UK Betting Sites for Players in the United Kingdom 2020

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In the United Kingdom gambling is regulated by the Gambling Commission, and bookmakers taking wagers from players residing in the UK will need a valid and active license. To play at a UK betting site, one has to be at least 18 years of age and be able to provide a copy of a valid ID verifying this, alongside proof of residence (usually a utility bill is enough).

All online betting sites, rated and reviewed below, are safe and hold an active license.

18+ (21+ in U.S.) - Terms and conditions apply.

  • 9.0
    Review of Betfair
    Redefining the online bookmaking scene at the turn of the century with Exchange Betting, Betfair is still miles ahead other UK betting sites

    No offer available for this bookmaker in your region

  • 8.9
    Review of 888 Sport
    The poker powerhouse gives UK sports betting sites a good run for their money

    Bet £10 get £40

    in free bets

    New Customers only - £10 minimum deposit using promo code "FOOTBALL" - First bet must be placed on any market - Minimum stake £10 at odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. General deposit method & withdrawal restrictions apply & Full T&C’s apply
  • 8.7
    Review of bwin
    Iconic bwin has been at the forefront of online gambling for two decades and sports betting is where they really shine

    No offer available for this bookmaker in your region

  • 8.7
    Review of Bethard
    Hard to beat odds and impeccable interface at Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s co-owned betting site

    No offer available for this bookmaker in your region

  • 8.4
    Review of LeoVegas
    The ‘King of Mobile’ might be relatively new to the sports betting market, but be sure they are aiming for the lion’s share of it

    No offer available for this bookmaker in your region

  • 8.0
    Review of BetStars
    Online poker’s brightest shining star is all-in with their solid sports betting product

    No offer available for this bookmaker in your region

Betting in the UK

Betting online is regulated by the Gambling Act of 2005 and this document put the current licensing scheme into place, while also establishing the main governing body, the Gambling Commission.

The law has since been appended and amended with various clarifications and guidelines to keep up with the rapidly changing times and technologies, but the three fundamental principles from the original document are still guiding new rules and regulation. They state, and we paraphrase, that the licensing system should;

  • prevent gambling from being used to support crime or disorder
  • ensure gambling is conducted in a fair way
  • protect children and vulnerable persons from being harmed by gambling

These three points of concern can be connected to two practical aspects that shapes todays UK betting climate to a large extent.

‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) – A prerequisite to play at betting sites in the UK

Verifying your identity is done both to keep minors out of an operator’s betting system, but also in order to prevent money laundering. For the latter, the betting site can request documents validating a Player’s ‘Source of Funds’ and/or ‘Source of Wealth’. In rare cases one can also be subjected to what is known as ‘Enhanced Due Diligence’ to further corroborate someone’s life story. But the standard KYC-procedure, which will apply to most is rather simple. It includes validating that you is who you say you are and that you live in the UK.

Betfair has a good guide on the subject of KYC

Prepare yourself by having the following ready when visiting a UK betting site for the first time to make the KYC-process a walk in the park:

  • A copy of a valid photo ID
  • A utility bill or similar not older than 3 months, addressed to you

The above items can be sent by regular post but sending it digitally is significantly faster. Taking a picture with your phone is probably the easiest way, but a scanned copy of the above documents will work just as well.

A tip to avoid these scans getting into the wrong hands is to print out a small note saying something like: “For use by insert-name-of-bookmaker-here only” accompanied by the date. Place that on your id, making sure it doesn’t cover any vital information, and take a picture with your phone. Put the same note on the utility bill and repeat.

Clear Communication defines the Best Betting Sites Online

The question ‘how to ensure fair rules when betting while also protecting minors and vulnerable persons?’ can be answered by: clear and honest communications. This applies to both how products are presented and marketing material. Three points sums this up rather well:

  • Chances of winning shouldn’t be exaggerated
  • It is not allowed to state that something is ‘free’ and ‘without risk’ when it comes with strings attached
  • It is prohibited to package a product in ways that attract minors

These guidelines, which the Gambling Commission in recent years also have been good at enforcing, has put pressure on all the right places from a consumer viewpoint. It has not completely eliminated hard to understand terms and conditions - designed to ensnare customers - but at the legit bookmakers it has created a much appreciated betting environment, free of hidden fees and unwarranted lock-in mechanisms.

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