UK betting sites have become incredibly popular in recent years and do not appear to be going anywhere anytime soon!
Players are flocking to place wagers at UK online sportsbooks and it is now super easy to sign up and get started betting within minutes. However, as there are so many sites for you to pick and choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start!
Whilst can be tempting to join the first one that you find, we strongly recommend you find one which suits your needs and betting style.
This means doing a little research. Luckily here at GoWin, we've got your back! On this page, you can find out everything you need to know in order to pick a great online betting destination, including:
- What makes for the best betting site
- Where to find the best new online sportsbooks
- How to claim free bets, bonus codes and more
What to Look For in an Online Sportsbook
All UK sportsbooks have their own strengths and weaknesses, and many will tailor their site and what they offer to suit a specific type of clientele. This is why it is important that you choose a site that is suited to you and meets your requirements!
For example, some sites may offer hundreds of different sports markets, whilst some may offer great bonuses and chances to win big. Essentially, all betting websites are completely different and so having specific criteria is always handy.
Below you can find a list of the things we'd recommend assessing when looking for a new online sportsbook:
Choice of Markets
In general, you'll want to be looking for a site which offers an extensive range of different markets. This allows you to pick and choose your bets, and benefit from rarer events.
That being said, if you're only interested in football betting or horse racing, for example, a wide choice of markets may not be your top priority. Some players may also be looking for sites that offer live betting.
Live betting is pretty commonplace now, however, the live betting formats can work a little differently and some can be easier to use than others. Some live betting sites will delay live bets by up to 10 seconds and this is just to ensure that you are not capitalising on inside information!
Nowadays, almost all of the top gambling sites UK will offer mobile compatibility. This means that you can use the sportsbook from your mobile, tablet or desktop.
It allows you to keep up to date with your bets when you're on the go and means you can place a wager last minute if need be. If a betting site does offer a mobile version, however, you do also need to make sure that this performs perfectly.
There's nothing worse than a difficult-to-navigate mobile site or one which is slow to load. After all, a matter of seconds can make a difference on a big bet!
A sure sign that you're playing at one of the top online sportsbooks is if it offers you rewarding bonuses and promotions.
As online betting is such a competitive industry, many websites will offer incentives to sign up and keep wagering. If a site doesn't offer these rewards, however, it could be best to avoid it as you may find you'd get more for your money elsewhere.
We'll talk about depositing methods in more detail later on this page, but for now, it's important that you understand how vital it is that your site of choice offers you a depositing method which suits your needs.
Funding your wagers can often seem like a chore, and so you want to be playing at a casino which makes it as easy as possible. Look out for sites that offer more than one payment method, and make sure at least one suits your banking style.
How To Choose a New Online Sportsbook
When it comes to choosing a bookmaker, you're best of starting by assessing the list above and deciding which features are a priority for you.
This allows you to make some sacrifices if a site doesn't meet all of your requirements, but also ensures that the site will boast features which are most important to you.
If all of this sounds a little time-consuming, however, we do have some handy hints to start with:
Bet With a Well-Known Brand
If you're new to the world of online betting, then you may be searching for a site which offers a bit of everything. In this case, we would recommend that you stick to the bigger brand names.
These sites attempt to cater to as wide a target audience as they possibly can and so, the advantage of playing at such top sites is that you really cannot go wrong. Players can be sure to get a wide selection of markets and access to lots of great deposit bonuses which we are sure no one is going to be saying no to!
What’s more, many players may feel more at ease and have more peace of mind depositing with a brand their already familiar with. High street bookmakers such as Ladbrokes, William Hill and Betfred all have online counterparts, so you can rest assured you're betting with a respected, safe and secure name.
Look for the Best Odds at All Times
Whilst big brand UK online betting sites are great for those who don't know where to start, this general mainstream approach definitely won’t work for all.
This is because some players will definitely want to be hunting for the best gambling sites UK, which provide the best odds at all times.
The disadvantage of this is constantly searching for different sites, yet this is where comparison sites such as OddsChecker and our personal blog here at GoWin, can prove invaluable.
Play the Field
In general, we would recommend that you sign up at multiple sports gambling sites. This is because different sites will offer you different odds on certain games.
So, if you are signed up to a few, you can then choose to place your bet at the site that is offering you the best odds if you win! This also means that you can find the bet that you are looking for, plus you will get them at the best price.
Choosing a Site: Our Top Tips
In conclusion, if you are completely new to online betting, the best three things that you can do are the following:
- Open up an account with a reputable and well-known bookmaker
- Always check for the best odds before placing a bet anywhere
- Play at a site that offers great money-back specials and promotions
Now that you know how to find a betting site to suit you, you may be wondering how exactly you sign up and start playing with them. Luckily, it's generally a straightforward process. To sign up at an online sportsbook, you'll need:
- To be aged 18 or over
- Be a resident of (and visiting a site from within) the UK
- To enter your personal details, such as name, address and email
- To choose a depositing method
Whilst at most sites, you can register and not make a deposit straight away, if you are looking to access everything that the site has to offer then you will most likely have to have a funded account. In the United Kingdom, most credit or debit cards will be accepted by the top bookmakers, however, many will also offer plenty of other great payment options too.
Alternative payment methods are perfect for those who are uncomfortable with sharing their card details online. Moreover, they ensure that your transactions are secure and private.
Popular Payment Methods
Below we've listed some of the most popular payment methods you're likely to find at UK sportsbook sites:
Once you've decided which payment service is right for you, simply visit your betting destination of choice and make sure it accepts deposits via the method before registering. To do this, you can check out the site's FAQ guide or contact customer support directly.
Sportsbook Bonus Codes and Promotions
One of the main advantages of placing wagers online, instead of on the high street, is that there's always a plethora of great bonuses and deals to get your hands on. Below, we've listed some of the most popular types of sportsbook bonuses and information about how they work.
Welcome Bonuses for New Players
As we mentioned earlier, when choosing a new online betting website, you should always look out for rewarding bonuses. The best bonuses are often awarded to new players, to entice to into choosing one site over another.
Almost all of the best betting websites will offer you a welcome bonus of some sort, however, so the important thing to consider here is whether it's valuable to you. Welcome bonuses may offer you cash rewards, free bets and other incentives, yet none of these are worthwhile unless you will get some use out of them.
For instance, if a site is offering you a free bet on a sport you're not interested in, then this isn't advantageous as it just persuades you to part with money you didn't intend on spending in the first place.
Free bets do, essentially, what they say on the tin. They're a reward specific to bookmakers and are often awarded to new players. Loyal punters may also be rewarded with free bets from time to time, and certain sites will even give away free bets when there are specific events on (such as the World Cup).
Free bets usually give you a free wager of a certain size, on a certain event. For instance, you may be rewarded with a free £5 football bet on the weekend's Premier League action or a £5 horse racing wager on the Grand National.
Sports Betting Wagering Requirements
Almost all free bets and deposit bonuses come tied to wagering requirements. Wagering requirements are the number of times you have to wager a bonus before you can withdraw your winnings, i.e 30x. This would mean, for example, if you picked up a £10 bonus, you'd have to wager £300 at the site before you could withdraw.
This means that you need to take these into consideration before accepting a bonus or a free bet. Sometimes, a bonus can be not worth picking up as you know you'll never clear the requirements.
The good news is that many top betting destinations in the UK offer reasonable wagering requirements. Just remember, exercise caution at all times and don't simply settle for the first bonus you come across.
How to Bet Safely Online
If you've never had the please of betting online before, it's natural to be concerned about your safety – it's your hard earned money on the line after all. Luckily, there are many different ways in which the UK betting market is regulated to keep punters safe at all times.
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), is in charge of all gambling-related activity in the UK. As such, all sportsbooks must have a UKGC licence. A licence means that the site is fair and regulated, and committed to responsible gambling. As such, you can rest assured that the site is legit.
If you scroll down to the bottom of any legit UK sportsbook, you will find a link to the UKGC licence. If you cannot see this licence clearly displayed, it could be that the site is not operating legally and therefore it should be avoided.
Terms and Conditions
Before signing up to any sports betting outfit, you should always read the terms and conditions carefully. These will let you know about any specific rules of your chosen site. Moreover, it will show you if there's anything untoward about the site (like a strict or complicated withdrawal policy for example).