UK Betting Sites - Best Online Bookmakers In The UK 2017

UK Betting Sites

The United Kingdom has long been home to some of the largest bookmakers in the world. A fixture on every street corner in all parts of the UK for decades, betting is embedded within the culture of the United Kingdom. When the internet began growing (and eventually taking over) as the centre for commerce, it wasn’t long before UK bookmakers took their operations online to take advantage of the growing markets. British based bookmakers have been at the forefront of online gambling and have developed innovative and enticing ways to attract new customers to their sportsbooks. There are many questions that potential customers may have about UK betting websites, how to pick them, potential things to look out for etc. and we aim to answer the questions here.

Best Online Bookmakers for the UK

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21Bet Sport
£10 free bet

How To Pick A UK Betting Site

Before you deposit into a UK bookmaker, you will need to make sure they have the type of action or events you want. All online bookies in the UK carry all the sports that most bettors are normally interested in. Some of the most widely bet on sports in the UK are Football, and Rugby, while wagering on cricket is also extremely popular. Even obscure sports will probably be covered by UK online odds makers such as Handball, Badminton, or Futsal. Entertainment betting is also quite popular and odds on television shows such as The X-factor, Big Brother, or political events are also regularly offered. It will only take a few seconds to check your prospective online bookmaker, to see if the event you want to wager is available.

There are several facets that make up a good bookmaker. Before opening an account with a UK sportsbook, bettors should consider the following factors:

  • Reputation/Legitimacy
  • Security
  • Odds
  • Deposit Methods
  • Customer Services
  • Promotions
  • Sports on offer

It goes without saying, but reputation/legitimacy and security are of paramount importance. There is no point depositing money and winning with an online sportsbook, if that firm then folds or doesn’t pay out. Most casual bettors are then concerned with the number of sports on offer and the depth of markets, as they want to ensure that they can bet on exactly the match and outcome that they desire. Individuals who are a little more shrewd will place increased emphasis on the competitiveness of the odds, and rightly so. Why go with one bookmaker who is offering odds of +800 , when another UK firm is giving odds of +900  for the same outcome. Over time, that discrepancy adds up to a significant difference.

Promotions have been one of the primary methods that UK bookmakers have used to attract new customers in recent years, particularly through the use of online ad banners and TV content. Bettors are attracted by the potential for decent sums of ‘free money’, with concessions such as ‘deposit £50, get £100’ etc. The terms and conditions associated with these offers are something that customers should scrutinise carefully and are often more important than the actual bonus offered (there are usually turnover requirements of the initial deposit + bonus amount).

Other considerations when choosing a UK bookmaker are the deposit methods available and customer services. These are lower down the list of priorities, but some bettors like to use deposit methods such as e-wallets for speed of withdrawal etc. Also, bad customer service can leave a sour taste in bettors’ mouths – it is advisable to choose a bookmaker who has round the clock assistance and ideally has a telephone number so direct contact can be made if necessary.

Bookmaker Deposit Options In The UK

Players looking to deposit into UK online bookmakers will have no problems. They offer nearly every available method to deposit including Neteller, Click2pay, Moneybookers, and most UK credit cards such as Solo, Maestro, and Switch. There are also new methods such as Paysafecard, where customers can load up a card with cash and can deposit online without having to have a conventional debit or credit card. As mentioned previously, UK bookmakers are some of the most trusted in the world so customers should never have any issues depositing or withdrawing.

Deposit bonuses and free plays are also a factor for some when depositing, UK online sportsbooks seem to be very generous with deposit bonuses, reloads, and free plays. Many books will offer deposit bonuses including some as high as £1000, and in addition to lucrative reload bonuses. Reload bonuses allow customers to occasionally have the opportunity to gain more bonus money, even after their initial deposits. Free plays may come with part of a deposit bonus, but in some cases bookmakers will offer a free plays with no deposit. The free plays seem to range from £10 to £50, and can really help a small or beginning player. Capitalising on deposit bonuses and free plays can help jump start your bankroll, be sure to take advantage of these. If you want to try your hand at other forms of gambling, many online sportsbooks in the UK also offer poker, lotteries, bingo, and other casino games as well.

Legality of Online Bookies In The UK

Gambling has hundreds of years of history in the UK and unlike many other countries which ban and restrict gambling, the UK government from the beginning has decided that regulation and licensing creates the best possible betting environment. It allows adults the freedom of choice to gamble, while protecting young people and problem gamblers.

Gambling was formerly legalized in 1960s, which allowed local bingos to be established and soon commercialized licensed casinos and bookmakers. Though the UK seemed to have well established effective gaming laws, the government needed to update their laws with the increase of Britons interested in online gambling. In 2005, The Gambling Act was enacted and with it came the newly established UK Gambling Commission. The act classified online gambling, including sports betting as “remote gaming” and the gambling commission taxed and regulated the market.

UK online bookmakers operate under some of the strictest gaming licenses in the world so they are extremely well trusted as far as online sportsbooks are concerned. Bookmakers need separate licenses to offer sports betting online, even if they have established land based casinos and bookmakers. In addition, even the betting software and interfaces will need licenses as this is done to protect from fraud and cheating.

In December 2014, new legislation came into play which proposed that all gambling operators wishing to advertise and accept wagers from UK residents should have to apply for a license directly from the UK Gambling Commission. This meant that some foreign based firms stopped accepting sign-ups from the UK.

Mobile Betting in the UK

Technology has changed at an exponential rate in the last twenty years, and with the advancement in mobile phones and handheld devices, almost all business and other activities can be performed whilst on the move. Betting is not exempt from this shift – individuals now want to be able to be down at the pub and have the ability to place a bet on the live football match they are watching on TV. In the last several years, UK bookmakers have significantly improved their offerings to customers who want to bet from their mobile phones. Virtually all UK bookmakers now have mobile optimized websites (sites that fit the screen and are automatically loaded when visited from a handheld device) and some of the bigger operators have downloadable apps for iOS and Android that are even quicker and easier to navigate around. These sites don’t necessarily require a WIFI connection, in fact most are still responsive on 3G/4G.

Major Sports In The UK

Some of the UK based bookmakers are market leaders around the world, and provide a wide range of sports to their clients. As with most of bettors around the world, football is the most popular betting sport within the UK and the beautiful game is present with all online bookmakers in the UK. After football, horse racing would have to be considered one of the most popular and bet on sports. The Sport of Kings is interwoven within the fabric of the UK, with events such as the Cheltenham Festival, Grand National and Royal Ascot drawing interest from seasoned bettors and casuals alike. The larger UK bookmakers price up the daily horse racing action and all of the ante-post contests. Horse racing odds change regularly and as such, bookmakers require enough staff and resources to handle the markets.

Other popular sports within the UK, include Rugby, Tennis and Cricket. Many UK bettors like to wager on US sports such as Basketball, American Football and Baseball, while up-an-coming e-sports are gaining fans at a growing rate. The majority of UK bookmakers will also provide odds for novelty markets such as Politics, TV Specials (Big Brother etc.) and on average, the firms will have a total of 20-30 different sports for clients to choose from.

Sports Betting in the UK FAQ

What are the minimum/maximum bet limits in the UK?

The minimum bets with most UK bookmakers is around 10 pence. It does vary, and most firms have very low limits. The maximum bet limits vary by bookmakers and are influenced by a number of factors. Naturally some firms with more resources will have bigger limits, but the maximum bet can also depend on the sport (limits for football will be a lot higher than for polo for example) and by the individual. Bets over a certain amount will be referred to the trading team at the bookmaker and depending on whether the customer is profitable or not, it may or may not be accepted.

How long do bets take to get settled with UK bookmakers?

Again, this varies by sportsbook, but the settling time has been improved upon significantly in recent years. Typically, most betting firms (particularly those offering horse racing), will credit winnings to the account of the customer within 1-10 minutes of an event finishing. It is in their interests to get it back to the client so they can maximize their turnover.

How Are UK Bookmakers Regulated?

UK bookmakers are licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, which is one of the most legitimate operations around. The firms are held to a high standard by the UK Gambling Commission and they must show that they are fit and proper to hold a license. In addition, many firms also sign up with IBAS, which is an independent, third party panel who settle disputes between bettors and bookmakers. The sportsbooks agree to follow the ruling of IBAS in the event of any dispute.

Where Are UK Bookmakers Allowed To Advertise?

UK bookmakers are able to advertise pretty much anywhere within the British Isles. In the early 2000’s, advertising on TV was banned, but it was soon overturned and has become one of the main strategies that firms use to attract new and existing clientele to have a bet. When there are live sports on TV, bookmakers will use clever advertising to give up to date odds on the match, and will give odds on the next goal, set won etc.

Do UK Citizens Pay Tax on Online Sportsbook Winnings?

As with other forms of gambling in the UK, including poker and bingo, the UK does not tax online sports winnings. A UK gambler will pay zero tax on any online sports betting winnings. The only tax that may be applicable in regards to gaming winnings is if you are gaining interest from your profits. In this case, the interest accrued will be taxable under UK law, but in most cases will be quite small.

UK online bookmakers continue to lead the world at doing what they do best, providing excellent service to gamblers across the world who want to bet on sports. The gaming industry in the UK employs 90,000 people and generates upwards of £650 million in taxes, with large portions of that coming through online sports betting. As online gaming continues to rise each year across UK and the world, more and more bettors are realizing the rewards of betting online, a trend that should continue for years to come.

Why Use Sports Betting Online UK Bookmaker Reviews?

Here at Sports Betting Online, we review the good, the bad and the ugly. Honest reviews of all of the bookmakers operating in the UK. What is it we look for in these bookmakers?

  • A strong reputation with good customer experiences
  • Competitive odds that are enticing to bettors
  • A wide variety of markets for bettors to choose from
  • An easily to navigate website with a professional design
  • A wide number of payment options for bettors

All bookmakers are thoroughly vetted by SBO, and we scrutinise the every aspect of each firm to ensure that you, the customers, are more informed when you sign up for surgery.

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