Top Sports Betting Sites in the UK
As of 2020 in the UK (according to statistica), there were 24 million adults in the UK participating in gambling. Of these people, almost 12 million (half) chose to bet online rather than in betting stores.
The most popular sport to bet on in the UK is football, with almost half of the money spent on remote betting going to the sport (according to the Gambling Commission).
Best Betting Sites – Features and Advancements in Technology
Gambling has been legal in the UK since 1960, but the regulations of the betting market have changed drastically since then. The latest rules are set out in the Gambling Act of 2005, which encompasses how online betting sites must operate and what responsibilities they have.
Being the most popular type of gambling in the UK, sports betting sites are required to be licensed by the UKGC (UK Gambling Commission). Despite these rules, a shocking 27 million people visited illegal gambling sites from British IP addresses in 2020, spending a total of £1.4 billion in bets (according to the Betting Gaming Council).
Betting sites must display their license and offer fixed-odds betting and pool betting features. A reputable site must ask for age verification to ensure punters are over 18. Underage gambling is a fineable offence, with charges of up to £1,000 available for issue. Always check a site has a license before deciding what the best betting sites are for you to use.
New Betting Sites – Features and Advancements in Technology
High street betting shops used to be the only way to hedge bets on your football team or sporting event. Punters would visit the store, review the on-screen odds, place a bet, and either wait for the bet to come in, or leave, only to return later to claim any winnings.
Because of the changing odds and early cash-out options, waiting offered more benefits to high-street punters than leaving. Without online updates, you didn’t know about early buyout deals unless you were there in person.
How the nation bets has significantly changed over the years, with advancements in technology leading to fewer people visiting local bookies, and more people betting online via UK sports betting sites and apps.
Cash Out Features
Cash out features, also referred to as “Buy Outs”, give you the option to settle your bet early, accepting less than your potential, before the game finishes. Cash outs are normally always available, but the amounts fluctuate throughout a match depending on how well the game is going.
For example, in a football match, your cash out amount can go up or down based on how well your team is playing. Your highest potential winnings could be £100 if the team wins and £0 if they don’t. Taking a cash out of £50 ensures you still earn money, regardless of the result.
The benefit of cash outs are that you can still secure a profit, without losing out entirely if you no longer have confidence in the bet. The risk with accepting an early cash out is that your bet could still come in at the highest amount, but you’ve already accepted less money.
Live Football Streaming
Live football streaming is a relatively new advancement for UK sports betting sites. These bets enable you to place bets while watching the game via the site or app. Many UK sites offer live streaming for untelevised games as well as screened events.
When betting via live football streaming, you’ll need to deposit a small amount before being able to watch the game. These services offer ultimate convenience for remote betters, allowing you to watch the game at any time while on-the-go.
Betting Sites Best Odds
Every betting site has “best odds”, also known as “best odds guaranteed” or BOG. This is a promotion any punter can take advantage of, no matter what sport you’re betting on.
What best odds essentially means is that you’ll get the best return possible on that bet, regardless of the odds you placed your bet at. Best odds take into account the starting price (SP) odds and the odds you placed at and, if you win the bet with best odds guaranteed, you’ll get whichever is higher.
For example, if you place a bet at 5/1, but the bet comes in at a starting price of 6/1, you’ll get the best odds, which are 6/1. Likewise, if you place a bet at 6/1, and it comes in at a starting price of 5/1, you’ll get the higher value of the 6/1 bet with best odds guaranteed.
Because there often isn’t a downside to placing a bet with best odds guaranteed (unless the starting price is the same as the odds you’re placing at), many punters choose to apply it consistently when hedging.
Promotions and Offers
All UK sports betting sites run promotions and offers. These are either designed to get you to sign up to their site over a competitor or to get you to spend more money betting with them. Some of the most common promotions and offers found on UK sports betting sites are:
- New customer promotions – A reward you get if you’re a new customer and don’t have an existing account with the site
- Frequent bet promotions – Work like a loyalty card, where you earn points every time you bet or based on how much you spend, and you’ll get a free bet (or another benefit) when you reach a certain amount
- Free bets – When you wager a certain amount on a bet (like £5 or over), you’ll get a free bet up to a certain amount
- Enhanced odds – Where the site boosts your odds on a certain bet, earning you more money than you would’ve gotten
- Always read the terms and conditions before signing up for a UK sports betting site or accepting a promotion. All sites have clauses about how the promotion can be applied. For example, the promotion may only apply if:
- You place a bet within a set number of days (like 7 or 14 days)
- You bet within the specified minimum or maximum amount
- You are a new customer
- You live in a certain country
- You accept the payout of the bet in tokens, rather than cash
- You haven’t already claimed another promotion
If you don’t meet the criteria, you may end up at a loss or not getting the reward you expected after placing a bet.
Another factor to consider before choosing the best UK sports betting site is the withdrawal times. All bookies have two types of withdrawal limits: one for how much you need to earn before you can withdraw your money, and another for how much of your winnings you can claim in a certain period.
Sites usually have daily, weekly and monthly withdrawal limits. This means you can only get a pay out up to a certain amount each day. For example, if the daily limit is £10,000, but you have £30,000 in winnings, you’ll have to withdraw your earnings over three days.
Withdrawal times aren’t the same as the maximum pay outs, as you could earn up to the maximum pay out, but won’t be able to withdraw it all at once.
Be careful of the upper withdrawal limits when hedging high-value bets. If you earn significantly more than the daily withdrawal limit, you could be waiting months or even years before claiming your winnings in full.
A maximum pay out means the highest amount you can earn from a bet with that site. Maximums vary between UK betting sites, but are usually between £10,000-£2 million, depending on how large/established the betting site is.
What the maximum pay out essentially means is that no matter how much money you bet, or how many bets you place, you can’t win above that limit within a certain period. Betting sites usually have daily, weekly, monthly, and annual maximums for users.
So, for example, if you place a bet that should reward you with £20,000, but the maximum daily pay out is £10,000, you’ll only receive £10,000 from that bet, regardless of the odds.
Always check the fine print before placing a very large wager. There may be additional clauses that can mean you won’t get all the money you expect. Some betting sites also won’t accept large wagers from all users. If you’re unsure whether your bet will be accepted, contact the site via a Live Webchat or another means.
Most sites shouldn’t let you stake more than you can potentially win, but you still need to be careful. Check all clauses carefully before placing a large wager and, if you’re placing multiple bets, always consider what your maximum winnings could be to avoid losing out.