If you’re looking for the best betting sites in the UK then you’re in the right place. On bestbettingwebsites.org.uk we’ve tested every major UK licensed bookie, as well as an array of the smaller newer ones, to come up with the ultimate list of gambling sites.
We also list details of the betting offers and free bets that you can get when you sign up at each site, allowing you to easily pick the best bonus without needing to visit each site individually.
To get started simply check out the table below:
Best Betting Sites
Does it Matter Which Site You Join?
If you’re totally new to online betting and don’t have an account with any online bookie or betting site, you might be wondering what the difference is and does it really matter if you join one site over another? After all, if you’re betting on Man United to win the Premier League the outcome would be the same no matter who you bet on, wouldn’t it?. . . No! It would not.
Whilst the binary option of win v lose would appear to be the same for this bet, there can be big differences between sites when it comes to how much you win, whether you receive anything extra, how quickly you get your winnings and how responsive they are if there’s a problem.
The simplest thing to look at when comparing sites are the odds. Bookmakers can set whatever odds they like, so if one bookmaker is offering you 10/1 for Man United to win the league, that doesn’t mean that another bookie wouldn’t offer you more.
This doesn’t really matter if your bet loses, but if it wins you’ll find yourself out of pocket if you took the lower odds.
The table below shows odds from three fictional bookmakers to illustrate this example. These may seem like extreme examples, but it’s not uncommon for outsiders or longer odds bets to vary significantly between betting sites.
|Bad Odds Ltd||6/1||£10||£70||£60||-£60|
|Mr Average Bookie||10/1||£10||£110||£100||-£20|
|Five Star Betting||12/1||£10||£130||£120||n/a|
Even small differences in odds add up over time and it’s something that becomes even more important with multi leg accumulators as the affect is amplified. In the example below we’ll compare three bookmakers that vary only slightly in odds, with each leg coming in at either 9/10, evens or 11/10:
|Number of Legs||Site A
£10 at 9/10 (1.90)
£10 at Evens (2.00)
£10 at 11/10 (2.10)
As you can see even a relatively minor difference results in drastically different payouts for the same bet. In fact a 10 fold acca where each leg is 11/10 pays out 2.7 times more than the same acca at 9/10.
If you look at the list of betting sites at the top of the page you’ll probably notice one common theme, they all have some kind of sign up offer. And whilst these offers are a great incentive for you to sign up and bet with the site, it’s also wise to look beyond this at the offers that are run regularly for their customers.
Many betting sites will dish up odds boosts, money back offers, free bets and event things like loyalty points that can also add to your winnings (or help soften a loss). Going back to our example of Man United to win the Premier League you could see offers similar to the below:
- Bookie A – No offer
- Bookie B – Bet £10 on any team to win the Premier League and get a £1 free bet for every match they win
- Bookie C – Get your money back as a free bet if your chosen team comes second
It should be pretty obvious that Bookie A is a bit of a duff compared to the other two. As for the other two sites, it comes down to personal preference – whether you think your team will win and earn you extra free bets all season long or if you’d prefer to have a consolation prize should your team come second.
To further confuse matters, you could also find that a site with a strong promotion may offer better value than a site that has no offer but better odds. For example:
- Bookie 1 – 12/1 and no offer
- Bookie 2 – 10/1 and money back if they come second
- Bookie 3 – 10/1 and no offer
Here again it will come down to personal preference whether you’d prefer the bigger odds (1) or the money back offer (2) but both of them clearly win out over the lower odds without any additional offer (3).
Getting Your Winnings
Once you’ve found your bookie, picked your bet and (hopefully) got some winnings you’ll want to get it back in your pocket nice and quickly. Withdrawal speeds among the better bookies are all usually pretty good and most won’t have restrictive limits that can trip you up, so for the bookie listed on our site you shouldn’t need to consider this factor too much but it’s something to bear in mind regardless.
However, if you register with a non-recommended site you’ll could come across painfully slow withdrawals and/or limits which will slow down your withdrawal, especially if it’s larger in nature.
Up to now we’ve mainly been dealing with the money side of things. How much do you get when you win, what are the perks they offer and how quickly do you get your hands on your winnings. But those are not the only things you need to be aware of when betting online, you also want to look at the actual service you’re receiving.
Got a problem? You want it solved quickly and fairly. It is incredibly frustrating to need help from customer support only to be left sitting listening to hold music or drumming your fingers whilst you wait in a live chat queue for hours on end. Or even worse, just reach a brick wall with zero support whatsoever.
Punters often won’t know how responsive and knowledgeable the support team are until they’ve had a reason to contact them. One of the criteria for being listed on this site is that they respond to queries promptly, so if the site is listed here you shouldn’t have to worry too much about this and you can always contact us if you’re having issues as we have contacts with all of the brands we recommend.
But if the site isn’t one we recommend then you may want to test the support first. Fire off a quick question and see how quickly they respond and whether they give you a real and helpful answer or something that’s just been copy and pasted from a generic script. Try questions such as:
Can I Use the Welcome Bonus to Bet on [Specific Thing] – Asking something specific about the bonus should tell you if the person on the other end is actually reading and responding to your query or just a robot parroting back set text. If their response is generic and doesn’t directly answer your question then this is often a good indicator of what the quality of service would be like if you actually ran into any issues.
Last, and by absolutely no means least, we have the site itself. After all, the odds and offers could be great with fantastic support and lightning fast withdrawals, but it’s all irrelevant if the site is unusable. Look at things like site loading speed, especially during peak times and for in play betting. Is it easy to navigate or do you find yourself spending 10 minutes looking for a match?
If you like betting on the go (or lazily from your sofa under a duvet on a Sunday morning) you’ll also want to check out their mobile site. Over 50% of site traffic now goes through bookies mobile apps and sites so there’s no excuse for a poorly designed or feature lacking mobile offering.
What About White Labels?
When a site is run as a white label it means that the operation of the site is managed by another more experienced company. It is a common concept used in many industries and allows a much more efficient entry into a market.
For example, if there were an on course bookmaker called ‘Racing Dave’ who wanted to start his own betting site using his name so that he could offer his customers bets when they weren’t at the course he might choose to go with a white label operator, where his name and branding is added to an existing platform.
The benefits to Racing Dave are obvious, he can set up an online bookie without needing to shell out for web development and he’ll have a team of traders managing his odds rather than having to do it himself. But for his customers there is often little benefit compared to going to the parent site directly.
Are White Labels a Bad Thing?
A well run white label isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but there are a lot of cheap fly by night operations that have attracted a bit of negative attention recently. When assessing a white label brand you need to look at who they are, why they’re operating as a white label and what company is actually running the site.
When run properly they can be beneficial for everyone involved. An excellent example of this is Parimatch – an Eastern European bookmaker who wanted to enter the UK market and chose to partner up with BetVictor as part of a major licensing agreement. Here you have an experienced company joining up with another well established company in order to expand their reach in a mutually beneficial deal. We are happy to recommend Parimatch in this situation and together they’ve created an excellent new UK betting site.
On the other hand you have the cheap white labels who will let anyone with a few grand and a domain set up a site in a couple of weeks. These are the sites we’d recommend you avoid as they often don’t have the backing or experience to operate successfully and regularly close as quickly as they open. And whilst your funds are protected by the main license holder (the white label provider), they just don’t seem worth your time or hassle.
How Do You Tell If a Site Is a White Label?
In the UK it’s very easy to tell as it has to be stated on the license. When you look at a license page on the UK Gambling Commission website you’ll see a list of domains that they are authorised to operate through. These domains are marked as ‘Active’ – you may also see URLs listed that are ‘Inactive’, this just means they are no longer used but have previously been on the license. There may also be a section for domains that are marked as ‘White Label’.
Going back to the BetVictor / Parimatch example we gave earlier on, when we look at their license you’ll see the main BetVictor domains (betvictor.com and betvictor.mobi) listed as active and the Parimatch domain listed as a white label. One clear indicator that a white label is of the cheaper, lower effort variety is the number of sites listed on the license. For BetVictor, there is only one white label on the license (at time of writing), but for some operates you’ll see hundreds.