Best UK betting sites 2020
The best betting sites in the United Kingdom are licensed by the Gambling Commission, and feature wagering on sports in Great Britain and overseas. The top UK betting sites include some of the most well-know brands in the industry, with it pumping billions of GBP into the economy each year. The best online betting sites have both ante-post betting and match-day wagers available, with it possible for customers to bet via their computer, smartphones, tablets and other devices with a web browser. Our top sports betting sites for the United Kingdom in 2021 are:
Best online betting sites UK
The United Kingdom is one of the most advanced sports betting jurisdictions in the world, with the highest level of regulation and licensing enforced by the Gambling Commission. For betting sites to legally accept bets in the United Kingdom they must have a license from the Gambling Commission, which is a process that can cost UK gambling companies a lot of money.
After a sports betting site in the UK has accepted a customer, it is then on them to ensure they play within the Gambling Commission’s rules. For instance, sports betting sites are not allowed to broadcast advertisements (either online or on TV) that could appeal to minors. They are also under an obligation to provide players with fair and reasonable wagering requirements on any promotions or bonus offers they might have.
These betting sites in Great Britain often will accept customers from other parts of the world. For instance, most UK betting sites will accept new sign ups from places like Canada and New Zealand which have minimal laws stopping offshore gambling companies from operating there. UK sports betting sites might also have multiple licenses and operate in other regulated countries markets. They are then under an obligation to abide by those countries laws.
The best online sports betting sites in the United Kingdom are mobile compatible, with most online bookmaker sites having responsive websites. This means you can view their sports betting product via any device and it will fit your screen. Other betting sites have mobile specific websites, that have been built for smaller screens.
Many of the best betting sites in the UK will also have downloadable apps, with the two most common sports betting app types available in the UK being for Apple and Android phones. The process at online betting sites for each of these app downloads is slightly different, with Android downloaded directly from the bookmaker, while Apple apps can be secured from the Apple store.
Top 10 sports betting sites in the UK
- William Hill: One of the biggest betting brands in the UK, William Hill began its journey as a retail betting shops, before graduating to the digital realm. Caters specifically to the GBP and has some great UK facing free bet promotions.
- Betway: Betway.com has quickly risen up the ranks to sit comfortably among the best betting sites in Great Britain. Betway’s football betting offering is almost peerless, while esports, cricket (they sponsor the Windies) and many other sports are offered at this betting company
- bet365: Accepting bets from over 200 countries, bet365 typifies the modern bookmaker and is clearly among the top betting sites in the UK. bet365’s depth in markets, promotions and the fact they cater to so many currencies put them at the forefront of the industry.
- 888Sport: Another huge betting brand with a big impact in the United Kingdom, 888Sport offers markets on sports from all over the globe. 888Sport’s UK offering includes some great bet bonus offers and promotions surrounding sport and racing specific events.
- Paddy Power: This Irish gambling brand is one of the best online betting sites GB, with horse racing and football definitely key components. The UK Paddy Power sign up bonus, promotions and sports stats are just some of the features that make Paddy Power a great betting site.
Sign up offers & promotions at the top online betting sites
The United Kingdom has some of the best promotions available to sports bettors, with this including sign up offers and bonus bet offers. What is available at your chosen betting site will largely depend on where you in the world, but the good news is that the United Kingdom has many of the best offers, although they also have some if the tightest terms and conditions surrounding them. Often
Sign up/Welcome offers: Sign up offers at the best UK sports betting sites can take on many different forms. With no deposit free bets something to look out for when finding a new sign up bonus. Deposit bonuses are another way the best betting sites lure new customers, with these including things like 100% bonus up to a certain amount. These promotions have been anywhere up to 500% bonus in the past.
Freebets: What exactly are freebets? Free bets come in many different forms in Great Britain. A free bet no deposit bonus at online betting sites usually means the bookie is giving you a small bonus bet, to use before you make a deposit. Other free bet offers available at the best online betting sites might require you to verify your account before you receive your bonus bet.
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. These boosted odds offers take on many different forms at International betting sites with what is available to you often dependent on the gambling laws in your country.
Reload bonuses: This type of bonus bet offer is available to existing customers who have made a deposit at an online sports betting site. From time-to-time, when bookies are trying to get you to bet again, they will offer you a reload bonus, which will give you a matched percentage bonus. often they are worth less than welcome free bets. For instance one of our top sports betting sites has got a 50% matched deposit up for grabs every time you make a deposit.
Cash out bets early: This is a feature at some of the higher-end betting sites that allow you to cash out an in-play bet, before it has concluded. For instance you might have a five-leg accumulator and are four legs deep. You could then cash out your bet for a nice win, and not put it all on the line in the final leg of the parlay.
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.
Best mobile betting sites in the UK
Mobile betting has exploded in recent times with most adult residents of the UK now having a handheld device. This means more than 50% of bets placed at UK betting sites is done via smartphones and tablets, with this eating into bets placed at retail betting shops.
The best mobile betting sites are basically compact versions of the company’s desktop website. This means mobile betting sites will work across all screen sizes, even if you have an older phone with wifi or a data connection. Security is the same at mobile betting sites, with UK bookies needing to have a high level of player safety and precautions.
The top mobile betting sites allow you to fund them with almost all deposit options you would find on their desktop website. If a payment type is not available at a mobile bookie, it is most likely because the method does not support mobile. This is almost non-existent in the UK betting scene in modern times, with most payment companies understanding the importance of being mobile friendly.
There is not much difference in navigating the mobile version of betting sites, with customers able to scroll through lists of sports, and expand betting markets on each if they wish. Basically mobile betting is boss in the UK and with a decent smartphone or tablet, you will have no trouble finding a quality bookmaker.
The other option for mobile betting at the top UK sites is to download a betting app. In the UK, the two most popular types of mobile phones are Android and iOS, with both of these allowing customers to download betting apps, although the process is slightly different for each.
Top iOS betting apps for the United Kingdom
The top iOS betting apps are available to download directly from the Apple Store in the United Kingdom. This means you can within a few clicks, create a new account at an online betting site and then download their app.
The best iOS betting apps in the UK include brands like Bet365, William Hill and various other global sports brands.
Top UK Android betting apps
Android users have a little more freedom than Apple smartphone users. Basically, once you turn on non-market apps on your smartphone you will be able to download Android betting apps directly from UK bookmakers.
These still must pass rigorous testing from the Gambling Commission and other regulatory bodies, even though they don’t need Google approval. Just do your homework on any Android apps, before downloading them.
Sports available at UK betting sites
There are very few restrictions on the market types offered at UK betting sites, with most professional sports being covered extensively. Some of the most popular UK betting sites also have extensive promotions and bonus offers surrounding sports and racing events. The most popular sports in the UK include:
Football: The UK’s no.1 game is football with the top-flight English Premier League the most popular professional sport to bet on. The EPL includes teams that are known all around the world, with Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool just some of them. 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. All of the top UK betting sites we promote, unless they focus one sport, have got extensive football betting available. The UK is also the place to claim a bevy of betting promotions and bonus offers surrounding football.
Cricket: England is known as being the home of cricket, with Lords the most famous Test ground in the world, located in London. The England team is the defending champion in the 50 Over World Cup, while the Test and T20 outfits are also among the best in the world. The T20 Blast and the newly formed The 100, are also exceptionally popular cricket betting events in the United Kingdom.
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. England, Ireland and Wales are all powerful rugby teams in the UK, making this one of the most popular betting sports in this area of the world.
Rugby League: Rugby League is also very popular across the United Kingdom, with it particularly drawing interest in England, where the Super League is played each year. The Super League features 11 teams in England and on in France and is very popular with bettors. Rugby League also has a huge following in places like Australia (where the NRL is played), New Zealand and France.
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. The best basketball betting sites feature odds on every professional and many amateur basketball competitions around the world. Basketball betting is exceptionally popular in the USA, but the NBA does have a reach into most countries in the world.
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. The UK is home to perhaps the most famous tennis tournament — Wimbledon. Played at the All England Club, Wimbledon is one of the few remaining tennis tournaments played on grass and is heavily steeped in tradition. Andy Murray is the last British player to win Wimbledon, with the Scot winning in 2013 and 2016.
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. Finding an International betting site with good margins is crucial if you are to be successful betting on baseball, with this sport truly one for the grafters among us. The British Baseball Federation runs the sport in the UK, with a tiered competition taking centre stage
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. In the UK the best ice hockey competition is the Elite Ice Hockey League, which has been around for many years. Often online betting sites will feature markets on the EIHL.
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. Esports betting in the UK is very popular, with burgeoning interest in games like Fifa and 2K as esports pursuits. The best UK betting sites will have extensive odds available on professional video games, with the betting options improving extensively since esports first burst onto the scene several years ago.
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. The best golf bookmakers include many of the top online betting sites in the United Kingdom. The British PGA Championship is probably the biggest professional golf event in the United Kingdom, although the best online betting sites will have odds, both futures and pre-post, available for all tournaments featuring the top players.
Netball: This sport is predominantly played in countries like the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia, but has a growing presence in other countries, including many African nations. Netball betting is considered a niche at betting sites, but you will find wagering on various domestic leagues and international fixtures when they are running. Outright betting on tournament or league wins and placings is also possible at some online betting sites. Expect netball betting coverage to continue to grow as more prominence is given to the sport on various TV stations around the world.
Squash: Very much a niche sport in the United Kingdom, squash betting is available at many of the top betting sites, although you will only find odds on the most popular events. Squash betting includes head to head wagers, correct set betting and even things like outright tournament winner. For instance you will find many more betting markets available on the Squash World Championship, than you would on a local event featuring pros in London.
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 UK sports betting sites. The British League is the top-flight club championship in the UK, but is not regarded as very strong. The UK has a proud history in table tennis, but in recent years it has been dominated by the likes of China and South Korea. Desmond Douglas is a legend of the sport in the UK and peaked with a world ranking of seven. Britain has several promising players Liam Pitchford and Paul Drinkhall ranked in the 20s and 80s respectively, at the time of writing.
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?
Winter Sports: The Winter Olympics, held every four years, is the pinnacle of winter sports, but there is massive interest in the various pursuits that fall under this banner. Finding odds on winter sports will largely depend on what is running at any one time. For instance, if the Olympics is looming you will find thousands of betting markets, but if it’s just a lowly competition in Europe, you will only find the biggest events covered. This aspect is improving all the time. In summary, if you are looking to bet on winter sports you will find everything you need at the betting sites we promote on this page.
United Kingdom sports betting laws
The UK sports betting laws are long and storied and are largely controlled by the Gambling Commission. The UK has had betting shops for many generations, with brands like William Hill, Ladbrokes and Betfred pioneering the industry in Great Britain.
UK sports betting laws give the Gambling Commission the right to investigate people they believe may have breached the local laws. But really the UK Gambling Commission’s primary focus is legislating and regulating online betting sites, online casinos and other forms of real money gambling.
Sports betting operators in the UK are required to apply and receive a license from the Gambling Commission, or a territory that has been whitelisted as safe by the commission. The licensing requirements state that UK betting sites must comply with the Gambling Act of 2005 and subsequent updates. We have seen in the past, if operators fail to comply they can have their license stripped.
Two of the primary functions of the UK Gambling Commission are to stop those under 18 from gambling, including placing strict rules around advertising that can be offered. They are also encharged with stopping unlicensed, unregulated betting from taking place in the United Kingdom.
On a personal level, punters are highly unlikely to get in trouble for betting underage or with an unlicensed operator, but they must be aware that action against these operators from the Gambling Commission could result in you losing your funds, if they freeze the funds of players at a betting site. Basically players don’t have the same protection playing at an unlicensed betting site.
There are a few telltale signs that a company is registered to operated as a betting site in the Untied Kingdom, with this including the Gambling Commission’s seal of approval, in the footer of the website. You can also find betting sites licensing information in the about us or contact us section of their websites. It’s also possible to do a search on the Gambling Commission website, which allows you to find businesses licensed by the UKGC.
Banking at GBP online betting sites
The best GBP online betting sites will have many different payment options available to their customers, including common payments like debit cards, bank cards and web wallets. UK betting site banking has varying payment times, depending on how you fund your account. For instance, a debit card payment will fund your account instantly, while methods like a bank wire can take up to five days to hit your account, depending on the operator.
Payments at the top online betting sites as a general rule don’t attract any fees, which is no surprise given the high margins they make from customers. Basically, betting sites are super-keen to secure your custom, so are willing to wear any fees that might be accrued by your deposits.
Betting sites payments all have a minimum deposit limit, which vary greatly from option to option, although it’s important to note that as a general rule the higher deposit limits will be on bank transfers and bank cards. Things like mobile payments, web wallets and payment processors are likely to have a lower payment limit.
Withdrawals at online betting sites
Withdrawals at online betting sites are another important aspect of choosing where to place real money bets. For instance, some sports betting sites only have bank transfers available to customers, and will have a flat fee they charge for making a withdrawal which could be 10 or 20 quid.
The top betting sites online in 2020 will process withdrawals instantly, although it will then come down to how long the chosen withdrawal method takes. For instance William Hill might process a withdrawal as soon as you request it, but it then might take their bank and your bank a few days to get the money into your account.
We wallets are probably the quickest way to withdraw any winnings from online betting sites in 2020, with some bookmakers claiming to have same day withdrawals. But in our experiences, we have found that services like Neteller and Paypal withdrawals are processed overnight.
UK betting sites Q and A
The best online betting sites in the UK often can be confusing if you are new to digital wagering. In this section we answer many of the questions UK betting sites pose. If you have a query for our UK betting experts you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the box below.
Paypal is one of the most common ways British people fund online betting sites, with this an approved payment method by the Gambling Commission. Paypal betting sites will only operate in regulated sports betting markets.
The standards odds format at online betting sites UK is fractional, although there is a growing trend of decimal odds in schools. Often betting sites will allow you to change the odds format with a drop down menu.
Sports betting is 100% legal and regulated, with the Gambling Commission granting many licenses to bookmaker sites.
To legally wager on sports and racing in the UK it needs to be done with a website that has a Gambling Commission license. It is illegal for offshore betting sites to target or accept sign ups from betting sites UK.
The UK has long had a Point of Consumption Tax (POCT) for sports betting. This POCT was increased to 21% for remote gambling in 2019. This has seen a number of betting sites leave the UK market, including Royal Panda and several others.