Best UK Betting Sites List for 2021
Sports betting is a popular hobby enjoyed by many, and there are a variety of sports, leagues and teams that people can bet on. The UK has one of the most active betting markets in Europe, so it’s no surprise that there are hundreds of websites, all vying for your attention and money. For those looking to place a bet on your favourite team or latest sporting event, it can be difficult to find a site that offers good odds and is also trustworthy. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled this list of the best UK betting sites to help make this process much easier.
An Overview of Online Betting in the UK
The UK’s gambling industry is worth over £14bn per year. The majority of this money is generated through sports betting. This itself has seen an explosion over the last few years, with the rise of online gambling sites in the UK market. Online betting has, in turn, opened the door for sports fans to wager on a range of sports and events, including the likes of football, rugby, horse racing and even politics.
The UK Gambling Commission licenses and regulates online gambling operators in the UK. The Commission was established by the UK parliament in 2005 to regulate betting and gaming. It was created to maintain standards in the gambling industry while protecting customers. Working with the gambling industry to help raise standards and ensure that online bettors can enjoy a safer and fairer experience.
What Are Online Betting Sites?
Online betting sites exist to provide a legal and regulated space for betting. These websites allow you to place bets on any sport, including major events like the World Cup as well as daily sports fixtures. Online bookmakers also offer up-to-date information about odds and current events in the world of sports gambling. Online bookies are quick and easy to use, the registration process takes just a couple of minutes to complete, and you can be ready to place your bets. It is quick and easy to deposit money into your account too. The best betting sites also offer great odds on all sports events.
Why Use an Online Sports Betting Site?
Online betting has revolutionised sports gambling in the UK and has been responsible for huge growth in the industry. Betting online is now as popular as traditional high-street bookies, where you would normally place your bets in person.
Online bookmakers offer a much better value proposition by cutting out the middleman and offering free bets as well as bonuses on deposits for new customers. It’s also much more convenient than traipsing out in the rain to place a bet when you can do it all from your laptop or mobile device. This is one reason why internet betting continues to grow year on year.
At an online bookmaker, you can access sports markets that would otherwise not be available due to geographical restrictions. Online bookies offer a wide range of options where you can wager on everything from Premier League Football to the next MMA fight event.
Online betting is also becoming very popular with the recent rise in eSports, particularly with games like League of Legends and Counter-Strike.
Online Bookies offer much more than just sports betting online. Alongside bets like ‘best odds guaranteed’ (where the bettor is offered the best available price at any given time), online bookies also offer in-play betting. This means that bets can be placed while an event is in play, rather than just before it begins. There is also a wide range of markets on offer, including half time and full-time odds, the total number of corners and Asian handicaps, to name but a few.
In brief, these are some of the primary benefits of using the best UK betting sites:
- Online betting allows you to enjoy your favourite sports from the comfort of your own home. It’s much more convenient than having to take time out from your day to visit a local high street bookie to place a bet and worry about parking or traffic.
- Online bookmakers are available 24/7, which means you can gamble at any time of the day, whether you are at home or out and about. You can place bets on events happening in real-time, as well as pre-event markets that would not be available to bettors if they had to place their wagers in person.
- Online bookmakers offer special bonuses and free bets, which you won’t find at traditional high street bookies.
- Online gambling is legal and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. Online bookmakers are required to hold a valid licence, while the commission ensures that players are treated fairly, and that bets can be placed in a secure environment.
- Compared with regular bookmakers, online bookies offer better odds on all major events due to lower overheads.
- Online gambling sites use cutting edge technology to enhance your experience – including mobile betting apps allowing you to place wagers on the go. You’ll never miss out on a game again with internet betting – even if you’re not at home.
How We Choose the Best Online Betting Sites
UK online bookmarks have to be the best of the best. They need to provide their users with a safe and secure site, value for money, great bonuses, competitive odds on markets and an intuitive user interface. We’ve searched high and low to ensure only proven established sites with great track records are added to our betting sites list. We’ve done all the research and testing, so you don’t have to!
Here are some factors that we take into consideration when looking at what sites to recommend.
Safety and Security
We will discuss the importance of safety and security in more detail later in this guide, but it is the highest priority on our list. When we look at a betting site, if they aren’t licensed and regulated by a reputable independent betting monitoring authority, they are immediately ruled out. In addition, there are some industry standards that websites have to meet or risk being blacklisted, and we ensure sites we recommend conform. The good news is that plenty of UK bookmakers do meet these standards, and we will only recommend those.
We also don’t want you to be limited by geographical restrictions. Hence, we make sure all top UK betting sites accept players from the United Kingdom and Ireland and provide users with a safe and secure environment.
The user interface, navigation and how it performs are all crucial issues when it comes to how you interact with a betting site. This can be the difference between whether you keep coming back or not.
The way a betting site looks and feels should make you feel comfortable. This means it not only has to look appealing but also offer everything you need in easy-to-follow menus and does not overcrowd the screen with too much information.
There are some other factors you need to consider as well, though, such as whether the website is easily accessible on your device of choice. You also need to consider whether your preferred betting site has a mobile app that you can use on the go.
Fast loading speeds are key, as you don’t want to be waiting for pages to load and slow down your betting experience. Not every sports betting site offers live streaming but those that do require fast servers in order to provide a smooth and uninterrupted service.
Another crucial factor is how easy it is for you to find the live betting odds that you’re looking for. This should be clear on the site and represented in an easy format. You also need to consider the ease of navigation and whether there are betting markets for any live events you want to watch. Having slow loading times, bulky pages and a clunky feel to the design of a betting site will discourage even the keenest of bettors.
Bonuses, Promotions and Offers
All betting sites will offer a welcome offer to entice new customers to sign up for an account with them. The deposit bonus usually consists of a match bonus on your initial deposit, free bets, or a combination of both. Make sure you read all the Terms and Conditions before signing up for an account with any betting site, as many welcome offers will not be available if you do not meet their requirements.
Some welcome bonuses also require that you sign up using a particular link, so always double-check you are going through a recognised link.
The welcome offer is typically a one-off promotion, but you can expect other bonuses such as free bets and special promotions to pop up from time to time too.
Debit cards – This is the most popular method of depositing money into an online gambling account. Almost all sites that accept UK players offer their customers the option to pay with debit cards. If a betting site accepts debit cards from well-known providers such as Visa and Mastercard, it also legitimises the site as the debit card provider will only allow work with reputable sites. Therefore, you can be confident that the place where you are putting your money is safe and secure.
eWallet – This is a very popular method of payment with UK punters due to how quick and easy it is. PayPal is considered to be the most popular eWallet, but there are many other options available such as Skrill and Neteller.
Bank Transfer – if you opt for a bank transfer as your payment method, then it is usually going to take a few days before your money arrives in your betting account. It’s a secure payment method but not as fast as the other options mentioned.
Prepaid Cards – These cards are preloaded with cash and can be used just like any other card. They are especially useful for people who want to avoid bank transfers or other payment methods that could lead to identity theft. They are also very widely accepted at a variety of betting sites. Paysafecard is one such prepaid card found at many betting sites.
Mobile payment methods – With the majority of people using their smartphone or another mobile device rather than laptops or a desktop computer, if you wish to deposit from your iPhone or smartphone, there are different options. These mobile payment methods include Pay By Phone, Apple Pay and Boku.
There are many more payment methods available for people who want to deposit money into their betting accounts, and we have highlighted just a few above.
It should be noted that due to issues associated with problem gamblers, the UK Gambling Commission banned the use of credit cards as a method of payment at UK licensed sites from April 2020. However, as we have already mentioned, there are plenty of other payment methods available for you to choose from.
When you sign up to a betting site, a minimum deposit will be required; typically, this will be around £10.
Competitive odds should always be a priority when it comes to placing bets. The last thing you want is for your bookmaker to offer you poor prices and low returns on the markets you are looking to place bets on.
On a similar note, if an online bookmaker is not openly displaying their odds, then steer clear of them. The transparency of the UK betting sites we review is always one of the first things to go under the microscope. This ensures that no matter what market you are looking to place a bet on, you can be confident that their odds will always be done fairly and accurately.
Variety of Betting Markets and Sports on Offer
We recommend looking at the number of different types of markets and sports that a bookmaker offers to determine if they will be the right fit for you. As we are focused on the UK market, it is important that they offer bets on British sports. There are some great football, tennis, cricket, horse racing and rugby bookmakers out there but if your favourite sport isn’t available, look elsewhere. If they don’t offer bets for your favourite team or player, then again, you should probably consider other options as this will be very limiting in terms of wagering opportunities.
All the sites we recommend offer a good range of popular sports. However, it is also important that they provide excellent coverage in lesser popular sports such as rugby league, badminton, and darts.
Last but not least is the range of bets offered as this adds variety and excitement, especially if you are a frequent punter. The best UK betting sites will offer an extensive selection of bets, so there is something for everyone and plenty of opportunities to place wagers throughout the event.
Different types of markets for you to choose from should include head-to-head, handicaps, first and last goalscorer, next scorer, totals, correct score, half-time and full-time score and plenty more. It’s not unusual for bookmakers to offer hundreds of different types of bets in these categories, so rest assured there is something for everyone when you sign up with any one of our top picks.
Some bookmakers have their own unique markets that they offer that others do not, which is a good reason to sign-up to multiple betting platforms. This ensures you don’t miss out on any wagering opportunities.
Mobile Betting Apps
With more and more people now using their mobile devices to access the internet, all betting sites must have a mobile version of their site. In addition to this, most bookmakers will now allow players to make payments via mobile devices, making it easier than ever to bet on the move. Betting apps are also very popular and convenient. They can be downloaded on both iOS and Android devices.
Customer service is key when choosing a betting site. If you ever find yourself having a question about your account or need help placing a wager, they will help guide you through this process with ease. A good sign that a bookmaker provides exceptional customer service is if they offer live chat 24/7 or at least during opening hours. That way, you can speak with one of their staff members easily if anything arises where you need assistance,
Top 8 List of Online Bookmakers
Now that you know all the features we look at to determine which bookmakers we recommend to you, we’ve compiled a list of some top contenders for your consideration. These are some of the best-known sites in the industry and as you would expect they offer a range of markets and sports including football, horse racing, tennis and more.
One of the world’s leading online gambling groups providing sports betting, poker, a casino and bingo. Customers can place a wager at any time, day or night, on a wide range of sports. You’ll find the best odds on popular UK sports such as football, horse racing, cricket, tennis and boxing. Bet365 offer live streaming of sports events via their website and mobile phone. You can read our full Bet365 review here.
With more than fifty years of experience in the UK betting industry, BetFred is well placed to offer customers a great selection of online bookmakers’ odds on their favourite sporting events from football and Formula 1 to rugby league and beyond. With a simple-to-use website and excellent customer service, BetFred is a perfect choice for betting of any kind.
Betfair is the world’s leading betting exchange. They provide a fun, fast and simple way of matching bets with other people. As well as one of the best sportsbooks in the industry, Betfair also offers a casino with an impressive number of live dealer games and options for poker and bingo. If you like gambling on the go, take a look at our guide to Betfair mobile apps.
The Irish sports betting giants Paddy Power are one of the most recognisable betting brands in Ireland and around the world. They are well known for their cheeky marketing campaigns and witty slogans. Paddy Power is probably best known for their live betting. In fact, they are one of the market leaders when it comes to this form of gambling. Paddy Power is a firm favourite with bettors on and offline with great odds, interesting bets, and a good host of promotions.
888 Holdings, which became famous for its innovative approach to an online casino and poker, launched 888Sport in March 2008 and quickly made a name for themselves by offering competitive odds on sports activities worldwide. Their website is one of the most comprehensive when it comes to global sports betting, offering prices on hundreds of competitive matches per week. As well as being able to bet at home, you can also access their services on the go with the 888sport betting app.
This UK-based bookmaker was founded in 1934 by Londoner William Hill. What started as a single shop in London has now become one of the largest betting companies in the world with millions of international customers. William Hill offers some of the best betting choices you can find on the market today.
Its sheer size is what makes it stand out with a comprehensive portfolio of wagering options that include everything from bets on your favourite team’s next match to bets on who will win at this year’s Oscars awards ceremony. As this bookmaker doesn’t only cover the UK but the international market, it has odds on every sport you can imagine. If you want to learn more about this betting site, read our full William Hill review.
Coral is one of the original and most recognisable British high-street betting brands. They have grown their presence online to become one of the leading online bookmakers. They offer competitive odds on a wide range of sports with some excellent promotions available to all customers. The Coral betting app offers flexible gaming, letting you bet anywhere, anytime.
Are you looking for a new betting site to join? BetVictor could be a good bet! They offer a wide range of betting markets and payouts, such as live in-play betting on all major leagues, including the Premier League, Champions League and Europa League. They have an excellent customer service team that will help you with anything from placing your first wager to cashing out your winnings after a big day at the races.
Best Betting Sites by Sport
Here is a list of the best betting sites for sports. If you are a footie fan or prefer to place bets on other sports such as horse racing or tennis, then we’ve got a bookmaker to suit you.
Best Online Bookmakers for Football Betting
It will be no surprise that football betting comes at the top of any UK punters list, especially on the PremierLeague. We all have our favourite teams and players, and wagering on them can make a match even more exciting.
Still, football is a worldwide phenomenon, so the betting options are endless; you can bet on European football such as the German Bundesliga, the Spanish La Liga, the Italian Serie A or even further afield and bet on leagues and competitions across the world. The football betting markets are also growing, with football fans wagering on everything from football handicap odds and totals to live scores and correct score betting.
As you would expect, all the UK betting sites we recommend have extensive football betting options, including live in-play football wagering. It would be difficult for one to stand out, but Bet365 and Sky Bet would be solid contenders for football betting fans. That’s not to dismiss the other bookmakers; football betting is well catered for on all the betting sites on our list.
Best Online Bookmakers for Horse Racing Betting
You won’t struggle to find a bookmaker who will take bets on horse racing – it is a huge industry, and, of course, bookmakers want to be part of that. But if your interest in racing goes beyond casual betting on the Grand National or Royal Ascot, then you might be looking for a bookmaker with a specialist focus on racing – one that offers as wide a variety of betting markets as possible.
If we had to decide on just one, Paddy Power is our pick if you want a bookmaker with an impressive range of horse racing markets. Close contenders are Ladbrokes and William Hill, who also do an excellent job on that front. Sky Bet also have their exclusive free to enter (once you’ve signed up to their site) ITV Live 7 competition in which, if you can predict the winners from seven horse races, you can win up to £50,000. However, in the interests of fairness, all the sites on our list are good on the horse racing side of things.
Best Online Bookmakers for Cricket Betting
Some of the best online bookmakers for cricket betting are Paddy Power, William Hill, Ladbrokes and Skybet. These bookies offer competitive odds on all major cricket tournaments, including the Ashes, World Cup and Champions Trophy. Cricket betting can be great fun but is not without risk. Knowing what odds to bet on and where to place your bets is the key to becoming a successful cricket bettor. By using one of our recommended sites to place your cricket bets, you can rest assured that you are getting the best possible cricket betting odds.
Best Online Bookies for Greyhound Racing Betting
Greyhound racing is a fast-paced, action-packed event that can provide some pretty great betting opportunities. It shares some characteristics with horse racing, but greyhound racing is a much faster event, with greyhounds reaching speeds of 40-45 mph. While the range of bets is relatively slim compared to other sports, there are still plenty of wagering opportunities.
Many sites offer in-play greyhound racing, allowing bettors to place wagers even after a greyhound has already started a race. Most betting sites even offer virtual greyhound racing, which will enable you to bet on simulated races.
Coming out tops for our best site for greyhound racing would be Coral who provides punters with plenty of action every day from greyhound tracks across the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. You’ll also find great greyhound racing at Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, Bet365 and William Hill.
Best Online Bookies for eSports
ESports are digital competitions between players of games such as League of Legends, DOTA 2, FIFA, Fortnite and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Players compete in front of live audiences and online viewers from all over the world that can number into the tens or even hundreds of thousands depending on who is playing and where it’s taking place.
Of course, what makes eSports even more fun is if you have some skin in the game by betting real money on the outcome of the matches. Today, there are dozens of betting markets available, including bets on individual matches, teams, player performance stats like kills per round or map wins, and outright tournament victors. Betting sites like Bet365, 888 Sport, and BetVictor all offer various bets on eSports events.
Best Betting Sites for Live Betting
Live betting, also known as in-play betting, is considered the most exciting form of sports wagering. Unlike normal betting, which takes place before a game starts, in-play betting occurs during the course of a game. The odds change as more information about an event becomes available to bettors so they can keep up with the live-action and have their bets placed on what they think are the best odds at that point in time.
Live in-play betting is very popular with football fans, especially those who watch UEFA Champions League and Premier League games. Football isn’t the only sport that benefits from live betting, though. In-play betting has taken the entire online gambling industry by storm and is currently one of the largest industries in terms of revenue.
The main difference between traditional pre-game and live betting is that there are more options with live betting because the number of outcomes increases as different things happen during the game. For instance, if a player gets injured or whether there will be any yellow cards given within the next 10 minutes. If there is a corner kick and you think it will lead to a goal opportunity, you can place your bet at in-play odds.
In-play offers flexibility to bettors who want to speculate on numerous outcomes of a live sports event without having to wait until it’s over to see whether they’ve won or lost. Thanks to this advancement in live streaming and mobile technology, sports bettors are provided with round the clock live betting opportunities.
In-play betting has been made popular by live streaming websites such as bet365, William Hill, Paddy Power and 888 Sport. It is also available on Android and Apple IOS apps, so you can place in-play bets anywhere if you have a mobile phone or tablet. If you are attending a sporting event and want to place a bet, you can use your smartphone to take advantage of real-time live betting.
It’s all about speed and excitement, so anyone who loves an adrenaline rush will love in-play betting.
List of Online Bookmakers with Non-Sporting Options
There are a few online bookmakers out there that offer more than just sports betting. These sites provide non-sporting options for those looking for something different to gamble on, such as politics, poker and casino games.
Best Betting Sites With a Casino
If you want the best of both worlds, namely a site where you can bet on sports and play great casino games online such as slots, roulette, blackjack, baccarat etc., then we have you covered. Online casinos are open 24/7, so you can visit day or night.
Bet365, in addition to being one of the leading internet bookmakers, has a dedicated casino page with hundreds of games to choose from. Others like Paddy Power, Coral and Ladbrokes all have pages dedicated to online casino games. You can bet on sports, play poker, or simply try your luck with slots and other casino games at these sites.
Most have live casinos where you can play against a real-life dealer, making it all the more fun. You’ll also find various bonuses and promotions offered on casino games, such as free spins and matched deposit bonuses. These sites certainly have a lot to offer betting fans and casino players alike.
Best Betting Sites for Poker
Many punters who enjoy betting on sports like to try their luck at poker. With a few tips and a little practice, even beginners can do well. The best thing about playing poker on the internet is that it gives you access to many different games. You can choose between cash tables, Sit & Go’s, multi-table tournaments and more.
Many online bookmakers also offer their sporty punters the opportunity to play this game. Paddy Power Poker is one of the largest online gaming communities for poker players who love a challenge. The site offers its customers an excellent choice of poker tournaments plus much more besides its sportsbook services.
888 Poker is another popular online poker room that gives you the chance to enjoy playing poker with other people from all over the world. The site has a good reputation for offering big prizes.
Bet 365 Poker is another good choice for poker players who also bet. They have a wide variety of tables with stakes for every player type, whether they want to play in low-stakes tournaments or no-limit poker games.
The Legalities of Online Sports Betting
The legality of gambling varies from country to country, but in the United Kingdom, it is legal as long as you are over 18 years old.
In 2005 The Gambling Act came into force in the UK and included provisions dealing with betting, gaming and lotteries. The Act was intended to make the law in this area clearer, more accessible and up to date. The Act applies across Great Britain, and online bookies and other gambling operators need a licence to operate. The Act covers all kinds of online and offline gambling, such as sports betting, casino games (for example, roulette and blackjack), poker, and bingo.
The UK Gambling Commission ensures that only operators who meet strict criteria are granted a licence and that they comply with requirements designed to protect consumers.
Safe Gambling at Online Betting Sites UK
One of the biggest concerns for those new to online gambling is whether or not betting sites are safe. There is a perception that player safety may be jeopardised by the anonymity of internet gaming, but this is simply not true. Reputable online betting sites go to huge lengths to ensure their games platform and transactions are as safe as possible.
The UK Gambling Commission is one of the most stringent organisations in the world, with a responsibility to police and maintain UK gambling laws. Any company that is licensed by them cannot put player safety at risk in any way. There are principles that must be followed by all online betting licenced by the UKGC. For instance, they must ensure player funds are held separately to operating funds. This means that if the company were to go under, no money would be taken from players’ accounts. Players can be confident that their deposits are protected and kept safe at all times.
Internet betting sites make use of state of the art encryption software, which ensures player information is kept safe at all times. Sites are protected with industry-standard 128-bit encryption, and the company servers are protected by firewall systems to ensure player data cannot be viewed or stolen online. These safety measures, as well as many others, apply to all licensed and reputable sites operating within the UK today.
The most important aspect of online gambling security is always ensuring you deal with a reputable company. There are criminals out there who will try to take advantage of players, and you should never hand over your credit card or bank details to an unknown entity. If you want to play at an online UK betting site, you need to make sure they are licenced by the UK Gambling Commission, as this means they have been independently assessed as being safe and trustworthy. Even if a site claims that they use 128-bit encryption software, it does not mean you can trust them, as some unlicensed sites advertise this fact but do not actually implement these security standards on their website.
Usually, betting sites will have a seal in their website’s footer to show that they are licenced by the UK Gambling Commission. You need to ensure that any website you sign up to has this seal of approval; otherwise, there is no guarantee they are safe and legitimate.
One thing all players should be aware of when choosing an online betting site is that it’s very easy for companies to appear reputable at first glance. There are many elaborate scams out there that use professional-looking websites to trick new customers into depositing money or handing over their bank details.
You can check whether an online site is regulated by visiting the UK Gambling Commission website to verify its licence.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which betting sites offer free bets?
You’ll find that all the best betting sites will provide you with free bets once signed up to their betting exchange. A free bet could be part of the welcome bonus or available for existing players as part of a reload bonus offer.
How can I avoid being scammed by a betting site?
The simplest way is to sign-up with one of our recommended betting sites, these are established companies, most of which have been around for decades, and all are licenced by the much-respected UK Gambling Commission.
How do I choose the best betting site?
There’s no ‘best’ site, as personal choice is subjective, and it will be down to your personal preference. A good starting point would be to explore those on our UK betting sites list and find one that fits your interests. You also don’t have to limit yourself to just one betting site; you can sign-up for free at multiple bookmakers. It won’t cost you anything, and you’ll be able to take advantage of various bonuses and promotions.