UK Sports Betting

August 19, 2017
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Your Guide To The Best UK Bookmakers

Legal UK Sports Betting Online Tested and Reviewed by Our Experts
Online Sports Betting United Kingdom

Real money sports betting in the UK has been around almost as long as sport itself, and it has been regulated and legalised for decades. In any UK city in 2017, you can find plenty of brick 'n' mortar bookies that will happily take a wager on a horse race, football or rugby match.

With the recent explosion in online and mobile gambling, however, sports betting online is simpler than ever, with favourable laws for GB gamblers and many Internet gambling sites based in the UK. If there is any one nation that can truly claim to be the home of bookmaking, it's arguably the United Kingdom.

For August 2017, our top rated UK sports betting site is Betway Sports.

Each UK sports betting site we review is sure to have:

  • Lines for any sport and league you could want, inside and outside the UK
  • Attractive sign up bonuses and loyalty programs
  • Top-notch customer service and encryption security

Popularity of Sports Betting in the UK

Even before it was regulated in 1960, sports betting has always been an extremely popular form of gambling in the United Kingdom. When it comes to team sports, the most popular sport for bettors is by far football – or soccer - with Premier League and Champions League matches naturally owning the lion's share of betting action. In recent years, betting on major American sporting events – particularly professional American football and the Super Bowl – has also become quite popular.

UK Betting Online Legality

If you live in Great Britain or Northern Ireland, you probably know that there are few restrictions on sports betting in the United Kingdom. Whether it's at a high street bookie or the best betting and gambling websites around, it's easy to place bets on virtually anything. And best of all, gambling tax has been scrapped, so that any winnings you receive on sports gaming will not be swallowed up by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. As long as you are over 18, there's nothing to stop you enjoying UK sports betting in 2017 – on the web or off.

Options for Sports Betting in the UK

The options for sports betting in the UK are virtually unlimited. If you enjoy betting online, there are numerous licensed and regulated online bookmakers that are happy to take bets on any event you like, from popular UK events to those taking place around the world.

We recommend sticking with the best online betting sites in the UK that we've carefully selected, both for their reliability and the great odds they offer to punters. There you will generally have better odds than some land-based shops, and the range of bets on offer will be wider. Now you can watch a football match on TV and bet 'in-running' while the game is going on, all from the comfort of your sofa and laptop.

Many of the best Internet bookmakers for British gamblers have links to real money online casinos and poker rooms too, so if you want to try out other games with your hard-earned UK currency, it's easy to switch funds between disciplines online.

Betting on Major Sports in the UK

It should come as no surprise that football (soccer) is the most popular sport for betting online (and otherwise) in the United Kingdom. This is especially true in England, where the Barclays Premier League is one of the top football leagues in the world, having very high popularity not only in the UK but also in the United States, Australia, Ireland and continental Europe.

It should come as no surprise that football (soccer) is the most popular sport for betting on the net in the United Kingdom. This is especially true in England, where the Barclays Premier League is one of the top football leagues in the world, having very high popularity at home and abroad.

Every four years, the World Cup takes place, and online bookmakers report record levels of Internet gambling action. It's around this time that many web sports betting sites offer their best promos and welcome bonus offers, so make sure to shop around when a major tournament is about to start.

But football is far from the only betting sport that is popular at the bookmaker in the UK. Rugby, in both its Union and League forms, is also a beloved pastime for millions, and cricket brings out the armchair betting enthusiasts every summer when the whites are donned and teams walk out to the crease. When the Ashes takes place every two years between England and Australia, you should expect a sports betting frenzy on the web.

In recent years, some North American sports like basketball, American football and ice hockey have also gained a foothold, with many good GB gambling websites offering markets on these sports.

We Find the Best UK Sports Betting Places

The Internet sports betting world is your oyster. Sign up for a great real money account today via one of our top links and earn yourself an exclusive GB welcome bonus. Our experts compare and test dozens of great sites offering betting on sport, and our opinions count. Read our comparisons, pick a room, and start winning today.

FAQ's - UK Sports Betting

Real money ports betting sites are popular all over the world, but when it comes to the UK, it's taken a lot more seriously. With Football being a huge sport throughout the UK, betting seems to go hand in hand with that and attracts a vast amount of customers to various sites. But, the beauty of online betting is that you can bet on all sports and have the opportunity to make a lot of money at the click of a button. If you're new to the online betting world, the following list will answer some of the typical questions that you may have.

How does sports betting work online?

Sports betting is relatively straight forward on UK betting sites. Every sport that is available for customers to bet on will be listed in a toolbar on each site and each link will take you to that sports page, ready for you to place your bets. Once you have selected your bets, you will have an option of what stake you would like to use and usually the returns on that bet will be shown to you before it is placed. Once the bet has been made and you were to win, the winnings will be added to your account once each part of the bet has finished e.g. the end of a football game. From there you can carry on making bets with the money in your account or you can withdraw to your bank, it's extremely easy to get used to and most websites are easy to navigate.

How can I understand sports betting?

The best way to understand sports betting is simply by researching the different ways to make bets and how the odds work. With most online sports betting sites, when you are placing a bet it will show you how much you can win on that bet so that you don't have to calculate the odds yourself, this makes it a lot easier for newcomers to adapt. With sports betting, once you've learnt the basic routine of placing bets and realising which odds favour you, it's a very profitable market for people who take it seriously. The more you research and the more you know about the sports you are betting on, the better off you'll be.

Where should I start?

If you're new to sports betting then researching the gambling before you join is definitely recommended. You want to try and find a site that covers a wide variety of sports and offers various betting options, this way you'll have much more fun and you will have always have something new to bet on.

Also, a site that offers a lucrative welcome bonus or sign up promotion is ideal for new customers. This way you can maximise your deposit and get used to the online betting world without risking too much of your own money.

What sports are popular in the UK?

The UK is mainly centred around football. Football is definitely the biggest market for customers to bet on and every site offers a wide variety of betting options and special promotions for new customers. There a lot of other sports that are popular in the UK, such as: Tennis, Golf, Darts, Horse Racing and Rugby. American sports are definitely an upcoming market in the UK and will constantly grow over the next few years. If some of the above sports aren't what you are looking for, you'll definitely find your favourite sport over numerous sites.

How to calculate payouts?

For newcomers, there are plenty of bet calculators online that will help you understand the payout of your bet and what money you would receive if your bet were to win. But, the following example will be an indicator of a typical bet you will see over time in the online sports betting world.

  • If you were to bet on a football team to win at the odds of 2:1 (2/1), this means that for every 1 you place, you will receive 2 of those and your original stake back.
  • So - if you were to place £10 on 2:1 and the bet won, you would receive £20 profit and your original stake in your account (£10 on a 2:1 pays £30).

How can I win?

Online sports betting for real money is a whole different ball game to your favourite card or table entertainment offered at online casinos. With this type of online wagering you can use your powers of deduction to help inform the bets you place, as opposed to simple the luck of the draw in the case of casino online play. Winning isn't guaranteed, but you can look forward the raised chances that knowledge based betting will afford you.

Keep an eye on your bankroll at all times is of vital importance. Many bettors go all in on a risky first bet, lose, and then their money is spent. Sticking to a slow and steady betting system, along with placing those bets on favourites, gives you a much better chance of winning more over a longer period of time.

Should I use a strategy?

In regards to sports betting, there aren't many specific strategies to use other than studying the form and using your knowledge of that sport to give you a better feeling on which bets to place. However, based on your bankroll you can take a conservative approach and bet on very favourable odds for you, which will slowly build up your bankroll and will reduce the risk of losing a lot of money. But, sometimes going with your gut feeling can be the best strategy of all.

How are the odds calculated?

Odds can be calculated in a number of different ways by sports betting sites, but one of the main ways is probability in conjunction with bets that have been placed by customers. For example; with online sports betting, the odds before a game will never stay the same from the day before up until the game itself. They will always fluctuate due to the different bets people are making and the probability factor combined with that.

How do predictors work?

Sports betting predictors are a set of events that when combined for a specific game for a specific sport, represent a profitable betting scenario. Sportsbooks tend to use these predictors in their analysis to provide more accurate odds for games in each sport. But, it is known that novice players get caught up in the illusion that using a system will work. However, it's fairly likely that the people creating the odds will have adjusted the system so that it cannot be used for a profitable purpose.

Are sports betting sites safe?

Sports betting sites (sportsbooks) are extremely safe all across the UK, usually when you are looking at a website to join, they will have a specific page giving you information about the security measures they have in place at their sites. They will also inform you on the depositing and withdrawal process and how secure those transactions are. There are a number of successful online betting sites in the UK and doing some research on which are the most secure could benefit you as a newcomer to the betting world.

Are my winnings taxable?

No, the beauty of online sports betting is that you get to keep everything you win. The site itself is taxed to be available in the UK market, but this has no impact on the players.

What is a good sports betting app?

There are plenty of sports betting apps available in the UK and some of the following offer a great service for customers.

William Hill is one of the largest bookmakers in the world and is available on both iPhone and Android. Users are able to experience everything that is offered in the browser, such as; withdraw from their accounts, place live in-play bets and access all of the markets available on the site. With Android, it's much simpler to download as users don't have to gain approval to enter the app marketplace. Whereas, Apple are very stringent with what apps can be added to the apple store. However, the app is available with both devices and is easy to navigate for on the move betting.

Bet 365 is another popular sports betting app in the UK that's available for iPhone and Android. Not only does it offer in-play betting, live scores and results and deposit/withdrawal options, it also allows users to watch live streams of sporting events. This is a great addition to the app as customers can watch the sports they are betting on and hopefully watch their bet come through. Additionally, promotions will sometimes be implemented to encourage users to download the app and use it for in-play betting.

Are free bets available?

Some websites will offer free bets for new customers and allows new customers to get to grips with the website without risking their own money first. However, some websites will give players free bets after a certain amount of money has been placed on bets, essentially as a reward. The best thing to do is research some websites and join the best one for you.

Bet at Betway Sports,'s Top Rated Sportsbook »
Best Online UK Sports Book
Betway Sports   4.9/5 Bet Now

So many options... I was pretty surprised at how many different betting options they had at Betway. It's actually a bit overwhelming at first, but it didn't take long to figure out how everything works and now it's easy to find and bet on the exact games I'm looking for.

J. Patterson
Betway Sports
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