Top 5 UK Betting Sites

Monday, 21st August 2017

Perhaps more than any other country in the world, gambling has long and storied history in the United Kingdom. Unlike other countries that fought against gambling expansion, the UK legalized the activity way back in 1968 and allowed commercial casinos, bookmakers, and poker rooms to be built throughout the country.

Today, the UK is home to the biggest gambling companies in the world. Much of the success of online sports betting internationally is due to the innovation and modernization of sports betting by UK bookmakers. The industry has led the charge for several decades and continues to do so.


UK / British Gambling Laws

Betting on sports in the UK is as common as a cup of tea in the morning. For Britons, seeing a bookmaker on the street corner or venturing through London’s High Street for bookies is simply a part of life.

Gambling in all forms has been popular since the Middle Ages across the Kingdom but was first legalized in 1960 in the form of bingo. Then came the 1968 Gaming Act, which allowed for commercial gambling.

As the Internet grew in popularity across Britain, so did online gambling. The UK passed the Gambling Act of 2005, which licensed and regulated online betting throughout the country and created the UK Gambling Commission.

As far as gaming regulatory bodies, the UK Gambling Commission is regarded as one of the best in the world. They will fight for players in disputes and will readily strip operators of their license if they don’t fall into compliance with their high standards. Each site needs separate licenses for each form of gambling they offer (poker, sports, casino, or bingo) and another license for their software or betting interface.

Gambling in the UK is a booming industry, and not just from customers placing wagers. There are over 100,000 jobs relating to the gambling industry, which accounts for over £6 billion in revenue and close to £800 million in taxes.

All forms of gambling are legal in the UK, including sports betting, whether it is through a land-based bookie or at an online bookmaker.

It’s an ideal country for the professional gambler as well. UK citizens pay zero taxes on gambling winnings, even if they file as a professional gambler and gambling is their sole income.


United Kingdom Betting Markets

Sports bettors, or punters as they colloquially called in UK, will have access to the best of the best when it comes to online betting markets. Many world-famous online bookies are based in the UK, such as William Hill, Ladbrokes, and Coral. William Hill and Ladbrokes are publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange and are some of the biggest gaming companies in the world.

Soccer, called football in the UK, is by far the most-popular sport for betting. The English Premier League (EPL) is the most-watched sports league in the world, dwarfing even the NFL in terms of viewership per match. The league is broadcast in 200 countries and is seen by over 600 million people worldwide.

England has a whopping eight levels of football divisions. The Football League Championship (one notch below the EPL) and Football League One (the third level from the top) also have a massive following. The Scottish Premier League is also extremely popular, though it is mostly watched and wagered on by their native fans.

Fans also support their clubs in the Champions League, one of the most wagered-upon events in the world. Of course, the English fans love betting on their national team in both the World Cup and Euro Cup, despite their lack of success in recent years.

Rugby and cricket are behind soccer in terms of popularity, but both are heavily bet on across the UK as well. Most UK sportsbooks will have a focus on English sports, but their list of markets is expansive, especially when it comes to soccer. There are odds available for every league across Europe and South America and many offer Asian markets. As US sports, especially the NFL, gain popularity in England, bookmakers have begun offering a broad list of odds on American sports.

The above list of odds and markets only scratches the surface. British bookmakers are famous for offering odds on just about anything. In fact, you can email some bookmakers with an event that you want odds on (if they don’t already offer it), and they will create an odds market for your betting pleasure.


Easy Deposits and Withdrawal Options for UK Punters

Bettors in the UK will have the largest assortment of deposit and withdrawal options available compared to any other country. Almost every method is free of charge, and some bookmakers offer dozens of options in their cashier.

By far the most-utilized deposit methods are the e-wallets Neteller and MoneyBookers, but PayPal is also available in the UK due to their heavily regulated online gambling industry. All of these methods are instant, and funds will be available immediately after depositing. There are other choices, including credit cards, bank transfers, and many more.

Withdrawals back to e-wallets usually take a few days at the most but in some cases are processed in just a few hours. Most UK-based bookmakers have 24-hour service staff, so getting players their funds quickly is a top priority. Almost all withdrawal methods are free and come with no fees.


The Leaders in Online Betting

The UK has been a leader in gambling for over 50 years, and things haven’t changed. Citizens not only don’t have to pay taxes on their gambling winnings, but they have their pick of the world’s best bookmakers in the world’s strictest regulatory environment.


UK Poker Sites for British Players

Saturday, 19th August 2017

Players from the UK have unprecedented freedom when it comes to gambling. With progressive legislation protecting rights to enjoy online poker anywhere – it is no surprise that so many poker sites are based there, or in UK offshore territories. This guide to UK poker will show you where to play and how the GBP to USD conversions at most sites works.

Firstly I have looked at what is different about the UK legislation which has allowed the huge growth of gambling and online poker. Next you’ll find a summary of some of the biggest and best loved UK brands offering online poker games. After that some advice on getting your money in and profits out of UK poker sites as quickly and easily as possible, including at sites where you’ll play in dollars.

UK Legislation, A Haven For Online Poker

Playing poker and gambling in the UK, both online and at brick and mortar casinos, is perfectly legal as long as you are over 18 years of age – and there is no tax to be paid on gambling winnings unless this is your sole source of income.

Some sites, especially those with well-known bookmaker’s names, are thought of as primarily UK card rooms. This is false as the reality is players are welcome from all over the world. Likewise UK players have no restrictions under the law from playing at sites from any country they wish.

While many of the UK parent companies are controlled by British legislation, servers for UK poker sites are normally offshore in Gibraltar, The Isle of Man, Alderney or Malta, where their gaming licenses are issued. Many of the major UK poker sites parent companies are listed on the London Stock Exchange – including as William Hill, Party and 888, which adds an extra layer of security and safety for concerned players.

There is a new bill going through the British parliament at the moment proposing taxing poker sites whose parent companies are not based ‘onshore’ in the UK. This should not affect players at individual sites, though it may see some operators focus their marketing elsewhere.

Which Are the Best British Poker Sites for UK Players?

If I was to pick one UK Poker site to start playing on, it would be William Hill. Dating back to 1934, William Hill is one of the oldest and most respected names in UK bookmaking. With their land based operations regulated in the UK and online division licenced by the Gibraltar Gaming Commission, the FTSE 250 listed company provides players with a safe environment in which to play and benefit hugely from the famously soft games on the iPoker Network.

Stand-alone giant PokerStars are based on the Isle Of Man, and have a big British following. With more games to choose from than any other poker site, plus very smooth software – this has to be on the shortlist. PokerStars parent company now own Full Tilt Poker too, and you can even transfer your balance between them to enjoy the best of both sites.

Other notable UK poker sites include the fast-growing 888 Poker, Bet365 – another iPoker Network member, and Party Poker – who recently switched over to a ‘social’ model involving missions and challenges.

Wide Range Of Deposit Options for UK Players + Converting From GBP

Depositing to an online poker room in the UK is as easy as making any online purchase. You just need to type in your debit or credit card details and the amount you wish to play with. If you do not wish to use a card, or do not have one of your own, you can purchase a prepaid PaySafeCard from a local retailer instead. When you are moving money between sites you may wish to use an e-wallet, such as Neteller or Skrill, all of which are readily accepted. For larger sums, you could send in a cheque or wire funds from your bank account – make sure you contact your site before choosing those methods.

Getting money off the sites is just as easy and you can have funds transferred direct to your bank account or funded back to your card or eWallet in very short periods of time.

You will find most sites do not deal exclusively in GBP. Most often, you will deposit in Pounds and see your balance converted into US Dollars, which you will use to play. You can withdraw your winnings in Pounds – with a new conversion taking place on that day to get back to this currency. This means that changes in the exchange rates will affect players – though these are not usually too big, as the movements of Pounds and Dollars are usually in the same direction.

Some sites, including PokerStars, will give you the option of holding your money in GBP. In this case you’ll buy-in using dollars and cash out at the same rate for that table.  Bear in mind that the iPoker Network are switching over to Euros instead – though there are some cash game tables which use GBP.

A Positive Future for British Poker Sites

If you are a player living in the UK, the online poker and gambling world really is your oyster. With legislation that has essentially created a free market for online gambling, the choice for British poker players is wider and safer than ever. Deposits are easy and withdrawals are quick and generally hassle free. UK players have no issues with sites dealing in USD or EUR as the sites deal with the exchanges fairly, simply using the interbank rate for that day.