UK Betting Sites Top 10 list.
In the past betting in the UK was limited to horse racing. UK betting sites didn't exist, rather on course bookmakers served the betting public. People gathered at the race tracks, chose the horse they wanted to wager on and then watched the race. As all punters know, watching a race once you’ve wagered a few quid on it is a lot more interesting, opposed to watching it without a bet.
- 1 Popularity of Sports Betting in the UK
- 2 Online Betting in the UK
- 3 The Advantages of Online Betting
- 4 Licencing and the UK Gambling Commission
- 5 Safety
- 6 Betting Offer
- 7 Odds
- 8 Mobile and Live Betting
- 9 Banking
- 10 Promotions and Customer Support
- 11 Most Popular UK Betting Sites
- 12 Bet365
- 13 Ladbrokes
- 14 William Hill
- 15 Betfred
- 16 BetVictor
- 17 Coral
- 18 Betfair Sportsbook
- 19 Sky Bet
Betting and betting culture in the UK has changed irreversibly over the years. However the feeling of excitement is something all punters still feel. This is especially true when there’s a lot of money in the game. After WWII, in 1960 the UK legalised off-course betting. Bookmakers expanded their operations and the first betting shops were opened.
Soon, there was no high street in the UK without a betting shop. Competing operators often opened shops next to each other. Betting shops usually displayed boards and posters with the odds of the matches and events for the upcoming day. Especially if they offered better odds than their competitors.
Popularity of Sports Betting in the UK
Betting was becoming even more popular in the UK. The trend quickly spread throughout Europe and the rest of the world. At one point there were over 16,000 betting shops throughout the country. Every small town, even villages had their own betting shops and now there are about 9,000. There was one street in the East London borough of Newham where a total of 18 betting shops were located.
Since 1986 betting shops are allowed to show live broadcasts of sporting events. Many punters saw betting shops as important socialisation centres where they could meet and hang out with fellow punters.
The popularisation of off-course betting also brought another change. Namely, horse racing was no longer the dominant form of betting. With the live coverage of football matches, punters slowly shifted towards the most popular sport in the world. That doesn’t mean, though, that they’ve stopped betting on horse racing. Even today, about £150 million is wagered on the Cheltenham Festival alone. Betting on other important races like the Derby and 2000 Guineas also brings in high revenues for the operators.
Online Betting in the UK
As the years went by, some of the operators that were established in the days when betting was only available on-course managed to build strong reputations as the leading betting operators in the UK. In some cases two or more UK betting sites merged to form a larger entity. At one point UK operators started conquering the Irish market. This was however a two-way street, many Irish operators also started expanding in the UK.
In the late nineties, when the internet was already present in a number of homes, a new trend emerged – online UK betting sites. From that point onwards everything changed. Just as allowing betting off-course was a concession from an earlier era, betting from home was another step towards more convenient and user-friendly betting.
Soon after, legislation was also altered to match the market changes. Most of the leading bookmakers established online branches and division. There were also several ‘new players in town’ – newly established bookmakers that focused primarily or even entirely on online betting.
The establishment of online UK betting sites seems to be easier than establishing a chain of betting shops. Operators don’t have to pay rent, look for available and suitable locations, hire and train that many staff members, etc.
The growing interest amongst punters. The increased revenues and the technological opportunities enabled the establishment of dozens of online UK betting sites. Furthermore, international operators were also allowed to compete and gain the trust of UK punters. International bookmakers were accepted as long as they obey the rules and work in accordance with the laws.
The Advantages of Online Betting
Punters nowadays can bet easily from their living rooms. Mobile betting allows them to do betting from anywhere, as long as they have a smartphone or a tablet and a stable internet connection. The most challenging thing for a punter these days seems to be finding the right betting site. That and placing a winning bet, of course.
There are dozens of websites, and many of them are reliable and offer fair betting odds. However often a punter has to spend a lot of time before he or she can be certain that a website is reliable. Keep reading this comprehensive guide on UK betting sports if you want to know not only how to recognise whether a website is trustworthy, but also which are the best UK betting sites.
Licencing and the UK Gambling Commission
Of course, if we just name the websites that you can trust, you might think that our selection is random or arbitrary. There are certain qualities and traits that can serve as indicators whether a betting site is good enough.
Firstly, according to the laws and regulations in the UK, every betting site that wants to offer betting services to UK citizens and residents has to be registered with the UK Gambling Commission. The regulatory body provides licences to online and offline betting and gaming operators. It doesn’t matter whether the operator is based elsewhere. The fact that the bookmaker has obtained a licence from one or multiple EU countries makes no difference. It would still have to register with the Commission.
Discovering whether a betting site is licenced by the gambling commission is pretty easy. This is because all websites that are licenced state this somewhere on their website. They usually display the Commission’s logo with a link to the Commission’s website on their main page. When a website is licenced by the Commission, that means that there are no legal obstacles for you to open an account and start wagering. Moreover, it also means that your rights as a customer will be protected. If there are any misunderstandings or disputes between yourself and the site you can always address your concerns to the Gambling Commission.
In addition to being protected by the Commission, reliable websites provide an adequate degree of protection regarding your personal and financial data. Every customer who opens an online betting website has to provide a range of personal information. These include your name, address, post code, phone number and identification documents. Financial details like bank account number and/or credit card number are also required in order to fund an account and be able to bet online.
The best UK betting sites employ protection mechanism that ensure that your transactions and money will be safe. This ensures that no third parties will have access to your personal information.
Most punters like to bet on football and horse racing, and most of the bets are wagered on English Premier League matches, the World Cup, as well as the most popular horse races in the UK and Ireland. However, some people have different interests and preferences, and that’s why most UK betting sites include a lot of other sports and events in their betting offer.
The number of offered sports may vary, but you can expect to be able to bet on US sports like basketball and baseball, as well as handball, cycling and other minor sports. Moreover, at most sites you will also be able to bet on events that aren’t related to sports, such as elections and TV shows. For instance, you can bet on who will be the next winner of the Eurovision, who will win the Voice or some other popular TV show, or which party will win the upcoming General Elections or a by-election.
The number of events that are covered for betting isn’t the only thing that matters. The number of betting markets and selections that are offered per event is also important. Some punters may stick to the standard betting options like ‘to win’ or ‘over/under’, but others fancy more exotic options and they will definitely opt for an operator that offers a wider scope of betting markets.
The odds that are offered a perhaps even more important than the number of leagues, events and markets that are covered. If you want to place a wager on a specific selection and one punter offers that bet at odds 1.80 (4/5), whereas at another site you’d be able to place the same wager at odds 1.90 (9/10), it is obvious that you should place the bet at the latter site.
Mobile and Live Betting
UK betting sites are mobile friendly and in addition to an optimised website, many operators have developed special mobile betting apps that can be downloaded for free. In addition, live betting on matches that are already underway is also offered and you may even watch events for free, as long as you have a positive real money balance.
Speaking of payments and funding your account, most operators allow punters to fund their betting accounts using a number of payment methods. Some punters already have preferred payment methods which they use when they’re shopping for goods and services online and they prefer a betting site that supports their method of choice.
Things like payment speed, for both deposits and withdrawals, minimum and maximum limits, as well as whether the operator charges fees or commissions should always be considered when choosing an operator, i.e. when choosing a preferred payment method. In most cases, UK betting sites won’t charge any extra fees on payments and all payments will be processed relatively quickly.
Promotions and Customer Support
The UK online betting market is quite competitive. Each betting site is constantly looking for ways to prove that it is better than its competition and one of the most effective ways to attract new punters is to offer them a financial incentive that often comes it the form of bonuses and promotions.
UK betting sites, especially the ones that you’ll find below often offer a range of bonuses and promotions. Some bonuses aimed exclusively at UK punters, others also available to other customers. The bonuses that are offered include, but are not limited to a match up bonus on the first deposited amount. A free bet bonus after a qualifying bet has been placed. A cash-back bonus paid out after a loss. A accumulator win bonus. A refer-a-friend bonus and special bonus exclusively for mobile users.
Customer support is always important and an operator that has good communication with its customers, answers to their queries promptly and accordingly has better reputations than competing sites that are not as expedient in terms of customer support. It is better if sites offer customer support via multiple channels of communication instead of just one.