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The UK is one of the biggest sports gambling nations in the world. For us Brits, having a flutter at the bookies is a national pastime. It actually contributes to a sizeable chunk of our economy. If you are a gambler here (and most people will have a bet at least once), then you really are in one of the best nations on Earth.

Of course, there are a lot of bookies looking to take a slice of the gambling action in this country. This means hundreds of potential sportsbooks to sign up to. If you don't know what you are doing, then it can be pretty tough to choose where to gamble. You may end up at a rather abysmal website. However, don't worry. We got you covered.

On this page, we are going to introduce you to the top sportsbooks in the UK. This way, you can spend more time gambling and less time faffing about with awful sites.

The Top Sports Betting Options In The UK

top sportsbooks

Before we dive into how we choose the top bookies in the UK, let's cover the most popular sports to bet on. Although, we are sure that you are already aware of these! However, it does give us an opportunity to note that you should only ever bet on sports that you understand. Not only is it more interesting, but you stand a far better chance of actually winning some cash from it, which is nice.

We are only going to be focusing on sports that are popular in the UK. For example, we won't be talking about baseball here. It may be popular in the US, but not here.

Football

When it comes to betting in the UK, it is football that sits at the top of the pile. We are sure that everybody has had a bet on a football match at least once. For some, they may be predicting that England wins the World Cup (and then the disappointment after), and for others, it may be because they want to make a bland football match between Leeds and Charlton Athletic be a little bit more exciting.

Head to any bookmaker in the UK, and football bets will be their huge focus.

Horseracing

Horseracing is a pretty close second to football. This is another sport that pretty much everybody will have bet on at least once, even if it is an informal kitty between family members on the Grand National.

There are race tracks the length and breadth of the country, and online betting has made betting on these events even easier. You can now stream a lot of horse races on top bookmaker websites.

Dog Racing

The bulk of dog race betting happens at the track. For many, it is a good evening out. However, more and more people are now starting to gamble on dog racing online, and this is no surprise. It means that you can watch a couple of dog races without having to spend a fortune on booze.

Cricket

Cricket betting, particularly around the Ashes and Cricket World Cup has become more popular. If you are betting on the cricket around a major event, then expect many of the UK top sportsbooks to start shoving a ton of cricket promos in your direction.

Rugby

Rugby hasn't quite hit the dizzying heights that football has had in the UK. However, it does have its place. The biggest gamblers tend to hit the Rugby during the World Cup, but plenty of league games get some bets too.

Snooker

This is something that has always surprised us. Snooker is long-past its heyday when it managed to reach the heights of having a Jim Davidson-fronted gameshow in the form of Big Break. However,  whenever there are major tournaments on TV, the number of gamblers shoots up. Again, snooker is another national pastime (even if it is based on a French sport).

Tennis

Finally, more British sports for you. We got tennis. Wimbledon always attracts the big gamblers, but we have seen a huge increase in the number of people gambling on other Open events too.

How We Chose The Top Bookies For Sports Betting

When we chose our top sports bookmaker (check it out in the next section), we didn't just pluck a name from a hat. We put a huge amount of thought into it, and we judged each site by fixed criteria. Let's run you through them.

Licensing

The first thing that we look at when we consider any online sportsbook in the UK is whether they have been licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. If the UKGC has not given them a licence, then we wipe them off our list. The UKGC licensing system may not always be perfect, but holding a licence is a seal of approval. Plus, any company that operates in the UK needs to be licensed by the UKGC anyway.

Promotions

We do not encourage you to choose an online betting site based on promotions alone. However, a good promotion is a nice sweetener.

On sportsbooks, we love it when there are enhanced odds promotions, but if a site is more than happy to toss a bit of free bet credit in our direction every so often, then we certainly wouldn't say no.

Due to tough rules set by the UKGC, you won't find sites giving away massive amounts of cash for free (or even labelling it as free), but it should be enough to get you started.

Sports Available

All of the major sports in the UK need to be covered. This includes football and horse racing. However, in our opinion, it is also important for an online bookmaker to offer some of the smaller gambling sports in the UK e.g. swimming, NFL, and baseball.

You will want to have a ton of markets open for each sport, and live betting is always going to be a plus.

Betting Odds

Betting odds will be the determiner of how much you win when you gamble at an online betting site. This means that those odds need to be tremendous.

Betting odds work in a unique way. This means that it is impossible for a site to have the best betting odds across the board. This is why many people will get signed up for multiple sites when they are serious about their gambling. However, if the bookie gets them right most of the time, then that is alright in our books.

Mobile Support

A while back, nobody would have thought of whipping out their phone and gambling. Although let's be honest, most people probably never imagined they would be doing it from their computer a couple of decades ago.

A site needs to be playable on mobile devices. This is how the vast majority of people gamble nowadays. A betting app is always great, but we are not opposed to a site that has a good mobile website too.

Customer Support

The customer support team should be responsive. They should have multiple ways to get in touch with them. If they are available 24/7, especially via live chat, then this is going to be even better.

Banking Options

The UKGC has severely limited the ways that you can deposit into your account at online bookmakers. However, there are still countless ways to get cash in and out of your account. You need to choose a sportsbook that offers multiple deposit and withdrawal options.

Top Sport Bookmaker: Bet365

In our opinion, the best sports bookmaker in the UK is Bet365. Sure, it is one of the larger sites (which aren't always brilliant), but it does have a lot going for it. Let's go through some of the highlights. Since this is a larger sportsbook, you know that they are already licensed in the UK.

Great Promotions

Bet365 is known for throwing out amazing promotions. Not just for new gambers (who can get their hands on free bet credit), but regular gamblers. One of our favourite things in life is waking up, knowing that there is a good chance that Bet365 may have sent us a new promotion. This promotion can vary. Sometimes, you may be able to enjoy a good reload bonus, and other cases you may get some tremendous betting odds.

Great Odds

Bet365 seems to operate on wafer-thin profit margins, because their betting odds are some of the most competitive out of all of the major bookies in the UK. in fact, they beat most of the smaller sites too. While their great betting odds cover the most popular sports on the site, they also extent to smaller events too. Ones that most bookies don't even think about offering great odds on.

A Large Number of Sports

This is the part where Bet365 really shines. They have all the popular sports (the ones that we covered earlier), but they also have a few events that don't often get a lot of gambling lookers (outside of niche gamblers) including darts, handball, and even bandy (a Swedish sport).

Most of their games are available for live gambling too, and when they aren't, you still have a ton of side bets that you can place before the game starts.

Great Site User Interface

One issue we have with many bookies is that the user interface on their site is way too cluttered. It makes it difficult to find what you want to bet on. Not an issue with Bet365. Their UI is sleek. No ads are being shoved in your face. Just raw information, neatly split into categories, so you can always find the bets that you want to make on their site.

Great Mobile Support

There is a Bet365 app (which is great), but if you don't fancy downloading that onto your mobile device, that is 100% cool. The site also offers a great mobile site. Just load it up into your mobile browser and you have full site functionality.

How to Sign Up to the Top Bookies for Sports Betting

Signing up is easy. However, do bear in mind that you will need to be living in the UK if you want to sign up for a sportsbook.

You also need to be over the age of 18, and you must be able to prove your identity (normally the site can tell based on the type of debit card you use).

Make sure that you use the link on this page to get registered. This way, you can take advantage of all of the best promotions and UK betting promo codes.

Sign-up should take a couple of minutes. Depositing cash into your account should take a few minutes more. After that, you are free to gamble to your heart's content.

Summary

If you want to have the easiest time gambling, then it is important that you look for the UK's top sportsbooks. These are the ones that have demonstrated that they offer a fantastic gambling experience to their customers. We recommend that you get started with Bet365. It is our favourite bookie, and will probably become yours too.