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Online Betting in UK

Betting online is an extremely popular pastime in the UK with millions of sports fans having multiple accounts with some of the most popular online bookmakers. Over 125,000 people are employed by this section in the UK.

Online Betting in the UK

The online betting industry has enjoyed year-on-year growth and it couldn’t be easier to get started. It is extremely convenient and online betting is now available through a number of different devices.

Which Online Sportsbooks are the Most Popular?

There are many different options for online bettors with a number of different sportsbooks available. Many of them are established names who are trusted by their customers whilst some newer firms are still trying to swim against the tide in this congested market.

Some online betting companies such as William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral are names which are recognised from the high street whilst the likes of Bet365, Sky Bet and Betfair are online only operations.

Some betting companies have merged in recent years with Betfair and Paddy Power joining forces and more recently Coral and Ladbrokes pooling together their resources. Despite this, each of the sportsbooks still has plenty of different bets and options when it comes to placing a wager.

Newer firms such as 888Sport and 10Bet have also recently started to take a percentage of the market. It is perfectly acceptable for UK bettors to have accounts with multiple online betting sites.

What Sports are Popular in UK?

Most online betting sites in the United Kingdom will have 40 different sports available at any given time. This reflects the varying and wide-reaching interests of sports fans.

Football and Horse Racing remain the two most popular betting options with both sports commanding a large chunk of the money. However, tennis and golf are also incredibly popular during Grand Slams and Majors. NFL has also increased in popularity in recent years whilst eSports has also been subject to an increased demand over the past 18 months.

Greyhounds racing is another popular option for UK bettors whilst cricket and hockey see a steady stream of revenue throughout the year.

Sports such as darts and snooker aren’t particularly popular around the world but they remain key betting events in the UK. These are particularly popular with in-play bettors.

Is Online Betting Legal in the UK?

Yes, since 1960, Online Betting has been legal in the UK.
But your age for sports betting – 18 years old.

It is regulated by the Gambling Commission in the UK who ensure that all of the companies operate in a fair manner and continue to operate to high standard

Sportsbook / Exchange in United Kingdom

It is easy to get confused between an online sportsbook and a betting exchange. Both are popular in the UK.

Sportsbook: This is your regular bookmaker who offers prices on the outcome of a number of different sporting events. Customers wager against the bookmaker.

Exchange: These are less common but have a dedicated and loyal fanbase. These allow bettors to wager against one another. They also allow punters the chance to ‘lay’ a bet. This is predicting something not to happen. For example, if you ‘lay’ Chelsea in their match against Liverpool. You would collect your winnings if the match ended with a Liverpool win or a draw.

Betfair, Betdaq, Smarkets and Matchbook are the four biggest names in the UK when it comes to sports betting exchanges.

What Betting Markets are Favoured in the UK?

Despite having a plethora of options at their fingertips, punters often favour trusted markets such Win/Draw/Win (1X2) or the Win market. This is particularly common with football and horse racing bettors.

Each-Way betting is very popular among the horse racing fraternity with big-field events such as the Grand National and the Cheltenham Festival often providing a decent chance to select an outsider to outrun its price.

Football bettors enjoy weekly accumulators which often stretch across the weekend and these usually consist of 1X2 markets. This reflects the traditional coupons which are housed in high-street bookmakers.

Both Teams to Score is a market which has significantly increased in popularity over the past five years and is favoured by many punters. Its popularity is partly due to the fact that it a 50/50 outcome and the lack of allegiance to either of the two sides. It can also land in injury time and some of the biggest payouts in recent years by UK bookmakers have been on this market.


Professional gamblers may tell you that betting is about long-term profitability but it doesn’t stop the majority of the United Kingdom population from accumulators on the weekly basis. It is a chance to potentially land huge returns for a small stake and many punters dream of winning big.

All of the selection are required to win in order for a pay-out to be received and they are extremely difficult to land. However, a lucky few have managed to outfox the online bookmakers and enjoy big wins.

Which Events are Popular in United Kingdom?

The Grand National remains the most popular betting event in the UK with millions of punters placing a wager on the historic Aintree spectacle each year. It takes place in April and is the one time of year that non-gamblers tend to part with their cash.

There are 40 runners in the race and the excitement and build-up surrounding the race continues to get people talking. Many people sign up for an online account especially for this race.

The Cheltenham Festival is another huge event for horse racing enthusiasts and also attracts a fair share of novice punters too. This takes place in March.

The Premier League remains the most popular football betting event although the FIFA World Cup is always one of the best events for bookmakers.

The World Darts Championship is the most popular betting event of the Christmas period with the event taking place at Alexandra Palace. It sees the crème de la crème of the darts world compete on the biggest stage and due to its position in the calendar, it is one of the most watched sporting events in the UK.

The Superbowl has become a bigger deal in the UK in recent years and that commands a huge amount of money whilst Wimbledon is always a massive betting event for tennis fans. Many punters will choose to have an accumulator bet during the early rounds of the tournament.

Other major sporting events such as the Masters Golf in Augusta, the Six Nations and the Greyhound Derby are also prominent in the UK betting calendar.

Which Betting Strategies are Commonly Used in the UK?

There are no particular strategies which are frequently used by UK punters but there are a number of tipsters and experts on social media who offer tips, advice and staking plans for beginners.

There are so many betting options for United Kingdom punters and it’s easier than ever to place a wager.

Keeping it simple, betting on sports that you are knowledgeable about and understanding that it is a fun and recreational past-time are arguably the most important aspects of betting in the UK.


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