The UK is the home of great betting sites. We have a rich history of sports betting in this country and while the laws have tightened in recent years, it’s still one of the best countries for sports bettors.
In celebration of that, this page is devoted to the UK’s best betting sites, as well as all the information you need to play them.
What Makes a Good Betting Site?
We’ve played dozens of UK betting sites and have a fairly good idea of what makes a good site. Assuming the site is regulated and legitimate (which should be a given), these are the things you need to look out for:
Bonuses and Promotions
Loyalty bonuses are just as important. These bonuses reward you with free bets when you stay loyal to the site. It’s a good incentive to keep depositing and playing, although the loyalty offers are never as big as the initial welcome bonus.
Although promotions are important, it’s equally important not to get side-tracked by them. Make sure you consider these other variables when looking for a new betting site.
Markets and Bets
Does the sportsbook cover the sports you watch and the markets you enjoy betting on? There are many aspects of sports betting sites that are universal, as well as some that don’t change much from site to site (such as the odds and banking options). But the markets can be very different.
Take football as an example. Some sites let you bet on the Over and Under for Corners, Throw-Ins, and Bookings, others are limited to Goals.
In-play betting should come as standard on all good sports betting sites. The same is true for the cash-out feature. However, there are a few features that only appear on the very best sportsbooks:
- Build-a-Bet: Also known as “Bet Builder”, this feature lets you build an accumulator using multiple bets from the same game. For instance, you can bet that there will be a Home Win, Over 2.5 Goals, and Over 11.5 Corners.
- Request-a-Bet: In the old days, you could walk into a betting shop, ask for a specific bet, wait for them to set the odds, and then hand over your cash. These days, you can request specific bets through Twitter or email.
- Live Streaming: There’s always a live game taking place somewhere in the world, and the best sportsbooks will let you stream them. You’re often limited to watching these through small windows, but if you zoom in on a desktop/laptop and then cast your browser window, you can watch them on your TV.
Sportsbooks are always competing with one another, so the odds rarely change on popular betting markets. There are exceptions though, and they usually apply to outright betting markets and rank outsiders.
With outright markets, the odds can vary greatly across multiple sportsbooks. The further away from the favourite that you get, the bigger the variations are.
When it comes to the rank outsiders, anything goes. A bet listed as 67.00 on one site could be 101.00 on another. It’s almost like the sportsbook has decided it’s not going to happen, so it doesn’t really matter.
Payment Options and Withdrawal Speed
All legitimate sports betting sites have secure payment networks and they rarely charge fees these days. However, the variety of banking options can vary greatly, as can the speed at which withdrawals are processed.
You don’t want to be waiting around for several days to get your funds, and you definitely don’t want to be forced to use a payment method you don’t like and aren’t comfortable with.
You don’t realise how important customer support is until you need it.
It’s rare that you’ll need to actually contact the sportsbook, but if you do, and the support is bad, you’ll be in for a frustrating time.
You want a betting site that offers a multitude of options, including live chat and phone support, as well as one that responds quickly.
We also recommend sticking with sites that respond to bad reviews on user review sites, as well as those with an official complaints process. If you have an issue that the customer support team is ignoring, those reviews and complaints give you an outlet and ensure you’ll get a helpful response.
What Promotions and Bonuses Do Betting Sites Offer?
Betting sites offer promotions for both new players and active members, including:
- Matched Deposits: Make a deposit and the site will match it to a specific percentage. You must meet a minimum qualifying amount and will also be asked to clear a wagering requirement.
- Free Bets: A token of a fixed size that can be used to place a bet. These bets must be placed on odds above a specific amount (usually 1.50), and the stake won’t be returned as part of a winning bet.
- Accumulator Refunds: If one leg loses on an accumulator, your stake will be returned. These bets require you to include at least 3 or 4 legs to qualify.
- Bet Boosts: Increased odds are offered on specific wagers, such as offering you 5.50 instead of 4.50 on a popular Over/Under market. Bet Boosts are also added to pre-selected accumulator bets.
- Loyalty Schemes: Earn points when you place bets and swap these points for free bet tokens and other rewards. These schemes are more common on online casinos and poker sites, but you can still find them on betting sites.
Where Can I Find the Best Betting Sites?
We have linked the UK’s best betting sites right here in this guide. Click the links to visit the sites and check the latest bonuses or head over to our reviews. We have compiled detailed reviews on all of the best UK sportsbooks, covering all of the features mentioned above and more.
FAQs about Online Betting Sites
Not only is sports betting legal in the UK, but we have one of the best sports betting industries in the world. The rules on online gambling aren’t as relaxed here as they used to be, but the recent restrictions haven’t hit sports betting as hard as online casino gaming.
For a sportsbook to legally offer services to players in the United Kingdom, it must have a license from the Gambling Commission of Great Britain. Just scroll to the website’s footer, look for the Gambling Commission logo, and then click it to make sure it’s genuine.
Of course, you can also just stick with the sites that we have reviewed, as we only cover genuine and licensed betting sites.
All sportsbooks are supported on mobile, and you have a couple of different options when it comes to placing bets.
The first is to download the sportsbook app. It usually provides the best experience, and as long as you’re using a major betting site, you should be able to find an app on both iOS and Android.
The second is to simply visit the site using your mobile browser. It will connect you to an optimised and dynamic mobile interface, which means it has been adapted to suit your screen size and device type.
Yes, in-play betting is available on all of the best betting sites these days. The way it is implemented can vary, though.
The best sites offer in-play markets on all televised games and give you a wide choice of betting options. More importantly, they let you cash out at any time and on any bet. On other sites, cash outs are only available on specific bets and at specific times, and the in-play options are very limited.
The Bet Builder feature lets you create an accumulator with bets from the same game. Also known as Build a Bet and Make a Bet, this feature is available at most top sportsbooks and is a great way to stack up some big wagers.
Some sites will even let you place Bet Builder wagers in play, although you’ll have to be quick as the betting will be suspended at key moments.
It seems that every time a young English player earns his first cap, there’s a story in the papers about how his father or grandfather won £10,000+ after betting on him to play for England one day.
These bets were made by walking into the bookmakers and then making a request. The bookies would run it by their oddsmakers, give you the odds, and then hand over the bet slip.
These days, that entire process happens online through social media sites, email, or live chat. You can request any outcome related to any game or competition. The outcome will then appear on the betting site for you and other players to place a bet.