Sports Betting Sites UK BookiesThe British Gambling Commission is the gambling regulator in Great Britain and was formed under the GA 2005 Gambling Act. The Gaming Board, unlike its precursor’s, covers gaming, lotteries and bookmaking and the National Lottery Commission merged in October 2013 with the Gambling Commission.

The Gambling Act 2005 established the outline for licenses held in the activity of providing gambling software as well as the supply including maintenance, installation, and manufacturing of gaming software, while it also acts a the betting intermediary. The HMRC, Her Majesty’s Revenue, and Customer governmental body handle the gambling taxes, while the Tote privatized in 2011 when it was sold to Betfred is also regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. The Financial Conduct Authority regulates spread betting.

The primary intention was to reform legislations via the GA 2005 Act, previously divided across product types such as bingo, casino, lotteries, pool betting, and bookmaking. Licensee limitation includes that no person younger than 18 years of age may wager a stake and pool betting operators, as well as bookmakers, are precluded from offering bets on the outcome of the UK National Lottery.

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E-sports enabling gamblers to bet on their own or others performances are under review, while Fantasy sports are regulated as wagering product or pool betting depending on the prize mechanics. In the UK the online sports betting market is estimated to be worth £650 million with an online gambling population estimated at 2.1 million in 2014. Currently, the British population is 65,000,000 with over 35,000,000 being active in gambling at regulated betting online sites.

You are best advised to only place sports bets and wagers at sites that have been granted such a license, for while you can join up to and bet at sites not holding one of these licenses if you are based in the UK, should you experience any problems at those sites you will not have the Gambling Commission at your service to investigate those problems. If you are looking for legal UK Casino Sites have a look at this page.

UK Gambling Act 2014

The UK Gambling Act 2014 came into effect in December 2014, and the Gambling Commission regulates commercial gambling in the United Kingdom as well as licenses to remote gaming operators. Rightfully, the UK is considered as the most significant betting market globally in both terms of efficient regulations and revenue. The UKGC only grants licenses to the most respected betting sites to offer services to British citizens, while according to the revised 2014 Act, offshore online bookies are required to pay 15% on GGR. The most popular sports include horse races, greyhounds, league and union rugby as well as football. According to Guardian, the latest surveys revealed that 55% of the total British population engages in gambling activities at least once a month, amounting to a staggering £3 billion yearly.

Players residing in the United Kingdom are free to select any betting firm. However, the UK Gambling Commission does not offer protection to gamblers who choose to play at unlicensed bookies. Punters who choose legalized betting companies are welcome to contact the UKGC with complaints.

UK Betting Sites

You will soon discover that all high street betting shop operators hold a full UK Gambling Commission approved gambling license which allows them to operate those premises and also offer online sports betting sites. There are also many sites which are based offshore in other countries that have now applied for and have been granted a UK Gambling Commission gaming license.

As one of the most advanced economies globally, Great Britain bettors have access to a huge number of methods and can use major e-wallets such as Neteller, Skrill and Paysafecard as well as debit/credit cards, bank wire and Ukash vouchers to name only a few. UK banks generally block transaction-taking place at unlicensed bookies operated in the UK, and currently, the UKGC remains skeptical regarding the use of crypto currencies such as Bitcoin. Commercial banks have put several Bitcoin exchanges out of business by withdrawing facilities despite the UK pro-block chain stance, forcing crypto currency entrepreneurs to work outside the national banking system according to Forbes. By January 2017 it was announced that Cryptopay no longer supported withdrawals and deposits due to updated bank policies.

UK players are regularly reminded of the different ways to find a bookmaker that suits their betting requirements, and the list of categories include player bookmaker ratings, betting odds, banking methods, promotions, bonuses, customer services, live betting, and licenses. The Alexa Rank is a global ranking of websites and a bookmaker’s page with a low ranking is an indication that the site enjoys a high preference from the worldwide online betting community, while a high ranking could indicate that the site is a newcomer or found unreliable and therefore fails to attract a lot of traffic. UK sports betters prefer sites that offer at least twenty of more different sports, with over one hundred betting types while bet placing should be easy and instantly confirmed.

Players are not taxed on their good fortune in the United Kingdom, and Her Majesty’s Revenue does not claim a part of winnings achieved though gambling at online establishments, however online poker and casino operators are subject to a tax levy. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission released statistics on sports betting wagers that came in at £9,518 billion. The statistical chart also indicated that the total gross gambling yield is £12.6 billion of which the remote sector market is 29%. Football wagering generates the highest revenue yearly followed by horse racing, tennis, dog racing, golf, cricket, financial and others such as e-sports betting and daily fantasy sports that have enjoyed substantial growth in recent years.

Over 21.57 million players have online gambling accounts, while a decline in activity of 1.9 percent was seen in gaming and bingo arcades. James Green, Program Director of the UKGC, shared that consumer participation and market trend research are essential in shaping the policies to keep Britain’s gambling activities safe and crime free for users.

While many unlicensed and unreliable online sportsbetting sites lure players with remarkable bonus offers, the most reliable fully UK Gambling Commission licensed sites according to the top twenty bookmakers list include StanJames, Betway, Unibet, 888 Sports, Bet365, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, William Hill and BetVictor. Several online sports books enable UK punters to watch live streamed sporting events and nearly all sportsbetting sites now offer in-play betting options, giving bettors the opportunity to place wagers on sports events already in progress. Most importantly UK punters are assured of the best services and safest options at sports book sites displaying a United Kingdom Gambling Commission License.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are new to sports betting online and have any questions then below you are likely to find the answers to those questions, as below are the most commonly asked sports betting site related questions asked regularly by many online gamblers.

  1. Can I put Place Pots bets online?

    If you want to place any type of Tote bet online then you are of course able to do so, you will not just be limited to placing Place Pot type wagers for all other Tote related betting opportunities are offered online. Always make sure that you place these types of bets early and do not leave it to the last minute for if you do so and experience any type of connection issues with the betting site you may miss out on placing these type of bets online.

  2. Are the betting odds higher online?

    You can shop around quite freely as an online sports bettor located in the UK as there are lots of different licensed betting sites looking for your custom, as competition is therefore so very strong between sports betting sites you will find several of them offering you enhanced odds and usually those odds are way higher than they are in land based betting shops, so always be more than prepared shop around when you do fancy placing a bet on any type of sporting fixtures or sporting event as the odds can vary quite dramatically at different betting sites.

  3. How do I claim free bets online?

    There are plenty of free bets that you are able to claim and these are often awarded to you when you first sing up to a betting site you are not already a customer of and have never placed a wager at before. Be aware though that the way the free bets will be awarded to you will vary from site to site, with the most commonly available ones being awarded to you once you have placed a bet with your own money and win or lose, the site will then usually credit you with a free bet up to a certain value of your initial wager bet paced at that site.

  4. How old do I have to be to bet online?

    Betting online is legal in the UK if you are over the age of 18, any person under the age of 18 is not allowed by law to gamble online. When you sign up to any site you are going to be subject to an age verification process, this can often be done automatically but if the site is unable to verify your age you will be requested to send in some form of identification documents to prove your age. Your account may be locked until such a time that you send in age verification documents as requested.

  5. What stakes do I have to bet online?

    It will be up to the betting site at which you have become a customer of in regards to the betting limits they will offer you, if you are constantly placing winning bets then sadly at some sports betting sites you may find the actual value of each bet you can place will be restricted. However, all betting sites will have to tell you if you are not going to be able to place wagers over a certain level if you have had your betting account betting limits restricted.

  6. How quickly are my online bets and wagers settled?

    Settling all winning wagers at most online betting systems is done automatically and as such as soon as any sporting event has finished you will find that any winnings you have achieved will be credited to your account instantly. However, do be aware there are some sporting events and sporting fixtures that may take much longer to have any winning bets placed on those events and fixtures settled, but in most cases you will not be waiting much longer than a couple of minutes at most.

  7. What happens if I have a complaint?

    If you have any complaint regarding any licensed UK online sports betting site and you have not been able to get those complaints addressed at the site then you can escalate them to the UK Gambling Commission who oversee and regulate this industry.

  8. Can I bet In Play online?

    You will be able to bet once any sporting event has started if you choose to sign up to and use a betting site that offers In Play betting markets, we have seen numerous sites now making these types of betting markets available to their customers so you shouldn’t have to look too hard to find such a site offering them.

  9. Will Rule 4 reductions apply online?

    As you will soon discover as you start to take a look around the web and compare the many different UK licensed betting sites that you are feely able to join up to, there are going to be lots of different rules in place at each site, and as such if you are thinking of placing a bet on a horse race then always check to see if Rule 4 will be applied if your horse gets withdrawn, for many sites have done away with the minor Rule 4 restrictions but some still have them in force whenever a horse is withdrawn.

  10. Do I have to pay any tax on my winnings?

    No taxes are ever going to be imposed on you if you are living anywhere in the UK and you win when placing nay type of bets or wagers online. The days of having to place tax on either your stakes or the winnings achieved on sports related bets have long gone, and as such everything you do win online is going to b yours to do with those winnings are you please.

  11. Legal UK Licensing Jurisdictions

    You will find that all online betting sites that have been granted a UK Gambling Commission license are sites that will afford you the highest levels of protection and as they have all been granted such a license they adhere to a very strict code of conduct.

    The following gaming commissions are legally recognised by the UK and you can legally gamble at any site that has been issued a gaming license from any of the following places if those sites also hold an additional UK Gambling Commission issued license.

    • Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner – Gibraltar has had a long tradition of licensing and regulating online sports betting sites and the site licenses there are of the very highest standards and adhere to a very robust code of conduct.
    • Alderney Gambling Control Commission – Whilst Alderney may not instantly be a gambling jurisdiction that springs into your mind, they do have a framework in place for licensing online sports betting sites and have issued their own licenses to many betting sites.
    • Isle of Man Casino Control Commission – One final gambling jurisdiction you are sure to come across as you start hunting around for online sports betting sites is the Isle of Man, this is another recognised jurisdiction by the UK Gambling Commission and you will have no problems gambling at any site that has one of their gaming licenses.

    Not Legally Recognised Gambling Jurisdictions

    The following licensing authorities are not recognised by the UK and as such you should avoid placing any type of sports wagers at any site licensed in the following jurisdictions if you are based in the UK.

    • Government of Curacao – You will have very little if any protection should you experience any problems when placing sports bets at a site licensed by the Government of Curacao, so steer well clear of any such sports betting site as you may regret joining one of them should anything go wrong.
    • Antigua Directorate of Offshore Gambling – Whilst many UK online gamblers may have played at a site licensed by the Antigua Directorate of Offshore Gambling it has not been listed as a white listed jurisdiction by the UK Gambling Commission and as such if you do discover a sports betting site online that is licensed here you will not have any protection at all in regards to your sports betting activities placed at such a site.