Introduction to UK betting sites

Gambling in the UK is a £30 billion industry. Once confined to cramped, smoky betting shops, recent years have shown a growth in online gambling, with data suggesting this now accounts for 29% of the market share. In bookmaker’s shops, fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) now rake in 80% of profits. This evidence shows a clear trend towards online betting, but what do UK residents need to consider before betting online?

Avoiding scams and betting sites reviews

Before depositing money into any online gambling website, you need to do a thorough background check. Scam websites do exist, so make sure the site is trustworthy, by doing a quick web search and reading some betting sites reviews, from several different sources.

Check the terms and conditions for withdrawing money. All UK websites will require you to be 18+. Usually, you must provide proof of age by uploading a picture of your ID. Make sure you have access to a camera or scanner, as deposited funds can easily become trapped on a website.

Odds – What markets do you normally bet on?

This will be a key factor in deciding which website you choose to gamble on. Check the odds for various games/races/matches and compare the odds (there are many comparison websites which make this much easier). In general, some websites offer better odds for specific markets. For example: some websites offer better odds for horse racing, while others give better odds for football. There will of course be exceptions to these rules, but if you only bet on one market, make sure your getting the best odds to maximise your potential winnings. If you bet on numerous different markets, consider opening multiple accounts to always get the best odds available.


There is a lot of variation in website layouts, which one you prefer will usually come down to personal preference. Sometimes however, more information will be available on one website, which will help you make better betting decisions. For example, some websites offer tipster analysis for horse racing, or give longer racing histories.

One of the great advantages of sports betting online, is that it makes choosing which type of bet to place a lot easier. Multiple bets, such as trixies, patents or each-way forecasts become a lot easier to understand. It also opens up features only available online, including the option to cash out all, or part of a bet.

If you want to bet using a mobile device, some websites have apps available for both android and iOS. These are great if you spend a lot of time away from home, without access to a computer.

New customer bonuses

New player bonuses give a huge edge to online betting. Indeed, many players make all their profits applying a technique called matched betting. This is a risk-free approach to betting, where you bet for and against a single outcome: e.g. place a bet for over 0.5 goals, then use a free matched bet placed for under 0.5 goals.

For those not interested in matched betting, you should still look for the best deposit bonus available. Most major sites offer at least a 100% deposit bonus. Other websites, also offer a free no deposit bet, sometimes up to £20. It is imperative that you check the terms and conditions of any sign-up bonus. Whilst some offers look like a great deal, they may require you to bet any winnings multiple times, before you can withdraw any money.

Many sites also offer free casino spins. These can be a great way to add profit to your initial deposit, with a small chance to win a larger jackpot amount.


Exchanges present a slightly different way of betting. Instead of taking odds from the bookmakers, players can back or lay the outcome of an event, with the website taking a small commission. The odds on exchanges tend to be higher than those offered by bookmakers. The option to lay bets, allows you to act as the bookmaker, taking bets. This can be very profitable, especially when backing the same market to take advantage of price fluctuations.

Customer service

Finally, one should consider the customer service contact options. It can be frustrating having to deal with issues entirely through email, or being forced to make a phone call during your working hours. Many of the larger UK betting sites, have a live-chat option for customer service. This small feature, makes dealing with annoying problems a lot less stressful.