The sports gambling market in the UK is one of the best in the world. Some of the UK betting operations have been in business for decades and have earned a strong reputation for reliability, high-quality odds and excellent customer service. Regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, most of the UK betting sites also have operations offshore, where they’re licensed and regulated by whatever governing bodies of the countries in which they operate. Here, we will give a complete overview of everything to look for when researching online betting sites in the United Kingdom, including how to identify the best brands and how to make sure your deposits are secure.
The Best UK Betting Sites
The UK market has been licensed and regulated in sports gambling for the past several decades. As a result, some of the world’s most reputable online betting operations are based in the UK and provide services to sports betting fans around the world. Obviously, UK sports betting tends to focus on what is most popular across the pond. All sites and sportsbooks place their primary focus on sports popular in Great Britain, Ireland and Europe. These, of course, include soccer, darts, cricket, rugby and tennis.
Top UK Sportsbooks of 2019
- 4.9 / 5.0
- 4.5 / 5.0
However, in recent years, UK gambling sites have also improved their coverage of North American major league sports, including football (American, that is), baseball, basketball and hockey, providing both wagering lines and news and feature coverage of the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL. All of the sports gambling lines such as point spreads, three-way betting lines, and moneylines are available for all major sports, as well as props wagering and futures betting with major events. Live In-Play or Live Betting is also available on major sporting events.
And, of course, UK online sportsbooks would not be complete without horse racing. Most of the UK’s top sites offer daily coverage of races in the UK and Ireland, Australia, South Africa and the US. There always is extensive coverage and solid promotions dedicated to major horse racing events including the Grand National, Royal Ascot and US Triple Crown races.
Just like all of the sportsbooks available online in the US, the UK betting sites also offer promotions and incentives to both new and existing customers. Welcome packages are typically offered to new players which often include generous deposit bonuses, free bet wagers, free contests, and rewards programs.
Are These UK Sites Legit?
Often times, the biggest concern facing sports gamblers trying out online betting for the first time is making sure the site they choose is legitimate and on the up and up. Fortunately, this is a relatively easy task as the reputable sports gambling sites in the UK are licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission. Set up under the UK’s Gambling Act of 2005 to regulate commercial gambling in Great Britain, the Gambling Commission is an independent body overseen by the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and provides transparent regulation of all commercial gambling operations.
UK sportsbooks regulated by the Gambling Commission will typically provide all of the details of their licence on their website. Many reputable UK betting sites will also have operations offshore in Europe, the Caribbean, and Central America. However, these operations are regulated by the governing bodies in the jurisdiction in which they operate. While such licensing provides no guarantee as to the integrity of an online betting site, the absence of such licensing is cause for immediate concern. Always using gambling sites that have been in business for five years or longer also is suggested. Establishing a strong reputable online brand is hard work and can take years, with only the best being able to thrive over the long haul.
It’s also smart to look into an online sportsbook’s betting policies and customer service history. As with any online company, you may choose to do business with, you will want to be able to communicate with the gambling site you choose, in the manner you choose, especially when you have questions about your deposit, your wagers, or your winnings. Only the best brands will make that available. Betting sites that don’t offer quality customer service usually don’t stay in business for very long.
Depositing at UK Betting Sites
The most popular method for making deposits at UK betting sites is by credit card or debit card, just like in the US. Most UK betting brands accept Visa and MasterCard, as well as a variety of debit card brands. PayPal and Bitcoin are also gaining in popularity as a method of deposit, and while the process may be complex, bank transfers are also widely accepted. After your wagering pays off, you will have several options for making a withdrawal.
In addition to having a paper check issued and mailed to you (this often takes longer), you may also be able to make a withdrawal direct to your debit or credit card. A number of UK betting sites also operate brick and mortar sportsbooks, providing you with the option to create a voucher online that can then be redeemed in person.
The United Kingdom has gotten a head start on us all as we step into this modern world of legalized sports gambling. They, of course, have the public interest, just as the rest of the world, but they also have the infrastructure, regulators, and legislation in place to put it all together and provide a top-notch sports gambling experience. Their online sportsbooks are, for the most part, all very good operations. This should not stop sports gamblers from shopping around in order to find the best site they can. The site you use is important to your wagers and your bankroll so choose wisely.