Article Content
  1. Top 3 Foreign Bookmakers in the UK
  2. Betting in the UK - Things to know
  3. Sports Betting
  4. Betting Options
  5. Odds format
  6. User Experience
  7. Offers and Promotions
  8. Betting Features
  9. UK Online Casinos
  10. Payment methods
  11. Mobile betting and apps
  12. Security and Regulations
  13. Customer Support
  14. FAQs
  15. Interesting facts
  16. Betting Restrictions
  17. Conclusion

Which are the TOP bookmakers in the UK and where to bet safely?

UK bettors have the opportunity to choose from many bookmaker websites where to bet. This could be to their advantage or not depending on how familiar a player is with the bookmakers. The good news is that punters can choose from different betting websites, which however can be confusing. To help you with the choice, we have provided a table with some of the best online bookmaker websites for the United Kingdom:

Live Streaming
Live Betting
New customers using Promo Code R30 only. Min £10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £10 free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment methods/player/country restrictions apply. 18+ T&C apply | | | Play Responsibly
Live Streaming
Live Betting
New UK 18+ only. Register with promo code WELCOME40, Bet £10+ on Sports in one transaction. Get £30 Free Bets & £10 free spins within 10hrs of bet settlement. Bonuses expire 7 days after issue. Min odds, eligibility & payment exclusions apply. Full T&Cs apply. | | | Play Responsibly
New Offer
Live Streaming
Live Betting
New customers only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. Min Deposit: £10. Free Bet awarded: £10. 1 x £10 must be wagered at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card deposits only (exclusions apply). Free bet will expire 7 days after the 1st deposit. 18+. Bet The Responsible Way. Full Terms apply |
Live Streaming
Live Betting
18+ Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions + T&Cs apply. | |
Live Streaming
Live Betting
18+ | T&Cs apply. New reg only. Claim by placing a min deposit £10 via "My Offers" page within 30 days. Skrill/Neteller deposits excl. 7 days to stake max £10 in-play. Max. extra winnings £100. (Full T&Cs apply) | | LeoSafePlay
Live Streaming
Live Betting
New Customers only. Registration required. Bet £10* & Get £30* in Free Bets. Sign up, deposit between £5* and £10* to your account and bet365 will give you three times that value in Free Bets when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. +18 | Terms & Conditions time limits & exclusions apply. #Advertisement
  • Population: Being one of the most populous countries in the world, the UK has reached a total population of approximately 67 million people.
  • Active players: Out of the adults of the entire population, the UKGC was able to derive that 50% of the total adult population was engaged in some form of gambling activity.
  • Currency: The British Pound is the main currency in the UK. However, some websites do allow the Euro to be used as an alternative.
  • Regulated gambling products: Since it’s perfectly legal to gamble in the UK, almost all gambling products are allowed. In this country, you’ll find sports betting platforms, race betting sites, online casinos, poker platforms, and the like.
  • Operator types: Both online and physical gaming firms can be found in the UK. These days though, online gambling platforms are getting more popular, giving online gaming hubs a bigger slice of the entire gambling market.
  • Designated authority: The designated authority of gambling in the UK is the UK Gambling Commission or simply the UKGC.
  • Status: Currently, gambling is totally legal in the country but regulated by the UKGC.

Top 3 Foreign Bookmakers in the United Kingdom


Ladbrokes has been around since 1886 and has established itself as a strong brand. It’s known for a wide array of betting options, impressive odds, and high-quality customer support. The site has a solid in-play and live betting section. The best part is its proven authority and credibility in the field, especially in the online gaming space.

Paddy Power

Paddy Power has a great mobile platform that’s attractive and interactive. Along with the mobile platform, it also has a cash-out option and a really lovely sports bonus. Unfortunately, there are several country restrictions for this website so not everyone can enjoy it.


Bet365 is a powerhouse in the sports betting market. With a great selection of sports markets, very high odds, an interactive website, and a wide array of bonuses, this website definitely goes somewhere at the top. The only disadvantage is that this UK bookmaker has strict wagering or betting limits.

Important things to know about betting sites in the United Kingdom

  1. Betting environment
    By knowing some of the essential figures relating to the UK gambling market and the three top bookmakers of the country, you now have an idea of what the betting environment is like. Of course, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. To fully understand the market, you need to check out more in-depth facts about the betting environment. Check out some of the crucial things to know below.

  2. Competition
    First, let’s talk about the players in the market. We already mentioned 888sports, 22bet, and Bet365 as our top three contenders for the best in the UK market. However, they aren’t the only ones there. Other UK bookmakers that come close include Paddy Power, William Hill, and Ladbrokes.

  3. Operators
    The UK has over a thousand operators under its gambling licenses with up to 200 gaming tech companies that help develop the software used for gambling.

  4. Active players
    As mentioned, active players make up 50% of the whole adult population in the UK.

  5. Vital info for players in the United Kingdom
    One of the critical things to know about is that 97% of all gamblers gamble when they’re at home. Also, the two most popular sports that they bet on are football and horse racing. Other sports that come close include tennis and dog racing.

  6. Gambling taxes and players’ safety
    Since the UK wholly supports gambling, there are no taxes that need to be paid upon earning profits. So if you’re a gambler, you take home whatever you win from your bets. This is all the more reason to love the UK gambling scene.

Sports Betting in the United Kingdom: An Overview

As a punter in the UK sports market, you’ll love the football betting sites, horse racing betting sites, cricket betting sites, and greyhound betting sites. Let’s talk a bit more about them.

UK Football betting sites

All of the gambling platforms from the UK have a football betting market in both the regular betting section and the live betting section. It’s one of the most popular sports markets in the UK and was able to net a total of £786,000,000 from 2016 to 2017. That’s how much gamblers are willing to bet on football games.

UK Horse racing betting sites

While horse racing isn’t as popular as football, they still come close as almost all UK sportsbooks have a horse racing section. In fact, horse racing betting netted a total of £569,000,000 from 2016 to 2017.

Online cricket betting sites UK

We wouldn’t say that cricket is a very popular game to bet on, but it still is a popular sport to play. That’s why it still has a market in the sports betting industry. Still, in the year 2016-2017, online cricket betting reached a total of £27,000,000.

UK Greyhound betting sites

Dog racing is second to horse racing in the racing market. Although it’s not as popular as horse racing by a long shot, a lot of punters still love to bet on their favourite greyhounds. Because of that, the Greyhound betting market netted a total of £53,000,000 from 2016 to 2017.

Available betting markets in most bookmakers

For British bookmakers, the standard sports would include football, horse racing, cricket, tennis, badminton, and dog racing. However, it’s not uncommon that other sports are included too like boxing, basketball, motocross, F1, snow sports, and many more. Even more unorthodox markets like politics and eSports may be included.

What kind of odds format is used in the United Kingdom?

The odds format usually used in the UK is the fractional odds format. However, some bookmakers offer other types to cater to international clients. Some prefer decimal odds or different types.

User Experience

Since a lot of the big boys come from the UK, the bookmakers there has a high-quality standard to follow. They all give priority to user experience above all else. That said, UK players will really get to enjoy good gambling platforms from their hometown.

Bonuses and promotions for players from the UK

Bonuses for UK playersSince bookmakers from the UK are rather aggressive in promoting their brands, it’s no surprise that a lot of bonuses are offered.

UK players will have the chance to enjoy a lot of cool welcome bonuses, accumulator bonuses, and other UK promotions for joining various bookmakers and being loyal to certain ones.

Live Betting, Live Streaming & Cash-Out Features

Live betting is a must for any UK bookmaker – especially if they have football markets. In fact, live betting can be considered one of the most exciting forms of betting since it allows you to participate in the game by putting money on what you think is the winning team.

As for live streaming, most top UK bookmakers offer it on their betting sites and exchanges. The great thing about live streaming is that it allows you to watch the game you want while monitoring your bets. It’s an excellent feature for hardcore sports fans.

For the cash-out feature, a lot of veteran bookmakers don’t offer it. However, the more modern ones already do. It’s a great feature that allows you to have more control over your risk. 22bet and Bet365 have this feature in their platform.

Online Casinos in the UK

One thing you’ll notice about the UK bookmakers is that they’re very complete. Not only do they offer a sports section, but they also provide a casino (along with live casino) section. That’s because online casinos are so popular among the British punters. In fact, the online casino sector of the UK contributed up to £2.2 billion in 2017.

Available methods for withdrawals and deposits

In the UK, both Visa and Mastercard are viable options for online betting. Aside from that, you may also try out other effective options like bank wire transfers and e-wallets like Skrill. However, it seems that credit cards/debit cards still remain to be the most widely used option.

Mobile betting and betting apps

Mobile betting is also very popular among the British. Out of the 97% of total active players that stay at home while gambling, about half of that range play on their mobile phones. With that in mind, you can really say that mobile betting has swept the UK gambling industry. So to cater to that, the UK bookmakers also offer either betting apps or mobile websites to cater to this enormous demand.

Safety and security

Even though gambling is totally legal in the UK, that doesn’t mean the regulatory bodies let the gambling companies do anything they want. The UKGC is very strict when it comes to regulations in order to protect the information and identity of the customers who join these websites. A license granted means that a bookmaker has passed scrutiny from the UKGC and also means that the bookmaker is safe.

Besides, bookmakers usually make use of a standard SSL encrypted security, allowing the back-end team to fully protect all data that goes in through the betting systems of UK bookmakers. This promotes further safety and peace of mind among users.

Is Customer Support good enough for players from the United Kingdom?

We can say that the customer support of most UK bookmakers is up to standard. However, this does depend on the individual bookmaker. There are some bookmakers with better assistance than others. Of course, the top tier UK betting sites (such as the ones that we’ve mentioned above), all have pretty good customer service. We can say that as a whole, the industry provides good customer support to its clientele.


What is the best betting website in the UK?

We’d like to bet on Bet365 as the best betting website in the UK.

Which betting app gives the best odds for the UK players?

Being one of the top websites in the UK, Bet365 is known for its very high odds. 22bet does come in somewhere second.

What is the most reliable sports betting site for the UK?

Both Bet365 and 22bet are known to be very reliable sports betting sites. They offer high-quality experience and features. Other trustworthy sites include 888sport and William Hill.

Do most UK bookmakers provide tips for their clients?

Most of the UK bookmakers have a section for tips. A lot also provide tools that allow one to fully analyze the UK betting environment and create a good strategy.

Do all UK bookmakers have mobile apps?

Not all of them have a dedicated mobile app. Almost all have a mobile-friendly website, though.

Are accumulator bet points usually offered by UK bookmakers?

This really depends on the bookmaker. A lot offer accumulator point bonuses, but some don’t.

Is matched betting legal in the UK?

Yes, matched betting is totally legal.

Interesting facts (Did you know that...)

  • The Queen also loves betting on horses
  • Virtual sports made up for £175,000,000 of the annual profit in 2017
  • Frankie Dettori won all 7 horse races at the Ascot sometime in the year 1996

Are there any restrictions for players from the UK?

So far, there aren’t that many restrictions for players from the UK. However, there are a few UK bookmakers who impose some membership restrictions when people from other countries try to join the UK bookmakers.


As the UK highly encourages gambling since it’s a part of their cultural heritage, many big bookmakers can be found in the country. Of course, the heavy hand of UKGC is also a factor as to why the gambling market grew. The UKGC had concrete rules and regulations that allow the UK bookmakers to have enough free hand to operate profitably. At the same time, these regulations made sure that there are no dubious bookmakers that can enter the market.

We can say that the United Kingdom is a great place for punters who want to have a go at betting while enjoying a well-regulated and safe gambling atmosphere.

Hristian Tsutsev

Hristian Tsutsev

Hristiyan is an experienced editor and has keen expertise when it comes to creating original and high-quality sports analyses and reviews of leading bookmakers. His responsibilities also include keeping our reader up to date with all exciting and topical news from the world of online sports betting and iGaming.

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