Betting Sites for Horse Racing in the UK
Horse racing is one of the biggest betting sports in the UK. Despite the late legalisation of betting in 1960 (when The Betting and Gambling Act of 1960 came into effect), punters have been waging against horses since the 1600s.
Since 2009, horse racing bets have declined compared with other sports, but it’s still one of the most popular events to bet on. In fact, according to Varsity, a shocking 97.4% of horse racing viewers place bets, which means almost everyone viewing a horse racing event on or off-course gambles.
With the expansion of technology and high-speed internet connections across the UK, online betting via apps and sites has become an increasingly popular way for punters to bet on horse racing.
According to Varsity, it’s not just the UK that enjoys live, online wagers on UK horse racing. Around 500 million people from over 140 countries are estimated to follow and potentially bet on the Grand National every year.
Best Horse Racing Betting Sites – Features and Terms Explained
The best betting sites for horse racing must meet certain criteria. Firstly, they must be licenced and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. Otherwise, they are operating illegally, and your money may not be safe.
Secondly, some of the best horse racing sites offer good cash-outs, promotions, a live streaming service, and appealing withdrawal limits, speeds, maximums, and payout methods. Here are the most common features of betting sites for horse racing and how they work.
Cash Out Options
Cash outs allow you to withdraw your winnings early before the race has finished. The winnings offered will always be lower than the potential amount you could win if the bet comes in.
For example, if you bet on a favourite to win and have potential earnings up to £20, but the win is looking unlikely during the race, an early cash out of £10 could be offered. You can take the cash-out so you still turn a profit regardless of whether the bet comes in.
Because horse racing is a quick sport, early cash outs are not commonly offered. These offers are typically found on football UK sports betting sites instead, as the games are longer and have more fluctuation in odds.
Live-streaming horse racing bets offer the most excitement to virtual punters. These bets are streamed live on the app or site, so you can watch the race unfold and see how your horse is performing.
Most betting sites usually only broadcast the most popular events via a live stream, like Ascot, Cheltenham, and the Grand National. These races are best watched on a laptop or via a mobile betting site app.
Promotions and Offers
All betting sites for horse racing offer promotions and offers you can take advantage of. Deals like these can make betting more exciting, especially as they usually offer a higher reward if you win.
Individual clauses for each deal will be different per site, but the most common types of deals/promotions for horse racing include:
Free bets – As the name suggests, these are free bets offered when you sign-up and/or spend a certain amount. Odds on these bets are usually limited, so you can only earn a small amount.
Daily racing specials – Include any special deal offered on a horse race for that day, which could be boosted odds or another price deal.
Daily doubles – Bets that require you to select a winner from two consecutive racing events on the same day. These bets are either offered on the first two races of the day, or as “rolling” daily doubles, where they are offered throughout the day. They are typically more challenging to win but offer higher profits.
Money-back offers – Can be rare but rewarding. These bets involve bookies offering your money back if your chosen runner beats the favourite and vice versa. Wins are not high with this as there are no odds, other than getting back the money you paid.
Price boosts – Offer a temporary increase in market prices, so you can win more if you wager the minimum stated amount or more.
Matched deposit offers – When you place a deposit, the bookie will give you bonus funds up to a percentage of the amount. For example, a 100% matched deposit bonus on a £20 bet gets you an extra £20.
No-deposit bonuses – Some betting sites for horse racing offer no-deposit bonuses when you bet on certain odds, so you’ll receive extra money if you didn’t place a deposit.
Most betting sites for horse racing also offer promotions for new sign-ups and existing customers. New customer promotions generally offer a free bet up to a certain amount (like £10) when you spend over a certain amount.
Existing customer deals can work like a loyalty card, where you get points the more you spend in a certain period (like if you spend £50 in 30 days).
Always read the terms and conditions of any promotions before signing up or agreeing to a deal. “Free” offers are never genuinely free, as there is almost always a minimum spend required.
Check you meet all the criteria for a promotion before committing. The site/app may not warn you against placing the bet if you don’t meet the criteria, so you can lose out.
Withdrawal Limits, Maximums, Speeds & Payment Methods
All betting sites for horse racing have different withdrawal clauses. Here are the most common terms used on betting sites for horse racing and what they mean:
Minimum withdrawal amount – This is the minimum amount you need in your account to withdraw your funds
Maximum daily/weekly/monthly withdrawal limit – This is the maximum amount you can withdraw within a certain period
Withdrawal speed – This is the period you have to wait before withdrawing your winnings, with some sites offering instant withdrawals and others requiring you to wait several days
Payment methods – Most sites accept withdrawals to debit cards or e-wallets (like PayPal) and others offer specific benefits/clauses for withdrawals to prepaid cards, loyalty schemes, or cryptocurrency
Because of the minimum withdrawal limits and maximum daily withdrawals, you can end up waiting long periods before getting your winnings, or spending more than you planned.
Always review the withdrawal clauses before placing a bet to ensure your preferred payment method is accepted and that you’ll get your earnings when you want/need them.