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Best Betting Sites UK: Top Online Bookmakers & Bookies For UK Sports Betting

Compare reviews and offers from top Betting Sites UK. Online bookmakers are different in strengths and focus. Which of the best betting sites from the UK Bookies fits your sports betting needs?

Verified Check Mark Offers Verified on June 16th

Bet £20 Get £20 as a Free Bet

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18+. New Customers Only. Max one £20 Free Bet. Qualifying bets at Odds of 1/1(2.00) or greater. Paid as Bonus Token with Min 4/5(180) Odds Req. Skrill, Neteller & Paypal not eligible. BeGambleAware.org. T&Cs Apply
All British

10% Cashback Always! + Acca Boost on all Football Bets, up to 50%

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18+ T&C Apply. Play Responsibly. Full Terms Apply.

Euro 2024 -Get £30 in Free Bets

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18+ New customers only. Opt in via mobile & bet £10+ on any sports at 2.00+ odds within 7 days. No Cash out. Get 6x £5 Free Bets on selected markets. Free bets expire in 7 days. Card payments & Apple Pay only. T&Cs apply, see below. GambleAware.org | Please gamble responsibly.

£50 in Free Bets, when you Bet £10

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New customers only. Register with SUMMER50 between 31/05/24 – 14/07/24. First bet £10+ at Evens (2.0)+ on Sports within 7 days to get 3 x £10 in Sports Free Bets & 2 x £10 in Acca Free Bets within 10 hours of settlement. 7-day expiry. Eligibility & payment exclusions apply. Full T&Cs apply.

Bet £10 Get £40 in Free Bets

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New cust only. 7 days to opt in by placing a £10 qualifying bet at 1/1 (2.0) odds or greater to receive 4x Free Bets: 1 x £10 horse racing, 1 x £10 Bet Builder, 1 x £10 Acca and 1 x £10 football. 7 day expiry. Exclusions apply. Stake not returned. T&Cs apply. 18+ BeGambleAware.org.

Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets + 50 Extra Spins

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New customers online only. Only valid with code B10G30PLUS50FS on registration. £10 min stake (if EW then min £10 Win + £10 Place). Receive £20 Tote Credit, £10 Free Bet and 50 Extra Spins on selected game within 48 hours of qualifying bet settlement. 7-day expiry. Qualifying bet is the first racing pool bet added to the bet-slip. Valid up to 7 days after registration. 18+. Full T&Cs apply.

50% Back as a Free Bet up to £25 on first day losses

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18+. New Customers only. Must have a minimum of 3 bets of £10 or more on separate events at odds of evens (2.0) or bigger on first day. First day losses equals all settled stakes less all returns. T&C's apply.

Up to £100 Extra With a 100% Profit Boost

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New reg only. Claim by placing a min deposit £10 via ‘My Offers’ page within 30 days. 7 days to stake max £10 in-play, min odds 1/1 (2.0). Max. extra winnings £100. Once claimed, 30-day expiry. Cashed out, System & EW bets do not qualify. Other Promotional Play Restrictions Apply. T&Cs apply.

Bet £20 Get £10 Free Bet

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18+, New customers only. Min deposit £20. Max One £10 Free Bet. Min turnover £20. Qualifying Bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 (2.00) or greater. paid as bonus token with Min 4/5 (1.80) odds req. T&Cs apply.

50% Back as a Free Bet up to £35 + 10 Extra Spins

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If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free online casino spins at QuinnCasino. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Extra Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org | Gamble Responsibly

Bet £25 & Get a £50 Free Bet

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18+ New Players Only. Min £ 25 qualifying bets stake not returned. Free bet - one-time stake of £ 50, min odds 1.5, stake not returned. 1X wager the winnings. Wager from real balance first. Wager calculated on bonus bets only. Max conversion: £200. Valid for 7 Days from issue. Withdrawal requests void all active/pending bonuses. Excluded Skrill and Neteller deposits. Full Terms apply.

Bet £10 & Get £10 Free Bet + 10 Bonus Spins

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#ad. 18+. Gamble Responsibly. Begambleaware.org. Min £10 deposit and bet on odds 1/1 or greater required. deposits via Paypal, Neteller, Pasafe, Skrill or Skrill 1-Tap will not be eligible for any free bet offer. Extra bet and bonus spins issued within 24 hours of quailfying bet being settled. Extra bet valid for 14 days, stake not returned. Bonus spins valid for 24 hours, selected games only.
Neptune Play

Bet £10, Get a £10 Free Bet

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18+. New Players Only. Min. $/€10 deposit and bet on odds 1/1 or greater required. Extra bets and bonus spins are issued within 24 hours of the qualifying bet being settled. Extra bet valid for 14 days, stake not returned. Bonus spins are valid for 24 hours, only available on the Book of Dead game. Terms and Conditions apply.
Parimatch Sports

Euro 2024 - Bet £10 Get £40 in Free Bets

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18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £10 (odds 2.00+) within 3 days of registration. No cash out. Get 4x£10 free bets on EURO 2024 set markets, which expire at 20:00 UK time on 14/07/2024. Offer is valid until 10:00 UK time on 08/07/2024. Selected payment methods only. Click for T&Cs. GambleAware.org | Please gamble responsibly

Welcome Offer up to £50 Free Bet + £20 Casino Bonus

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T&C's Apply, 18+, Please Gamble Responsibly.

Bet £10, Get £30 in Free Bets

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New customers & 18+ only. Min. deposit of £10. Qualifying real money bet of £10. Min odds greater than or equal to 1.5 required. E/W bets excluded. Offer awarded immediately but could be issued the next working day in exceptional circumstances such as technical fault. Additional T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly.

Bet £10, Get £10

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18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit: £10, max £10 bonus, valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets no eligible.
Zet Bet Sports

Bet £10 Get £10

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18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit: £10, max £10 bonus, valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets no eligible.

Bet £5 Get £10 In Free Bets

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New customers online only. Min Odds 3/1 (4.00), Min 3 Selections. Free Bet Valid For 7 Days
Luckster Sports

Bet £10 Get £10

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18+ Offer valid only to customers making a first deposit of £10 or more.

Bet £50, Get £25 in Free Bets Plus 10 Bonus Spins

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New customers only aged 18+. T&Cs apply. Please bet responsibly.
Bet UK

Bet £10, Get £30

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New cust only. Deposit & Place a Bet within 7 days, and settle a £10 minimum bet at odds of 4/5 (1.8) or greater, to be credited with 3x £10 Free Bets: 1 x £10 Horse Racing, 1 x £10 Free Bet Builder and 1 x £10 Football. 7 day expiry. Stake not returned. T&Cs Apply. 18+ BeGambleAware.org.

100% Welcome Bonus up to £50

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New bettors; Code SPORT; Wager deposit & bonus 8x; Max qualifying bet stake=initial bonus; Valid 60 days; Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply.

Double The Odds, Any Bet, Any Odds

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New customers. Max £10 (exc. PayPal). 100% Odds Boost Token. Keep it fun - set your deposit limit. T&Cs apply.

Bet £15 Get £10 in Free Bets

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Welcome Bonus: New players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit: £15, Max £10 Free Bet valid for 14 days. Bets Must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets no eligible. Neteller, Skrill and PayPal not eligible. T&Cs apply
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The UK is lucky to have the most competitive online gambling market in the world. It is larger and more mature than any other online gambling sector, and it also has the tightest regulation. That means UK punters have a wealth of high-quality, safe, secure, licensed online bookmakers to choose from. But this also means its harder to find the best betting sites in the UK.

UK Betting Sites Current Offer Cash Out Live Streaming Best Odds Guaranteed Acca Insurance
Bet £10, Get £30 In Free Bets
Yes Yes Yes No
Bet £10 Get £40 In Free Bets
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Up To £10 Free Bet If Your First Bet Loses + 50 Extra Spins
No Yes No No
Bet £5, Get £20 In Free Bets
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bet £10, Get £40
Yes Yes No No
Bet £10 Get £30
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
Yes Yes Yes No
Get A Matched Free Bet Up To £100
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bet UK
Bet £10, Get £30
Yes Yes No No
Bet £5, Get £20
Yes Yes Yes Yes

It can be difficult to identify the best UK online bookmakers in such a crowded field of betting sites, so we created this guide to help you out. Read on to discover the best UK betting sites, the range sports you can wager on and how to maximise your enjoyment and your chances of winning a profit when the free bet you use on your qualifying bet settles on your chosen betting site.

Up to $1,500 in Bonus Bets if Your First Bet Loses
Promo Code: BOOKIES

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Bonus Bets Expire in 7 Days. One New Customer Offer Only. Must be 21+ to participate. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (CO, DC, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, NJ, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY) Call 877-8-HOPENY or text HOPENY (467369) (NY). Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (KS, NV), 1-800-327-5050 (MA), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-270-7117 for confidential help (MI). Visit BetMGM.com for T&Cs. US promotional offers not available in NY, NV, or Puerto Rico.

Betting Sites UK Bonuses & Promotions

There are hundreds of UK betting sites, so operators must really make an effort to stand out from the crowd. The vast majority of them offer compelling welcome bonuses in a bid to attract new customers. The most common UK sign-up bonus is a deposit match offer, also known as a "bet and get" promotion. For example, Bet365 offers a bet £10, get £30 in free bets bonus. You have to play your bonus credit through once, and any winnings you earn can be withdrawn as cash. Parimatch and Tote Pool Bookmaker both offer "Bet £10, Get £30" offers, while another UK betting site, Betfred has a "Bet £10, Get £40" promotion. To unlock these free bets, or bonus bets, you will almost always need to make a qualifying real money bet.

The concept is always the same: You have to deposit some of your own money at a betting site, place a qualifying bet, unlock free bet credit and meet certain wagering requirements before you can make a withdrawal. However, some UK betting sites occasionally offer a no-deposit bonus for their customers online. This means you get a free bet credited without having to risk any of your own money with the online betting site. You generally have to play the bonus funds through several times before you can cash out, but it is possible to earn a profit from no-deposit bonuses offered by UK online bookmakers. Another great welcome offer is a risk-free bet. Some UK betting sites allow new UK customers to make a deposit, place a wager and get a full cash refund if it loses. Those bonuses are always worth claiming.

New UK customers might also be offered the chance to place a bet at extremely high odds after signing up with any of the UK bookmakers. For example, if Man City is a heavy favourite to win a Premier League game, you might be able to bet £1 at boosted odds of 30/1 on them winning the match. Much higher than what their fixed odds price would be. If you think they will win the game with ease, you can essentially earn yourself a £30 profit. Your winnings will take the form of free bet credit and must be played through once before you can withdraw. The best online bookies in the UK also provide a wide range of additional bonuses to keep existing customers happy, including UK free bets, acca insurance, acca boosts, odds boosts, best odds guaranteed on UK and Irish horse racing, prize draws and contests.

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

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Online Bookmakers In UK

There are dozens of UK online bookmakers to choose from, along with several betting exchanges and sports spread betting sites UK. However, an elite group of operators account for the vast majority of the UK gambling market. These are the most popular online bookmakers available to British players wishing to open an online betting account.

Bet365 Bookmaker

Entrepreneur Denise Coates set up Bet365 in a portakabin outside her father's betting shop in Stoke-on-Trent back in 2000. It is now the world's most popular online bookmaker, with a market leading position in the UK and many other countries around the world. This UK betting site pioneered in-play betting, live streaming, cash out and many other features we now come to take for granted on the best betting sites.

Check our Bet365 UK Bookmaker Review

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

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Used 74 Times Today
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BetMGM Online Bookmaker

BetMGM was founded in the 80s and built up the one of the best known casino brands in the world. Now they have an online sportsbook in the UK with the aim of becoming one of the most successful UK bookies online. It is also one of the top US sportsbooks after taking a dominant position in the country as sports betting opens up in more states.

Check our BetMGM UK Bookmaker Review

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

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Used 28 Times Today
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Ladbrokes Bookmaker

Ladbrokes is another UK high street giant, with betting shops spread across the country. In 2016, it merged with rival Coral to create the UK's biggest bookmaker. The group was then purchased by Bwin owner Entain.

Check our Ladbrokes Bookmaker Review

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

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Used 16 Times Today
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Betfred Bookmaker

Betfred takes its name from charismatic founder Fred Done, who has turned it into one of the UK largest betting companies. Again another company with a wide range of markets for customers to bet on. They offer competitive odds many sports, and the best odds guaranteed offer here also stretches to some greyhound races as well as horse racing. Betfred has also expanded into North America. A £10 deposit here is needed to earn the maximum free bet.

Check our Befred UK Bookmaker Review

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

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Unibet Bookmaker

The Unibet betting site was founded by a Swedish entrepreneur in his London flat in the 1990s. It is now one of the most popular online bookmakers in the world, with thousands of staff spread across the globe, but like many of the best betting sites the UK remains a key market.

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

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BoyleSports Bookmaker

The Irish bookmaker has gained a reputation for offering great betting odds on a variety of markets to attract customers to use its online betting site. However, underneath all this there is a very sophisticated UK betting site with great bonuses and a polished user experience. Particularly for horse racing, where you can find best odds guaranteed, cash out, and acca insurance offers. BoyleSports was founded in Ireland in 1982, and is one of the most prominant betting sites you will see on high streets alongside its online betting It is one of the world's largest online gambling companies, that stands alone as a private company.

Check our BoyleSports Bookmaker Review

Spreadex Bookmaker

Spreadex is possibly the UK's most popular spread betting website. It allows customers to bet in a completely different way to looking for the best odds with a fixed odds bookmaker. Spreadex also offers something similar to traditional online betting sites, a fixed odds UK sportsbook with a wide range of markets.

Check our Spereadex UK Bookmaker Review

Tote Bookmaker

The Tote was one of the best known bookmakers even before they opened an online betting site. Founded in 1928 and owned until 2011 by the UK Government it was the premier on-track betting operator in the UK, standing out from other bookmakers by operating a pool system for betting. The Placepot and Scoop 6 are two of the top offerings from the betting site.

Check our Tote Bookmaker Review

QuinnBet Bookmaker

QuinnBet is another one of those bookmakers who are well known in Irealnd and are now branching out into sports wagering in the UK with the launch of their UK betting site. The operator is well known for a reason, an easy to use website combined with great sports betting offers and top odds on a wide range of different markets.

BetVictor Bookmaker

BetVictor is one of the largest UK online bookmakers, which regularly performs well when punters vote for the best UK betting sites on the market. It offers comprehensive coverage of lots of different sports, attractive odds and valuable bonuses including a bet £10 get £40 offer for Cheltenham.

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

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Types of Sports Wagers Offered in UK Online Bookmakers

The UK bookmakers featured on our list of online betting sites UK will accept thousands of different sports wagers on a range of markets. For example, you can typically choose from more than 100 pre-match fixed odds betting markets on a single football match and dozens of live betting options.

Betting options available in the UK Online Bookmakers include straight bets, handicaps, correct scores, wincasts, accumulators, forecasts, tricasts, Yankees, Canadians, and many more markets, plus lots of ante post bets and in-play wagers.

What Sports Leagues Can I Bet On in UK Online Bookies?

You can bet on almost every league in the world when you visit the biggest UK bookmakers. The best football online betting sites UK have a wealth of wagering options on the Premier League, and of course Champions League, but you can also bet on all the lower leagues, all the way down to the Isthmian Football League, plus youth games, friendlies, women's football and leagues in obscure countries around the world.

You will be able to bet on Premiership rugby, Super League for rugby league fans, all the Grand Slam tennis tournaments, red-ball and white-ball cricket, every golf tournament and all the horse racing imaginable, and thousands of additional leagues and competitions. A fan of American football? There's plenty of NFL betting available too, with loads of NFL odds, including NFL futures markets such as Super Bowl odds.

Online Bookmakers For Fantasy Sports in UK?

Daily Fantasy Sports became popular in America before fixed odds sports betting was legalised, and the contests have not really taken off sites in the UK as an alternative to traditional betting . However, the top US DFS companies, DraftKings and FanDuel, do have sites in the UK, and Paddy Power has also launched DFS contests for UK punters. Bet365 is another one of the UK online betting sites which has entered the daily fantasy space.

How to Sign up and Place a Sports Wager at UK Online Bookies

It is very easy to place qualifying bets at UK online bookmakers. If you are wondering how to place a bet online at the best betting sites UK, you have come to the right place. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Check out our full list of betting sites UK, read our online bookies reviews and choose the site that fits your needs.
  2. Sign up for an account with one of the best betting sites by providing basic personal details like your name, date of birth, address and phone number.
  3. Verify your bookie website account by uploading a scan of your passport or driving licence and a utility bill.
  4. Fund your account via your preferred method and claim your welcome bonus.
  5. Find a sport you want to bet on, click on a game, identify a betting market that appeals and click on it.
  6. Your selection will then be added to your bet slip, allowing you to make a sports bet online. Enter the amount you want to stake, check you are happy with the potential winnings, and click to confirm the bet.

Why Trust Bookies' UK Bookmakers Reviews?

The industry experts in our review team know precisely what constitutes a great bookmaker and what is needed to be classed as one of the best betting sites. We conduct in-depth, impartial reviews of the various sports betting sites in the UK and all the new UK bookies to gauge their strengths and weaknesses. These are the key criteria we focus on when compiling our best UK bookmakers list.

How are UK Betting Sites Regulated?

Only sites that are fully licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission of Great Britain make our list of best UK betting sites. The UK Gambling Commission is the world's most respected regulatory body, and it ensures online bookmakers uphold very high standards in terms of fairness, security and transparency at all times on their betting sites.

Betting Sites UK Reputation

We seek out UK betting sites that have a great reputation among punters. We interact with our broad community of sports bettors to uncover the online bookies that treat players fairly, settle bets in an honest fashion and pay out in full and on time.

Betting Sites Accessibility

We shine a light on good betting sites that make the online wagering process quick, convenient and simple. A betting site may boast a wealth of exciting features and thousands of betting options, but the layout must be neat and clear, and the bookie must be accessible via the website and the mobile app.


Nobody wants to use UK betting sites that crash at inopportune moments, like when a race is about to go off or a football match is entering a crucial stage. This is sometimes an issue with new sports betting sites UK, so we recommend sites that have proven themselves to be reliable – in terms of performance, payments and user experience – for a prolonged period of time.

Bookmakers Desktop and Mobile Experience

Our list of online bookmakers consists only of operators that offer a fantastic user experience via a mobile device, tablet, laptop or desktop. They must be easy to navigate, free of clutter and rich with useful features that enhance the betting experience.

Generous and Ongoing Sports Bet Bonuses

The best internet betting sites UK will provide a generous welcome bonus. They then provide customers with a range of valuable ongoing promotions to keep them happy. We recommend UK betting sites that offer lucrative bonuses that do not come with unrealistic wagering requirements for qualifying bets.

Payment Options

You should be able to choose from a large selection of convenient deposit and withdrawal options at our recommended betting sites. UK punters should be able to make free and instant debit card deposits and rapid withdrawals, while also having the ability to choose from alternative payment options such as e-wallets, bank transfers and prepaid cards at the best betting sites.

Variety of Games to Bet On

The best online UK betting sites cover dozens of sports in exceptional depth. You should be able to bet on thousands of football matches each week, for example, with upward of 100 betting options on most games. You should never be stuck for a fixed odds bet with the range of markets available at the best betting sites.

Better Odds

We seek out the UK online bookies that consistently offer above average odds on a broad array of betting markets. We make a best odds bookmakers comparison and highlight the best odds betting sites UK for our readers.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Established sports betting UK brands and new online bookies should offer secure, dependable deposits and withdrawals. Punters should enjoy broad deposit and withdrawal limits via a wide selection of different methods.

Payout Process at the Best UK Betting Sites

Requesting a payout from one of the best betting sites should be quick and straightforward at any UK betting site. The payments team should process payout requests quickly, ensuring winning players receive their funds in a timely manner.

Security at Online Betting Sites in the UK

We only recommend UK bookmakers with a flawless security record. They use aggressive Transport Layer Security encryption to protect your personal and financial details and hire teams of dedicated security experts to ward off threats.

Top 5 UK Sports Teams to Bet On

Football is the most popular sport in the UK by a country mile, and these are the five most popular sports teams to bet on:

Manchester United

The Red Devils became one of the world’s most popular sports teams when Sir Alex Ferguson led them to a trophy-laden spell between 1992 and 2013. They had always enjoyed passionate support in the Manchester area, but the fan base expanded dramatically in the Fergie years. Man Utd have not been quite so successful post-Ferguson, but a slew of high-profile transfers in recent years mean they are contenders for glory once more.


The Reds are the most successful team in English football history. Dozens of world-class players have graced the turf at Anfield over the years, from Kenny Dalglish to Virgil Van Dijk. Liverpool are one of the best supported clubs in the UK and around the world, and you will find bookmaker odds and online betting offers on all of their games.


The Gunners also boast a long and storied history, having dominated English football in the 1930s. They produced some terrific teams in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, before Arsene Wenger turned the club into a modern powerhouse in the late 1990s and 2000s. Arsenal have spent a few years in the wilderness, but millions of passionate fans dream of a return to the glory days of Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires leading the club to an unbeaten Premier League season.


Chelsea lack the glorious heritage of Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal, but no English club has been more successful in the modern era. Roman Abramovich has transformed the Blues into perennial Premier League and Champions League contenders, and Chelsea are now one of the most prominent teams featured at the sport betting sites on our list of the biggest bookmakers UK punters can access.

Manchester City

Man City have also reaped the benefits of wealthy owners in the modern era. The Abu Dhabi ruling family has invested heavily in bringing world-class players to the Etihad Stadium in recent years, allowing the Citizens to dominate their rivals in the Premier League. Man City were always popular in Manchester, perhaps more so than Man Utd, but glory hunting knows no bounds, and their supporter base has spread across the country ever since Sergio Aguero slammed in that last-gasp winner against QPR to seal the title in 2012.

UK Online Casinos

There are more than 100 different licensed online casinos for UK bettors to choose from. Some follow an online casino with a UK betting site model, while others are just a standalone online casino in their own right.

When choosing an online casino, you should seek out gambling websites that offer excellent game quality, game variety, user experience, bonuses and reliability. They should feature hundreds of slots and table games from some of the world’s most deeply respected software providers, such as Microgaming, Playtech, Evolution Gaming, IGT and Play’n Go, plus lots of small, exciting, up-and-coming software studios, and they should regularly refresh their ranges to keep things exciting.

UK Racebooks

A racebook is an American term for a bookmaker that accepts bets on horse racing. In the United States, bookmakers are typically divided into racebooks and sportsbooks due to legislation. In the UK, the catch-all term “bookmaker” is used for an online betting website that accepts bets on horse racing and greyhounds along with lots of sports.

The leading online bookies in the UK take bets on all UK and Irish horse racing through the flat and National Hunt seasons, plus greyhounds and harness racing. You can also bet on horse racing from around the world, including Australia, the United States, Japan, South Africa, France and various other countries, along with a wealth of antepost horse racing markets.

Is UK Sports Betting Legal?

Online sports betting has been legal in the UK for several decades. The 1960 Betting and Gaming Act legalised off-course bookmakers, allowing betting shops to spring up across the country. Online sports betting began when the technology was ready. The first betting sites to launch in the UK were independent online bookmakers, but high street giants like William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, Betfred and Paddy Power quickly launched websites too.

A major catalyst for growth was the launch of Bet365 in 2000, which has gone on to become the world’s leading online bookmaker. These are also some of the companies who make our list of the best betting sites.

Why Online Sports Betting is Superior to Offline Betting

You can unlock several benefits when betting at online bookies as opposed to visiting your local betting shop. First, you will enjoy greater choice. You might only have a few rival betting shops in your area, but when you go online everyone has access to the best betting sites regardless of your loctation in the UK. You can choose from dozens of high-quality online bookmakers in the UK. That allows you to get the best available odds on every sporting event, thus boosting your chances of securing a profit.

UK betting sites also hand out generous welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions. You will not receive bonuses when you visit a physical bookie. You will also not be able to take best odds guaranteed on horse racing bets. It is also a lot easier, quicker and more convenient to use the best online bookies. You can just pick up your mobile phone, tap the screen a few times and place your qualifying bets.

The best new betting sites UK and the leading established UK sports betting sites also offer live streaming, allowing you to follow the action on your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop. You can choose from a wealth of in-play betting options, and there is no need to stand in a queue and wait for a cashier to take your bet, so you never have to worry about losing a price. You can benefit from 24/7 customer service at the best bookmakers online too, and the deposit and withdrawal process is safe and convenient, as opposed to walking out of a betting shop with a wad of cash.

UK Sports Betting History

1539 - Organised horse racing began at Chester and spectators would bet on the action as its popularity spread across the country. By 1550, the puritans were rallying against gambling taking place at spas such as Bath and Epsom, and Queen Elizabeth launched the first lottery in 1566.

1710 - The Gaming Act was established during the reign of Queen Anne. It set a maximum allowable gaming debt to be 10 pounds. 

1750 - The Jockey Club was formed at Newmarket, with the aim of preventing any dishonesty in horse racing. This paved the way for gambling on horse racing to become more widespread, and famous races like the St Leger Stakes and the Derby at Epsom were launched in the subsequent decades.

1790 - Harry Ogden became the world’s first official bookmaker when he introduced the innovation of laying odds on every horse in a race.

1845 - The 1845 Gaming Act introduced legislation to ensure that bookmakers were paying out correctly.

1853 - This made wagering at high street betting shops illegal, meaning all betting activities had to take place at horse racing tracks. The invention of the telephone in 1875 allowed on-track bookmakers to take remote bets from people across the country.

1960 - The Betting and Gaming Act legalised off-track bookmakers once more, allowing betting shops to return to high streets and accept bets on various sports.

1996 -UK punters started betting online after gambling websites launched. Four years later, Bet365 launched their betting site, revolutionising the industry.

2001 - Chancellor Gordon Brown abolished betting taxes for punters and began taxing bookmakers instead. Many moved offshore to Gibraltar, Malta or the Isle of Man, but a point of consumption tax then forced them to pay tax on bets accepted from UK punters.

2005 - The Gambling Act in the United Kingdom created the Gambling Commission, which regulates the industry on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It introduced new protections for children and vulnerable adults.

Responsible Gambling

The UK Gambling Commission is tasked with regulating the operators on our list of UK licenced bookmakers. The best betting sites must comply with strict regulations, and they will be fined heavily if they fail to do so. For example, the Gambling Commission fined Betway a record £11.6 million for failings over customer protection and money-laundering checks. If bookmakers continue to fail when it comes to responsible gambling, their licences will be removed.

UK Online Sports Betting FAQs

Is online sports betting legal in UK?

Online sports betting is completely legal at UK licensed bookmakers, provided you are 18 or older. However, several illegal, unlicensed betting sites also target British punters, so it is important to stick to safe, legal, regulated UK betting sites and apps. Visit Bookies.com to see a list of the best UK bookmakers on the market.

Is single-game wagering available in UK?

Single-game wagering has been available in the UK for several decades. High street British bookmakers such as William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Karamba have been taking wagers on single games and accas for many years, and online UK betting sites have been operating since the 1990s. Visit Bookies.com for a full bookies list of UK licensed bookmakers, including Bet365, Betfred, SkyBet, William Hill, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power.

What is the legal age for Online Sports Betting in UK?

You must be over 18 to wager at online bookmakers, UK Gambling Commission regulations stipulate. There are dozens of ambitious UK betting sites to choose from, check out our list of online bookmakers UK to discover the best. We only recommend safe, reputable, trustworthy online betting sites with competitive odds and great bonuses in our list of UK licensed bookmakers.

Where can I bet on sports in UK?

You can visit your nearest betting shop or simply head online and use one of the best betting sites. There are a wealth of UK betting sites to choice from. You will then be presented with a broader choice, allowing you to claim the best odds, the best bonuses and the strongest customer service from a list of betting websites.

What are the best UK online bookmakers?

The best online betting sites UK is really a matter of personal preference. Some sites offer consistently great odds, while others offer the best bonuses or the highest betting limits, while there are also best online betting site for football, horse racing, cricket or various other sports. Yet the most popular gambling websites are Bet365, William Hill, Paddy Power, Betfair, Ladbrokes, Coral, Betfred, Unibet, 888 Sport and Betway, and they are also some of the best UK bookies.

What online bookmakers offer free bets in UK?

The top UK bookmakers offer free bets as an incentive to register for an account. For example, Bet365 offers a 100% deposit match welcome bonus, whereby you can receive free bet credit worth up to £100 if you place qualifying bets, and Ladbrokes offers a 400% welcome bonus worth £20. Visit Bookies.com to uncover the best UK betting sites offers.

How do I place a bet online in UK?

You should start by reading our sports betting online sites reviews and then sign up for an account with one of the best UK bookmakers. You can then make a deposit, navigate to a sport you want to bet on, find a particular event and click on the betting option you are interested in. Your selection will then be added to the bet slip, so you can enter the amount you would like to bet, check you are happy with the potential profit and click to confirm the bet.

What is the best bookmaker app in UK?

The best bookmakers in the UK all have apps that can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. It's subjective, but the team at Bookies.com enjoyed using the Bet365 app, the Ladbrokes app and the Unibet app. You can check out our sports betting sites reviews to find the app that most appeals to you as a punter.

What are the available payment methods at betting sites UK?

The biggest online bookies in UK will accept debit card payments, but credit cards are not permitted under UK law. Alternative options include PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PaySafeCard or a direct bank transfer. The best UK licensed bookmakers do not accept crypto.

About the Author

Bookies.com Staff for Bookies.com
Bookies.com Staff