Betting Sites 2022: UK Licensed Online Bookmakers

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UK Betting Sites - 2022 List

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Sponsored

The "Sponsored" icon means that the position of the bookmaker in this list is determined on a commercial basis.

The ratings on Legalbet are compiled as honestly and objectively as possible, so we indicate "Not for sale" on them to make it clear which are based on merit.

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Borja Pardo
CEO of Sphera Sports
A site like Legalbet is a much-needed and useful and informational website within the sports betting ecosystem. The forecasts, analysis and information of the different odds are rigorous and allow the user to have a prior knowledge of great value when defining their bet. Its seriousness is proven, and therefore Legalbet is a must for all those with a direct or indirect interest in sports betting.
Julio Salinas
Spanish footballer
The more tools you have at your fingertips, the easier it will be to make the right decision. That is why from my point of view the functions of Legalbet is fundamental, because by entering its website you have at your fingertips the information and advice necessary to know all the bookmakers, find the best odds and even have different options to bet on. For all these reasons I recommend Legalbet.
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    Best 10 Betting Sites For 2022

    Ten of the top betting sites for 2022 (as decided by the Legalbet.uk team) are listed in the table below:

    Bookmaker

    Bonus amount

    Key Terms

    Betfair

    £100 of Free bets

    Place 5 x £10 (or more) single bets on the Sportsbook each at min odds 1/2 (1.5)

    A £20 Free bet is awarded on settlement of the qualifying bets. This can be done up to 5x. Free bets expire after 30 days if not used.

    Bet365

    £50 of Free bets

    Deposit £10 and wager it with min odds of 5/1 (1.2). A 500% bonus will be credited on qualifying bet settlement.

    Betfred

    £50 of Free bets and £10 Slots bonus

    Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports within 7 days of registration. On settlement £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 10 hours of bet settlement. A further £20 in Free Bets are credited 5 days after the first.

    BetVictor

    £50 of Free bets

    Opt in to this promotion via the OFFERS tab. Place your first bet of £10 or more on any sports market, at odds of evens (2.00) or greater.

    You must do this within 7 days of registering an account. On settlement receive: £10 free be, £10 free bet on Bet Builder only, £10 free bet double, treble or higher, £10 free bet treble or higher, and, a £10 Slots Bonus

    10bet

    £50 cashable bonus

    Make a deposit of at least £15. Use code PLAY10 to

    get a 50% matched bonus up to £50. To withdraw wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with the max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount. Bonus expires after 60 days. Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for an Acca.


    Coral

    £20 of Free bets

    Deposit and bet £5 on any sport. (Minimum odds 1/2). Your account will be credited with 1 x £20 Free bet instantly.

    Ladbrokes

    £20 of Free bets

    Deposit and bet £5 on any sport. (Minimum odds 1/2). Your account will be credited with 1 x £20 Free bet instantly.

    Skybet

    £50 of Free bets

    Deposit and Bet £10. Minimum odds of 1/1 (2) or greater. On settlement get 5x £ Free bet tokens.

    Boylesports

    £25 of Free bets

    Deposit £10 and wager at odds over 1/1 (2) for an initial £5 Free bet. Subsequent Free bets equal to 50% of the next three bets. A total of 13 bets are required for the full £25 of Free bets.

    #1 Best Betting Site - Skybet

    Sky Bet are a British-based gambling company, just one of the brands owned by the enormous Flutter Entertainment Group. They have a reputation for being one of the best betting sites in the UK, and that is why tens if not hundreds of thousands of punters place their bets here. They have it all, excellent odds, the best existing user bonuses in the business, bet boosts, Live streaming and great In play betting, a dedicated mobile app… what more could you want?

    Pros: 

    ✅ Loyalty scheme offering Free bets or Free spins if you wager £25 each week

    ✅ Superb CASHBACK offers if your horse fails to win but places

    ✅ No expiry on Free bets

    ✅ Huge amount of tremendous value bet boosts

    2nd Best Betting Site - Betfred

    With over 50 years of history in the business BetFred is one of the oldest bookmakers in the UK. They are a high street brand and as you would expect the online betting site is nothing but quality. It boasts a huge range of features, a massive number of sports covered, a large number of markets for every event and an incredible amount of promotions. The promotions page details all the Free bets on offer and it is worth looking at every day to see what new offer has turned up.

    Pros: 

    ✅ Double Delight and Hat Trick Heaven First Goal Scorer Offer

    ✅ Best Odds Guaranteed on all UK and Irish Horse Races

    ✅ If you want a bet not listed you can #pickyourpunt and request odds for it via Twitter

    ✅ Extra Place and Refund if second offers every day on selected races

    3rd Best Betting Site - Betfair

    Betfair revolutionised the UK gambling industry at the turn of the century when they launched their betting exchange to the UK public. The ability to lay bets (bet that a horse, or a football team, or anything at all WON'T win!), as well as back bets (bet that something WILL win), changed betting forever. Alongside the exchange the Betfair sportsbook provides some of the best existing user promotions which ensure that plenty of your bets get a boost! The Betfair betting site also has a Casino, Live Casino, and Poker site all linked by the same betting account. The mobile app can be downloaded to both Android and iOS devices and has carried over all your favourite features from the website, allowing you to pick up tips, watch live streaming, and cash-out bets if you want to as well.

    Pros: 

    ✅ Massive £100 of Free bets as a sign-up bonus

    ✅ The best betting odds available (on average)

    ✅ Acca Edge refunds losing 4 fold bets if one leg lets you down

    ✅ Full online gambling package

    Best UK Betting Sites 2022 by Category

    Bookmaker

    Category

    SkyBet

    Best Overall Betting Site

    Parimatch

    Best New Betting Site

    Geoff Banks

    Best Horse Racing Betting Site

    Ladbrokes

    Best Cash Out Betting Site

    Betfair Exchange

    Best In play Betting Site

    Unibet

    Best Live Streaming Betting Site

    Bet365

    Best Welcome Bonus

    BetFred

    Best Existing User Offer Betting Site

    Paddy Power

    Best Betting App

    How Do We Rank the UK’s Best Betting Sites?

    When we rank the best betting sites there are a lot of things to consider. Each is an important piece of the picture and how important will vary from person to person. We list below what we take into account and why.

    Odds

    Essentially this is the only thing that matters if you are betting to try to make money. No matter what, unless you are betting on value (Odds greater than the probability of it happening) you will never be able to do it in the long run. Even if you are not taking it so seriously and you are just betting for fun, to make games a bit more exciting when you watch them perhaps, the odds should still be of interest because better odds will at least help you to lose more slowly.

    Variety of Markets

    A factor that should concern everyone is the quantity and range of betting markets that a bookmaker provides to its customers. There is three elements to consider here:

    1. Number of Sports: Some bookmakers may have only a dozen or so sports priced up and available for betting. It is pretty much unheard of for a betting site not to take bets on football or horse racing but if you want to bet on a mid-tier sport such as American football (NFL), it is not a certainty that every bookmaker will have this available and obviously if somewhere does not have a wide range this is a negative. There are then sites which go the extra mile and have truly vast numbers of sports to bet on including Wind Surfing, Nascar and Chess to name a few. A betting site that takes bets on everything you want no matter how obscure it may be is what will help that site be the best.

    2. Once you have found a bookmaker that offers odds on the sport you are interested it, the depth of coverage is what becomes important now. For example, as mentioned it is realistic to think that every site is going to have football to bet on, but how many leagues in how many countries can you bet? Some bookmakers might only have the major European football leagues, rather than those from far flung places such as the Asian or African leagues. If you were only interested in UK football betting anyway what will still be a factor is how many leagues they cover, do they go down to the foundations of the football pyramid and display non-league games to bet on? Do they price up Under 23 games? Women's games? The best betting sites will. 

    3. Finally assuming you have found your desired sport and located the specific game or match to bet on, once you open it up the last question is “how many markets are there to choose from”? Some sites will only offer the basics for a game, who will win obviously, depending on the sport you will probably get some over/under goals or points markets, who will score first, perhaps some handicap markets, but maybe not much beyond that. The best betting sites will have literally hundreds of bets to choose from, looking at the full time result and also the half time result, they will price up a large range of over/under bets not just for goals but in football for cards and corners too. They will have player proposition bets for you, and as IF all that is not enough, more and more common these days is the ability of players to interact with the bookmakers via social media and some allow you to request your very own unique markets if what you want is not there.

    Welcome Bonus

    Although it only matters once, it is still true that if you are going to go to the trouble of joining a new bookmaker, you want to get the best reward possible for doing so. Some bookmakers have no Welcome bonus for joining whereas others might be giving away up to £100 worth of Free bets. Clearly a site offering new users closer to £100 than to £0 is a better site than one offering nearer to £0 than £100 if everything else remains equal.

    Promotions for Existing Users

    Much more important than the Welcome bonus in our opinion, and one of the most important things to consider when trying to rank the best bookmakers is looking at what promotions they offer to existing users day in and day out. The reason for this is simple, any Free bet offer or bonus promotion is either increasing your odds or increasing the chances of you not losing. Both of these things are raising the value of your bet, and as we spoke about earlier value is the main function of whether you win or lose in the long run.

    Different bookmakers will have different Free bet offers Emailed to customers randomly and these are hard to quantify because they come and go but some common promotions to look for which are there all the time are:

    • Best Odds Guaranteed Horse racing bets
    • 2 Up Winner Football bets

    • Acca Insurance

    • Extra Places for selected Horse races

    • Refunds if 2nd or 3rd for selected Horse races

    • Run for your money and first past the post

    Variety of Payment Methods

    One of the golden rules when gambling online is to do it your way. Using a dedicated betting bankroll is a good way to ringfence your funds and help prevent you from tilting and losing more than you can afford to lose. If a bookmaker has a large range of payment methods you can use an E-wallet to do this, maybe PayPal or Neteller, or more recently ApplePay is growing in popularity. The best betting sites will rank more highly if they accept more than just the standard debit card option (which someone may be uninclined to use if it mixes there day to day finances).

    Speed of Withdrawal

    We know the feeling, you have had a nice win, and now you want to enjoy the money! There is nothing worse than waiting for days (even weeks!) on end for your bookmaker withdrawal to hit your account. The delays could be due to excessive KYC requests or just a lethargic payments department, but whatever the reason, the best betting sites will pay you quickly, usually on the same day. When we look to rate a bookmaker who takes longer than a day to make a withdrawal payment they would be marked down for this.

    In-Play Betting

    Long gone are the days when it was common to place some bets on upcoming events and then that was the end of it, there was nothing else to do but wait for the final scores to come in. Nowadays it is incredibly common for people to bet on games that have already started known as “In play” betting. 

    Why is this? Sometimes this is done because certain people believe you have a better idea of how a team will play if you watch them for the first ten minutes, you can make a more informed bet. Sometimes it is done to place mini bets that settle very quickly, for example will a team score in the next five minutes, which can certainly add to the short term excitement. The most common thing people do In play though is deciding to Cash out bets before they reach their natural conclusion. Bookmakers who have a large range of In play betting options, dynamic statistics and graphics or even live streaming of the match, good odds and quick bet acceptance, and a Cash out feature (with partial Cash out you control) are going to be ranked very highly.

    Live Streaming 

    As we just mentioned briefly above the live streaming options provided by bookmakers help us in ranking who are the best. The majority, but not all, sites will have horse racing streaming but we will rank more highly those who allow you to watch the race without having to bet on it. Some bookies JUST have horse racing but the better ones will allow you to watch a large range of sports live to help with your In play betting or just for you to watch for fun. Some sites even have football streams so you can watch games live but unfortunately, due to licensing restrictions, it is not UK Premier League games.

    Mobile Experience

    As we have touched upon with In play betting and Live streaming, although they are not exclusively activities to be done on your mobile phone they are likely to be. Being able to bet on the go, from anywhere and at any time is what the best betting sites provide, and doing so via a dedicated mobile app is what we are looking for. Having a good mobile betting experience with easy to navigate layouts, information well presented, all the features of the desktop site transferred over and a smooth deposit and withdrawal process will make a betting site rank highly.

    Customer Support

    You hope that you will never need them, and you can argue that to be one of the best betting sites then you will never need them, but sooner or later it is almost inevitable that you will cross paths with a bookmakers customer service team. It may be that you have a query with a betting market, with a promotional bonus, or with a withdrawal. Whatever the reason being able to get hold of a human, and a human who knows what they are talking about is what the best betting sites have and what we rate highly. There is nothing worse than going on live chat and having to fight your way through an AI bot that can not help you at all for several minutes. Any bookmaker who goes straight to a real agent gets a thumbs up.

    Licence &  Industry Reputation

    All bookmakers will have to have a valid UK licence to make it onto our website and reviewed bookmakers list so that is a given for them all. We will consider to a degree their heritage, how long they have been operating and what their reputation is like. It is not the be all and end all, because things change, but if somewhere is known for being sub standard in the past, alarm bells will be ringing.

    New Betting Sites for 2022 

    As time marches on new betting sites are always appearing on the scene. They all aim to bring something new, different, and exciting along with them and sometimes they succeed, but more often than not they don’t. Some of the newest betting sites on the UK betting market that have a UKGC licence we list below:

    Bookmaker

    Founded (UK)

    Star Feature

    Welcome Bonus

    Parimatch

    2020

    Massive Bet Boosts

    £40 of Free bets

    LiveScoreBet

    2019

    Live Betting

    £20 of Free bets

    SBK

    2019

    Great Odds

    £30 of Free bets

    HollywoodBet

    2019

    30 Sports to bet on

    £20 of Free bets

    FansBet

    2017

    Charities benefit

    £10 Free bet

    Rhino

    2021

    Best Odds Guaranteed

    N/A

    JeffBet

    2022

    Esports specialists

    £30 Free bet

    LuckLand

    2022

    77% Acca boost

    £15 Free bet

    HighBet

    2021

    Huge number of markets

    £15 Free bet

    Top Ranked New Betting Site - Parimatch

    Welcome Bonus: Bet £10 get £40 of Free bet credits

    Parimatch have long been a name on the European continent but only recently switched their attention to the UK market. Sharing software with BetVictor they have the same fantastic range of betting markets, the same great odds, but with their own range of promotional bonuses for new and existing users.

    2nd Placed New Betting Site - LiveScore Bet

    Welcome Bonus: Bet £10 and get £20 of Free bets

    As the name suggests they are the new branch of the livescore group, evidently not content with promoting other bookies they decided to capture some of that market for themselves. Using the same software as the Virgin group they have an incredibly generous range of existing user promotions including several Free to enter games offering real cash prizes.

    Third Best New Betting Site - SBK

    Welcome Bonus: Bet £10 get £30 in Free bets

    SBK is the sportsbook betting app brought to you by the betting exchange Smarkets.com. You can use the same account to log into both versions of the site (Exchange and Sportsbook) but you can only access the SBK sportsbook via your smartphone after downloading the app. This is something well worth doing as SBK brings you the odds of a betting exchange with the simplicity of a sportsbook!

    Football Betting Sites

    The most popular betting sport in the UK, in terms of the number of people who place a bet on it each week, is football. Football is also the most popular betting sport in the whole world. The rapid growth in the popularity of The Premier League, propelling it into being a truly global brand, has gone hand in hand with a rise in gambling on the outcomes. Today 8 of the 20 football clubs competing have shirts sponsored by a gambling firm. If you are going to be betting online there is a massive probability that you will bet on football sooner or later so lets look at how we decide what makes a good football betting site and who we have chosen as the best ones.

    • Countries covered - The best football betting sites will bring you matches from all around the globe. You can place wagers on the first division games of countries you may not have known existed. For the majority of people who just want to bet on The Premier League, the FA Cup, and perhaps the odd England International this may not be so important but to some people for whatever reason it might be and that is why it is important.

    • League Depth - Once you have found the right country the next thing to worry about is whether or not your game is priced up and available to bet on. In the UK we have the main football pyramid comprising… The Premier League, The Championship, League 1, and League 2. There is then the non-league football, the top of which is confusingly called the National League! It then breaks down into geographic areas North and South before breaking down again to regional sub-leagues. Whilst virtually all bookmakers will cover the top four leagues, only some go further down the system, and the best will go down up to 7 rungs, useful if you want to bet on Mickleover FC - Lancaster City.

    • Markets - Once you have found your game what can you bet on? Obviously who will win the game, the correct score, how many goals will be scored, who will score first, these are all par for the course. The best football betting sites will have a huge amount of player proposition bets, in depth Asian Handicap markets, corners and cards markets, as well as the ability to request your own bets via Social media if there is something they have missed.

    • Odds - Football odds are probably the most competitive since punters are likely to be easily swayed from one site to the next in order to place their bet. You will find that more often than not it is the price of the favourite to win which is advertised and price matched, which is fine. The best betting sites though will be able to compete across the board, having low margins on the lesser markets and offer value on the long shot bets as well.

    • Promotions - The thing which can provide you with value when you bet other than odds is the promotional bonuses that may be running. Some bookmakers pay out as a winner if your team goes 2 goals ahead at any stage, and for anyone who has watched your team throw away a 2 or even 3 goal lead before will see the value in that. Other sites pay out as a winner if your chosen team scores in the first five minutes, never mind what happens in the rest of the match. You can get other bookmakers who will pay out on the scoreline as the clock ticks past 90 mins, AS WELL as the actual result, which means if your team are defending a 1-0 lead you can relax in injury time, and still celebrate a win even if the other team get a 90+4 minute equaliser. There is a huge number of possible offers and promotions which come and go all the time but the best football betting sites will have at least one of those mentioned, and we are sure you can picture scenarios when they would have come in handy.

    • Mobile exp - In 2022 it is more than likely that you will be betting on your mobile, at least some of the time. The ease of doing so, how you can navigate to the markets you want, select the bets that are right for you, potentially bet “In play” and get live stats and data, are all what the best football bookmakers will be thinking about when they develop their products. There is even live streaming of certain football games, but unfortunately this will not apply to the Premier League. Other competitions are available though from around Europe, you can watch certain UK cup competitions, and also some England Internationals.

    Top Ranked Football Betting Site - Betfair

    The Betfair exchange has one of the largest number of markets to bet on, we mean not just who will score first but will they score twice or get a Hat Trick as well, you do not even have to bet on them to score you can bet on them just to have a shot on target, or 2 shots… the list goes on and on. Whilst other bookmakers may also have a large number of markets what sets the Betfair exchange apart is the quality of the odds available on the bets. Being an exchange if the odds are not what you want you can always submit the bet at the level you are prepared to bet and see if someone else matches it later. 

    Furthermore as well as the odds it is the flexibility and control an exchange gives you, being able to back selections and lay others (bet it WON'T happen), you can combine liabilities to make your money go further and you can trade and hedge your bets In play giving total control of what is going on with your betting position.

    Pros: 

    ✅ Massive £100 of Free bets as a sign-up bonus

    ✅ The best betting odds available (on average)

    ✅ Acca Edge refunds losing 4 fold bets if one leg lets you down

    ✅ Full online gambling package

    Horse Racing Betting Sites

    When it comes to selecting the best horse racing betting sites we delve deep, looking at the obvious criteria of course but we also look at the more nuanced details to see who really is the best. Below we describe some of the things we asses

    • Races Covered - It is obviously vitally important to be able to bet on every horse race which you would like to. Every UK bookmaker that we have ever come across cover all UK and Irish races so that is not an issue. What we do look for though is how many foreign races are covered, is it just the major races like the French “Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe”, the Australian Melbourne Cup, and the American Kentucky Derby or do they also look at races in Germany, South Africa, and Japan?  

    • Good Odds - Having good odds is obviously essential if a site is going to be competing for a position on our best horse racing betting sites list. We check not just the odds for the favourites but also what the odds are like on the outsiders, and if they offer any special markets whether they are value or just there for the novelty.

    • Live Streaming - It is not unusual for a UK bookmaker to provide live streaming of the races so you can watch along. We look at what the qualifying criteria are, do you need to have an active account? Do you have to have placed a bet on the race? Or can you just log in and watch? The best horse racing betting sites will have the most liberal conditions.

    • Pre Race stats and info - It is imperative to do your research when betting on horse racing and we like it when bookmakers give us a helping hand. Some bookmakers just give a race card with limited info like who the jockey is, what the draw is and what the current odds are. On the other hand some bookmakers provide high quality content such as interviews with the jockeys, and comments from industry figures on their thoughts on the upcoming races. All of this information can potentially provide another string to your bow.
      StarSports have some superb quality blog posts on their site to really give some invaluable insights

    • Extra Place Races - There are always a standard number of places paid by bookmakers when horses finish in the first positions and exactly how many depends on how big the field is. Some bookmakers have taken it upon themselves to select certain races (the most common example is The Grand National) and boost the number of finishing positions they pay out on. There is no official system to how many places they boost it is entirely up to them, but if you ever see one bookmaker paying out 4 places and the others all just 3, then you know where to place your Each Way bet on that race!

    • Refund Offers - UK betting sites are more and more frequently offering refunds to customers who lose but it is in a certain way. These can range from because your horse loses all chance at the start of a race through to being beaten at the end by just a short head! Then there is everything you can think of in between. These offers come and go and are often only for feature races but the best betting sites are the ones that have at least one type of “refund if” bet.

    • Large range of markets - Obviously you will want the option of betting on who will win, and then also the option to make that bet Each Way, but is that all? At some betting sites that is all you will get to choose but others go that extra mile and bring you so much more. There can be odds for betting without the favourite, to finish in the top 2 or 3, you can for some races bet what distance the winner will be victorious by and even on how many horses will finish the race. The best betting sites will have the largest amount of options for you to choose from.

    • Additional Features -  Some bookmakers provide some extra details. Some live streaming services do not just show you the race, but before the off it displays for you the last race each horse was involved in. You can even use the interface to compare horses with variables such as flat speed and who the trainer or jockey is. Skybet has this for one and it is an incredible piece of kit. Another nice touch Skybet offer is that if you have previously bet on a horse with them, then they will Email you the next time that horse is racing again so you don’t miss their next run!

    Top Ranked Horse Racing Betting Site - Geoff Banks

    Amongst some stiff opposition our recommendation as the best horse racing betting site in the UK is Geoff Banks. Geoff Banks is the son of a legendary bookmaking pioneer John Banks, who was for a long time one of the highest profile bookmakers in the country, with a penchant for laying fearless wagers and known for paying out with a smile. Geoff took over his father's business in 1998 after working alongside him for many years. Geoff's heart lies in horse racing. To that end he offers great deals for his clients - best odds guaranteed and paying out first past the post which both result in extra cash in your pocket, with bets already placed at seriously competitive odds. More recently there has been the addition of a refund if 2nd up to £100 on all UK and Irish races with over 8 runners and an SP favourite over Evens. Probably the best horse racing bonus available today.

    Furthermore, they live stream every race, all day long, and you can watch just by logging in. The homepage acts as a TV basically and there is no need to have had a bet or even to have money in your account, you can watch along to the races. If you have not got an account they even have a £30 Welcome bonus available, all for just a £10 initial deposit and bet.

    ✅ Best Odds Guaranteed on all UK and Irish Horse Races

    ✅ Every horse race live streamed every day

    ✅ Refund if second offers on all qualifying races

    ✅ Pay first past the post AND official result

    Betting Sites with Cash Out

    The idea of cashing out a bet sounds great, you are guaranteeing a profit if your bet is winning, what is not to like? Well, we should point out that the bookmakers do not offer you the true value of your bet when you cash out and you are in the long run costing yourself money, not saving yourself money. 

    An example, you have 10 bets of £100 at Evens and they are all winning towards the end of the game, if they run to their conclusion each wins £100 profit. You can Cash out the bets for £175 which means £75 profit no matter what, or you can let it ride and potentially lose £100. When it is put like that you can understand why people take the profit BUT… it is bad value. Because if the bookmakers are offering you £75 profit then the true odds is probably 1/10 on. What this means is:

    Cash out all 10 bets, and you get £75 profit x 10, so you win +£750 in total.

    Do NOT cash out any bets, one of the ten will have a late equalising goal to mean you lose £100 but on the other 9 bets you won £100. 9 x £100 is £900 profit, minus the one losing bet of £100 means a Net total of +£800. 

    Although it is nice to have won every game, and this is why they cash out, because nobody likes the feeling of a loss, but it is bad value. You will make more money if you stomach the loss and let your bets ride to their conclusion.

    That being said, lets turn our attention to some of the betting sites that allow the cashing out of bets and explain what we look for if you are going to be doing it and then you will hopefully see why we have chosen these to be the best.

    High Cash out offers - The best Cash out betting sites will allow offer you good value on your bet but remember, they will all offer you less value than you already have. It is very hard to calculate the true value of your bet yourself but it is possible to use exchange odds on the lay side to get a good idea. 

    Partial Cash out - Some betting sites give more control than others about how much you can cash out. Instead of being given a binary choice of, “Take £175 or let it ride” some sites have a handy slider allowing you to sacrifice different amounts of your winnings, in order to eliminate some or all of your risk. Some people like to cash out their stake amount so that no matter what they can not lose £s but they still have a chunk of profit if the bet comes in.

    Top Ranked Cash Out Betting Site - Ladbrokes

    Ladbrokes are a big name in the bookmaker industry and with good reason. Whatever you’re looking to place a wager on, you’re likely to find it at Ladbrokes. They have cash out options for most (but not all) of their bets. You can cash out single bets In play or even before the game has begun if you have second thoughts. You can also Cash out Accas which may be doing well but you have some doubts about the last legs. Being able to use partial cash out vie the user friendly slider bar makes Ladbrokes the best Cash out betting site.

    In Play Betting Sites 

    It is incredibly likely that at some point in time you will want to bet on a game that is already in progress and is therefore “live”. This is known as betting “In play” and it is now a fundamental part of most bookmakers offering to their customers. It originally was just a few markets such as who will win and the over/under 2.5 goals markets, very basic and with very poor odds which updated infrequently. These days it is a very different kettle of fish, In play betting has expanded to cover most (but not all) events, and has now got a large number of betting markets to choose from, with competitive odds that frequently change to reflect the current situation. When we consider who is the best In play betting site we consider things such as…

    Number of markets covered? - When are betting In play you will want to have as much choice as to what to bet on as possible. Some markets are a given such as who will win the game, but, depending on the sport there can be some incredibly short term markets which increase the excitement all throughout the game, for example tennis can be who will win the next point, or cricket can bet on what will happen next ball!

    How quickly bets are accepted? - There is nothing worse than placing a bet and having it hanging, not knowing whether the bet is accepted or not. There is always some delay in an attempt to prevent people with faster streams from taking unfair advantage of the situation but a delay of more than one phase of play is unacceptable. 

    What the bet limits are like? - All bookmakers have limits as to how much you can bet on one thing at any given time, and this applies to bets placed pre match as well as bets placed In play. In play bets have notably lower limits which is not usually a problem but it can be for some, and the best In play betting sites will allow a decent amount all the time.

    Do they have any bonuses or promotions? - It is possible to find various promotions and bonuses specific to In play bets. They are sometimes things like “Bet £10 In play on the X vs X game tonight and if it loses get a £10 Free bet” or similar, these are even on the bookmaker's website or they can be Emailed to specific accounts. Another promotion is that a bookmaker may refund a certain % of losses on all In play bets each week or each month, SkyBet is one who does this:

    Do they have decent stats and infographics? - Some betting sites will literally just show the odds for what you can bet on, other sites may give a nice graphic display showing the current state of play, who has the ball in a football game and what they are doing with it, who is about to serve in a tennis game, etc etc, which is much better. There is also the possibility to show in game statistics, how a current team is doing in terms of shots on target, cards and corners given, etc etc, which is ideally what you want. Finally it is also nice to have a live stream of an event so you can bet on an event you are actually watching. We look at that in more detail next.

    Top Ranked Live Betting Site - Betfair Exchange

    Betfair revolutionised horse racing betting at the turn of the century when they launched their betting exchange to the UK public. This new technology was ideal for betting In play because it freed Betfair from having to monitor multiple markets and constantly price them up instead of handing responsibility to their customers. The ability to back and lay bets, to hedge positions as the game goes on bred a generation of sports traders making money not from the results, but from what happened to the prices (odds) as the games wore on. Betfair were the first betting exchange which allowed you to cash out, either manually, or by using a convenient button and the value they give you doing so dwarfs the In play cash out amounts from their rivals.  

    Live Streaming Betting Sites 

    Live streaming is basically being able to watch the games, matches, and races that you have bet on TV, either on your desktop PC or via a mobile device (either a tablet or your phone). It is most common to display Horse racing and Dog racing from around the UK but other sports have varying amounts of coverage too. The quality of the streams and the number of events which are streamed vary from betting site to betting site, as do the qualifying criteria required to watch. 

    When considering which betting site has the best live streaming there are not so many variables, the ones we look at are:

    Criteria to watch:

    • Which sports are covered

    • How well is it integrated into the site

    Top Ranked Live Streaming Site - Unibet

    At Unibet they have gone further than most in terms of both the quantity and quality of their live streaming, as well as how it is integrated into their site. With “Watch and Bet” it is particularly exciting because it’s the very first betting site to offer punters the chance to watch sporting events live in full-screen mode via their mobile app, and also place bets without leaving the stream. This means that you can place your wager without missing any of the action. In order to watch along you must have a funded account but you do not need to have bet on any of the events.

    Bonuses Available at UK Betting Sites

    Promotional bonuses to either attract new customers or reward existing ones have always been a big part of the UK online betting sites attraction. They can be very generous at times and who doesn’t like Free money? There are various types of bonuses from no deposit Free bets, Wagering activated Free bets, Odds boosts, Cashable deposit bonuses, Risk Free bets, and the list goes on and on.

    You would be forgiven for asking the question “Why”?  Well, that is a good question and it comes down to the fact that sometimes the bookmakers really do want you to win because if nobody ever wins then it is no fun and people won't keep doing it. This is especially true of Welcome bonuses and can go some way to explaining why they are often so generous. It is very unlikely that somebody will join a bookmaker for the very first time, deposit their hard earned money, lose it, and think “that was good I will do that again”. Betting sites want customers to win the first time so people see how much fun winning is, they will possibly think it is easy to do, and they will definitely remember that feeling and come back again, and again, hoping to replicate it. This is why they put the odds in your favour, all the bonuses mean that the odds are in your favour and statistically you should win, at the very least it will take you longer to lose.

    Top 5 Hot Welcome Bonuses for 2022  

    Bookmaker

    Qualifying Stake

    Bonus amount

    Key Terms

    Bet365

    £10

    £50 of Free bets

    Deposit £10 and wager it with min odds of 5/1 (1.2). A 500% bonus will be credited on qualifying bet settlement.

    Betfred

    £10

    £50 of Free bets and £10 Slots bonus

    Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports within 7 days of registration. On settlement £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 10 hours of bet settlement. A further £20 in Free Bets are credited 5 days after the first.


    BetVictor

    £10

    £50 of Free bets

    Opt in to this promotion via the OFFERS tab. Place your first bet of £10 or more on any sports market, at odds of evens (2.00) or greater.

    You must do this within 7 days of registering an account. On settlement receive:

    • £10 free bet.

    • £10 free bet on Bet Builder only.

    • £10 free bet double, treble or higher.

    • £10 free bet treble or higher.

    • And, a £10 Slots Bonus

    10bet

    £100

    £50 cashable bonus

    Make a deposit of at least £15. Use code PLAY10 to

    get a 50% matched bonus up to £50. To withdraw wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with the max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount. Bonus expires after 60 days. Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for an Acca.

    Ladbrokes

    £5

    £20

    Deposit and bet £5 on any sport. (Minimum odds 1/2). Your account will be credited with 1 x £20 Free bet instantly.

    There are many different types of promotional bonus offers awarded by the UK betting sites, not just the Welcome bonus but Existing user bonuses too. We will describe some of the promotional offers that you may come across.

    Deposit Bonus

    As the name suggests, this bonus is credited when you deposit funds into your betting account. This type of bonus is often credited as cash in top of your balance and can be used to bet alongside your real cash funds. As a rule you can eventually withdraw this money as real cash but only after placing a certain value of bets at certain minimum odds. This type of bonus is quite rare in 2022 but they do still exist.

    Free Bets 

    The most common type of Welcome bonus is to offer a new customer Free bet credits to use after they have placed their first real bet with their own money. Win or lose (but not always, sometimes only if your bet loses) you will have a form of credit in your account. Sometimes you must place the Free bet as one bet for a set amount, other times it is credit and you can place multiple smaller bets up to the credit value. 

    Tip: If you have a Free bet then you get more value from it by using longer odds, but at the same time you do need it to win and typically bookmakers offer less value on longer priced odds. Try to find bets you like that are around 8/1 is best.

    Bet X Get X

    This is a type of offer rather than a type of bonus itself, it can be triggered by various things, sometimes a bookmaker can display on their homepage that if customers bet £X on a certain game or sport, then they will be credited with an £X Free bet. Sometimes it may be an offer Emailed just to selected customers. It does not have to be to get a Free bet, it could be a cash credit or Free spins in the Casino, or even a random gift posted to your home address.

    Enhanced Odds

    Enhanced odds can be used as a form of Welcome bonus, in which case they are usually enhanced to a ridiculously high level, or if it is for all existing users then the boost is likely to be more modest but still with a good chance of being value. There is no set formula for what bets have odds boosted or to what level they go it is decided by each individual betting site on a case by case basis.

    Risk-Free Offers

    Some bookmakers, as a Welcome bonus offer so called “Risk Free” first bets. It should be noted that not all of these actually are risk free despite what the bookmaker may say. If your money is refunded as cash which can then be withdrawn straight away then the offer is risk free this is true. If on the other hand your lost bet stake is replaced with a Free bet credit for the same amount then this is NOT risk free, because that Free bet might lose as well.

    Best UK Betting Apps 

    There are two versions of an app in the UK, they can be downloaded either for iOS (Apple) or for an android (Not Apple) mobile. As smartphones become more and more integral to everyday life so having a top quality mobile app becomes more and more important for UK bookmakers. There are many who claim to be the best, but what is the best for someone will differ from someone else due to their different needs and wants. We look at some of the key features a mobile app must have to help you decide who is the best for you.

    Design - The first thing you will notice is the design of the app, does it appeal to you or does the clash of colours and clunky text layout give you a headache straight away. A well designed app will be pleasing to the eye whilst still delivering all of the key information which you need.

    Navigation - Being able to move around the site intuitively is a great plus for any betting app, it saves everyone time and cuts out on unwanted frustration trying to get somewhere and not being able to. Even once you know the app inside out having a minimum amount of steps to get from A to B is desirable because time may be of the essence and nobody wants to spend all day scrolling endlessly through screens to get to the one they want.

    Full features (cash out / bet builder/promotions) - Often mobile apps need to be streamlined versions of the main betting site in order to download to people's devices quickly and without extra bloat taking up too much memory on the phone. In doing so sometimes features can be cut out, so an app that manages to keep full functionality such as being able to cash out bets should you wish, creating bet builder bets, and entering any free to play promotions a bookmaker may be running is going to be the best.

    Integration - How well the app combines all the regular betting site features is another issue to consider. The best example of this is when live streaming, does it go to full screen and can you change that if you wish? Can you view the match and also see the betting markets at the same time allowing you to bet simultaneously? If a betting app is a good one you will have complete control of your settings and be able to multi-task from just one screen.

    Top Ranked Betting App - PaddyPower

    The Paddy Power betting app is probably the easiest betting app to use and navigate to the various markets Passy Power offer. It has different offers running every day of the week and they have brought over special games such as “beat the drop” which are what help to make PaddyPower unique and stand out from the crowd. All sports, betting markets and every live streaming event is available via the app just as they are on the betting site.

    Payment Methods Available in the UK


    The UK is a well regulated market which means that there are some restrictions on which payment methods can be used for depositing and withdrawing to an online bookmaker, due to anti money laundering and anti fraud legislation. It is however a well developed and high technology country meaning there are many companies who are looking to try to become your payment method of choice.

    Debit Cards                                     

    The mainstay of payment methods either to or from betting sites is the use of a debit card. Every UK current account comes with one attached and we do not know of any bookmakers who do not accept them. Deposits are instant more often than not but sometimes it can take up to a minute, withdrawals can take longer depending on when you withdraw and what bank you use but if the Visa FastFunds system is involved then it should be less than 2 hours.

    PayPal                                                              

    PayPal rose to prominence as the payment method of choice for buying and selling on eBay but since then they have continued to grow and expand its service. They moved into the online gambling industry several years ago and are now accepted by many of the top bookmakers. Transactions are usually free and payment times will vary from betting site to betting site but are usually made swiftly in a day or two.

    Paysafecard                                                    

    Paysafecard describes itself as a prepaid online payment method. The whole concept is based on buying vouchers with a 16-digit PIN code from a local retailer offline with cash. This is independent of any bank account, credit card, or other personal information. Customers can then use this code to pay online (by entering the code) at the checkout of betting sites that accept this method. There are conflicting reports when it comes to making withdrawals but as far as we are aware it is not possible to withdraw funds using paysafecard.

    Skrill                                                                  

    Skrill is a digital wallet provider established in 2001 by the Eastern European betting site Gamebookers. Originally known as Moneybookers the E-Wallet was spun off as it outgrew its roots, and then some years later rebranded into the Skrill you see today. They began with solely moving funds for gambling purposes but these days they offer a range of online payment and money transfer services. They are part of the PaySafe Group and although there are very rarely any fees to deposit or withdraw to the betting sites there are fees involved with operating your account. Payments are usually made very swiftly but beware this payment method is often excluded from qualifying for promotional bonuses.

    Neteller                                                            

    Neteller was the main way for UK customers to transfer money to American gambling sites from the early days of online gambling until the 2006 Port Authority Act put an end to the US online gambling industry. They readjusted their focus and became more of an E-money transfer service used to transfer money to and from merchants such as forex trading firms, but they are still a viable option for UK betting sites. Payments do not usually carry a fee and are completed quickly. Once the betting site has sent your money into your Neteller account you can withdraw funds as cash using your Net+ card or transfer the balance to your own bank account.

    Apple Pay                                                        

    Apple Pay is a mobile payment service operated as you may have guessed by Apple Inc. It allows users to make payments on these Apple devices: iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac. With your cards stored in the Wallet App , you can use Apple Pay to make secure payments on websites that support Apple Pay which is increasingly including more and more UK betting sites.

    Boku                                                                  

    Boku is a payment method that claims to “empower the new age of digital commerce in a mobile-first world” which is quite a lofty claim that we had to read twice to understand. What they mean in layman's terms is that you can use your mobile phone account as a payment method, receiving credit into the betting site and later having to pay it via your regular mobile phone bill. Not very many betting sites accept it and there are transaction limits on how much can be deposited, but it is an interesting concept.

    Cryptocurrencies                         

    It is not allowed to use any Cryptocurrencies to deposit or withdraw at bookmakers licenced by the UK Gambling Commission. This is due to anti money laundering regulations and the grey market nature of cryptocurrencies. You will find some bookmakers that accept cryptocurrencies but they will not be officially licenced and we do not recommend them.

    Best Gambling Sites Comparison

    Bookmaker

    Welcome Bonus Value

    Best Odds Guaranteed

    Best Football Offer

    Live Streaming


    SkyBet

    £50

    Yes - After 9am

    Price Boosts

    Yes - £1 bet

    BetFred

    £50

    Yes - After 8am

    Double Delight / Hat Trick Heaven

    Yes - Funded account

    Betfair Exchange

    £100

    No

    None

    Yes - £1 bet

    Bet365

    £50

    Yes - All bets


    2 Up = Winner

    Yes - £0.5 bet

    BoyleSports

    £25

    Yes - All bets


    Acca Loyalty Free bets

    Yes - Just log in!

    BetVictor

    £50

    Yes - After 9am

    Free bet Loyalty Club

    Yes - £1 bet

    Ladbrokes

    £20

    Yes - After 9am

    1-2-Free £100 competition

    Yes - Funded account

    10bet

    £50

    Yes - After 9am

    Weekly “IF” Free bet offers

    No

    Geoff Banks

    £30

    Yes - After 8am

    First 5 = Winner

    Yes - Just log in!

    The top betting sites are… 

    Here at Legalbet we have also categorised the top betting sites and their features to make them easier for you to find. They are:

    By Sport: Football | Tennis | Boxing | Cricket | F1 | Snooker | Golf | UFC | Darts | Greyhound  | Rugby | Horse Racing | Basketball | Baseball

    By Payment Systems: PayPal | Skrill | Klarna | Boku | Debit Cards | Apple Pay | Paysafecard | Neteller

    By Features: Cash Out | £5 Minimum Deposit | Minimum Bet Sizing | Live Streaming Betting Exchanges | Safest | Fast Withdrawal

    By Events: Politics | World Cup 2022 

    By Esports: CS:GO | Dota 2League of Legends | PUBG

    Frequently Asked Questions 

    What’s the best betting site in the UK?

    It is not really possible to say who is the best because everyone looks for and values different things, and there is not one bookmaker who is best at everything. One may be best for odds, one may be best for a range of markets, one may have the best Free bets, another the best live streaming, another the best In play betting interface, and the list goes on and on. We have listed which we think are among the best, and the reasons why, in the article above.

    Is sports betting online legal in the UK?

    The short answer is yes, sports betting online in the UK s perfectly legal. There are the caveats that you must be 18+ years old, be using your own money, not betting on an event you are competing in (or have an interest in), and the bookmaker is licenced by the UK Gambling Commission.

    How old do you have to be to bet on sports?

    In the UK you must be 18 years old to legally place a bet on a sporting event. 

    How long does it take to open an online betting account?

    This question is a little bit like how long is a piece of string, because there is no one answer, it will vary from person to person and from betting site to betting site. Bookmakers do try their best to make signing up as quick and easy as possible though, so on average it should take you a little less than five minutes.

    What is the biggest UK bookmaker?

    Well it depends on what definition of “biggest” we are using. There are many ways you can argue something is the biggest, it could be who has the most staff, the highest turnover, the largest market value, the largest number of shops, or who operates in the most countries. For most of these metrics the largest bookmaker in the UK is the Entain Group, which includes the brands Ladbrokes and Coral.

    What’s the best betting app?

    To say which is “best” does come down to personal preference and what is best for one person will not necessarily be the best thing for the next person. We have looked at some of the betting apps we consider to be contenders for the title of the best betting app in this article, so you can read what we think in more detail there. 

    Are new betting sites safe and trustworthy?

    As a rule we would have to say yes, because in order to operate they must have a licence from the UK Gambling Commission and that gives them a fair amount of legitimacy. However, just by having a licence does not mean you know how to price up events and run a profitable bookmaker, and it is just a fact that newer sites are much more likely to cease trading than older ones. If they cease trading whilst you have a balance in your account or outstanding bets then you are very likely to lose that money.

    What betting sites give you a Free bet?

    At the time of writing virtually all betting sites give you a Free bet of one kind or another, either in the form of a Welcome bonus or as an existing user offer. For a guide to the current offers you can visit our UK bookmakers bonus page HERE

    Can betting sites ban you?

    Yes they can ban you if you breach their terms and conditions but this is very rare. What is more likely to happen if they do not want you as a customer is to limit your max bet stake to pennies, which means although you can still bet there, it is fairly meaningless to win or lose, so not worth your time.

    Can you bet with a credit card at UK betting sites?

    No you can not, this was banned in early 2020 in an effort to reduce the amount of problem gambling. Not only can you not deposit with a credit card directly you also can not use any other source of funds (such as an E-wallet) if they have ever been funded by a credit card.