How to choose the Top UK bookmakers
It’s very important to know exactly what you want from the new bookmaker you are about to register at, as there are loads of betting sites that offer numerous welcome bonuses and free bet offers to encourage you to join them. Luckily for you, here at Legalbet.uk, we have made a UK bookmakers list to help you by showing the best bookmakers in the UK by specific criteria. Here you can find all the best UK bookmakers by the following ratings:
As you can see, we have been through a couple of key factors that can define a good online bookmaker and we have written some detailed reviews to help you find the best betting site. The benefit of this is that you don’t have to do all the hard work, as we will provide you with all the necessary info, including the best odds available, the latest bonuses and free bets, and the honest opinion of our users.
Each of our bookmaker reviews includes betting tips and tricks, strategies and pros and cons, so we want to assure you that all the key factors have been taken into consideration following a thorough analysis.
In the next phase of this article, we will provide you with an in-depth explanation of how our bookmakers’ rating works, which might help you understand better what are the most important aspects to take into consideration before signing up with a new bookie.
- How to choose the Top UK bookmakers
- UK Online Bookmakers Reviewed
- How we review and rate the best online bookmakers
- Key characteristics for UK bookies
- Full list of all UK online Bookies
- How to deposit and withdraw with the online Bookmakers
- Multiple Betting Sites
- Are the UK bookmakers Legal?
- The top bookies are...
- Frequently Asked Questions
UK Online Bookmakers Reviewed
Betfair can claim to be the complete package when it comes to online gambling, they do everything, and they do everything well. From placing your Saturday Acca on the football in the Sportsbook, to playing a few hands of Poker, having a spin in the Casino, or for more professional players backing and laying on the Exchange. Betfair has become a well established name and has not only a slick website but all of the respective Apps are also amongst the best in the business. They have a Welcome Bonus for New Users as you would expect but they also have a whole host of ongoing Bonuses for existing clients from price boosts on the days major matches, a monthly loyalty scheme on the exchange, money back if 2nd or 3rd races most weekends and other Free bet offers Emailed to you as well.
Sky Bet is as you would expect from a leading brand name have a first class Sportsbook to offer. It is a two in one offer also coming with a host of Vegas games but the Sportsbook side it where it really stands out. The promotions and bonuses here are second to none and the fact that Free bets once awarded do not expire makes them one of the best in the business. They have a daily free spin for various prices, incredibly generous Price Boosts through the week, Extra Place offers, Money back “If” offers usually paid in cash and a loyalty scheme to boot!
Betfred are well known High Street brand and the quality of their online service will not disappoint you. They have a huge range of markets to bet on, and their “specials” bets are some of the best, often covering events other bookies do not provide. They have a generous Welcome Bonus but it is the bonuses for existing customers where BetFred really excel, offering Extra Place races every day as well as Price boosts and Double Delight / Hat Trick Heaven for all football bets.
StarSports is one of the fastest growing UK bookmakers and that is for a good reason. They have a number of first class promotions including Golf, Cricket, and Tennis 50% refunds “If”. Football and Racing are also well catered for as they have “Two Good” payouts if your team is ever leading by two goals regardless of the final result and up to £50 refunded on all ITV races where you are “Pipped at the post”. They have a regular and enjoyable blog column from #BettingPeople which is well worth a follow too.
Parimatch came onto the scene in 2021 and they are one of the newer UK bookmakers. As the name suggests has origins in central Europe but they have got to grips with what UK punters are looking for. The website is eye catching and easy to navigate, they have a well stocked and regularly updated “Offers” page allowing you to take part in the ones that are attractive to you. Additional benefits are a fantastic, very responsive customer service team who go above and beyond to help solve your problems.
BetVictor founded back in 1946 by Victor Chandler, one of the Father figures of the UK gambling industry, has been around firstly “On Course”, then on the “High Street” and now “Online” too! The website is heavily focused on Horse racing as are their promotions so if this is the Sport you are interested in then BetVictor is right up your street. Other areas are not totally neglected though and they have some very competitive odds on the more niche events which they sponsor, for example Champion League Snooker.
Paddy Power came over from Ireland and has grown a very popular brand in the UK often portraying themselves as the lovable rogue. Some pretty eye catching marketing has been toned down in recent years but they are still a regular site with heavy advertising on most media channels. They offer the same catchy attention grabbing promotions as they ever did and both New Users and Existing Customers have a lot to enjoy and keep you coming back for more.
Ladbrokes can trace their roots back further than any other making them the oldest UK bookmaker that survives to this day. The website is slick, functional, and a pleasure to browse with the layouts seemingly knowing where you want to go next before you do. They have a massive amount of sports covered and a huge depth of betting markets for each match they have priced up. Horse racing is still their forte though and this is where you will find the best value.
William Hill have one of the better “all round” sites with coverage of everything you would want, tied with a regular source of bonus offers and promotions. They range from the Acca Club through to the daily “Bonus Drop” with a host of Free bets for betting on specific games as well. Some of the best value can be found in their Horse racing section where they offer Best Odds Guaranteed on all UK and Irish races. They accept all major deposit methods, more than virtually anyone else, and payments are made within 2 hours back to your bank in most circumstances.
888sport spun off from the Casino site 888.com or Casino-On-Net as it was once known. Since then it has made a name for itself as an online bookmaker who packs a punch given its size. They have some nice promotions which make it one of the better sportsbook, offering regular Free bets for each time you have a winner at 4/1 or greater which is tremendous value in itself. They also have an Acca Club, regular Boosted Trebles and every day an Esports offer where £50 of bets gains entry into their exclusive game to win Free bet prizes.
Matchbook is a pure betting exchange so for placing single line bets the odds are exceptionally good, even after factoring in the very reasonable 2% commission paid on winning bets. They have come on leaps and bounds in recent years in terms if liquidity and for the majority market bets of £100 should be matched instantly at the advertised rate. The only major downside is that their existing customer promotions are quite limited compared to many of the traditional bookies and of course you can not place any Accas.
Betway is a useful bookmaker to have in your arsenal with a large number of promotions and particularly Price Boosts way way above the market price. They have a nice interface and a large number of sports to bet on, with not just a large number of sports but also a large number of markets to chose from on each game. Football is their main focus and you may have seen them as sponsors of the Premier League's West Ham, Brighton, and Leicester City, football clubs. The Welcome bonus is attractive if you like placing Acca bets with up to £30 refunded if your first bet loses.
10bet has almost twenty years of experience in serving the UK gambling public and that explains why they have such a vast range of sports covered, depending on the time of year up to 60 can be available to bet on at one time. They focus mainly on football though and this is were most of their promotions are aimed, at any one time there can be as many as 12 Free bet bonus offers for existing users to take part in at any one time. The Welcome bonus is pretty good too, £50 in cash withdrawable after wagering 8x.
Geoff Banks is a newcomer to the UK online bookmaking scene and they have been making waves. The website is a joy to use with the very novel and as far as we know unique feature of displaying every live horse race as a live stream on the homescreen as soon as you log in. As you can tell from that Horse Racing is there thing and they have a wide range of bonuses and concessions to accommodate you. The website is slightly disappointing in the number of payment options they accept (Only PayPal and Debit Cards) but other than that we have nothing but praise for the new outfit.
STS have only entered the UK betting market recently but have some great features and betting offers which make them really stand out. They have a Welcome Offer comprising of £30 in Free bets available for all sports but it is ESports that they have a focus on and more in depth coverage than virtually every other UK bookie. If there is an ESports match taking place, specifically Call of Duty (COD) then they will not only cover it but there will be 100+ markets for you to place your bets on, compared to the less than 10 from other traditional UK bookmakers.
Smarkets is a betting exchange who revolutionised the industry when they began to challenge with a 2% flat commission rate, at the time making them without a doubt the best odds available across the board for a single line sportsbet. In more recent years they have add SBK, a Sportsbook App to appeal to a wider audience and although you can no longer lay bets there is a crisper more user friendly interface allowing back bets to be placed seamlessly. There is a generous Welcome bonus for New Customers of Smarkets but unfortunately very little in the way of ongoing offers for existing players.
Virgin Bet is a bookmaker who focuses on promotions really, and they have a generous Welcome bonus and then a whole host of other offers for their existing clients. They have the weekly “fives” offer allowing you to assemble a 5-a-side squad for the weekend simply by logging in each day. When the weekend comes for every goal one of your players scores you receive a Free bet of between £1 and £50 for each goal. They also have a Free bet up to £20 for every 3/1 winner or better that you have. Other offers tend to be focused more towards Free spins in their Casino but although beyond the remit of this review they offer value as well.
32Red Sport is the bookmaking spin off of the famous 32Red Casino and they are both operated from the same account wallet. The sportsbook lives up to the previous high standards and has all the sports betting markets you could want available quickly and easily through the fast navigation. There is a host of offers and bonuses always available for existing players mainly focused around Acca bets or todays horse racing odds being boosted.
Unibet is a European giant but their footprint in the UK is not so large, yet anyway. The software they use to power the site is custom made and you can see the effort that has gone into building it. For a long time their In Play offer was the industry standard in terms of how many markets they tracked per game and also how many games they allowed you to bet In Play. They have what they call a “Racebook” as part of their site which just has Horse Racing markets and Odds, although it is in a separate tab there is no other difference to it you access it and bet on it through your main Sportsbook account. The bonuses here, both for New Customers and Existing Customers are generous and they are one of the few bookmakers to still offer a “cash” Welcome bonus.
bwin is another European Giant but best known to UK players through their shirt sponsorship of Real Madrid previously and Bayern Munich today. As you can tell from their choice of sporting sponsors there heart is in football and that is where their website focuses. The majority of their bonuses and promotions are tailored to football markets as are nearly all of their Price boosts. They do cover other sports as well though and have a very good range of betting markets there too. The Welcome bonus of £20 cash back if your first Acca bet loses is a nice incentive to sign up and give them a try.
How we review and rate the best online bookmakers
All of our ratings have been done in a professional, unbiased manner because we want to deliver the most accurate and the most up to date information to our readers. We provide details of and briefly review all of the best UK bookmakers promotions and bonuses, so you won’t miss a single one.
Almost every online bookmaker with a UK licence offers similar features and betting events to the rest, but it’s odds competitiveness, bonuses and offers (as well as the customer support quality) that can separate the good online bookies from the bad.
Here are the most important details we take into consideration before recommending an online bookmaker:
The Sign Up Process - This is the first thing which you will have to do at any website and it is true what they say about first impressions. The best sites will have a simple and intuitive sign up process and ask only the most necessary questions in order to get the account up and running, any finer details being asked at later stages as and when required.
The Financial side, Depositing & Withdrawing - The next hurdle which you must overcome before you are in a position to place your bets comes with trying to deposit money. The best sites will have all the usual debit card options (Credit card deposits were recently banned) as well as all the favourite E-Wallets such as PayPal, Neteller and Skrill. The very best sites will include more options than just these including MuchBetter and Trustly Online banking.
The other side of the coin, and it is arguably the most important thing of all, is the issue of withdrawing, because if you cant do that then everything else becomes pointless. The best sites will pay out to a whole host of different methods and be made to very high limits swiftly and easily, some bookmakers pay almost instantly. If a bookmaker begins wanting a laborious amount of ID verification, does not process withdrawals quickly, caps the amount that can be withdrawn and even charges a fee to withdraw this would all count against them.
The Odds - Once you are up and running the thing which will make the difference between long run profit and a long run loss is the odds that are available. Being good at picking winners is one thing but you will only make a profit if you are doing it with value odds. Even if a profit is not your main concern and you are gambling for fun the odds are still important because it will make your experience last much longer if you are getting offered 5/1 rather than 9/2 for your bets. All bookmakers will offer different odds on each market and will favour different outcomes, and the odds that they offer will change over time but as a rule the best bookmakers will have a margin of not more than 5%.
The range of betting markets available (Lines comparison) - we have created a list with the best bookmakers in the UK by odds and lines which can be found in our ‘rating by odds’ page. Getting the best odds/lines available when betting is crucial as it can maximize your profit. We want to spare you some time on comparing odds, and we’re also looking to bring you the best odds/lines available from top UK bookmakers.
Bonuses and promos - This is another important factor and bookies are aware of that. Our ‘rating by bonus’ page contains the latest and best deals along with the wagering requirements for each bonus and all the relevant Terms and Conditions attached. Offers can and do change frequently though so always double check what the bookmaker page says when you deposit to be absolutely certain of the offer you will get.
Mobile Betting - In todays World very few people sit at their desktop computers surfing the internet like they once did. The quality of a websites mobile version or better still their dedicated App will make all the difference to your gambling when you are on the go. Being able to navigate swiftly to your desired markets and place the bets you want to easily despite looking at the smaller screen can be the difference between an enjoyable gambling experience and a nightmare. The main sports should be just one click away listed at the top, each menu should be easily scrollable and any “extra” images and graphics minimised to enable a smoother navigation. If there is the ability to ‘cash out’ bets this must strike the balance between being easily available whilst still difficult to do it by accident.
- In-play betting - The 'In-play' betting markets, or 'live betting', as it is also known has become huge amongst bettors over the past few years and many are looking for extra features such as live statistics as the game goes on and the ability to 'Cash Out' bets depending on how the game is going. Odds which remain static for a realistic length of time are also important, nothing is more frustrating than trying to get a bet on only to be constantly told the odds are changed and having to resubmit it. Linked to 'In Play' betting is the availability of “Live Streams” to watch the sports which you have placed bets on. If these can be viewed smoothly without glitches and for the whole duration of the game then this is advantageous too.
Customer support - The quality of the customer support services is important as you don’t want to waste your time when trying to solve an issue. If there is a Live chat feature it wants to be responding quickly and by an actual person, not just an AI which rarely, if ever, has the ability to actually help. You can find all this info in our ‘rating by in-play betting’ page and also by reading our bookmaker reviews.
Key characteristics for UK bookies
As it should be in any other place on the globe, in the United Kingdom it’s a criminal offence if you provide betting services without a licence. This licence should be taken from the UK Gambling Commission after a bookmaker fulfils a couple of requirements.
All the licensed UK Bookmakers can be found on the UKGC website, although each bookie should have all the licence details displayed on the website. Furthermore, one of the main goals of the UK Gambling Commission is to ensure that all bookmakers actively promote responsible gambling.
Another important aspect is the currencies accepted by the online bookmakers in the UK. All the best online bookmakers in the UK have the Great British Pound as the main currency, but some also accept the equivalent in other currencies such as Euros or American Dollars. It doesn’t matter if you make a deposit via credit cards/debit cards or by using e-Wallets, all the UK bookies should accept the payments made in British Pounds (GBP).
Finally, the extra features provided by the online bookmakers along with attractive promos and bonuses qualitative customer support services can make the difference between a respectable bookmaker and a regular one. Customer support should be the main focus of an online bookmaker as it’s crucial to keep the relationship with the clients at the highest level possible.
Full list of all UK online Bookies
How to deposit and withdraw with the online Bookmakers
All UK online bookmakers use the most popular banking options. Obviously that the primary payment methods are debit and credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard or Maestro. However, all the popular e-Wallets payment methods like Skrill, NETELLER, PayPal, Paysafe, Revolut and Bank Transfers can usually be used.
Please note! Usually, the deposits that are done via the eWallets cannot be applied towards any bonus offers. Furthermore, there will be a minimum deposit amount that UK bookies will require, which is usually £10, but you can find more info about this by reading our bookmaker reviews. Another important info is that the bookies will want any withdrawn funds to return to the same source you used to deposit. This means that if you have made a deposit using Skrill, then you can only withdraw your funds back to Skrill.
The majority of the UK online bookmakers won’t apply any fee to your deposit and the same applies for the withdrawals. Furthermore, there are a couple of bookies that offer no deposit free bets or no deposit free spins, meaning that you don’t have to make a deposit in order to receive an incentive such as a free bet, or a risk-free bet.
Multiple Betting Sites
Having an account on multiple betting sites is definitely an advantage as you can test several features and also compare the odds from bookmaker to bookmaker. Being loyal to only one bookmaker is a mistake as you won’t get the best prices and therefore can’t maximize your potential winnings. Furthermore, some bookies can offer better bonuses and promotions, better customer support experience and so on.
That’s why here at Legalbet.uk, we have decided to make different ratings for each bookmaker in the case you are searching for the best bookmakers offers, best odds available or the best features. We advise our followers to register to multiple betting sites because variety is good. For example, some bookies offer special football betting accumulator promotions, while others will provide better odds in the golf outright markets, so it’s better to be able to get the best prices and bonuses available.
Are the UK bookmakers Legal?
The most reputable bookmakers in the UK possess a licence from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, and you will be able to verify that by visiting the UKGC website or by checking out the licence details on the bookmaker’s site. The UK has strict rules when it comes to gambling, so you can be assured that the biggest UK bookies are operating in a legal manner.
Furthermore, most of the UK bookmakers are performing a verification process after the registration process as they are asked by the UKGC in order to prevent any type of fraud, protecting both the bookies and the bettors.
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:
Frequently Asked Questions
The opinions on this topic vary from bettor to bettor, but as we mentioned before, it’s good to try and test out a couple of bookmakers and not stay with just one bookie. On our website, you will be able to find a complex rating system that will help you find which are the best bookmakers in the UK for different categories. You can also check out our user rating system to see the opinion of fellow bettors on a specific bookmaker, or you can read through our bookmaker reviews.
It’s up to your preferences if you want to go for a huge welcome bonus with higher wagering requirements or for a smaller amount with accessible terms and conditions. We are displaying all of them on our ‘rating by bonus’ page, so you will be able to see the star ratings for each of the online bookmakers available on our site.
We recommend our users to go for the offers that are easy to obtain because the best bookmaker offer is the one that has easy terms and conditions. We already have a couple of good free bets offers on our page, so why not check them out and share your opinion with us?
Since 2007 in the UK gambling has been regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. They are a quasi independent Government body who come under the control of the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport.
Odds are set by bookmakers by initially the opinions of their trading department using past statistics inputted into their own algorithms to give the expected probability of each outcome. They then add their margin to this and the odds reduce as a result. Once the market is open it is possible for them to hold these odds but it is more common for them to fluctuate depending on how much money is being placed on each outcome.
In 2022 the vast majority of UK bookmakers do have a dedicated mobile app, but not all do nor do they have to if they do not want to, it is up to them. We have listed and reviewed the options available on our Mobile App page.
Gambling winnings from your own online accounts are not taxable in the UK no matter how much you win or even if you do so as a profession.