Online Sports Betting in the UK: A Basic Guide

The emergence of the internet has brought many changes in different facets of our lives. The World Wide Web has also affected the way people are placing sports bets.  According to the latest statistics, almost half of people in the UK gamble either as sports betting or in casinos. In addition, at least 35% of them are using online bookmakers and casinos for their betting and gambling activities.

Sports betting market in the UK

online sports betting

When it comes to online sports betting in the UK, it all started back in 1998, almost 20 years ago. This is the year when the first online betting website (sports book) was launched in the United Kingdom. The well-known bookmaker William Hill decided to start offering their bets online too. Ever since then, the online betting industry in the United Kingdom is growing.

It is worth mentioning that online gambling is a broader term that includes other activities like playing online poker, roulette, bingo, lottery, slot games etc. However, about 40% of these activities are related to sports betting. This means that this market is huge in the UK.

What makes sports betting in the UK interesting is the fact that people are placing bets on many different sports. Contrary to popular belief, the most popular sports bets are related to horse racing. Last year, half of the nation’s sports bets were related to this sport. This is one of the main reasons why so many online bookies are offering special deals, promotions, and bonuses during annual horse racing events. The second most popular sport in terms of sports betting is football. Of course, bettors can place bets on literally every recognized sport including basketball, volleyball, handball, cricket, rugby, golf, snooker or even Gaelic games.

In the last 10 years, the internet-based sports betting market in the United Kingdom has grown over 100% and many experts predict that this trend will continue in the next years. One of the reasons for this success is the fact that sports bookmakers in the country are following and implementing the latest trends. For instance, many of them have independent mobile applications. Thousands of Brits are placing bets online through their smartphones and tablets on a daily basis.

As a result of this great popularity, the number of online sports bookies is increasing too. Some of them are based in the United Kingdom, while others are based abroad, but they are still offering their services to UK nationals. In order to save you some time, we will present some of the most popular sports bookies in the UK today.

A Few Popular Online Sports Bookmakers in the UK


888 is among the oldest online bookmakers in the United Kingdom. It’s interesting that this company can be found on the London Stock Exchange. Even though some players might argue that this sports bookmaker doesn’t have the highest odds, the fact is that they have an incredible offer which includes a wide array of sports. They also have special offers like money back deals, free bets and tons of bonuses. For their loyal players, they have a special VIP program which features special offers. 888 has a website with a simplistic design and user-friendly interface.


In the last couple of years, Betway made some changes that helped them enter the “big league”. This is a UK-licensed sports bookie that appears sponsor of many events and teams. They have some excellent horse racing offers, even though the odds and offers focused on other sports are great too. users really like Betway’s promos that include money back offers, accumulator insurance, improved odds, loyalty bonuses and more. Betway also has a free bet club that provides free bets to loyal users. In addition, loyal users can also enjoy the so-called loyalty scheme which provides points for free bets.


Now here’s another great online sports betting website. There are many great things about Ladbrokes, but we would like to mention their wide range of payment methods. You can deposit and withdraw money with the help of credit and debit cards, PayPal, Neteller and few other options that can’t be found in most online bookies. Ladbrokes also offers enhanced odds and many live streams.


Betfred is all about offering special promos. After all, there is a reason why Betfred is known as the bonus king. They have excellent offers for both new and existing users. The offer promotions for football, darts, rugby, horse racing and other sports. Betfred has fully functional mobile apps for Android and iOS users.