Betting sites reviews: How we do it
Our website is dedicated to bringing you the best and most honest reviews for as many UK betting sites as possible. Whether you’re looking to place a one-off bet or you want to start gambling as a regular hobby to try and win some cash, we can help you to discover the best betting sites to use. In order to accurately review betting websites and bring you the results, we need to make sure that we thoroughly check out the features and see exactly what happens as a real-life player. We have signed up to each of the websites we’ve reviewed, which allows us to experience what you might experience when signing up to place a bet. We can then pass on an honest review to you, our readers, about every aspect of the website. This includes the sign-up process for each website. For example, you might have found the Stan James betting website but you’re not too sure about how lengthy the sign-up process is going to be. Check out our reviews first and you might find that another website is better for you to use as it has a shorter sign-up method. As well as bringing you some helpful information about the specifics of each website, we can also help you to find the best websites to use for a particular game. If you’re looking for the best poker sites, we’ve compiled a great list for you to look at. While gambling from your computer is fun, we know that some people much prefer using apps on their phone while they’re on the go. Check out our list of the best betting apps and win some money no matter where you are.
Why read reviews before signing up to betting sites UK?
Many people sign up to several UK betting sites and simply experiment to find out which is their preferred one. However, the more websites you sign up to, the more companies you need to provide with your private information. As a result, many betting sites have your personal information and can contact you whenever they choose. This could include spam emails, phone calls at inconvenient times and even pamphlets through your letter box at home. By reading reviews first, you can choose which websites you think are the best for you and sign up to a select 2-3 betting sites rather than 10 or more. You will need to deposit more money if you sign up to more websites (as most of them have a minimum amount you can deposit), so you won’t have to throw away so much money just for the sake of experimenting with different websites. Another great reason to read reviews is to find out which sites offer free bets. You might be searching for some bingo sites that give you free bets, and our reviews will be able to tell you which websites offer the best free bets UK.
When looking for betting sites, ‘free bets no deposit’ is the best feature to look out for. No deposit betting sites allow you to play for free using the money they have given you after signing up, and you don’t have to deposit any real money into your account in order to use this free money. Players can get betting sites bonuses too, which often come straight into your betting account after signing up or after you have placed a few bets and deposited some real money from your own personal bank account. Make sure you keep updated on the latest bonuses for 2016 and don’t miss on some extra playing money! You can also discover the top 5 betting sites for a specific game or sport you are looking for. If you’re looking for football betting sites or soccer betting sites, simply go to the specific category and read the reviews on the best online betting sites for this sport.
We continuously look for exciting features such as the ‘bet of the day’ – many websites include this as an incentive for players to bet each and every day. Our reviews will contain information on the cash-out time which different websites have. You’ll be able to find out which are the top 10 betting sites when it comes to cashing out, and we’ll also give you the top betting sites for factors such as speed, software and ease of use. We won’t be able to tell you the betting odds for different events and games on the varying betting sites UK, as this will vary each day depending on the sports and events which are taking place. In order to find this out, you should go to the website itself, which can be found by clicking the links given in our reviews. We may mention the odds of casino games such as Blackjack or Poker, as many websites fix this amount. Before signing up to any betting websites, have a look at the different betting offers which are available. We have a full list of the best betting sites sign up offers, as some of them will offer more money than others. Remember that you’re not limited to just one website – you can sign up to as many as you like. Since our reviews are 100% honest, we’ll always tell you if we think there is anything unfair or dishonest about any of the websites we review. However, since they are monitored by the UK Gambling Commission or another trustworthy organisation, you shouldn’t come across any dishonesty with any of the UK betting sites that we have reviewed.
Betting on sports in the UK
When you walk into a betting shop in the UK, you will instantly notice that it is heavily based on sports. Horseracing is still one of the most popular sports to bet on, and with 59 racecourses across the country, this sport never seems to stop. It is the second most popular spectator sport in Britain, and the Grand National is the most well-known horse race in the country. It attracts around £150 million worth of bets each year, and has a prize fund of £1 million. Alongside horse racing, dog racing is a popular sport for people in the UK to bet on. With 25 licensed racetracks and an annual turnout of 3.2 million people, greyhounds are almost as popular as horses in the world of racing and betting. This sport started around the same time as horse racing did in the UK. The outcome of a survey carried out by the Gambling Commission discovered that betting on horse races and dog races in person is the most popular way of gambling in Great Britain among those who gamble twice a week or more, tying with online casino sites which were also hugely popular. Those who gamble once a week still reported that they often bet on horse and/or dog races in person, but among those who gamble once a month, the figure dropped dramatically. People in Britain who gamble occasionally (one day per month or less) bet on horse and dog races the least when compared with other methods of gambling, including bingo, scratch cards and casinos.
However, in terms of the amount of money which people bet on sports, football bets are worth more than horse/dog racing in the UK. Around 70% of the £435bn+ worth of bets placed on sports each year are made up of football bets. One of the most popular way to bet on football games is by taking part in ‘football pools’. This consists of several people all paying into the ‘pool’ to bet on what they believe the final score is going to be. Any winnings are then shared between all the people who have participated. Many people do this in person with their friends, colleagues and family members, although it is highly popular to participate online too. People who want to learn how to bet can do so by searching online for tips and trick. While it is naïve to think that people would give away their top gambling secrets, there are many videos on YouTube which provide tutorials for those who want to learn more about a particular game, sport or method of gambling. Since betting is mostly down to luck and doesn’t have a huge amount to do with strategy, the key is to first understand how certain methods of betting work. For example, if you don’t understand betting pools, there are a few paths to take in order to learn more. Read up on betting websites, search for some videos on YouTube, ask an experienced friend or walk into a local betting shop and ask a staff member to spend a few minutes explaining how things work. You can find information and discover the best places to bet on betfy.co.uk
Betting in the UK
Betting is a popular hobby for many people in Britain, and by 2012, there were more than 9,000 betting shops across the country. Statistically, gambling is more popular in areas where there are higher levels of unemployment. It is thought to be four times more popular in these areas, largely due to people betting in an attempt to win money to subsidise a low income. Betting is more common in the North of the UK and there are more gamblers in rural parts of the country than in the cities. British people gamble in a variety of ways, and it doesn’t always involve going to the local bookmaker and betting on a horse race. Bingo is highly popular, especially with older people, and casinos also provide a way for people to relax with friends and play games such as Roulette or Blackjack. The National Lottery and other similar lotteries attract a large crowd, and since a lot of the proceeds are said to go to charity, many people who would not go into a casino are quite happy to play the lottery each week. Apart from the National Lottery, there is the Health Lotteryand the People’s Postcode Lottery. The latter chooses random postcodes from up and down the country, and players in the winning locations win prizes such as a brand new BMW, a dream holiday or £1,000 in cash.
Walking into a bookmaker’s shop to place a bet has been a common method of betting in the UK since the late 18th century. It is thought that Harry Ogden was the first British bookmaker, setting up his business in 1790. Horseracing was the most popular sport to bet on, but in 1845, the UK Parliament passed a law stating that bets could only be made at racecourses around the country. For more than 100 years, there were no legal betting shops, but 1961 saw the end of an era for the gambling world when the then-Government made bookmakers legal once again. The largest bookmakers in the 1960s were William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral. At one time, there were more than 15,000 betting shops in the United Kingdom, many of which were owned and operated by these three companies. Now, in 2016, there are hundreds of shops which are still open and operating, but many companies have moved or set up online. The online betting industry boasts a staggering 2.1 million customers, with businesses such as PaddyPower, 888Sport and Bet365 among the most popular. William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral also have busy online servers which allow customers to place bets from the comfort of their own homes.
Gambling laws in the UK
Much like many other countries, there are certain laws about gambling in the UK which must be adhered to. One of the most well-known acts in relation to betting is the Gambling Act which came into effect in 2005. This is a lengthy document which outlines many different rules and areas of betting, including the National Lottery, betting pools and casinos. When the act was drawn up, it was created with certain objectives in mind. The Gambling Act 2005 exists to help prevent any criminal activity in the world of betting – activity which could lead to innocent people losing large amounts of money without any chances of winning more. It also aims to ensure that betting in the UK is done in a manner which is fair and open to everybody involved. It also seeks to control the way gambling is done within the country so that it does not harm those who are young, elderly and vulnerable. For the sake of clarity within the legislation regarding gambling, the word ‘gambling’ is taken to mean gaming, betting or taking part in any lottery.
The laws cover people who gamble in person, over the telephone, online or through any other electronic means or otherwise. Most people are only aware of one law when it comes to gambling in the UK – people under the age of 18 are not allowed to bet. Those who go to a casino will be asked for valid photo ID and will often be issued with a casino card to make it easier to enter in future. Those who buy scratch cards, lottery tickets or other cards and tickets in supermarkets, betting shops and other stores will be asked to show valid ID if they look under the age of 18. Gambling online is very similar – players must upload a passport or driver’s license before they are allowed to deposit or withdraw any money. This helps to ensure that the companies are complying with the law, but also prevents children and young people from coming into any danger or harm online. Gambling sites must obey the relevant laws in order to operate successfully and become a ‘licensed’ website. The main thing any gambling company must do is acquire an operating license. This allows them to provide gambling services to residents of the United Kingdom. Even if the business is based abroad, it needs to have an operating license in order to become available to those in the UK. This is why many UK residents who go abroad and try to gamble while on holiday find it very difficult to do so, since a lot of companies do not have the necessary license to accept bets from other countries. If anything goes wrong while you’re gambling or you don’t feel that you have been treated fairly while placing bets, you can go to the Gambling Commission to make a complaint. The Gambling Commission is the ruling body in the UK when it comes to gambling. Complaining to the commission should be the last resort, as you can usually receive compensation by complaining to the betting company you have experienced trouble with. However, if you don’t have any success by doing that, you have the advantage of going to an objective commission who will be able to help you.
Gambling operators must pay tax on their earnings, but if you win money through gambling in the UK, you do not have to pay any tax on these winnings. They are not treated as earnings by HMRC, therefore you are not required to pay the regular 20% income tax rate. The gambling taxes which were enforced in the Gambling Act 2005 meant that many companies took their businesses overseas. Bet365 was one of very few companies to stay in the UK. Another gambling-related act came into effect in 2014 which altered some of the rules regarding licensing and advertising for gambling companies in the UK. This was called the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014. It stated that any company which offered ‘remote gambling’ (online/electronic gambling) services was required to have a separate license which was issued directly by the Gambling Commission. Even if a company did not have any equipment or items physically in the UK, they would still need a license. This act was brought about after many companies were operating from abroad without a license directly from the Gambling Commission.
Brexit and gambling in the UK
In June 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. This means that there may be some big changes for online gambling. Many websites are able to operate in the European Union, as long as the license holders are from the EU. Once Article 50 is triggered and the United Kingdom is no longer a member of the EU, this will mean that many license holders (those who reside in the UK) are not a part of the European Union anymore. Economic experts have suggested that taxes may rise even further if the country cannot stabilise itself financially. Gambling taxes could therefore rise even further to help reduce the increased deficit, making it more difficult for gambling companies to stay in the UK. Since EU gambling legislation states that players must be a part of the European Union, many European websites will not be open to UK players after the country officially leaves the EU. Poker rooms, online casinos and online football pools are just a few of the betting platforms which UK players will not be able to participate in unless the company is registered also in the UK and has the relevant gambling license to do so.
FAQ about betting in the UK
Whether you’ve lived in the UK, you’re new to the country or you’ve just reached the legal age to start gambling, there are several questions which might be on your mind. This section of bettingsitesuk.org.uk aims to address the most frequently asked questions about betting in the United Kingdom.
Q) What is the legal age for betting in the UK?
A) In order to legally gamble in the UK, you must be at least 18 years of age. Just like drinking in Britain, you can gamble as soon as the clock strikes midnight on your 18th birthday! This includes, but is not limited to, playing bingo, gambling at casinos, online gambling of any kind, in-person betting at a bookmaker’s shop and buying scratch cards and/or lottery tickets.
Q) Are people under the age of 18 allowed in bingo halls and casinos?
A) There are no laws to stop children and young people entering bingo halls or casinos, although many companies have their own rules which do not allow people under the age of 18 to come onto the premises. They are strictly forbidden to gamble while in the area, and many halls will have separate areas for children. Private institutions and clubs often have the ability to allow under-18s to gamble as long as they have a valid membership, although these organizations often choose to stick to an 18-and-over policy.
Q) Is it legal to hold race nights for charity?
A) The Gambling Commission allows ‘non-commercial’ race nights to be held, as long as all the proceeds are going to a charitable cause. This includes any entrance fees you have charged at the charity event and any money which people have chosen to bet during the occasion. If in doubt, contact your local authority and ask if there are any other rules which prevent you from hosting a race night for charity.
Q) Will I pay any tax on my winnings?
A) In the UK, you do not have to pay any taxes on your earnings. Whatever you win, whether online, at a casino or by playing the lottery, is 100% tax-free.
Q) I’m under 18; can I give a fake date of birth and gamble online?
A) When you sign up to gambling websites, you are normally required to upload a piece of ID. While you may be able to play a few games, you won’t be able to deposit any money or withdraw any of your winnings until you have uploaded the required documents.
Q) Is there any way to gamble if I’m under 18?
A) There are many websites where you can play typical betting games for free without signing up or depositing any money. Since there is no money involved, it is not ‘real’ gambling and therefore under-18s are free to play the games. The EuroMillions Lottery allows players from the UK to take part from the age of 16.
Q) How do I know which gambling website to use?
A) If you are not sure which gambling websites are good to use (whether for a first-time user or experienced gambler), don’t forget to read the reviews here at bettingsitesuk.org.uk and find which one is the most suitable for you. Some websites are more catered towards sports betting or betting pools, whereas others have online casinos too.
Q) Is there a limit to how much I can gamble?
A) Legally, there is no limit to how much you can gamble, whether online or in person. However, it is strongly advised that you control the amount you bet and never gamble when under the influence of alcohol. On most gambling websites, you can go to your settings and set a betting limit. This means that the website won’t let you bet more than the limit you have set for yourself within a 24-hour period.
Q) Is there a minimum amount I can bet?
A) This will often vary depending on what you are betting on. Bookmakers such as BetFred allow users to place bets of just 1p, whereas Coral requires at least £1. You may find that your local casino has a minimum amount of £2 for Blackjack, while another casino has nothing lower than £10. If you’re only looking to bet small amounts, make sure that you go to a website or bookmaker who accepts the amount you wish to bet.
Q) Are gambling websites always fair to their customers?
A) Many people avoid gambling online as they believe that the results are fixed rather than 100% fair to the players. However, gambling websites are heavily regulated by governing bodies such as the Gambling Commission, making it very difficult for them to be unfair. If you are placing bets on the results of real-life sports games, it makes no difference whether you place your bets online or in person. The outcome of the game will be exactly the same no matter which method you use.
Q) How long will it take to get the money I’ve won?
A) This depends entirely on what exactly you have been betting on. If you are in a casino, you can cash in your chips whenever you like. If you’ve won money from a lottery ticket, you will usually have around 180 days to collect your winnings. Simply take your ticket to the retailer you purchased it from and you will be able to claim your winnings. The rules are often different for larger amounts, and in the case of winning the jackpot, you should contact the lottery company directly. If you have placed a bet on a sports event, you are normally allowed to receive any money you have won as soon as the results are officially announced. If you have placed a bet online, you will find the amount you have won has been added to your current balance in your account. You can then withdraw this money whenever you like and transfer it directly to your bank account.
Q) Do I need to get a license to gamble?
A) You don’t need a license in order to gamble, whether you are gambling online or in person.
Q) Do I need a license to become a bookmaker?
A) Yes, you need a license if you want to become a bookmaker. You should contact the UK Gambling Commission to apply for an operating license.
Q) What are the most popular sports to bet on in the UK?
A) Most bets in the UK are placed on horse races and dog races. Football is also a very popular game to place bets on.
Reviews on UK betting sites
- William Hill With a simple blue design, William Hill is one of the most recognised names in the UK betting world. It has been operating since 1934, giving it plenty of time to understand the needs of gamblers around the country. It’s easy to navigate around the website, and you can choose your preferred sport or bet from the different categories which are available. The offer for new customers currently allows players to triple their deposits. New sign-ups can deposit just £10 and get an extra £20. You could be playing with £30 – that’s enough for a few good bets! William Hill also gives players the option to bet live on sports such as tennis, football and baseball. If you don’t want to bet on any sports, head over to the Casino section where you’ll be able to play all the regular casino games. Choose Live Casino if you want to feel like you’re in a real-life casino from the comfort of your home.
- Bet365 Well-known for football betting, Bet365 has been loyal to its UK customers for several years. It doesn’t have any physical betting shops, allowing it to concentrate fully on giving its users the best online experience. One of its 2016 offers is a staggering free bet of up to £200 for new customers. Whatever new customers deposit, Bet365 has promised to double this amount up to £200. It’s easy to contact the team if you experience any problems, since they have a fully-operating Live Chat as well as email support and telephone customer service. Bet on the results of the Olympics 2016, play your favourite online casino games or check out the games in every sport you can think of, including motor sports, cycling and darts.
- Ladbrokes Whatever reason you’re visiting Ladbrokes for, there’s always excellent customer support. This company has gone the extra mile to make sure that its customers can get in touch with them during any time of day or night. 3pm in the afternoon or 4am in the morning – you can pick up the phone and speak to an advisor. One of the great features about the Ladbrokes customer service is that there are multiple languages available, so if you struggle with English, they might be able to help you out in another language. However, one of the complaints many customers have about Ladbrokes is that many countries are restricted from using the website. Players from the USA are not accepted, but those in Italy and Spain are welcome to place bets or play games.
- BetFair BetFair has been a very popular website for those who wish to bet on the upcoming horse and dog races, but these are not the only sports that the website caters for. Customers generally rate the smoothness and ease of the website very highly, which we also found very positive. The app is easy to use and the servers respond well, regardless of the time of day. BetFair has a generous introductory offer for new members – you’ll get £30 to play if you deposit £10. That’s more than enough cash to get you started and help you figure out how the website works. If you have any trouble, the 24/7 customer service is on hand to help you.
- BoyleSports If you’re looking to bet on horse racing, BoyleSports is among the best betting sites to visit. The front page instantly showcases the next races and the times of the races you might be interested in betting on. The Daily Specials is a great place to visit if you’re new to the world of betting and want to see what’s available. This area includes racing specials and football specials, among others. Signing up to BoyleSports means you’ll get a £10 free bet every single week for the next five weeks. That’s a total of £50 to bet on their website and win yourself some extra cash.
- 10Bet This website has a lot to offer to those who are interested in football betting and other sports, but it’s also a great choice for anybody interested in playing online in a live casino. Friendlier than a real-life casino, the dealer will chat to you and address you by your username as you enter the room and start playing all your favourite games. This year, 10Bet has a similar offer to that of Bet365. They are giving away up to £200 in free bets to new customers, but terms and conditions apply. 10Bet boasts more than 150 football leagues for their users to bet on, and it’s fully licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, meaning that it’s got to keep up its great reputation of being honest and fair.
- 888Sport This betting website has a simple and easy-to-use design that we found many customers like. While other websites might leave users feeling bombarded with many different categories all at once, 888Sport only introduces new viewers to a few. As the name might suggest, this betting site focuses strictly on sports betting, so if you’re looking for casinos, bingo or lotteries, this isn’t the best option for you. However, those hoping to bet on live sports or events which are happening soon have definitely arrived at the right place. The button to register and create a new account can easily be found in the top right-hand corner, and the process is a speedy one. The bonus for new customers is currently an offer which allows you to treble any money that you win. If you bet £10 and win £50, you’ll be able to cash out a huge £150! 888Sport also has some amazing daily deals and competitions for members to take part in.
- Sky Bet Deposit just £5 and get a free bet of £20 when you sign up to Sky Bet as a new customer. This website includes a useful list of the most popular sports to bet on, including football and horse racing, and for those who are here particularly for horse racing, you can keep up to date with the races which are coming up soon. Just keep an eye on the left-hand border for the times and locations. You can make some last-minute bets by looking at the live events which are happening right now. In some cases, the odds may change so that you have the chance to earn more money than you expected. You can easily view all the sports which are happening around the world during the next 24 hours, or browse the A-Z list of sports to find what you want to bet on next.