The UK is a nation of gamblers, and these days more and more people are choosing to do their betting online. If, like us, you love a good bet then you’re in the right place.
On Betting Websites UK we’ve written a series of guides, articles and reviews on betting – covering everything from getting the most from your Saturday football accumulators through to which version of blackjack offers the best payouts.
No matter whether you’re a fan of horse racing, after the best betting websites for regular offers, or just fancy a few spins of the roulette wheel, we should have something for you.
To kick things off, you’ll find a list of our favourite sports betting sites below. We also offer a similar list for gaming on our casino sites page. For more information about any of the sites listed, just head over to their review.
Looking For Betting Offers?
There are hundred of pounds worth of new customer offers up for grabs at the bookies with new brands popping up all the time. You can find a full list of these kinds of bonuses for both sports and casino on the pages below.
List of All Betting Sites
UK Gambling Laws
When it comes to the laws that are in place for gambling companies there have been two main bills passed by UK parliament in recent times. Or, more specifically, one main Act and another that clarified some issues from the first one. The 2005 Gambling Act aimed to make the laws clearer on gambling in the United Kingdom. Its principle aims were to ensure that gambling was open, honest and fair and that, as a consequence, it couldn’t be used for illegal means.
The 2005 Act was the first to add regulation to online gambling. It clarified what sort of gambling could be done online and what classification was given to the various games you could play for money. Gambling that was done over the phone, online or via some other method of technology was referred to as ‘Remote Gambling’; a phrase that will come in useful when I tell you about gambling licences shortly.
The 2014 Gambling (Licensing & Advertising) Act added a touch more consistency and clarity to the 2005 Act. Before it only about 15% of online betting companies were regulated, whereas now pretty much all companies that have an online presence that is either based in the UK or targets a UK market is regulated and governed by the act. The two Acts together ensure that you’re betting money with companies that obey the laws and regulations set out to them. If they don’t then I’d say you should avoid them like the plague.
Licensing By The Gambling Commission
One of the main things introduced by the two gambling Acts was the necessity for a company to have a licence issued to them by the UK Gambling Commission. Companies have a duty to ensure their operation is run fairly, openly and in a manner that protects vulnerable people and children where possible. Online betting companies apply for a licence and the Gambling Commission checks them out, issues the licence where acceptable and then monitors the company to make sure they’re sticking to the rules.
Depending on what type of operation the company is running, they’ll apply for one of three different licences. There is the remote licence that is applicable to gambling run through some sort of technology; the non-remote licence that is for companies that don’t want to use technology such as websites or mobile apps for their business; or there’s a remote and non-remote licence, which covers all bases.
The Gambling Commission is a public body that is independent and non-departmental. It exists purely and simply to ensure that your money is in safe hands and that companies aren’t running illegal operations that will see you out of pocket with nothing to show for it. I strongly urge you to avoid betting with any company that doesn’t have a UK Gambling Commission licence and I won’t review companies that don’t have one.
The reality of the gambling world is that it can be seductive. You can feel as though all of your problems could be solved if you just get that one big payoff. It very rarely happens, of course, and you could end up chasing the payoff again and again until you’re in a bit of trouble if you’re not too careful. That’s where the idea of responsible gambling comes from and bookies promote the notion as much as possible.
In essence gambling responsibly means keeping an eye on how much money you’re betting with and how often you find yourself gambling. You need to be in control of yourself all of the time when it comes to gambling, so bookmakers offer ways to limit the amount of time and money you spend. They have maximum deposit amounts, for example, stopping you from paying too much into your account in a short space of time. You can adjust this to suit your needs. You can also volunteer for self-exclusion, whereby you’re not allowed to login to your account for a set period of time.
My advice is simple: Stay in control of what you’re doing and have fun. If you feel that you’re losing control then don’t be ashamed and don’t hide it. There are plenty of ways to seek help and loads of different organisations (such as GamCare) keen to assist you as much as possible.
Advertising Standards and Betting
Do you remember that advert with two blokes in a hairdressers reading the papers when a sexy blond entered, barely wearing a jockey’s outfit and carrying a whip? No? That’s because it was blocked by the Advertising Standards Agency. The ASA exists to keep gambling companies in check and to ensure that they obey certain rules and regulations.
Given that companies involved in gaming have been entitled to advertise across all existing media since 2007, it’s important that they’re limited in what they can do or say or else they may well run amok. They are not allowed to portray socially irresponsible gambling behaviour, nor can they try to appeal to a youth market of people under the age of eighteen.
Companies aren’t allowed to mislead their clients. This could be by making an offer that is vague or suggests something that isn’t true. It could also be by insinuating that gambling will make you attractive to the opposite sex. They’re also not allowed to suggest that gambling could be the solution to problems you might be having financially. If you’re ever concerned that a bookies has a misleading offer then it’s the ASA you should be speaking to.
How To Complain About Betting Sites
With the best will in the world, sometimes something goes a bit awry in life. This can happen with a trip on the bus or a holiday and it can also happen with online bookmakers. Hopefully you’ll never experience it and I’m confident that the chance of you needing to complain about something will be limited as long as you only bet with bookies that I’ve recommended or that have a UK Gambling Commission licence.
Should you need to make a complaint then the first thing you should do is speak to the bookie concerned. They are obliged to do whatever they can to solve your complaint there and then if they have a licence. If they don’t settle the matter to your satisfaction then your next port of call will be the Independent Betting Adjudication Service. IBAS will only deal with your issue if you can show that you’ve already spoke not the bookmaker direct. They will then investigate the matter and make a decision that all parties are bound to.