Find the best betting sites UK offering top odds, specials, sports markets, bonuses and more. Our comprehensive reviews make you a vet before you bet!
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These are currently the highest rated betting sites in the UK, taking into account new offers for EURO 2020.
Let’s get straight to the point – you are here because you like to place wagers on sporting events. Safe Betting Sites is a new initiative launched in 2020 that’s designed to help you find the best UKGC-regulated betting sites, and to make sure your online betting experience is 100 percent secure. It’s our job to keep you protected, and to inform you of the best betting sign-up offers and available site promo codes.
Free bet offers and promo codes are introduced by established UK bookmakers and new betting sites in the UK on a regular basis. While the full T&Cs involved make some promotions worth avoiding, the following betting site offers are well worth checking out. Each offer comes from a different safe and trustworthy betting site, providing punters with the chance to place bets using the bookmaker’s own funds.
Safe Betting Sites may be a ‘new’ venture, but the experts whose advice you’ll be taking on board have each been involved in the sports betting industry for at least a decade. These people really know what they are talking about, being lovers of sport and frequent sports bettors themselves.
What you will find below is what our people consider to be the ten best betting sites available in 2021 for eager sports bettors in the UK and beyond. We’ve included a mix of new UK betting sites and sites you may already be familiar with.
The online bookmaker section of Kwiff marries convenience with style but without the fuss of lesser sites. The biggest competitions such as the Premier League and Serie A in football are but a single click away, along with the latest match-ups in the worlds of tennis and basketball.
Kwiff is more a betting app than a betting site, but you can use it on desktop too. To get you used to the surprise bet concept new customers here receive a £10 surprise bet, plus 30 bonus spins at the Kwiff casino.
What we like:
What we don’t:
BetUK is a truly excellent UK-based online sports book that has been designed with UK people definitely being the site’s number one priority. If you are proud to place your red, white and blue bets, then BetUK is the site where you should be placing them. This online bookmaker has all the sports that people in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland love the most, including football, tennis, cricket, horse racing and both rugby codes. It seems to specialise in daily price boosts and in-play betting, with the option to cash out available on nearly every single live event.
As well as the daily price boosts that are available at the site, newcomers to BetUK are awarded a £5 bonus bet. To qualify for this British bonus all you need to do is place a £20 acca bet (minimum four selections) that has combined odds of a minimum of 4/1 (that’s 5.00 using those new-fangled decimal odds). You MUST place your bet using BetUK’s superb mobile app. Once your acca has settled your free bet fiver is shoved into your bonus box. You can use your free bet in whatever way you wish, but when any bet using your free bet is settled, only your winnings and not your free bet stake is returned.
If you’ve been watching TV of late, you may have noticed Betfred adverts featuring some old geezer imploring punters to gamble responsibly. Well, that ain’t just any old geezer, it’s Mr Fred Done himself, a billionaire, founder and chairman of Betfred. Fred in a legend in the sports betting world, creating Betfred (as Done Bookmakers) in 1967 and keeping the company well in profit for over fifty years while rival UK bookmakers floundered.
The Betfred of 2021 remains an outstanding betting platform that’s backed by the UK’s 1,500 real-world Betfred betting shops. The Betfred online sportsbook has an excellent sports betting section that is genuinely user-friendly, plus additional gambling sections for casino, lotto, live casino, vegas (slots), virtual, bingo, poker and totepool, which is a jackpot game where you can win £££s if you’re an expert sports predictor.
While not quite qualifying as a new bookies on the scene, QuinnBet is a UK-based online sports book that operates with a UKGC license. This is a betting site that keeps matters traditional in the British sense of the word as it concentrates upon the holy trinity of UK betting – football, horse racing and greyhounds.
It’s not all Brit-based though. The NFL is covered, as are all the other major US leagues (MLB, NBA, NHL and NCAA). You’ll also find comprehensive coverage of the leading eSports as you’d expect to find at new bookmakers, plus a Virtual Sports section.
The main key feature of QuinnBet is the site’s love of horse racing. This is not too suprising, as the site was founded in 2017 by Irish businessman Sean Quinn, who once held the title of Ireland’s richest man. QuinnBet has racecards available from the UK and Ireland on a daily basis, plus other racing-living countries as diverse as France, the USA, Japan and the United Arab Emirates.
If there’s one site that qualifies as being ‘in with a bullet’ into our top of the wagering pops considerations, it’s Spreadex. If you prefer spread betting to fixed odds betting, then this UKGC-licensed site is most definitely for you. All major sporting events are covered in depth, plus eSports including Liga Pro, DoTA and CS:GO. The site also stretches into an online casino, plus financial markets too.
If spread betting is something of a mystery to you make sure you check out our spread betting guide. If you don’t want to get involved in spread betting then don’t worry, fixed odds betting is available at Spreadex too.
The interface at Spreadex is unique and somewhat workman-like. Don’t expect too many thrilling and amusing animations as this is definitely a site that takes its sports betting seriously. If you are a dedicated sports bettor who makes serious efforts in getting the most out of their sports betting, then Spreadex is definitely for you.
One of the most generous aspects of this sports betting brand is their daily enhanced odds deals. If you head to their dedicated ‘enhanced odds’ section you can see the deals that are on offer – popular bets that have boosted odds if you choose to place a wager upon them. If your enhanced odds bet wins, you’ll receive between 10 and 20 percent more in winnings that you would if you placed the same bet at a different site.
For UK customers the welcome deal is decent but we have seen better. Deposit and then bet a tenner and then you’ll get a £10 free bet added to your account. Note that you have a generous 35 days from the date of registration during which you can claim this offer..
The setup of the site looks as classy as you’d expect from such an established and experienced gambling brand, with multiple options when it comes to markets and an amazing selection of live betting opportunities including eSports.
Grosvenor Sport really like their big events so make sure you fly over to the site whenever one of sports biggest events is about to take place, such as the FIFA World Cup, the English Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, or the US Masters at the Augusta National. There are sure to be some excellent promos and bonus deals available.
Originally called Vivarobet and targeting countries around Eastern Europe, VBet have of late decided to expand their focus meaning that this online betting site is finally available in the UK. VBet has actually been around since 2003, but only available to the UK since 2021. Trivia fact – VBet is the number one provider of real-world betting shops in Armenia!
Thankfully, people in the UK do not have to travel all the way to Armenia in order to wager at VBet, as it can be done online. Offering a payout in advance of 94% on major markets and an exceptional 96% on Europe’s top football leagues, you won’t be left disappointed by your winning margins here if your bets are successful. VBet averages 40,000 betting options per month, and an impressive 1,000 live betting events every day. It also offers multiple payment options, quick withdrawals and no fees.
People in the UK should need no introduction to the ‘Virgin’ brand. Famously begun as a record shop by Richard Branson, Virgin have expanded and expanded and are now even venturing into space tourism. They’ve also expanded into online sports betting, with the Virgin Bet sports book. Virgin Bet did used to be owned by Virgin, but now its owned by a different company who use the Virgin logo and name under license.
The Virgin Bet sports book has the usual ‘look and feel’ of the Virgin brand, and is one of the many sites that combine a sports book with a casino, which includes a live casino. The sports betting site does look surprisingly basic though, but that in no way should put you off from using it. Most things you could possibly want from a sports betting site are available, including price boosts and some innovative promotional features.
It’s been something of a long journey for Parimatch. This excellent sportsbook is the number one betting operator in Ukraine and has been since 1994. The brand has expanded and expanded and finally entered the UK market in the late summer of 2020, in partnership with established and respected UK betting brand BetVictor. This site offers extensive coverage of horse racing, along with football, boxing, MMA, eSports and practically everything else.
Newbies at Parimatch are rewarded for their custom with a potential return of £20 when they make a £5 deposit. The reward is two free bets on events with odds greater than evens, and a £10 slots bonus with 20x wagering in Parimatch’s attached slots section. If you visit Parimatch you’ll see they’ve plenty to brag about, including a Bet Builder option that allows you to create accas based on any day’s bigger events.
MansionBet have been around for a while now, and have built themselves up a fantastic reputation for the way they treat their customers, including stringent security measures and extra added value via ongoing promotions. Licensed in the UK, MansionBet are known for their support of UK football having had sponsorship deals with Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, Bristol City and Millwall.
Check out their ‘bet £10, get £20’ deal to really get your use of their betting facilties up and running. New bookmakers tend to have more generous deals, but that does not mean this MansionBet offer should be ignored.
MansionBet are one of the most generous sports betting sites out there and will offer keen price boosts on specific events, such as Harry Kane scoring a brace in Tottenham’s next match. Other enhanced deals include daily doubles available on that days’ race card, and ‘all teams to score’ deals on selected combined football matches. Excellent range of the exotic bets, such as Love Island betting, makes this brand a favourite among TV shows fans too.
We’ve already established the criteria by which we rank the best UK sports betting sites, but when it comes to choosing the best UK sports book for you, the final decision is yours and yours alone. How can you be sure that you are making the correct choice?
Below, you’ll find a few tips that should help ease your path to finding a UK sports book that suits your wagering needs perfectly.
If you are based in the UK, then any sports betting site you use must have a United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) licence. This is legally binding – you are not allowed to be resident in the UK and place bets at any site that does not have proper licencing. Rest assured that all sites mentioned on Safe Betting Sites have valid UKGC licences.
Virtually every UK sports betting site and especially every new bookmakers UK based will offer new customers some kind of bonus as a reward for signing up with them. It could be a no-risk bet that returns your stake as bonus cash if you lose, or a free bet that pays real cash if you win. Such welcome offers are an invaluable way of evaluating a site before you start parting with your own money, and you can check the best welcome deals by refereeing our free bets section.
MansionBet – Bet £10 Get £20
888Sport – Up to £100 Deposit Bonus
Spreadex – Get up to £25 in Free Bets
While a welcome bonus is a ‘nice to have’, a series of regular promo codes and ongoing promotions is an even ‘nicer to have’. Sites that offer a regular series of bonus offers for their regular clientele think more highly of their customers than those that don’t. Find a site that goes beyond the standard ‘welcome offer’ to be made to feel a little bit special, and make sure you check out our betting offers page for the latest and greatest deals.
BoyleSports – Free Bet Up To £20 If One Leg Loses In Your 5+ Acca
HollywoodBets – 30% on your accumulators
VirginBet – Great Virgin Bet FIVES promotion
Placing a bet on Barcelona v Real Madrid (as an example) should not be a chore that makes you feel like hammering your PC keyboard against the nearest convenient wall. If it takes more than three clicks to place any specific bet at a sports betting site, then perhaps you need to find a different place to bets.
Thanks to the creation of HTML5, all UK online sports books now offer a mobile-optimised version of themselves that should look great and work perfectly well on all iOS and Android-based phones and tablets. However, just because something is mobile-optimised that does not mean it’s properly mobile-optimised and some mobile ‘apps’ create nothing but bad betting vibes. Check our betting apps page to see which sites offer the best mobile betting experiences. Some sites also still offer bespoke apps that you can download and install onto your devices.
Ok, so there’s no doubt that football is the biggest betting market in the UK, but that does not mean all other sporting events should be relegated to the background. Imagine going to a restaurant and finding they only had steak & chips on the menu (albeit with a range of different sauces). Variety is the spice of betting and the more markets a sports betting site has, the merrier.
Horse racing, greyhounds, tennis and golf all deserve extensive levels of coverage as well as US sports (baseball, American football, basketball and ice hockey), MMA and UFC. The growing popularity of eSports betting is something that needs to be taken care of too, and you’ll find the best new UK betting sites have sections for pro video gaming.
When you place sporting wagers, you ought to be completely free to choose how much you want to bet on a specific event. If you just fancy a ‘quick quid’ on Harry Kane scoring the opening goal in Tottenham’s next match, it’s a bit of a downer if you find the minimum bet size stipulated by your chosen betting site is £5.
The top betting sites always remember that it’s your money, even if it happens to be ‘resting’ in your online sports book account. When the time comes for you to cash out, sites need to get their act together and blast your cash back into your bank account without undue delays. The worst sites add on ‘pending’ and ‘processing’ periods that may see you have to wait a whole week for your money, or even longer.
Although Visa is by far the most popular payment method available (UKGC rules mean that you cannot use credit cards to make deposits at both established and new betting sites, which means no MasterCards, Amex, Diners Club etc) not everyone is comfortable in using a debit card at a sports betting site. The best online betting sites in the UK are the ones with a large amount of options, including eWallets such as Skrill, Neteller, PayPal and ecoPayz, and cryptocurrency options like Bitcoin and Litecoin.
Of course, it goes without saying that the top betting sites in the UK do not make charges for deposits and withdrawals.
No matter how seasoned a sports bettor you become, there is always the chance something will happen that leaves you adrift in the sports betting sea. Perhaps a deposit is not showing up in your account, or a withdrawal seems stuck, or you won a wager and it simply did not pay out.
Customer support is essential in all these circumstances, and we’re not talking about an unmanned email inbox. Dedicated and proper live support 24/7 is a must as far as we are concerned, as is a telephone line to a real person available during the core hours of the day.
Both established and new UK betting sites have streamlined the process by which you can sign up for an account at their site. Indeed with some, you only need to sign up via PayPal, Facebook or Google to create your account.
With other sites though, the process is a little more engaged. Here is how to sign up for an account at one of our favourite UK sports betting sites, QuinnBet.
Head to the QuinnBet site here and click on the green ‘Register’ button.
Fill in the ‘Personal Information’ section, click the check box to state that you are over 18 and click ‘Join Now’.
Fill in the ‘Address’ Section and click ‘Save Address’.
Fill in the ‘Payment Method’ Section. Add your credit or debit card (eWallets are not available for your first deposit at QuinnBet), choose a deposit amount and click ‘Submit’.
That’s it! You now have a funded sports betting account. The process may differ at your chosen UK online sports book, but the steps involved are basically the same.
As you are based in the UK, you will more than likely have to provide identification documents before you can start placing bets. You will need to provide a proof of ID, such as an image of your passport or driver’s licence, and a proof of address such as an image of a recent utility bill. The provision of these documents is a legal stipulation decreed by the UKGC to help prevent illegal gambling by minors.
Now you have opened your new bookmakers UK account, you will want to start betting. The best betting sites now make it extremely easy to place bets, but we are going to walk you through the process, step-by-step. We are going to place a bet at QuinnBet, one of our favourite betting sites.
Here you can see ALL the available markets for the match, including Over/Under, BTTS Yes/No, Asian Handicap, Clean Sheets, First Goalscorer, Anytime Goalscorer, so on and so on. As we are just going to bet on City winning, we’re going to pop back to the previous page …
To bet on Manchester City to win, all we need to do is click on the ‘2/11’ button. The ‘2/11’ refers to the price that Manchester City are at to score victory. If you prefer decimal odds then that’s 1.29.
Enter the size of your wager. We have set the bet at £10, so our estimated returns are £11.82. When all looks good, hit the ‘Bet Now’ button to confirm your wager. Job’s a good ‘un and come on those boys in sky blue!
When you sign up for the first time at a specific online sports book, you are more than likely to be offered a deposit bonus. This is a great way of ‘testing the water’ at a site to see if it’s all you’re expecting it to be. There are three main kinds of sports betting deposit bonuses, and we’re going to run through the processes involved to enable you to claim each kind.
A ‘free bet’ is genuinely a free bet – a wager you can place without spending of your own hard-earned cash. To obtain a free bet (and you can check the latest free betting sites offers here), you will probably have to make a minimum deposit once you have signed up for your account.
888Sport are a UK sports book that offers new customers £30 in free bets. To obtain your free bet money, you need to complete your registration at the site and make an initial deposit of £10, and then a minimum bet of £10 at odds of a least 1.5 (1/2). No matter if your bet wins or not, once it is settled within 72 hours you should receive £30 in free bet tokens.
Each bet token is worth £10 and must be used in its entirety. If a bet made using your free bets wins you only receive back your winnings, and not the free bet stake itself. Your free bets must be used within seven days of you receiving them.
New customers only • Min deposit £10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.5) • Free Bets must be claimed within 7 days upon qualifying bet settlement and expires after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time • Withdrawal restrictions & full T&Cs apply.
A ‘risk-free’ bet is one that you cannot lose. New customers at the best betting sites are often offered risk-free bets. The requirement is that the customer makes a minimum bet on a chosen event, a range of events or any combination they desire. If that bets wins, they take the money. If it doesn’t, then the customer receives back their stake as bonus cash.
New customers at Paddy Power can obtain a risk-free bet when they sign up, worth up to a maximum of £20 and unlike many other risk-free bet offers your money, if the best loses, is paid back as CASH and not as bonus money, which is a fabulous deal.
To claim your risk-free bet open an account at Paddy Power using the promo code ‘YSKAEE’ then place ANY sports book bet. If that bet loses your stake will be returned to your account (maximum £20) as cash that you can use to bet on other markets, or withdraw. Note you must use a debit card or Apple Pay to make your initial deposit or you will not receive your risk-free bet.
New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Apple Pay will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. Paddy’s Rewards Club: Get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. T&Cs apply
If you receive an enhances odds offer, then that will allow you to bet on a specific event but with much better odds than you would normally receive. This means that you will receive back much more if the bet wins than you normally would. There is usually one ‘catch’ though – money in excess of what you would have otherwise won is paid as bonus money that you cannot withdraw, and not as real cash.
Say – for example – you are offered an enhanced odds offer on Manchester United beating Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. The normal odds are 2.0 (Evens) but you are offered 5.0 (4/1). If you were to take up the offer, bet £10 and the Red Devils won, then you’d receive back £10 in real money (your winnings at 2.0) and £30 (your enhanced winnings at 5.0) as bonus cash, plus your £10 stake.
Enhanced odds offers are usually tied to specific events, so you need to be quick to take advantage of them. Keep an eye on our enhanced odds page to find the latest bonus deals.
If you’ve been around online casinos or slots sites, then you’ll be familiar with the concept of a matched deposit offer as that is the most common type of welcome bonus made by such sites. A matched deposit offer at a UK online sports book works in exactly the same way, and you’ll find the best matched deposit betting sites offers available here.
10Bet is a superb relatively new bookmakers with an amazing sports betting bonus. It is worth 50 percent of the first deposit you make at the site, up to a maximum of £50.
To claim your matched deposit offer sign up at 10Bet and make a minimum deposit of £15 (not via an eWallet such as Skrill or Neteller) using the code PLAY10. You will be awarded 50 percent of your deposit up to £50 as bonus cash.
To cash out any winnings made via your bonus cash you need to wager the amount eight times over on single markets with minimum odds of 1.80 (4/5) or acca bets with odds of at least 1.40 (2/5). You need to do this within sixty days of receiving your bonus cash.
18+. New bettors get 50% of deposit up to £50, once per household, Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager 8x deposit and bonus in 60 days to convert into real money, betting min odds of 4/5 on singles, or min 2/5 per leg for acca, max. stake contribution to wagering = initial bonus, some bet types excluded; See full terms; 18+.
Most people bet on sporting events in order to add a little excitement to their lives. Others treat it a little more seriously in the hope that their expertise generates them a little bit of extra income. For others it’s just a source of entertainment.
Whichever of these betting types describes you, there are certain ‘rules’ you need to follow in order to get the most from your new sports betting sites, and here are a few of them.
There are dozens of online sports books out there, and as long as you stick to the top 10 betting sites or any site as recommended by our experts you are free to open an account at any or all of them. As most sites will offer you some kind of welcome deal such as a free bet or enhanced odds, you can take advantage of all of these deals to power up your sports betting experience.
As the UK sports betting market is so competitive, the leading sites will offer ongoing promotions in order to satisfy their existing clientele and to attract people to the idea of opening accounts with them. Again, this is something you ought to be taking advantage of, so pay a visit to our betting promotions page as often as possible.
Here is how to sign up for an account at Paddy Power and use the promo code available for new customers. FIrst, head to the Paddy Power site and click on the ‘Join Now’ button. A new screen will pop up where you fill in all your necessary details, as well as selecting a password and providing an answer to the security question. You may find that the promo code is filled in for you, but if it is not then just add it to the relevant box where indicated. When all is okay, tick all three check boxes and click the ‘Join Now’ button. That’s all there is to it!
With this deal your first bet at Paddy Power (up to a maximum of £10) will be returned to you as cash if it loses. This is an amazing deal as commonly, ‘no risk bet’ promo codes return your stake to you as bonus money (which has to be used for wagering), and not real cash that you can withdraw if you want to. The only stipulation is that you must use a debit card or Apple Pay to make your qualifying deposit – eWallets such as Skrill and Neteller and eVouchers like Paysafecard are ineligible.
You can learn more about this great deal from Paddy Power and other promo codes and bonuses from the notorious Irish bookie here.
One of the most successful ways you can guarantee making a profit at a UK online betting site is to practice matched betting. This works best when combined with the kind of free bet offers found at the best online betting companies.
Matched betting is where you bet on both sides of an event that can only have one of two possible outcomes – tennis, snooker and darts are all good examples of markets where there are no draws or ties. If you’re a ‘football only’ bettor then there are markets which can only have one of two outcomes, such as under/over 2.5 or BTTS (both teams to score).
For an example, say you take a free bet from MansionBet, and a free bet from 888Sport. You find a two-outcome event – Judd Trump is playing Ding Junhai in the UK Masters snooker tournament. You back Trump at MansionBet and you back Junhai at 888Sport. One of those bets MUST come in and as you are using free bets, you are guaranteed to be in profit.
You can also use a matched betting strategy using your own money, but that takes a little more effort. You need to find the best odds for each outcome of a two-outcome event at different UK online bookies. This is difficult to do, as the UK’s top betting sites work to make sure the odds they offer for markets are equivalent to the odds offered by all other old and new betting sites. This type of matched betting is also known as ‘arbitrage betting’.
You can learn more about matched betting here.
Unless you deem yourself a professional sports bettor and are willing to put the hours in to become successful at it, then you’re very unlikely to develop your new sports betting sites skills to the point where you can count on wagering being a steady stream of income.
Your bankroll is the amount of money you put aside each month for your sports betting endeavours. You need to keep this separate from your other financial considerations such as mortgage payments, rent, utility bill payments and the money you need for food and your day-to-day expenses.
It is recommended that you never gamble more than one tenth of your overall bankroll on any given day, and no single bet should be more than one tenth of that. So, if your monthly bankroll is £100 then your single day bankroll is £10 and your single bet maximum is £1.
The most important aspect of bankroll management is this – should you have a bad run and your bankroll dwindles to zero, stop betting until next month’s bankroll is available. Do not ‘borrow’ from future bankrolls, and do not spend money that you need for your daily financial responsibilities.
Another great tip about bankroll management is to stop betting for the month if your betting chops are really coming up trumps and you manage to double your monthly bankroll. Good runs are all-too-often eaten away by immediate bad runs. Instead of spending your gained wealth on betting, consider treating yourself to a nice meal, a new outfit or paying off some of your credit card debt instead.
We’ve all done this – Liverpool have been drawn at home to Accrington Stanley in the FA Cup and the Accrington boys are quoted at 100/1 (101.00) to snatch victory from the Anfield mob. You think ‘that’s worth a quid’ so you slap on a pound for an Accrington win … and Liverpool win 9-0 with Mo Salah scoring five. You could have just as well flushed that quid down the toilet for all the good it did you.
True – long shots (such as 5,000/1 Leicester City winning the EPL in 2016) do sometimes pay off but mostly they are as likely to happen as Donald Trump admitting that he’s wrong about something.
The people who get the most out of their sports betting are those who bet with their head. Even the most fervent Accrington Stanley fan would not have put money on their team in the example we gave above if they used their grey matter, as opposed to what pumps in their chest.
The most successful sports bettors are those that understand one particular betting niche better than any other. It could be horse racing, or it could be drilled down further and just be about the EPL. It may even be the Estonian U23 Ladies Volleyball League – as long as you bet on what you know and leave the guesswork behind, you’ve more chance of being successful in your sports betting than not.
Having said that, the more markets that are available to you, the better the chances you have of finding the best prices on a large number of events. If you’re an EPL expert, then as time goes on you might want to expand that knowledge to La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga. As soon as you become an expert on European top flight football, you’ll be able to expand into the UCL and the Europa League too.
Despite the online betting market in the UK being dominated by familiar names such as Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and Betfair, new online betting companies emerge onto the internet all the time. Interest in sports betting seems to increase on a daily basis, meaning there’s a growing number of potential sports bettors out there for betting sites to attract as their clientele.
If you are of a cautious nature, then whenever you go looking for a service provider you probably hunt for one that’s been successful in their particular business niche for several years. If the company has been successful in doing what they do for a decade and beyond, then surely they must be doing something right?
This rule applies to the sports betting world too, although that does not mean that new betting sites in the UK for 2021 should be dismissed out of hand. If you’d prefer to place your sporting bets at a site that has successfully withstood the test of time, then here are some of best ‘established’ sports betting brands:
EURO 2020 Special: Up To £100 On Your First Deposit
Get £20 in Free Bets When You Bet £5
£40 Money Back Bonus
Cashout is something that has only been available at the best betting sites since the advent of the internet. At sites such as Betfred, Ladbrokes and BetVictor you can cash out live bets that currently are winning bets, albeit for reduced odds. Most new betting sites are now cash out betting sites.
Say you have bet £5 on England to beat the Czech Republic in UEFA Euro 2020. Jack Grealish put England ahead on the hour but with 15 minutes to go, Harry Maguire was been sent off leaving England down to ten men. You are not confident that your winning bet will hold, so you decide to cash out. You’d bet on England at 5/4 (2.25) but the cash out odds offered are 4/5 (1.80). As it turns out, Tomas Soucek blasts a last-minute penalty past Jordan Pickford for the equaliser so your bet would have returned nothing if you had not cashed out.
The best betting sites in the UK are those with live streaming. Established sites such as Ladbrokes, bet365 and Paddy Power all have live streaming of sports events, plus new betting sites such as QuinnBet have live streaming of horse racing.
Football, horse racing, tennis and golf are the most popular sports available for live streaming at live stream betting sites. You won’t though be able to see major sporting events and leagues such as the English Premier League or the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships via betting site streaming, due to existing broadcasting deals signed with terrestrial broadcasting companies.
Getting money into and out of the best betting sites is not as simple as it used to be. For example, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission outlawed the use of credit cards at sports betting sites in 2020, to discourage problem gamblers from running up credit card bills that they then simply could not afford to pay.
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It’s not all bad news though, as there are plenty of ways in which you can make deposits and withdrawals via your online sports betting account. Below you will find a list of the most popular ones available at the largest number of UK online betting companies.
If you have a UK bank account, then the chances are you have a Visa debit card. Visa have become the most-used payment facilitator in the UK, and you are free to use a Visa debit card or any other brand of debit card at most of the bookmakers in our UK betting sites list.
When the time comes to make a deposit using your card at online betting sites, you enter the card number, expiry date, CVV number on the back and the amount of your deposit. For your first deposit you may need to provide an image of your card (front and back), in accordance with UKGC regulations.
Deposits made via a debit card are usually instant, but withdrawals may take between three and five days to process. It is unlikely you will be charged for making a debit card deposit, but a withdrawal may incur fees at some UK sports books. Visa debit card transactions are accepted by MansionBet, Spreadex, QuinnBet and many, many more.
PayPal has since 2002 been the internet’s number one eWallet, initially piggy-backing on the success of the auction site eBay. Most people who shop online have a PayPal account.
PayPal has not always been available as payment method at even the best betting sites UK, but since 2018 a growing number of sports betting sites have started accepting PayPal deposits and withdrawals.
Payments at an online sports book via PayPal are just like payments made online anywhere else. Enter your PayPal account name and the amount you wish to deposit. The familiar PayPal applet will pop up, asking you to confirm the payment there and then or via two-step verification if you have it set up.
PayPal payments are usually processed within a matter of seconds, and withdrawals at Paypal betting sites can be just as quick, although some sites may take a little longer to get you your money. If you are in UK you should not be charged any fees for using PayPal.
Please note that most online betting companies will not award bonuses for deposits that you make using PayPal. PayPal is available as payment option at mr.play, Grosvenor Sport, BetVictor and more.
Skrill (previously known as MoneyBookers) has become the leading eWallet that is used by online sports bettors who do not want to use a debit card to fund their sports betting accounts. Skrill works in exactly the same way as any other leading eWallet, such as PayPal. You fund your Skrill account from your bank account or another other suitable financial account, then use the cash in your Skrill account to make deposits at your chosen sports book.
Depositing is the simple process of heading to the sports book cashier, choosing Skrill as your payment method, then entering your Skrill account name (usually your email) and the amount you want to deposit. You will be connected to Skrill so that you can confirm the transaction. Withdrawals are basically the same, except of course that the money is travelling in the opposite direction.
The online sports book is unlikely to charge you for Skrill deposits and withdrawals, but you will be charged fees by Skrill for using their services. SpreadEx, Betiton and Quinnbet are three relatively new betting sites UK that accept Skrill payments.
Neteller offers an almost identical service to Skrill, and indeed both Skrill and Neteller are owned by the same company – Paysafe. Neteller rose to prominence as a payment services provider on the back of the online poker boom in the early-to-mid 2000s, and survived the hit when online poker in the US was made ‘illegal’ in 2011.
To open a Neteller account you only need a valid email address. You can then move funds into your Neteller account via any suitable payment method, including linking your bank account. To then move money into your sports book account you need to head to the site’s cashier and choose Neteller as your payment method plus the amount you want to deposit. You’ll just need to okay the transfer to move your money.
At the best sites Neteller withdrawals are just as quick as deposits but some sites may add on 24-48 hours of ‘processing time’. You should not be charged by your sports book for Neteller transactions although you will have to pay fees to Neteller. The STS, Karamba and ManisonBet entries in our top 10 betting sites all accept Neteller as a payments method.
Paysafecard (owned by the same company as Skrill and Neteller) is not another eWallet as some people think, but an eVoucher scheme. Paysafecard eVouchers can be purchased from real-world vendors and used to make online payments. A Paysafecard eVoucher is – in reality – a unique 16-digit number. If you buy a Paysafecard eVoucher for £20 (plus a small fee) for example then you can use that £20 to make online purchases, including deposits at an online sports book.
To do that, head to the cashier and chose Paysafecard as your payment method. You will be prompted to enter your 16-digit code. Once confirmed, your money will be transferred from your eVoucher to your sports book account.
Paysafecards cannot be topped up. Once the money on your eVoucher has been used, the 16-digit code becomes redundant. Typically, you can only use Paysafecard eVouchers for deposits, and not withdrawals. Online bookies in the UK that allow Paysafecard deposits include MansionBet, Novibet and Paddy Power.
Although the internet began via desktop computers, the majority of internet traffic in the 2020s ends up on (or is transmitted by) phones and tablets. Since 2010 there has been something of a mobile internet revolution, and that extends to both established and the latest betting sites.
Boku is a popular way of using your phone account to make payments at the best betting sites. You choose Boku as your payment service, and then enter your mobile phone number and your deposit amount. You’ll receive an SMS explaining how you can confirm the transfer. If successful, your deposit will appear on your next mobile phone bill.
Despite being extremely convenient, Boku comes with a few disadvantages. Fees are high (as much as 15 percent) and you are limited to £30 per day in deposits. Only certain carriers (in the UK – Vodaphone, EE, O2 and 3) allow Boku payments and you cannot withdraw via Boku.
Some of the best betting sites in the UK that allow Boku payments include Boyle Sports, Netbet, Betfair and Betfred.
Here in the UK we are swiftly moving towards a cashless society. Why bother carrying money around in your jeans when you can just use your phone? Contactless payments are available at most retailers, and a range of services such as Apple Pay (Google Pay and Samsung Pay are similar services) have been set up to enable payments via debit/credit card terminals.
You can use Apple Pay online too, including at online sports books in the UK that accept Apple Pay payments. You just need to head to the bookmaker’s cashier and choose Apple Pay as your provider, and your deposit amount. Enter your Apple ID when prompted to confirm the transfer. Your money should be ready for you to bet with immediately. Apple Pay can usually be used for withdrawals too. Transaction speeds for deposits and withdrawals are usually pretty swift, although even the best betting sites may delay withdrawals by around 24-48 hours.
Old and new betting sites UK that accept Apple Pay include 888Sport, Unibet and Ladbrokes.
Okay, so the ‘Bitcoin revolution’ hasn’t happened yet and plenty of people are still a hesitant about using this highly volatile non-fiat currency, but in terms of anonymity and security, Bitcoin cannot be bettered. Bitcoins are transferred between your Bitcoin wallet (which these days is normally stored in the cloud) and the merchant you are paying, without the intervention of any financial services provider. Transfers are largely (but not wholly) anonymous and secure.
Bitcoin is the most commonly-accepted cryptocurrency by online sports betting UK sites, but there are others including Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Neo. Bitcoin transactions are usually instantaneous, and can be used for both deposits and withdrawals.
UK-facing sport books that accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are very hard to find, but that situation may hopefully change in the future.
British bettors have an incredible range of options available to them, and many of these sites don’t merely provide a sportsbook. They also feature various other sections, including casinos, live casinos, slot games, poker, bingo, lotto, virtual sports, and more.
In the past few years, we’ve seen an absolute explosion in the number of UKGC-compliant gambling sites serving British bettors. You can check out three of the very new gambling sites in the UK below, and find out a few key details about each.
BetUK was only launched in 2018, making it a new arrival on the betting scene. There’s actually a huge amount of experience behind this brand though, as they’re owned and operated by LeoVegas, who have enjoyed plenty of success in the UK and Europe.
From the beginning, BetUK has been a feature-packed betting platform. In addition to a solid range of sports markets, there’s also a casino section and plenty of slots. Importantly, BetUK provides special offers for all the main sections of its site, making it easy to gain both free bets and free spins.
While Casumo was originally founded in 2012, it didn’t acquire its UKGC license until 2015. Even then, British bettors could only benefit from the excellent casino and live casino sections until 2019, when a sportsbook was finally launched.
Casumo has quickly made a name for itself since then. This has come partly through high profile sponsorships (including with Reading FC). Online word-of-mouth has also played a factor though, driven by the quality of all three of Casumo’s main sections. While it lacks somewhat in attention-grabbing special features, Casumo’s mobile apps are excellent, making it a great option for on-the-go bettors.
PariMatch has a lengthy track record, stretching back to 1994. Most of this time was spent operating in eastern Europe, however, with the brand not coming to the UK until October 2020. Since then, PariMatch has made a major splash.
Much of that is down to its eye-catching sign up deals, which dish out major rewards for sports and casino gamblers in return for minimal initial stakes. Live casino and lotto sections are also in place, and all this and more can be accessed via impressive mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices.
Sign up offers deliver the biggest rewards of any promotions, by far. As such, we’d say it’s always worth putting the time and effort into triggering them whenever you register with a new brand.
You may well be interested in using various sections of a betting site, such as the sportsbook and live casino areas. If so, the same account balance can usually be used in each case. Unfortunately though, any bonuses you receive can’t be. If you receive a bonus from a sports betting offer, this must be used for sports wagers. The same goes for casino sections, live casino areas, and so on.
In general, getting started on gambling sites in the UK could not be easier. This is true regardless of the specific product you’re interested in.
Nowadays, this user-friendly nature extends across most betting sites’ entire platforms. If you originally sign up on the sportsbook, for example, that same account will typically be eligible for use on all other sections of the platform.
The main advantage of this is obviously convenience. Whether using the desktop site or mobile app, you won’t need to log out from one account and log in to another. The downside is that you’ll often be limited to one welcome offer for that account, meaning that – if a brand offers deals for multiple sections – you’ll have to pick the one that most appeals to you.
When the internet first became a ‘thing’ it was basically viewed as a hobby network for nerds. Connections were slower than the arrival of Christmas Day for a six-year-old, and fledging sites looked as if they had been hammered together by that same six-year-old, especially as EVERY site contained at least one gif of a dancing hamster.
By the time speeds improved and eventually broadband came in, companies were starting to think about how the internet could be used to make them money. Retail businesses soon offered their customers online purchasing options, and then a few companies worked out that the internet could be used to offer gambling possibilities too.
The first sports betting site was called Intertops, which opened in 1996. Swiftly, many of the biggest online UK bookmakers were opening online betting UK sites – William Hill, Coral, Ladbrokes, Betfred and other names that had been known by punters for years. Pretty soon they were joined by a number of online-only sports books that had no previous experience of IRL bookmaking.
Horse racing was by far and away the biggest UK betting pastime before the internet age, but thanks to the advent of online betting sites football betting soon began to catch up with those jockey-whipped beasts. Eventually football raced past horse racing and now completely eclipses it in terms of betting. People in the UK spend around £20 billion per year on sports betting, with 47 percent of that spent betting on football compared to 27 percent on horse racing.
Online betting has also caused many real-world UK bookmakers to struggle to stay solvent. There are under 7,000 betting shops left open in Britain according to the most recent estimate, down from a peak of 10,000 in the 1980s. Online betting offers convenience (you don’t have to pop a hat and coat on and battle sleet, hail and rain on a chilly December evening to pop a quid on Harry Kane scoring for Spurs against Arsenal if you bet online) and a trio of key aspects that betting shops cannot match.
Online sports betting certainly represents a big chuck of the UK’s passion for a punt, but it still only accounts for around 7 percent of the money spent gambling in the UK per year, dwarfed by lotteries and scratch cards at a combined 51 percent. Despite regulatory clampdowns by the UKGC in recent years, the UK’s passion for sports betting online shows no signs of diminishing.
Do you know what BTTS stands for? If someone offers you Acca Insurance would you think they’re offering to insure your car? When you hear the term ‘Asian Handicap’ do you immediately think of a Japanese guy in a wheelchair? If all these terms mean zilch to you and you’re interested in sports betting then you are significantly missing out.
Here at Safe Betting Sites we want you to get the most out of your sports betting, which is why you will find a number of online betting guides designed to help you achieve just that. We explain the jargon behind terms such as BTTS (‘both teams to score’) and detail how you can improve your betting skills and understanding of the wagering world. We are not the kind of shysters who promise you ‘betting profits – 100% guaranteed’, but we will help you expand your betting knowledge and so increase your chances of coming out on top with your sports betting endeavours, time and time again.
If you are looking for the best betting sites with a UK regulated license we have your back. We aim to be your number one resource for every single aspect of your safe online sports betting experience, and we know that’s something we’re going to achieve.
Amongst our favourite sites for 2021 – are BetUK (new), Quinnbet, Kwiff and Spreadex for the serious spread betting punters. Bet safely, and be sure to return to our site once a month to view new free bet offers and beating deals!
Sports betting in the UK is completely legal. If you bet online though, the site at which you are betting must have a United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) licence. All the best betting sites and new betting sites in the UK do.
Our top rated sites are 2kbet, Quinnbet, Casumo, BetVictor and Spreadex. New betting sites such as BetUK are worth checking out too.
No. Since 2020 credit cards such as MasterCard have been banned in UK from being used at online gambling sites. This includes sports betting, online casinos, slots sites, poker sites and online bingo.
The best betting sites use something called ‘128-bit SSL’ encryption which is the same level of encryption as used by online banks. Basically, all the information contained in the data that is sent across the internet is converted into a meaningless string of numbers and characters. The data is then unencrypted when it reaches its destination. If the data ends up where it is not supposed to be, it is completely indecipherable.
Yes you can. Sites such as Bet365, Unibet, William Hill, Paddy Power and Betfred will all occasionally allow you to watch events online at their sites. Leagues and competitions that have signed broadcasting rights with media companies (such as the EPL with Sky, BT and Amazon) are not available for live streaming. Some new betting sites offer live streaming too.
Yes and no. If you receive a free £10 bet then you can only use it to place a bet – you cannot withdraw that £10 and go down the pub with it, so it’s not actually free money. What’s more, if you were to bet £10 of your own money on the Buccaneers beating the Chiefs in the Superbowl at 3.0 (2/1) you would get back £30, which would be your stake and your winnings. If you used a free bet you’d only get back £20, as your free bet stake is not returned.
No. You can only withdraw to a payment method that you have previously used to make a deposit. In the example above you could only withdraw to your debit card, or to Skrill if you had previously made a Skrill deposit.
Online sports books generally do not allow you to use any eWallet to claim a free bet. If it were not for this rule, you could set up different accounts at a sports book and deposit at each as a ‘first time’ depositor using a different payments provider – Visa, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, ecoPayz, Boku and so on. This would enable you to claim a free bet first deposit offer multiple times, which would put the online sports book at a disadvantage. The ‘no eWallets’ rule prevents this from happening.
Most sites will offer ‘the best odds guaranteed’ but that’s because there are people who work at the site who make sure the odds that are offered on any particular event are on a par with the odds offered by other leading betting sites with little variation. We checked on an up-and-coming football match and the range of odds offered by twenty different online betting sites on a home win ranged from 2.19 (19/16) to 2.05 (21/20), a range of just 0.14.
The UKGC have tightened ‘KYC’ (know your customer) requirements for online sports books over the last year or too. This is to help prevent underage gambling and from problematic gamblers from opening multiple accounts. Online betting sites are now legally required to make sure that they have made a significant effort in uniquely identifying the individuals who have access to their site. This is done by uploading a proof of identity (passport, driving licence, ID card), proof of address (recent utility bill or bank statement) and source of funding (image of debit card, account summary from bank or eWallet).
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Peter is an experienced iGaming wordsmith who has been working in the industry since 2013. He has written more words on all aspects of iGaming than he cares to remember, and has provided content for many big industry names. When not writing Peter can be found out running or gaming on his Xbox.