Online Bookmakers / Bookies

online bookmakersOn this page you’ll find a list of all of the bookmakers that we recommended. We’ve personally tested each and every one of these and have written detailed reviews covering everything from the sites odds and promotions through to how easy it is to find a bet.

Every bookie listed on this page (and every bookie and casino listed on this site, for that matter) is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. Most are also members of IBAS.

Note that you must be of 18 years or older to gamble.  Terms and conditions will apply so please make sure you read these before joining or claiming any offer.

Looking For Betting Offers?

betting offers man with cash

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.

Best Online Bookies in the UK

Please bet responsibly (18+). Terms and conditions apply. | #ad
Min Deposit

Best Horse Racing Bookie

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

One of the best bookmakers in the world for horse racing and football in particular. Betfred invented many of the bet types and offers we are familiar with today, an innovative bookie with a great range of regular and reliable promotions and coupons (such as Double Delight / Hattrick Heaven and Goals Galore).

Betfred are a big player in the industry so as you should expect the sportsbook is packed with resources and features including streaming and cash out.


Biggest & Best Sportsbook

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad
Accurate as of February 2021, written from personal experience that could be subject to change and location. Customer eligibility is the decision of the bet365.

Bet365 are hard to beat in nearly all aspects, in my opinion. They have, for me, the best suite of long term promotions for regular customers along with one of the biggest sportbooks. I particularly enjoy betting live in play with them, especially when they have sports live streamed.

The vast range of markets means you I'm never scratching around for something to punt on and I've always found their odds to be some of the most competitive available. My number one overall bookie who I choose to bet most with.

If you only ever bet with one online bookmaker make sure it is Bet365.


Personalised Offers

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

If bookmakers have personalities then BetVictor is the polite gentleman with the top hat and umbrella. Seriously though BetVictor run a very professional operation, their MO is to provide the basics in the best way possible.

You won't get hundreds of promotions each week with Victor but you will find some of best and most reliable odds in the industry with huge market depth. The promos that BV do run focus on value, such as the price promise on footy accas and boasting the best odds on football five years running.

BetVictor have customer retention that only Bet365 can compete with, and that tells you a lot about their product.


Biggest Independent Bookmaker

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

There are no bigger or more experienced bookies than William Hill and over the years they have actually helped shape modern bookmaking. A consequence of William Hill's wisdom is they are provide a no nonsense sportsbook with good odds and offers without the frilly features that few of us really want.

All markets have incredible depth and the betting site boasts a streaming service second only to Bet365. This is a perfect all purpose betting website.

In terms of offers for existing customers this is where the vast resources of William Hill truly shine through. Not always best for basic odds but certain to add value through their regular promotions.


Family Run Irish Bookie

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

Quinnbet, unlike many new betting companies these days, are owned by a family rather than an investment company. The owner, Sean Quinn, is a multi-billionaire and one of Ireland's richest people but still there are values with this betting site you rarely find with other new brands.

This manifests itself in a very traditional sportsbook that focuses on the main markets that most people care about such as horse racing, football and classic British sports. The site is powered by FSB (who hold the license) but that doesn't mean the character does not shine through, in existing customer offers especially. Good option for those looking for something new with a classic twist.

SB Tech

Biggest Football League Selection

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

10Bet go along with the philosophy bigger is better and this is no bad thing in bookmaking. Not only do 10Bet have one of the largest first deposit bonuses around they have more than enough markets for you to play with all that free cash.

Famed particularly for covering more football leagues than any other bookie and being one of the best places for accumulator betting offers this makes 10Bet an awesome football bookmaker.

Regular offers are outstanding with a mix of reliable long terms existing customer promotions alongside event specific free bets and insurance. Consistent bettors will find a lot of value here.

New To UK 2020
T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

Parimatch have a very interesting set up. They have been around since the early days of the internet, created in Ukraine in 1994 they went on to dominate the market in eastern Europe and are a well know brand on the continent, although they never launched in the UK. That is until 2020 when they launched a UK site. Interestingly rather than set up from scratch they partnered with BetVictor as a professional brand that already understands the UK market perfectly along with all the regulations.

Parimatch in the UK, therefore, is run by BetVictor, which means you get the same product and quality that they have that includes: high level deposit protection (you will never see that with another white label), low payment limits for deposits and high limits for withdrawals, one of the best in-play services, streaming, bespoke promotions and more.

The perfect site for those that want to play with a new betting site but do not want to compromise on quality


Dedicated Sports Site

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

888 are perhaps more well known as a casino brand but let me tell you they have taken all of the best features from their gaming operation and applied it to their sportsbook.

888 Sport have all the markets and major bits and bobs you would expect from a top betting site including live horse racing and regular loyalty rewards. Promotions are great and different to the normal stuff too.

On balance this is the best overall betting company if you like to explore a wide range of sports markets and want the very best gaming options available too.


Worlds Biggest Betting Exchange

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

If you are looking for a betting site where you can pretty much do anything then Betfair is a great option. They started life as a sports betting exchange and now boast the world's biggest. The fixed odds sports book was only launched in 2012 but is already one of the largest around, driven by the huge resources of this bookie.

Famed for having some of the lowest margins and therefore best value odds this is a betting site you should at least hold an account with as you will often find better prices with them.

Anyone serious about online betting will be sure to get a Betfair account at some point.


Biggest Bookie With Every Product

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

Ladbrokes are the absolute perfect one stop betting site, they literally do everything in the world of bookmaking and gaming and provide every betting feature imaginable, so if you want it all at your fingertips in one place then get an account here.

Being a colossus of the industry the bookie have all the best features including high level streaming, awesome depth of market, and great daily promotion and price boosts on top sports. A particularly great bookmaker for horse racing and football punters and one of the few that has a betting exchange attached.

If you like minimalist design, however, then Ladbrokes will not be your cup of tea, but if you want a completely stocked bookie for life then this is one of the best options there is.

SB Tech

Great All-Rounder

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

MansionBet is the sports arm of a very well established and respected online casino, Mansion, that goes back to the early days of remote gaming. They have achieved a reputation in the games world for being an honest, rewarding site with good limits and strong options and features. This is something they have carried through to sports.

The sports platform runs on SBtech, the best third-party platform available. This means great odds, market depth along with a fast and easy to use interface on all devices. This is a brilliant new site to try out if you want to experience a different brand with better gaming, but you don't want to sacrifice the depth and features you get with bigger bookmakers.


Big Sponsors Of British Sport

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

There are certainly better sign up offers available than Unibet's but I promise you there aren't many sites that can boast the same market range and features. Plus, once you're in the list of regular customer offers is long. Very long.

As one of Europe's biggest bookies they have tens of millions of customers, massive market depth and stream over 40,000 events each year. Unibet's price boosts are renowned for their great value and with a European focus you can often find offers on sports here you won't find elsewhere.

A very honest and open company with high user retention rates, which tells you all you need to know about the quality of the brand. Customers vote with their feet, and there is a queue for Unibet.

SB Tech

Serious High Stakes Bookie

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

This vibrant and exciting relative newcomer to the online sports betting scene certainly makes an impact by thinking outside of the box and providing betting features that other bookies have never even considered. Ever been sent exclusive offers via Whatsapp? You will here.

They have all of the basics in order too; plenty of interesting markets and betting lines, a great platform and interface by SBTech who are one of the best for live betting, fair terms, and a decent enough customer support service.

They might have had a bit of a shaky start when they launched in 2016 under a different name, but since the re-brand in 2017 they have hit the ground running and then some - it's rare to see a bookmaker this young with so much depth.

You won't be short on offers and promo's either, not that their odds need much help in the first place, and the casino that runs alongside the sportsbook would satisfy even the choosiest of casino players.

Rival To Betfair Exchange
T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

BETDAQ were one of the first betting exchanges, set up alongside the more well know Betfair in 2001 it became the main rival to the worlds biggest exchange. The brand was bought by Ladbrokes in 2013 as a way to give the old high street giant access to the exchange market. The combined resources of BETDAQ and Ladbrokes (now part of the even bigger Entain group, including Coral) allowed the site to grow, with fixed odds betting added alongside exchange markets in 2019.

The site also now offers a full casino along with sports pools betting and trading tools. They may be part of a multi-billion pound group these days but the brand has remained true to itself and is still one of the best, and only, alternatives to Betfair.


Biggest Sense Of Humour

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

Paddy Power have probably hit the headlines for upsetting people more times than all other bookmakers combined, but everything they do is in fun and plenty of punters would say that their sense of humour is the very reason they are so popular. They are the unrivalled 'cheeky chappy' of bookmaking.

It's not just that, though, Paddy Power are well known for their range of novelty and special bets which are always entertaining, as well as the promotions and features they like to provide for their customers. What's more, their live streaming service is one of the best in the business.

They aren't the best dressed bookie on the internet, but there is so much on offer here that you may well not notice.


Excellent Sports Betting Interface

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

Well established in Europe and even running high street betting shops in its native Armenia, VBet may be new to the UK but they are certainly not new to the industry. In fact, one of the biggest benefits to UK bettors is VBet's ability to offer such great range and depth when it comes to lesser known European leagues and markets. They can boast more than 50 betting categories, and over 30,000 live betting events each month.

Their sportsbook platform is provided by BetConstruct, which means live inplay bettors get access to their excellent multi view function. The platform is one of the more intricate and business like, so anyone who takes betting seriously will love it, but recreational bettors shouldn't be put off either, the stats tool in particular is really fun to use.

With cash out and plenty of promotions usually available, VBet is a sportsbook worthy of attention.


Biggest Polish Bookmaker

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

Brilliant for Eastern European sports and markets, STS are the William Hill of their native Poland, and this means they have the resources to provide customers with everything they might expect from the big bookies in the UK.

Live betting is excellent here thanks to their BetConstruct platform, and it comes with free live streaming on loads of their 50,000 monthly in-play events too.

Horse racing enthusiasts will need to look elsewhere, but for everyone else STS provides a genuinely comparable alternative to the gambling household names without any compromises.

Will You Be 'Kwiffed'?
T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

Kwiff are a thoroughly modern betting brand set up for the online gambling age where most people bet on their mobiles. Kwiff have a desktop website but the brand is best enjoyed on mobile. The company started out in 2016 but more recently had a complete overhaul and now offer one of the best betting experiences on the move.

Like all other serious sites they have all of the markets and typical features along with a full casino section. What makes this site special is the process of being 'kwiffed'. This is a feature that randomly boosts the odds of your bet at placement (and also for cash out), however, unlike other bookmaker odds boosts these are seriously big and can often magnify the payout several fold.


Streaming For Most Sports

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

Coral are quite literally the best all round betting site for the average punter. They have some the highest value deals going for both new and existing punters that doesn't require a large outlays to use. This is a perfect site for typical low stakes punters who like to bet £10's not £100's.

Coral are one of the most exciting brands in bookmaking, vibrant and fun but still maintaining a very professional book with tons of features including streaming and tons of regular free bets for existing customers. Coral connect scheme also allows you to bet online and in store using the same account.

There is not much the Coral don't do, if you are looking to find just one bookmaker to bet with forever then you seriously can't go far wrong with Coral.


Independent Lithuanian Brand

Quite a character of the bookmaking industry is our Tonybet, with a fascinating man at its helm initially and some intriguing markets to explore that aren't often available at your standard online bookie.

This is a great choice for bettors who love to game just as much as they love sport because the casino and gaming arms of the business are given just as much attention as the sportsbook, and if you like to see a lot of different betting lines per event we challenge you to find somewhere significantly better.

Tonybet is gunning hard for the UK market despite having a more European pedigree, and that makes them a canny choice for the bettor with a curious bent.

SB Tech

Classic No-Frills Site

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

Mr.Play have been around a while as a casino but recently launched a new sportsbook. The site is out-of-the-box ready given it is SB Tech powered, which means it offers customers around 10,000 pre-match markets a month and more in-play. The site also provides horse racing markets, which is now rare with new sports products.

Part of the Aspire Global network Mr.Play is a well backed brand, which is evident from the 24/7 customer support, over a dozen banking options along with good limits and features such as cash out. The casino side is also better than most other bookies, given this is where they've made their name, with games from over 20 studios.

This may be a new betting brand but you wouldn't notice any difference vs the bigger traditional sites.


50 years Experience

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

If you've walked around any major town in Britain you will likely see the Grosvenor casino sign at some point. The group have been going since 1970 and run over 50 land-based casinos including some of the 'super casinos' that were planned in the early 2000's. It is no surprise therefore that Grosvenor also have a fully stocked sports product, powered by Kambi. It's not a replacement for a stand alone bookie but it certainly does everything a typical bettor would need, and the fact it is backed by such an experienced company means there are a lot of features you won't find at other casinos with sportsbooks, including a £5 minimum deposit level.

As with many casinos that have moved into sports this site is aimed more towards those that want to both play games and place bets without the hassle of having to log into other sites. They also have an award winning poker product.

For existing customers the resources and experience behind Grosvenor means you get looked after, both in terms of promotions (usually a dozen or so at a time for casino and sports) and loyalty rewards. The Grosvenor One, for example, lets you link your online account to real-world casino play allowing you to earn rewards whether you play online, in their casinos, or a mix of both.


Part Of The Unibet Group

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

32Red are one of the most famous online casinos around having been going since 2002. It would be unfair though to brand them solely as a casino since the brand were one of the first casinos to set up a sports product. Initially they launched 32Redbet back in the 2000's but this wasn't enough to compete with the big old betting brands, and so in 2014 they launched a new sportsbook attached to the main 32Red site called 32Red Sport. This was such a success that tons of brands followed, Mr Green being one of them, but it is important to remember 32Red were one of the first.

This extra time in the sports market has given the brand an edge over its competition making it truly one of the best all-rounders out there if you want a good sportsbook plus solid games provided by Microgaming among others.

In 2017 32Red were bought by the Kindred Group (i.e. Unibet) and this has bolstered the knowledge and experience around sports betting, taking the site to a new level and making it a place that real sports bettors can respect.


Excellent On Mobile

LeoVegas are of course, as the name suggests, better known for gaming than sports, but they have had a sportsbook since 2016 that operates on the Kambi platform and provides pretty much anything the average punter would need for betting along with some good offers and a world class loyalty scheme.

The company, set up in 2011, is now part of Royal Panda but the brands have been kept very separate with the Panda even vacating the UK market to make for room for Leo the Lion. Both brands in the group have a strong focus on the customer and this is reflected in their fair terms and open approach. LeoVegas have some of the best retention of users and in such a competitive market there has to be a good reason for people to keep coming back.

As with most brands better known for casino this isn't a replacement for one of the big bookmakers, but for those that want excellent games with a solid sports betting product all under one roof they are are worth a look.


Part Of William Hill Group

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

Mr Green are a well known casino brand that originates from Sweden, a country that is hugely represented in the online casino industry considering they have a population of just 10 million or so. Like most of the successful Scandinavian brands they have gotten to where they are by offering customers a more vibrant experience compared to the typical British betting companies with very clear and honest offers and terms.

Launching in 2007 that brand is now quite old in the world of online betting and has been UK licensed since 2015. In 2016 they launched a sportsbook, which was decent enough, but in 2018 Mr Green were bought by William Hill who, given their long history and experience in bookmaking have naturally and significantly improved the Mr Green sportsbook to the point where it is worth recommending on its own merit without even considering the massive casino attached.

The sportsbook is operated by Kambi, the same company that provides their services to 888 and Unibet, so as you might expect it is a very good interface. They have all the major banking options, decent limits, and some very unique and popular offers.


Massive Irish Bookie

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

Boylesports are an Irish betting site and this means they offer one of the best places to bet for horse racing, golf, and football in particular. Regular bettors on these sports can guarantee great value regular promotions daily that will add tons of value to your wagers over time.

Boylesports are one of the biggest bookies from Ireland and so they have all the features you would expect from a big player, a great addition to any sports betting portfolio.

They are never the best for introductory promotions but certainly one of the best for all customer offers, demonstrated through their high retention.

SB Tech

Vibrant Casino-Sportsbook

T&C's Apply. 18+ #ad

Karamba are one of the new style casino sites that popped up in the mid-2000's offering users something different to the clunky old sites of the time. Over the years they have developed a loyal following of people who love the design and the ethos of the brand. They have maintained a style that customers like for over 15 years and following a face-lift in 2015 Karamba became one of the best sites on mobile.

Yes, they may be known for gaming, but to see them only as a casino would be a disservice to their sports product which outperforms expectations - their branding probably doesn't help in this regard, fun as it is - parrots and sports betting don't usually go hand in hand.

Their sports betting is powered by SB Tech, regarded as the best third party platform provider out there. This means the site is fully stocked with markets, including racing, and a host of betting features with an especially good live betting interface. They also offer very strong odds, so dismiss them at your peril.


No Horse Racing

Rizk is a brand owned and run by the Zecure Gaming Limited, along with Guts, Kaboo and others. They are probably better known for gaming where they have carved out a niche as one of the more vibrant and colourful brands, Rizk is based around a super hero with a lot of similarities to Flash Gordon, after all.

Unlike most casino-sportsbooks, however, the offering from Rizk is unique as they have built their own independent platform, rather than relying on third-party companies. This creates a no-compromise set up to deliver the product they want customers to have. Its' innovative modular design makes it one of the easiest to use sports betting platforms there is.

This is unlikely to be a replacement for a big bookmaker if you mainly bet on sports but if you are looking for an epic casino with a damn good sportsbook attached you should take the Rizk.


Great All Rounder

Energy Casino was launched in 2013 and launched its sportsbook three years later in 2016. The casino is well regarded but the sportsbook is no slouch either. Powered by BetConstruct it is both very nice to use and well packed with markets and features. Energy have not just added sports onto their gaming products with minimal effort, they have put a lot of work into it and this is reflected in a very good book. This is another of those sites we would recommend for those that like to play games and bet on sports in tandem without having to move around.

One of the areas they stand out in compared to other casino-sportsbooks is with retention offers. They generally have 5 or 6 promotions for sports at any one time, such as acca insurance or free bet clubs, which is not too common with sites not dedicated to sports betting and shows they take this side of their buisiness seriously.

UK LawWhen online bookmaking became a thing, there was no specific law in place to deal with them in the UK, who were still playing catch up when it came to the era of the internet. There were laws for bookmakers in general, of course, but the internet was something of a modern day Wild West, filled with unscrupulous and untrustworthy characters that were out to make a quick. As a consequence, a decision was make to come up with some very specific laws and regulations that online bookmakers would have to follow if they wanted to offer their business to British customers.

This was done by passing two gambling acts that looked specifically at the world of internet gambling, the first of which was the Gambling Act of 2005. This act ensured that any gambling that took place online was open, fair, and honest. It added some order to an otherwise ungoverned world, like a sheriff riding into a lawless town and kicking the bandits into shape… which is an odd analogy we know but yeehaw, deal with it.

This didn’t clarify everything, though, and as the industry developed a decision was made to pass another act that would help to define certain aspects of the online gambling world. The 2014 Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act clarified some of the previously vague grey areas. The two acts together define how things work for online bookmakers and casinos in the modern era, including the fact that a bookie has to have a licence from the UK Gambling Commission if it hopes to entice UK-based punters to use its services. Licensed companies are then bound by law to ensure that your money is safe and, because the UKGC is an independent organisation, governing parties can’t interfere. If a company doesn’t have a licence then they’re breaking the law and your money is at risk by betting with them, so always check their validity on the UKGC’s website by using the Public Register.

How Do Online Bookmakers Make Money?

Piggy Bank CalculatorThe burning question that you might really want the answer to is how, exactly, a bookmaker makes their money. Don’t mock, it’s a valid question, and it’s not actually as simple as ‘people losing their bets’.

The simple answer is that they fiddle the odds by building in margins. That’s not to suggest that they’re doing anything wrong, merely that they balance the odds of a market in a way that means they will always make a profit regardless of any given outcome.


Say you’re betting on the flip of a coin. The actual odds of it landing heads or tails are evens or 1/1 (2.0 in decimal), . It’s got to be one of them, so it’s 50/50 on the outcome. Bookies, however, treat this as though it’s a 5/6 (1.83) outcome either way when they set their odds, meaning that they get a margin whichever way it lands.  If they can guarantee an equal weighting of bets on both possible outcomes then they will always win.

Building in a margin means that a bookie ensures they are in profit as often as possible, regardless of the outcome. Say a bookmaker takes £100 worth of bets on a coin landing on heads and the same amount of money on it landing on tails. If he paid out at evens then he’d get £200 in and pay £200 back out again (on average), whichever way around the coin landed. By building in, say, a 5% margin the bookie takes in £200 of bets but only pays out £190 in winnings. He’s earned himself £10 profit and doesn’t need to worry about the results.

Obviously in this instance the result was binary which works perfectly when explaining the concept, yet in sporting events there are normally several possible outcomes that the bookie has to consider. Still, it gives you an idea.

The bookie will work out the probability of something happening, alter the odds a little to build in their margin, and then offer these odds to punters. The margin is their fee for providing the service.

How Can Bookmakers Afford Sign Up Free Bets?

Carrot on a StickBuilding in margins is one thing, but how is it that bookmakers can afford to give new customers free bets? After all, there’s no margin in giving people something for nothing.

The simple answer is that bookmakers normally earn huge profits each year and therefore a few free bets won’t hurt them all that much.

The longer answer is that free bets are used to entice new customers onto the site in the hope that that customer will continue betting with the bookie in the future. All industries do the same thing; supermarkets run special price drop promotions to get you through the door before putting them up again; banks offer 0% interest for a limited time in the hope you will take out a credit card and keep it long term; a language tutor might offer your first class free in the hope you sign up for the term. We already know that bookies have a margin built in to their odds, so it naturally follows that they will win in the long run the more that people bet with them.

Let’s put it another way: not everyone who places a bet with a bookmaker is as wise as you. They won’t visit a site like this to find out about free bets and offers. We know the odds are in the favour of the bookmaker, even when they’re giving you something for free, but this doesn’t mean free bets and bonuses are not worth taking.

The thing to remember is to only use these offers for bets you would have placed anyway, this is the best way to get added value as a customer.

How Do Bookmakers Reward Loyalty?

RewardsIn exchange for your loyal custom, most bookmakers will offer some sort of reward. This normally takes the form of something like a free bet every week as long as you’ve bet X amount in the days leading up to it, or perhaps the boosting of odds for certain events.

Some bookies also have rewards programs that see you gain points for everything you do on their site, which you can save up and then swap for gifts or free bets and the like. They are often tiered too, and the higher your tier the better your rate of reward. You might be surprised at what you can get if you have enough points – even holidays and such.

They all work slightly differently but the scheme might look something like this:
*PNT = Points Needed For Next Tier

Tier £ Wagered Points Earned PNT
1 £20 5 100
2 £20 10 500
3 £20 20 1,000

So the higher your tier the more points you earn per pound spent.

These ongoing promotions are often updated and added to and can be a lot of fun; some really enhance the enjoyment of a bet such as Betfred’s Double Delight where you get extra winnings if you bet on a player to score and they go on to score more than one.

Bookies know if they look after you you’ll keep betting with them, so it’s in their interest to keep you sweet.  The lower overheads in operating a bookmaker online vs the real world also means offers are naturally more generous when you delve into virtual betting.

Responsible Gambling and Complaints

Gamble ResponsiblyAs well as promising to keep your money safe and to operate with transparency, bookmakers also try to ensure that their customers gamble responsibly. This includes the ability to limit how much you can deposit into your account in a given period of time and also the option to lock yourself out of your account completely.

If you feel that you’re losing control then make sure you do something about it whilst you still can. Only ever gamble with money that you can afford to lose and seek help immediately if you think you might need it. The sooner the better. There is now a choice of independent sources of support and advice, Be Gamble Aware.

ComplaintsIf you’re feeling aggrieved at the way that you’ve been treated by a bookmaker then your first port of call is the company itself. Bookies have a responsibility (dictated by their licence) to ensure that disputes are settled as quickly and as fairly as possible.

Sometimes, though, no amount of communication with the company will solve your problem. To be honest, this is unlikely to happen, but if it does then you should know there’s somewhere else you can turn. That somewhere is the Independent Betting Adjudication Service, or IBAS. They’ll do what they can to solve your problem.

If it’s relevant to your complaint you might also want to turn to either the Advertising Standards Agency or the Gambling Commission, too.

Tax On Betting and Gambling Winnings

Tax Football moneyReady for some good news? You do not have to pay any tax on either the stakes that you place or any winnings you might receive.

Bookmakers, betting sites, online casinos, bingo sites and even lottery sites, on the other hand, have to pay a point of consumption tax on all UK profits (if they are a legal site of course) regardless of where they are based.

In the past many companies based themselves in the likes of Malta or the Isle of Man in order to limit the amount of tax they had to pay, or even avoid it completely.  This changed when the point of consumption tax was introduced, so whether your betting with a bookie based on London or Luxembourg they will still pay tax when you bet with them. Saying that betting with a UK based bookie also means they are contributing to the local economy in ways that foreign based companies are not, through jobs, rents, etc.  If you are patriotically minded therefore seek out a British based bookie and keep your money in the country.

The bookies aren’t stupid, though, so even though they do pay some tax they find ways to pass that onto the customer. This might be through an increase in their margins, for example, but whatever happens they’re unlikely to take on the full amount of tax themselves. There’s nothing you can do about it, but it’s always worth knowing and bearing in mind. At least whatever you win is yours to keep without worrying about having to declare it to HMRC.

Should you have an extremely large win though it is worth informing the revenue service.  You can declare these as gambling winnings, there is no penalty or fee to pay, and it ensures you are safe in the future if anyone wanted to investigate where the cash came from.

What are Platforms & White Labels?

Platform ProviderYou may have seen these terms tossed around a bit and wondered what they meant. Most bettors don’t know much about what goes on behind the scenes but it can actually have a fair amount of impact on your betting possibilities.

That’s because the platform your betting site uses will come with specific betting features. The platform is essentially the template for the website, what that site is capable of doing, and the features it offers. There are a number of different platform providers and they all have their own style, which is why some sites looks similar, and you might get on better with one than another.

They also have their own features. For example, a bet builder is a betting feature, and not all platforms provide this option. Fast markets and Pulse Betting are another, where you can bet on events to happen within the next few minutes in a football match, for example. So if you love in play betting then choosing a bookie powered by a platform that provides these options would be a good shout.

White LabelsA white label refers to a betting brand that is using a platform provider’s license and platform in order to get up and running quickly as a business.

Platform providers offer the full package – they like to call it a turnkey solution; as in all you need to do is pay them, turn the key, and you’re up and running – which means a new brand can start taking bets without putting in too much leg work.

It’s a bit like buying a personalised t-shirt; the t-shirt has already been designed by the company, but you decide what message gets printed on it.

The difference is that where a bigger company will have their own license and may even integrate a platform provider’s content with some of their own, all white labels using one provider will operate on the same license and be limited to that one platform provider’s choice of products and services.

Biggest UK Bookies

William Hill ShopThere are a shed load of bookies currently operating in the UK, the market has never been so saturated, but if you are the cautious type and are only interested in betting with the biggest then there are a few names you should consider.

The benefits of betting with a bigger bookmaker can be things like:

  • More reliable
  • Greater resources
  • High number of products
  • Availability of betting markets and bet types
  • Extra betting features
  • Generous offers

Not that you won’t get some of these things with smaller companies too, but the weight and depth of bigger brands is clear to see in comparison.

Broadly speaking you can class any bookmaker that you find on the high street as one of the biggest; we are talking about Ladbrokes, Betfred, Coral, William Hill, and Paddy Power.

That’s not the full picture though, because sites like Bet365, Betfair, Unibet, and BetVictor do not have a high street presence but are absolute giants of online betting.

This, in no particular order, is what each of the biggest bookies are best known for:

Bookmaker Reputation
Ladbrokes Horse Racing, Betting Exchange
Betfred Bonuses, Tote Betting
William Hill Traditional Markets, Live Streaming, No Nonsense
Coral Greyhounds, Great Value, Coral Connect Card
Paddy Power Niche, Comedy, and Irish Markets, Wacky Promotions
Bet365 100% Independent, Long Term Offers, Huge Book
Betfair Invented the Betting Exchange, Low Margins
Unibet Continental Markets, Price Boosts, Honesty
BetVictor Best Football Odds, Stylish Website, Perfect App

Of course there is so much more to each site than the few attributes listed here, so check out our full reviews for the bigger picture.

Why Trust Our Recommended Bookmakers?

We only recommend bookies that we use ourselves and on a regular basis too, so we have real experience of them and know for certain that they are licensed to operate in the UK. If you bet with one of the bookmakers that’s on this page then we can promise that your money will be as safe as possible and that the company will conduct itself fairly and lawfully. The only thing we can’t guarantee is that you’ll win your bets – that bit is down to you!