Online Betting in the UK: Where, How and Why

Online betting is huge in the UK. It is a closely regulated well-oiled machine. There are a lot of components under the hood which changed and evolved successfully with the support of the UKGC.

Besides the essentials, reveals all there is about online betting, and what UK punters rely on the most.

You can place an in-play bet while taking advantage of a betting bonus offer on your mobile, and enjoy the action with a live stream.

To discover how you can do this, get all the details below.

  1. bet365 Logo
    Sign-up Offer
    Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets
    Open account offer New Customers Only 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 Time limits and T&Cs apply. 18+ • #ad *or currency equivalent #ad
  2. Unibet Logo
    Sign-up Offer
    Money Back as Bonus up to £40 if Your First Bet Loses + £10 Casino Bonus
    18+ New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first bet loses. Wagering requirements: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 35x. Unless forfeited the sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. No deposit required for NI customers. Call 08081699314 to claim. Full T&Cs apply. #ad
  3. LeoVegas Sport Logo
    LeoVegas Sport
    Sign-up Offer
    100% up to £100 Profit Boost
    New customers only. Deposit £10 min and claim in ‘my offers' 1x100% mobile in-play profit boost. Max stake £10. Max extra winnings £100. Valid for 30 days. Skrill/Neteller deposits do not qualify. 18+ Full T&Cs apply #ad Full T&Cs Here
  4. 888sport Logo
    Sign-up Offer
    100% up to $100
    New Customers only • $10 min deposit • The bonus will be applied once the full deposit amount has been wagered at least once with cumulative odds of 1.5 or greater • Wagering must be cleared within 60 days • This offer may not be combined with any other offer • Casino Bonus valid for selected games only • Bonus wins capped at $500, exc. JP wins • To withdraw bonus & related wins, wager 30 x (bonus amount) • Wagering requirements vary by game Full T&C’s apply #ad
  5. Betway Logo
    Free Bets
    £10 Matched Free Bet
    New customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card deposits only. Deposit method restrictions apply. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered.18+. Bet The Responsible Way Terms apply #ad #ad
  6. FansBet Logo
    Sign-up Offer
    Deposit $30 Get 2 x $30 Free Bets
    Valid upon first deposit; Min. deposit NZ$30; Select bonus in Cashier; Free Bet winnings paid in cash; Free Bet stake not returned; 2nd Free Bet credited upon settlement of the initial Free Bet. See full terms; 18+.
  7. William Hill Logo
    William Hill
    Free Bets
    Bet £10, Get £30
    New customers using Promo Code P30 only, min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15 (30 days expiry), free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. #ad
  8. Betfair Logo
    Free Bets
    Get £30 in Free Bets
    Top Feature
    Join Australia's Largest Betting Exchange
    New Customer offer. Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly #ad Full T&Cs Here
  9. BetVictor Logo
    Free Bets
    Bet £/€5 Get £/€30
    18+ New Customers only. Deposit, opt in and place a £5 qualifying bet at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 2x £10 Free Sports Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater, expires in 7 days.  Plus a £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw a max of £250. T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly. #ad

Betting bonuses are the first component which is available with online betting only. They come in several shapes, and in many sizes. The difference between a good online betting bonus with favourable terms and one with poor qualities isn't easy to notice. Punters are bombarded with lots of numbers which while easy to analyse, create a lot of noise that confuses new online bettors. This is where our list of betting bonuses comes into place.

In our betting site reviews, we go cover all points that can impact your experience should claim the available bonuses. The bonus terms define the offer.

LeoVegas Sport
Sign-up Offer
100% up to £100 Profit Boost
New customers only. Deposit £10 min and claim in ‘my offers' 1x100% mobile in-play profit boost. Max stake £10. Max extra winnings £100. Valid for 30 days. Skrill/Neteller deposits do not qualify. 18+ Full T&Cs apply #ad Full T&Cs Here
Show All Bonus Offers

The best indicator of how well the UK online betting market is doing is the number of new betting sites going online. The majority of new sportsbooks are launched by already established betting operators, well-known to the community. However, once in a while we see a new independent online bookmaker. This is a hit or miss, but it all depends on the timing of the launch and the overall capabilities of the company. New betting sites are the nudge online betting pioneers need to keep evolving and improving.

Sign-up Offer
100% up to ₹8000
Sign-up Offer
100% up to $250
Min deposit of $20, maximum bonus of $250. Bonus must be wagered in full 1 time on single or multi bets with minimum odds of 1.20 (-500). 18+, new customers only.
Sign-up Offer
Bet £/$15, Get £/$10
18+, New customers only. Min wagering on sport £/$15 or ₹1,500. Max one £/$10 or ₹1,000 free bet. Qualifying bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater. Paid as bonus token with min 4/5 odds req. Selected payment methods only. Bet expires after 14 days of being credited. Full T&Cs apply. #ad
Show All New Betting Sites

Diversity matters, whether it's betting markets, sports or the even the interface, betting operators have made sure there's plenty of it. Sports is the keyword and in particular sports events. We've prepared lists of betting sites for most popular sports, like football, cricket and horse racing among others. Bookies like to meet the customers' needs, after all, it's their ultimate objective. However, it's also worth noting that bettors come with different criteria and personal preferences when it comes to betting online. This is why certain operators offer more in terms of bonus offers and odds for certain sports.

Bet on Football, Horse Racing, Cricket and More!

One question we get a lot from people curious to get started with online betting is: “What sports can I even bet on?” The answer is all of them, and more.

Whether you want to place bets on the most popular choices like football, or a more niche sport like snooker or darts, bookmakers run bets on all of them.

If you’re new to online betting, you might want to take a look at the most popular sports to bet on. It’s even likely that you’re already a fan of one or more of these sports.


Horse Racing


When it comes to online betting, cricket is definitely a popular choice in the UK, as well as in countries like India and Bangladesh. As we detail on our page about cricket online betting, cricket is a sport that creates tons of different betting opportunities. From the wide array of cricket betting markets that most betting sites feature, to the amount of high-profile cricket events that take place each year. Fans of cricket are most certainly spoiled for choice when it comes to picking a good cricket betting bookie.


There’s a reason that we call football “The Beautiful Game”. For many out there, football is time-honored hobby, and an essential part of their national identity. The UK has been playing football as we know it for more than 150 years, and betting on it for just as long. If you’re already a footie fan, then getting started with football betting is easy enough. Head to our page on online football betting to learn how football betting markets work, how to find the best odds, and even get some tips from our football betting experts.

Horse Racing

You don’t need to go all the way down to the tracks to enjoy a day at the races anymore! Betting on horse racing is nothing new to the UK, only now you can do that from the comfort of your own home, or on your phone while out and about. If you’re the market for a decent horse betting bookie, we recommend heading to horse racing section where we feature the top betting site picks!


Another unique and popular sport for punters is Tennis. Whether it’s a Singles or a Doubles match, if an event like Wimbledon or the French Open is happening, then thousands of punters are placing bets. Fans of tennis who have never tried betting on it before would likely do well to check out our guide to betting on tennis. You can find information like where to enjoy the best live tennis betting, what markets we recommend betting on, and much more.

Tons of Events and Tournaments to Bet on

When it comes to planning out your online betting strategy, one of the best things you can do is target specific tournaments and events you want to bet on throughout the year. The most casual punters will just bet on events like the Premier League or the FIFA World Cup, but more experienced punters know exactly which tournaments they’re going to target throughout the entire year.

This is why we’ve set up pages for a wide array of tournaments. Each tournaments page includes basic information for new punters, which betting markets we recommend targeting, a list of recommended bookies, and much more. We even get our resident experts to provide betting advice and tips for each tournament.

We mentioned the four most popular sports to bet on in our section on sports betting above. Here are the most popular tournaments to bet on for each of those sports, allowing you to plan out your bets months in advance:

Sport Tournaments to Bet on
The Ashes
Indian Premier League
Australia Big Bash League
Premier League
Champions League
The Euro Cup
Horse Racing
The Royal Ascot
Cheltenham Festival
Hennessy Gold Cup
The French Open
The US Open

Unbiased UK Betting Site Reviews

All the online betting sites featured on Sportsbetting24 are reviewed by one of our experts. Unlike some other betting reviews out there, Sportsbetting24 reviews are completely honest and unbiased. We examine each betting site from a number of different angles so that our readers don’t need to do any of the heavy lifting.

Whether you need to know about a betting site’s payment methods, what kind of bonuses they offer, or how efficient their customer care is, our reviews cover all that and more. All bookmakers are tested the same, including the best betting sites and the ones that might reach the top. Not only do we cover topics like how well a bookmaker’s live betting suite works or how wide their betting market offerings are, but we look into how safe user’s data is with each bookmaker.

We do our best to ensure that all bonuses on our reviews are kept up to date (more on this below), as well as keeping every other part of our in-depth reviews as current as possible.

Recommended Payment Methods for Online Betting Sites in the UK

The online betting market in the UK is regulated by strict rules and conditions. Due to this, betting sites also end up meeting the requirements of popular payment methods like PayPal and Apple Pay. This means that punters in the UK have a wider selection of quality payment method options than anywhere else.

If you’re new to the world of online betting, or you’re looking to change how you make your betting site deposits and withdrawals, we recommend taking a look at the below table. These are the most popular payment methods used on betting sites today.

Most Popular Payment Methods for Online Betting Deposits & Withdrawals
apple pay logo
Apple Pay
boku logo
bank transfer logo
Fast Bank Transfer
neteller logo
paypal logo
paysafecard logo
skrill logo
trustly logo

PayPal and Apple Pay are the most popular payment methods for online betting in the UK. It isn't hard to see why, either. What both of these have in common is that they're extremely convenient. If you've done any online shopping in the past decade, you likely already have a PayPal account. It's a payment method that doesn't include any sort of learning curve for many punters. Similarly, Apple Pay is already used by hundreds of thousands of people in the UK who own Apple devices like iPhones and MacBooks.

One restriction that's specific to the UK, though, is the ban on credit cards. As of April 2020, the UKGC banned the use of credit cards on online bookmakers and casinos. This made the payment methods listed above even more popular for punters, especially those which they were already using for other online payments.

Betting Bonuses, Promotions, and Free Bets

If you’ve ever tried online betting before, then you’ve definitely noticed that betting bonuses and promotions are the norm. Almost every bookmaker features a welcome bonus, with many also including promotions and bonuses for their existing, registered users.

Once again, punters in the UK are in the luckiest position when it comes to safety. The UKGC and ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) have made it mandatory for online betting sites to clearly display bonus terms and conditions wherever these offers are promoted. This makes it much harder for bookmakers to use bonus offers that are almost impossible to redeem as a tool to draw new punters in.

Online betting bonuses come in a variety of shapes and sizes, as we detail on our bonuses page. The easiest way to think of these betting offers is to split them into bonuses for new customers and bonuses for existing users.

Welcome Bonuses

These are the kinds of bonuses that online betting sites use to attract new customers. As we mention in our guide to welcome offers, these are most often deposit bonuses. The kinds of offers with taglines that read “100% Up to £50 on your First Deposit”. These are offers that multiply your initial deposit with bonus funds, and require punters to wager those funds a certain number of times before they can be withdrawn as real money.

You also often see free bets used as a welcome bonus. Offers like “Bet £10, Get £30 in Free Bets” reward new customers with wager-free bets to help them get started. And as we review all UK online betting sites, we collect and showcase all free bet offers, and make sure they are updated accordingly!

Promotions for Existing Users

Many betting sites have promotional offers beyond the welcome bonus. With so many online betting providers offering such enticing bonuses to new users, bookies need to work hard to keep their punters. 

Many bookmakers feature tournament-specific bonuses, which can definitely help when picking which tournaments to bet on as we mentioned above. Not to mention seasonal offers like Christmas or Valentine’s promotions.

As outlined in our guide to bookmakers' promotions, these can come in lots of different forms. From free bets, to odds boosts, to bet insurance and much more. We recommend shopping around to find a bookie that will give you added value all year round, instead of just in your first few weeks as a newly registered punter.

Safety & Security when Betting Online in the UK

Punters in the UL are much more protected now than they ever have been before. As long as the online betting site you’re using is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, you know that all of your personal data and financial information is safe.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is the UK’s licensing authority for online betting sites and casinos. The rules and regulations that betting operators are required to abide by are some of the strictest in the world, with most of those rules and regulations dealing explicitly with fairness, security, and responsible gambling. A quick look at the UKGC’s website tells you everything you need to know about how they keep punters safe.

All of the betting sites on Sportsbetting24 are fully licensed and regulated. Any bookmakers who we feel don’t live up to that promise are clearly marked as “Not Recommended” and don’t feature in any of our top lists. As we mention in our section on our bookmaker review process, every single one of our online bookmaker reviews features a section on safety and security, so our readers can head into any bookie we feature knowing exactly what to expect.

Bet Responsibly

The only way to make sure that your betting experience is a good one is to gamble responsibly. The most straightforward way to make that happen is to stick to a betting budget and to avoid chasing any losses.

If you aren’t happy with your betting habits, there are tools and resources available to help you. Consider taking a look at the official GambleAware website, or possibly reading some of the free resources by Gamblers’ Anonymous for more information.

Of course, every online betting site licensed in the UK includes tools to help those who want more control over their betting habits. It’s possible to set your own monthly, or even weekly deposit limits, as well as set limits for your losses, or even to self-exclude yourself from all online betting and casino activity for an amount of time.

Online Betting Outside the UK

Many online betting sites operate internationally. While the punters in the UK are our greatest focus, we also feature bookmakers that operate elsewhere.

The easiest way to find the best bookies for you, wherever you are, is to head to your country’s page from the table below. You can find out about the laws and regulations surrounding online betting where you’re from, as well what the best betting sites in your country, which payment methods we recommend, and much more.

Online Betting by Country
canada flag
ireland flag
new zealand flag
New Zealand
india flag
nigeria flag
kenya flag

Online Betting UK FAQs

Can I bet on sports online?
Yes, online betting is the most popular way to bet on sports today! All you need to do is pick a betting site, and pick a sport to bet on, and you’re more than half the way there. You don’t even need to be using a laptop or desktop, it can all be done from your smartphone.
How long does it take to open an online betting account?
Registering a new online betting account normally takes between 3 and 10 minutes, depending on the betting site and the information that needs to be collected in your jurisdiction. You can set up an account and start placing bets in around the same time it takes to make a mug of tea.
Are betting sites legal?
Yes, online betting is legal in most countries as long as they have the necessary licences. Punters should be wary of any betting sites that do not display a licence in their page footer, though. As we mention in our section on online betting security, only bookmakers licensed by the UK Gambling Commission are legal in the UK.
How do I place a bet online?
Placing a bet is really simple:
  1. Register an account at an online betting site
  2. Place your first deposit
  3. Choose your bets and wagering amounts
  4. Confirm your betslip.

What are the best online sports betting sites?
We’re big fans of bet365, 888sport, and LeoVegas Sports here at Sportsbetting24. These bookies all have good value odds, an array of interesting features, and regular promotions for their punters. Take a look at how we review bookmakers to find out how those three betting sites rose to the top of our list.
What sports can I bet on?
When it comes to online betting, punters can bet on almost any sport they’ve ever heard of, as well as exotics like political bets and the outcome of competition reality TV shows. If you’re new to the world of online betting, we recommend taking a look at our section on which sports to bet on above for more guidance. 
Are betting sites safe?
Yes, all of our featured betting sites are safe to use. As you can see in our section on online betting safety, all of the betting sites we feature go through a rigorous review process. We not only look at what remote gambling licences bookies possess, but also site security, responsible gambling tools, and much more.