are rejected by banks if they do not belong to UK licensed bookmakers.

More importantly, you take a lot of risks by playing on a site that is not on the online licensed bookies list UK: If things don’t go well, there’s nothing you can do. So make sure to pick a site that is on the list of licensed bookies UK for horse racing, football, and even UK political betting.

Other agencies that are important for all UK licensed bookmakers

There are other organizations that concern all UK licensed bookmakers. Some of them are official and some of them are semi-official organizations created by the companies that are on the list of UK licensed bookmakers.

If you’re having trouble choosing one of the new licensed gambling sites UK, check if it’s a member of one of the organizations below. Because being a member of these institutions will guarantee that the quality and fairness of the service provided will not fall below certain standards.

Further Information

  • IBAS (Independent Betting Adjudication Service)

The Independent Betting Adjudication Service is established in 1998 and it acts as a Gambling Dispute Resolution Service between customers and all UK licensed bookmakers. If you have a claim against one of the new licensed football betting sites UK, for example, you can file a complaint and IBAS will resolve the problem. IBAS rulings are binding for registered operators and up to the value of 10.000 GBP.

  • ASA (Advertising Standards Authority)

The Advertising Standards Authority is an independent regulator of advertising. It applies the Advertising Codes and makes sure that all companies in the United Kingdom (names on all UK licensed betting sites list included) complies with ethical standards when it comes to advertising. Therefore, it regulates adverts of the UK betting industry too and prevents advertisement for misleading bonuses, for example.

  • CAP (Committees of Advertising Practice)

The Committees of Advertising Practice writes Advertising Codes used by the Advertising Standards Authority. These rules are used to evaluate, for example, whether the bonus ads of football betting sites UK are misleading.

Responsible gambling at UK licensed bookmakers

When you choose one of the new online licensed betting sites UK, you can also take advantage of responsible gaming practices. Due to license terms, names on the list of UK licensed bookmakers must comply with the responsible gaming rules. In this context, they are obliged to offer self-exclusion practices. So:

  • Players can set restrictions for their budgets. For example, you can set a limit of 10 GBP for arbitrage betting UK.
  • Players can restrict the types of bets they can make. For example, you can set a special restriction for horse racing betting sites UK.
  • Players can restrict betting times. For example, you can limit the time you spend on the CSGO betting sites UK to 2 hours per day.

How to recognize newly licensed UK bookmakers?

Tip

Finding out whether brand new licensed bookmakers UK are really licensed is not that hard: Just check the bottom of the main page of their websites.

If you are seeing the logo of UKGC (it will say ‘GAMBLING COMMISSION’), this means it is one of the UK licensed bookmakers.

Don’t forget to verify the license by clicking on the logo too: Doing so will open the official website of UKGC on a separate browser page.

Biggest bookies vs newly licensed betting sites UK: Which one to pick?

Bigger and older sites cover more sports and offer a technically smoother service. However, their odds are generally below the average and they do not offer new types of services such as betting exchange UK. New licensed sports betting sites UK offer such modern services and complete mobile compatibility too.

If you are looking for the best betting app UK, for example, you can be sure that you will find it on newly licensed UK bookmakers. Their betting odds are also much more competitive and you can find lots of no deposit betting UK offers. However, they cover a limited number of sports and tend to experience technical problems.

You don’t have to choose only one: We recommend opening an account on both types of UK licensed bookmakers. There is no rule that says you can be a member of only one website: On the contrary, you can get the best of both worlds by being a member of both types of sites.

Top UK licensed bookmakers in 2020

Here are the names of licensed bookmakers UK we recommend: You can pick any of them to get the best free bets no deposit UK offers and the most competitive odds. This list will also be quite useful if you are planning to use match betting UK tactics: You can take advantage of their free bet offers to guarantee a profit.

Remember that you can check our reviews to learn more about these UK licensed bookmakers. You can also share your experience with us and other visitors by leaving a comment.

William Hill
williamhill big
William Hill is one of the oldest UK licensed bookmakers. It is established in 1934 and offers casino/online casino services too.

You can also see its betting booths all over England. William Hill is also active in Australia and Nevada.

Unibet
unibet big logo
Unibet belongs to the Kindred Group, which also owns & operates 32Red and Stan James. It has unmatched mobile compatibility and offers two native apps for iOS & Android.

When you join Unibet, you also become a member of a poker network too.

Betfair
betfair logo
Betfair is known as the world’s largest betting exchange. In an exchange, players bet against each other, not against a bookmaker.

They can buy & sell bets for any outcome and get much higher odds. If you are interested in this type of betting, Betfair is your best option.

Sportingbet
sportingbet big
Sportingbet is the leading brand of GVC Holdings, which also owns & operates Bwin, Coral, Betboo, and Party Poker.

Sportingbet also offers online casino games and an online poker network. It operates under the name “NetBet” in South Africa.

GentingBet
gentingbet big logo
We are sure that you have seen Genting Casinos all over England: This is the most common land-based casino chain in the United Kingdom.

Gentingbet is the online extension of this chain and belongs to the famous Genting Group of Malaysia.

Betfred
betfred logo
Established in 1967 by Fred and Peter Done, Betfred is still a private company owned by the original founders.

It has 1.650 betting booths all over the United Kingdom and a TV channel that broadcasts 7/24, called “BetfredTV”.

Novibet
novibet big logo
Novibet will be the best choice for spread betting UK, as it offers lots of advanced betting options.

Launched in 2010, Novibet is a member of IBAS and owns a certificate for fairness by GLI Labs. In general, it offers the best odds for Asian handicap betting.

888Sport
888 big
888Sport is a part of the famous 888 Holdings. It is active since 2008 and covers almost all the leagues in Europe.

888Sport is a member of ESSA and owns a license of the Nevada Gaming Commission too. It is also active in Ireland, under the name “BetBright”.

STSBet
sts big logo
STSBet is based in Poland and active since 2008. If you are interested in football betting, it will be one of the best choices.

This is because its football bet payout is as high as 97%, which is a quite remarkable figure.

Spin Sports
spin sports big logo
Spin Sports belong to Bayton Ltd, a Malta-based operator. Its betting platform is based on SBTech software and you can play online casino games too.

It covers global sports events and offers a 200 USD free bet bonus for new members.

Becoming a member of UK licensed bookmakers: A simple guide

Step 1
Pick one of the new UK licensed bookmakers above.
Step 2
Visit the website of that bookmaker and click on the link/button that says “join” (or “sign up”)
Step 3
Fill out the membership form and make sure to give accurate information. You will be asked to verify it later.
Step 4
Activate your account by clicking the link sent to your email address.
Step 5
Return to the website and log in with your credentials.
Step 6
Make your first deposit and place your first bet. Good luck!

How can a Player Submit a Complaint about UK Regulated Bookmakers?

As in any other jurisdiction, there is an onus on the complainant to try to resolve any dispute directly with the bookmaker. Punters should be sure to read the sportsbooks terms and conditions as well as checking the Commission’s website to see if the particular issue is addressed.

Complainants will also want to be certain that the sportsbook is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. If a satisfactory outcome cannot be reached then customers are urged to contact the Commission.

The customer should be careful to include any and all details concerning the complaint as well as the steps taken to attempt to resolve the conflict. You need to be very clear about why you feel the need to report the operator.

The complaint can be sent by e-mail to info@gamblingcommission.gov.uk or it can be sent by post to Gambling Commission, Victoria Square House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B2 4BP. The Commission will seek your permission to talk to the licensee about if they feel the complaint has merit.

How are Disputes Moderated Here?

If a complaint has to do with illegal activity such as fraud or money laundering, the Intelligence Department of the UK Gambling Commission will be deployed to investigate. The Intelligence Department will liaise with other agencies as well.

In other disputes where a complaint about a sportsbook is made, the Commission will request statements and evidence from the licensee. The evidence is then considered and the Commission will respond to the complainant with a ruling which details the reasons.

If a sportsbook is found to be in breach, the Commission has the authority to penalize the offending bookmaker with fines, license suspension, or revocation. As mentioned above, the Commission has revoked licenses in the past and customers can be sure that their complaints will be investigated and acted upon. The UK Gambling Commission has a good track record of resolving disputes quickly.

Sports betting is perfectly legal in the UK provided the customer is of legal age. In the UK this age is 18. Any customers who use UK sportsbooks from outside the jurisdiction must be of legal age in their country of residency.

There are very rigid measures in place to verify a customer’s age, residency, and payment methods. This is in keeping with the UK’s mission of prohibiting underage betting as well as abiding by anti-money laundering laws.

What are the Requirements of a UK Sports Betting License?

The UK has among the highest standards for sportsbook operators and getting a gambling license is not an easy task. The Commission needs evidence to support the identity and ownership of the company. All key figures in the company are thoroughly investigated to ensure that nobody has a criminal record and that they are people of high integrity.

All past and present finances are scrutinized and a strong financial posture must be established. The company needs to have a sound business plan and be run by experienced and competent people. These qualifications are closely checked. The Commission needs to be satisfied that the prospective internet betting company will comply with all of the rules and regulations that are in place.

There is also thorough testing of all infrastructure to ensure it complies with the regulations. When the Commission is confident that the company has met the criteria they will be issued the license. Of course, every licensee can expect to be audited and inspected on a regular basis to ensure ongoing compliance.

These audits and inspections focus on every aspect of gaming operations from personnel to equipment and finances among other things. These measures result in UK sportsbooks being among the most respected betting sites in the world.

Be sure to check Gamblingjudge.com’s promotions section for the latest bonuses and promotions that are offered by the top sportsbooks in the United Kingdom.

Pros and cons of new UK licensed bookmakers

PROS
  • More bonuses to use
  • Regular free bet bonus offers to gain interest
  • Full compatibility with mobile devices
  • Competitive odds
  • E-sports are covered
CONS
  • Less sports are covered compared to “old” sites
  • Live streams will probably not be available

FAQ about the UK licensed bookmakers

Yes. But they also specify the names of restricted countries in terms and conditions. If your country is listed as prohibited, or if your local laws prohibit gambling, you cannot join UK licensed bookmakers.
If a bookie is in the list of licensed betting sites UK, it is regularly checked for fairness and you don't have to worry. But if you want to be absolutely sure, you should look for the fairness certificates of third parties, like eCOGRA.
Gambling in the United Kingdom is legal. Therefore, it is legal to open betting accounts UK on all UK licensed bookmakers. As long as a bookmaker is licensed by the UKGC, it is completely legal.
Yes, there are no restrictions in this regard. However, as we mentioned above, playing on recommended licensed UK bookmakers provides many advantages. If you play on other sites, you cannot take advantage of these benefits.
Their phone number is 0121 230 6666. You can send them an email via info@gamblingcommission.gov.uk. Or, you can simply visit them at this address: Fourth Floor Victoria Square House Victoria Square Birmingham B2 4BP.
You are asking how to bet online from abroad UK. If you are a UK citizen, you can still join & play at all UK licensed bookmakers even if you live abroad. If you are not a citizen and do not live in Britain, check the terms & conditions: If your country is not listed as “restricted”, you may still join.

Check the list of new UK licensed bookmakers, pick one today!

If you want to place bets in a fair, safe, and supervised environment, you should choose one of the UK licensed bookmakers: The UKGC license gives you all these benefits. For a quick start, you can choose any of the names in the list of UK licensed bookmakers above and start betting today.

Whether you are interested in horse racing or cricket betting UK, at least one of the new UK licensed bookmakers above will be the right choice for you. Good luck out there!

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