Best online betting sites 2020
Our best international sports betting sites list boasts some of the biggest names in online wagering. These online betting sites are regulated by the best jurisdictions in the world and must cater to multiple regions to make our best betting sites list.
- Top 20 sports betting sites
- Mobile betting sites
- Sports covered by top online betting sites
- Upcoming events in 2020
- Betting Promotions & Bonus Bets
- How to sign up at betting sites
- Funding online betting accounts
- Customer service at betting sites
- Verifying your betting account
- Sports betting laws
- Betting sites – By country
- Commonly asked betting questions
Top 20 sports betting sites 2020
Bet365: The biggest bookie in the world has a huge reach and claims to accept customers from more than 200 countries. Bet365 is one of the leading betting options in most regulated gambling markets including the UK and Australia. Is also a top option for grey sports betting markets such as Canada and New Zealand. Read our Bet365 review for further information.
Betway: A huge brand in global betting which is particularly prominent in Europe. Boasting a MGA licence, Betway specialises in football and also has a great online casino in its midst. Get more details in our Betway review.
William Hill: One of the oldest bookies out there (it launched in the 1930s as a retail business), William Hill just does everything well. The company has licences in the United Kingdom and several other countries and pushes into many grey markets that have not legalised offshore betting sites but also have not banned them. Our William Hill review has plenty more details.
Betsson: Another online betting site that does most of its business in Europe, Betsson has an impeccable record with its customers (maybe it’s the polite Sweden thing?) If you’re looking for an option to bet on football and other European sports, you could do worse than Betsson, plus it has some of the better promotions out of the top 10 in our top international betting sites story.
UniBet: Another European brand with a huge footprint globally, Unibet is part of the Kindred Group, one of the largest gambling companies in the world. On top of plenty of business in Australia, Unibet specialises in football and racing, so has a large clientele in both the United Kingdom and Europe. UniBet really is a force to be reckoned with in sports betting.
Ladbrokes: Another of the giant gambling companies to make this list, Ladbrokes is known globally, particularly for its dedication to horse racing. Owned by GVC Holdings, Ladbrokes is again heavily football-focused in the United Kingdom, which is not a bad thing given its popularity in sports betting. Ladbrokes also has some really nice bonuses and promotions available for new and existing customers.
Paddy Power: Irish-owned bookie that has a UK licence and a strong presence in both football and horse racing. On top of its market-leading presence in these two sports, Paddy Power has a full complement of sports betting markets and some great promotions for new and old customers. Read our Paddy Power review for further information.
888 Sports: 888 Holdings is among the biggest gambling brands in the world and 888 Sports is one of the jewels in the crown. 888 Poker is probably more well-known but its sports product is beginning to make serious inroads. Popular in much of Europe, some regulated US states and many other places, 888 Sports has some great bonus offers available to new and existing customers.
10Bet: Another UK-licensed betting site with an outstanding reputation. Has a great range of sports betting markets and is right up there for its promotional offerings.
Intertops: One of the most popular betting sites in Europe, the German-founded company has been around for close to 40 years. While it used to serve the USA, Intertops is now primarily focused on the European sports betting market.
Betfair: The biggest betting exchange globally, and the biggest gambling brand in the UK, Betfair is part of the same family as Paddy Power and holds massive sway in both horse racing and sports betting. If you are looking for a great sports betting and casino option, Betfair might be for you. If there is a downside it is it does not have many promotions for new players.
BetFred: A UK brand that is hugely popular in Great Britain. BetFred springs into the public psyche semi-regularly when its owners (Fred and Peter Done) pay out on bets early or offer outrageous promotions. Overall BetFred is a great option for horse racing fans and sports bettors in the United Kingdom.
Sportsbet: While Sportsbet does not have a huge footprint in the online sports betting industry globally, they are the biggest betting site in Australia, whose citizens gamble more than any others. While the Northern Territory licence the betting site holds stops Sportsbet from operating in England and the USA, it does accept customers from many parts of the world. The only downside? Sportsbet
only supports Australian and New Zealand dollars, meaning you should bet elsewhere if you are depositing in another currency. Read our Sportsbet review for more info.
BetStars: Owned by The Stars Group, Betstars is one of the fastest-growing gambling sites in the world, with this brand pushing into regulated sports betting markets in the USA. Betstars has a big footprint in Europe and has a sister site in Australia – BetEasy. If you’re looking for a great football bookie with strong international coverage Betstars might be for you.
Leo Vegas sports: While not as well known for its sports betting product as it is for its outstanding casino, LeoVegas.com is fast emerging as a top option for those in the UK and many countries in Europe. Having recently acquired a Spanish licence (in 2019), Leo Vegas will continue to expand into regulated markets throughout the world. Read our LeoVegas review for more information.
Mobile betting sites
All of the online bookmakers we promote on this page have fully responsive mobile websites, which means you can visit them on your mobile or tablet and do everything you normally would when betting on sports.
Many of the above betting sites will also have legal betting apps, which are available in markets where they operate, but this is dependent on the gambling laws in your country and whether you use an Android or iOS device — the two main mobile operating systems for which developers around the world create apps.
Sports betting apps are essentially a downloaded version of the website, which will dynamically update the odds while you browse. Often the app of a betting site will have features that the mobile website will not. Here are some key points about both iOS and Android sports betting apps, plus a brief explanation of web apps.
iOS betting apps
Apple is strict when it comes to online sports betting and will allow downloadable apps only in countries where there is regulation, or at the very least no laws addressing online sports betting. Basically if you have regulated sports betting sites in your country there is every chance that there will be downloadable apps available. Read our betting site reviews to find out if the company you are looking at has a downloadable iOS app.
Android betting apps
Android phones are very popular and are much more convenient than iOS for sports bettors. Android phones and tablets allow you to download non-market apps, which means you don’t have to download apps from the Google Play store. A non-market app is an application available to download directly from the betting site. These apps are basically just a more intuitive and stocked version of the mobile website.
Betting sites and web apps
It is also possible to create a web app for your favourite betting sites, which just means that you create a shortcut on your mobile or tablet desktop directly to the bookie. These web apps are available on common phone brands such as iOS and Android.
What sports can I bet on?
Really the sports you can bet on are limitless, with most professional, and even some not-so-professional, sports having markets framed by leading betting sites. Some of the most popular sports to bet on from around the world include:
Basketball: Arguably the No.1 sport in the USA, basketball has a huge reach around the world with most countries boasting a professional league. The NBA is a clear No.1, with the EuroLeague, Spanish, Turkish, German, Italian and Australian professional leagues probably the next best in the world.
Cricket: Particularly in the subcontinent, cricket has a huge footprint. The T20 explosion has seen the sport return to the top of the totem pole in terms of sports betting, with the short match length and bountiful betting options making it an ideal betting medium. Test cricket and one-day cricket also draw plenty of attention with punters. Find out more about global cricket betting.
Football/soccer: The world game has its biggest fan base in Europe, but pretty much every country in the world has some interest in football. Often known as soccer in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. The next FIFA World Cup is due in 2022 in Qatar. The Women’s game is also expanding quickly, with the World Cup played in France drawing unprecedented betting interest in 2019.
Rugby union: While rugby is not as popular as it once was, it still has its rusted-on followers across the globe. The sport has largely been dominated by New Zealand in modern times, though South Africa rose to the occasion at the 2019 World Cup. Other popular rugby events include the Super Rugby competition, played between the best club teams in the southern hemisphere; the Bledisloe Cup, played between Australia and New Zealand; and the Six Nations championship in Europe.
Rugby League: The other code of rugby is popular in Australia, England, France and New Zealand. In terms of betting, at last check all of the betting sites promoted on this page have markets for various rugby league competitions around the world. Rugby League at club level is probably at its strongest in Australia, where the NRL takes pride of place.
Tennis: Spearheaded by the four grand slams, tennis betting is popular all year round, particularly in countries with legal live betting. Other popular betting events on the tennis circuit include The Masters series and Davis Cup, which pits country against country. Tennis is also part of the Olympics. Our guide to tennis betting can help you begin your wagering journey.
Baseball: While predominantly popular in the USA, baseball has many fans right around the world. Most focus is on Major League Baseball, the top-flight US league. Baseball, with its stats-driven approach, is very popular with professional punters.
Ice hockey: Ice hockey betting is mainly done in Canada, the USA and many colder European countries. There are generally futures markets on popular leagues available, plus match-day markets a day or two out from most pro games. Our betting on ice hockey guide is a good starting point if you’re looking to learn. All of the betting sites advertised on this page have extensive odds on ice hockey competitions from around the globe.
eSports: While we are dubious about the merits of eSports being a true sport (yep, we’re picturing heavy-set kids on Nintendos), the numbers don’t lie, with billions of people around the globe watching games such as World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Dota 2 and League of Legends. These numbers are starting to result in more bets being placed. There are even dedicated esports betting sites springing up all the time.
Golf: The gentleman’s game is a great one for those who like betting, with plenty of lucrative opportunities out there. The majors especially attract significant betting interest. The World Gambling List has one of the leading authorities on golf betting among its staff. We love betting on golf.
Table tennis: One of the most popular sports in the world, courtesy of its insane popularity in China and other Asian countries. Some of the big table tennis events on the world stage include the Olympics and World Championships. Table tennis betting is available at all of the top international sports betting sites.
Swimming: We have always felt swimming would be a great betting sport, with its short races and 1, 2, 3 finishes, just like horse racing and car racing. While it has not taken off as a punting pursuit, we think the emergence of the International Swimming League (ISL) and other new FINA-backed events could breathe new life into the sport. How about actually getting swimming back on television for starters?
Major International sporting events in 2020
Women’s T20 World Cup: Played biannually, the T20 Women’s World Cup will be played in Australia starting in February 2020, with the hosts the overwhelming favourites to go back to back after their victory in the West Indies in 2018. In 2020, England and India are also expected to feature prominently, while you can never write off the West Indies, who stunned with their 2016 victory.
Summer Olympics 2020: While we’re always a little sceptical about betting on the Olympics, without a doubt there are some events that make great betting sports. We’re looking at games such as basketball, football and field hockey, which all have avid betting industries running around them. Another event that we’re really looking forward to at the Summer Olympics is the table tennis, with China the favourites to once again win the teams events in both the men and women.
Wimbledon The team at the World Gambling List is firm in its belief that Wimbledon is the best tennis tournament on the planet. You just can’t beat the grass courts and, of course, the amazing atmosphere at the All England Club. Wimbledon is the third major of the year after the Australian and French Opens.
Melbourne Cup: Run on the first Tuesday of November every year, the Melbourne Cup is “the race that stops a nation” and has global appeal, with many International horses now making the trek to Australia to race over the 3200m staying journey. Other big races around the Melbourne Spring include the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup.
Big Bash League: The Australian T20 cricket competition, the BBL draws huge television audiences in Australia and features some top players from around the world. The 2018-19 BBL dragged on for far too long and we hope Cricket Australia fixes it up this year. Previous years had been outstanding.
Men’s T20 World Cup: Australia will host the T20 World Cup in October and November 2020, with England and India the early favourites for the tournament. We are really looking forward to the Men’s T20 World Cup, with the 20-over format of the game bringing underdogs into many contests, not to mention it suiting us punter, who like a result quickly. We will be covering the T20 World Cup extensively with match previews and odds analysis.
Future sports events with early betting markets
ICC Cricket World Cup: The championship of one-day cricket, the World Cup features the 10 best countries in the world. Australia have the best record at the cricket World Cup, but England won the last edition in 2019 after a thrilling victory over New Zealand in the final at Lords. Already cricket betting sites have markets available for the 2023 Cricket World Cup, due to be played in India.
FIBA Basketball World Cup: The last incarnation of the FIBA World Cup began in September 2019. The FIBA Basketball World Cup features the best countries in the world going toe-to-toe. The 2019 edition saw the USA’s dominance of International basketball snapped by Spain, but it must be said the Americans did not have their best team playing. The next FIBA Basketball World Cup is due to be played in September 2023, with the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia the hosts.
Rugby World Cup: The next Rugby World Cup is due to be played in France in 2023, and for a change it won’t be the All Blacks defending the title, after South Africa claimed the 2019 crown in Japan. Rugby might not be as popular as it once was in some countries such as Australia, but there is significant growth in places like Japan and the World Cup is a great showcase for this. It might be a long way out, but we’re tipping the All Blacks to hit back hard.
Betting Promotions & Bonus Bets
One of the best things about betting on sports and racing online is that you can claim all sorts of bonus bets and promotions, whether you are new customer or an existing one. Often the top online betting sites will have some great sign up offers to entice you to join, but this will largely depend on where you are in the world, with some countries have restrictions on new member sign up offers. Some of the common types of bonus you will find the best betting sites includes:
Sign up/Welcome offers:
Cash back offers: These exist usually surrounding accumulator or parlay bets and certain events and usually involve a customer receiving cash back on a losing bet if a certain instance, like your bet finishing second, happens.
Enhanced odds: Becoming more and more frequent at the top betting sites, enhanced odds is when you are given a daily boost to use on selected or any event, depending on how it works at your chosen site.
Basically the offering of bonuses at betting sites will vary from site to site and even from country to country (depending on local laws). There are also many more bonus bet and promotional offers available than we have mentioned here. The World Gambling List will write further articles on this topic in the future.
How to sign up at a Betting Site
The process of signing up at betting sites is actually quite simple once you have identified a website that will accept your patronage. We talk more about finding the best betting sites on this page, but not in this section, instead this article will run you through everything you need to know about the sign up process:
Find a bookie: This is actually pretty self-explanatory, you will either be in a grey, white or black market depending on your location. In short you either have regulation surrounding sports betting, your laws fail to address sports betting or it is banned. The online betting companies we advertise on this page are all regulated and will only accept punters from places like the United Kingdom or grey markets like New Zealand or many others.
Opening a new betting account: After you have landed on your chosen betting site you will need to sign up. This is a straight-forward process where you give over things like your name, address, phone number and other personal details. The websites we promote on the WGL all boast the highest security protocols.
Sign up bonuses: You need to decide whether you accept a sign up bonus from a bookie. Remember they come with wagering requirements and are not REAL money, until they are cleared.
Funding your betting account: There will be various methods to fund your betting account available at the websites we promote on here. These include things like bank cards and web wallets. If a betting site caters to specific countries, they are likely to have deposit options to match. For example in Australia you will find POLi as a deposit method at betting sites, but you won’t elsewhere.
Placing bets: If you’ve managed to get this far, you should be able to work out how to place a bet. Most betting sites have similar layouts on both desktop and mobile, which allows you to easily browse markets. After this when you click on the odds your bet will be placed in a bet slip, where you can parlay or accumulate your bets or place them as singles.
Cashing out winning bets: There is generally not as many withdrawal options at online betting sites, as there is deposit methods. Some sites will even make you withdraw using the same method as you deposited with. It’s really important to note that you must have supplied your real details, because you will have to verify your account before you can cash out.
Deposit options at betting sites
Online betting sites will have many different deposit options to choose from. These deposit options range from your vanilla methods like Visa and credit cards, right through to things like web wallets and cryptocurrencies. Some of the common deposit methods you will find at betting sites globally include:
Customer service at betting sites
When you are initially joining an online betting site, it’s important to check if there is a customer service department to look after you if things go wrong. By this we mean is there a live chat service, a phone number or even a manned email address to help you out of your pickle. One of the major red flags at betting sites is if you land on the site and you can’t find a way to contact them.
Verifying your betting account
One of the overlooked factors when opening a new betting account is the verification process. This is put in place at the request of gambling regulators and is to stop money laundering and other unsociable gambling habits.
The verification process at betting sites is about proving your identity, so if you haven’t given your correct details during sign up you will not be able to complete it.
The growing trend during the verification process is an online form, where you fill in things like your government ID number or your driver’s license number.
Traditionally the verification process an online sportsbooks saw you sending in documents to prove your identity, via fax or email. Or i’m sure most would allow you to send in your documents via post.
Sports betting laws
Defining sports betting laws in an article targeting an international audience is almost impossible, but there are three categories you could break it down into: grey markets, black markets and white markets.
White markets: This simply means the country has regulated sports betting. Often white market betting sites will target grey markets with their product on top of their regular market.
Grey markets: This is places like Canada and New Zealand, who have not really covered sports betting in local laws. They also have no regulation stopping offshore operators from targeting their citizens.
Black markets: These countries have banned sports betting, with countries like China and many states in the USA classified as black markets. Some of the biggest black market operators in the world are BetOnline.ag and Bovada.
Betting sites – By country
When you are betting online, it’s important to remember that each country around the globe has different laws surrounding sports betting. This section will give you a key run-down of the markets the WGL currently has guides for.
Canada betting sites
Canadians are in the glorious position of being able to sign up at most sports betting sites, largely because their government has not outlawed online wagering with offshores sites. The top betting sites for Canadians are generally licensed in the United Kingdom and Malta and will cater specifically to the local currency.
Betting Sites in New Zealand
New Zealand, much like Canada, has got grey laws surrounding online sports betting. This means you can bet with any of the offshore online betting companies legally, or without fear of reprisal. Many of the best New Zealand sports betting sites are based out of Australia, but the recent ban on bonus bets there has made it far less desirable to bet with their bookies. Instead any of the betting sites on this page accept bets from New Zealand.
Indian sports betting sites
India, through its crazy association with cricket, is one of the biggest betting countries in the world. They also have rather lax laws surrounding online sports betting and citizens don’t get in trouble for wagering online. Where they may get in trouble is if they bet with the illegal bookies dotted throughout most states in India. The best online bookmakers for Indians include many found on this page.
South African betting sites
South Africa has a legal and vibrant sports betting scene, with horse racing, cricket, rugby and football all prominent among punters. The legal online betting sites in South Africa must be licensed and taxed by the government of one of the nine provinces in the country. Some of the bigger sports betting brands in South Africa include Sportingbet and HollywoodBets.
Commonly asked questions about betting sites
What odds formats do betting sites use? Fractional, Decimal and American odds are the three common types you will see online in 2020. Fractional is primarily used in the United Kingdom, while Decimal is used in places like Australia and New Zealand and American is used in the USA. Often a betting site will have all three available and you can simply hit a button to change the format.
Can I use Paypal to bet on sports? This will depend on where you are in the world, if sports betting is regulated and Paypal is legal in your country you are likely to find Paypal offered as a deposit option.
What country bets the most? This question gets posed a lot and it’s hard to answer with so many countries not having regulated sports betting. The most recent stats we have seen show Australians bet the most per head in the world.
How do we define “International betting sites”? As a general rule if an online betting site brand is known all around the globe, they probably service a multitude of countries and we would define them as an international betting site. We’re talking about global betting sites giants like Bet365, William Hill and Paddy Power. We won’t include a great online bookmaker on our international betting sites list if they only service one country. We intend for this page to highlight the biggest and best International online betting sites.
Why are online betting sites better than retail wagering? Online betting has revolutionised the way people bet, meaning we can do it while at home, or even on the bus on the way to work. No longer do we have to make a time-sapping trek to the local betting shop, instead we can just take out our mobile phone, or bet on our computers.