Betting has been a popular recreational activity in the United Kingdom for centuries. Horse racing has been a perennial favourite while sports such as football have huge followings. The online sports betting market in the UK has been growing rapidly over the past few decades, with an estimated 2.1 million Brits partaking.
Online Betting Sites in Popular Culture
Many online betting sites have entered into popular culture, particularly via football with shirt sponsorships including BetVictor, Betway and Fun88 on current Premier League clubs. There’s no shortage of options and choice for betting websites in the UK, with some of the most well-known being Ladbrokes, 888sport, Coral, Mansion Bet, BetVictor, mr.Play sport, and QuinnBet to name a few.
Some of the Top Bookmakers
Which are the top UK betting sites? Here are a few examples: Betfred is well-known and possesses a great app which is fully functional. There is simplicity in Betfred’s welcome offer and promotions, along with the app which is fast and easy to navigate, particularly for a beginner. It also offers live streaming like a few others.
888 sport has grown its popularity in casino gaming as well as sports. It has plenty of markets and offers in its sportsbook, as well as great odds on random and niche sports and events. It offers plenty of fun promotions too.
Paddy Power have developed a cult audience as claims to be the money-back-special kings. They offer a simple welcome bonus and as a platform are easy to understand for beginners. It also offers rewards for long-term customers.
BetVictor, Virgin Bet, and mr.Play Sport all offer nice introductory benefits as well as some novelty promotions. Mr.Play, while being a relatively new betting site, has already started to make quite a name for itself. These betting sites, like every other site mentioned at this page, are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.
How Do I Create a Betting Site Account?
Practically all established and new UK betting sites have simplified how to create a new customer account. For some, it’s even possible to login using your Facebook or PayPal account. Generally it’s a fairly simple process where you fill in your name, age, address, and mobile phone number. It may seem a little annoying that you have to submit so much personal information, but betting sites in the UK are required by law to collect detailed customer knowledge.
Welcome Bonuses and Promotions
Most bookies incentivise by offering bonuses and promotions to get business including free bets, free first bet money or welcome offers, bet credits, money back offers, profit boosts or double the odds offers.
Welcome bonuses or sign-up offers to attract new customers, while it’s an opportunity of the user to trial and familiarise with their software or app. Welcome bonuses do change frequently and the fine details must be scrutinised.
Also look if there is any promo code. If so, make sure you enter it while doing your first deposit, otherwise you may not qualify for the bonus. For online bookmakers that use promo codes, there is usually a field in the form labelled “Enter promo code”.
- Deposit bonuses, also known as a reload bonus, is a common promotions where the betting site matches the percentage of your deposit. This will vary from site to site but some may offer from 50% to up to 100%. Some will have caps on the maximum bonus.
- Enhanced odds are where the user gets better prices on specific markets as the betting sites take a lower cut or commission.
- Reduced juice is similar to enhanced odds as it's essentially lingo for the commission that the betting sites charge, so the line or cut the user gets can be greater.
- No deposit bonuses are commonly used as part of sign-up. The betting site will offer you a small amount to use for free bets initially in exchange for signing up without having to deposit any funds.
- Free bets are promotions where if you make a bet and it loses, the betting site will refund the amount lost. There is typically a cap attached to the amount bet. Conversely, it may be token where you only keep the winnings, but not the value of the initial wager.
- Refer-a-friend is regularly offered whereby there's a benefit attached to referring a friend to sign up for a betting site.
Every online betting site worth its salt should have contact details and methods that are clear and easy to find. Luckily, practically all of them have this. Besides contact details, most online bookmakers offer a rich library of information, including lots of frequently asked questions. Sometimes this is all that is needed to answer your questions.
Most established bookmakers offer a customer service which is open 24/7 for 365 days of the year, and generally have good response times for queries and plenty of options for communication. This includes phone support, email, and live chat. Paddy Power for example, set a very good example with their customer service, proudly displaying on their home page, the response times from their support team. BetVictor is another of the most trustworthy bookmakers on the internet, with a record of great customer service. That is the kind of clarity, trust and service that you will be looking for to ease any concerns over solving any problems with your online betting experience.
Big UK Online Betting Events
There are many events and occasions on the UK calendar which attract interest in betting sites including the Grand National which is an historic steeplechase horse race run since 1839. The handicapped race, run over more than four miles, typically occurs in April. There’s also the Epsom Derby which predates the Grand National by more than half a century, along with the Cheltenham Festival which is held in March annually.
The opening weekend of the English Premier League in August is typically a popular period, along with the FA Cup, Football League divisions, League Cup, UEFA Champions League, Europa League, Ryder Cup, Wimbledon Tennis and Six Nations.
Please remember to gamble responsibly and only bet what you can afford. Betting sites have a number of tools to help you to stay in control such as deposit limits and time outs. For gambling addiction help and support, please contact the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133. If you’re worried about your gambling or a friend’s please visit BeGambleAware.org.