UK Online Gambling Sites
Resident of the United Kingdom? Looking for a new gambling site? If you answered yes to both of these questions, then you're in the right place. There's a good chance that you've stumbled upon this page because you have no idea which UK gambling site to choose in order to get the best possible experience. Well, don't worry. We're here to help.
Below is a list of our recommended UK gambling sites. These have been selected and ranked based on a range of different factors. We'll explain more about why we recommend them later, but you can rest assured knowing that these are the best sites available. We promise.
Online betting and gaming from within the UK is a whole lot easier than it is in many other parts of the world. There are no legal grey areas here like there are in some countries, as online gambling is fully legalized. The industry is very well regulated too. As a result, you have your pick of a wide range of good quality gambling sites that are 100% reputable and trustworthy. This simply isn't the case in somewhere like the United States, where a complicated legal situation means that many of the top sites won't accept customers from your region.
So you should be thankful for the fact that you have so many options. However, it's fair to say that such a wide variety of options come isn't a walk in the park. You face a difficult task in trying to decide which one to use. You're probably familiar with many of the big brands, from their advertisements on TV or from their shops on the high street, but which of these brands is right for you? And what about all the other sites that you haven't even heard of yet?
One possibility would be to sign up at a variety of different sites and judge for yourself which ones have the most to offer, but is this really how you want to spend your time? Or would you prefer to dive right in to a site that you know is one of the best around? We suspect the latter, and that's why we've compiled the above rankings. We've tested out all the big sites, and many of the smaller ones too. Above all else, we're confident that our recommendations will provide you with the best overall experience. So if you're ready to get started, just pick a site from our list and click on the relevant link.
Of course, you might want to know a little more about these sites first, which is why we've written detailed reviews on these recommendations and several other good quality sites too.
Still with us? That's good, we haven't finished yet and there's some more information on this page that you might be interested in. We explain why we've recommended the sites listed above, along with the details of how we go about ranking them. Then there's some information on the gambling laws in the UK, and how the online industry is regulated. That's followed by a guide to the various options for offline gambling in the UK.
Before we get in to all that, we'd like to tell you about some other recommendations that we've made. The sites listed on this page are excellent "all-rounders," and they're perfect if you plan on enjoying a range of gambling activities. However, if you plan on focusing on just one form of gambling, then you might want to consider using a specialist site. We picked the best sites that specialize in all the major types of gambling related areas. These are listed for you below.
Our Recommendations & Rankings Explained
We mentioned earlier how there are so many UK friendly gambling sites to choose from, and you probably knew this already. What you perhaps didn't know, however, is that some of these should be avoided at all costs. There are some sites that aren't actually licensed to accept UK customers, but they still do anyway. This means they are operating outside of UK law, and you'll have little to no recourse if any problems occur while your working with them. To be blunt, we believe the very fact that they aren't appropriately licensed suggests that having problems with them is more than likely.
We don't want you getting ripped off, so the very first step in our process for deciding which sites to recommend is to create a shortlist that includes only the sites that are licensed to offer their services to UK customers. We then do some research into all the sites on that list. There are lots of things we're looking at during our research, but the following are particularly important.
It's our extensive research that allows us to eliminate some options from our shortlist. If we have any doubts out about security of a site, they are immediately taken off. The same rules apply to sites that have poor reputations or a history of treating customers unfairly. We don't generally eliminate sites just because they don't have enough deposit options, or aren't particularly generous with their bonuses and rewards, but we do mark them down.
Our next step is then to test the remaining sites. It's vital that we do this thoroughly, because it's the only way for us to truly understand what sites have to offer and how they perform in certain key areas. The testing is the most time consuming part of the process, but we have to admit that we really enjoy some aspects of it. We have to actually gamble with real money to test them properly, and we obviously love the possibility of making money through gambling.
Once our testing is complete, we then have to compare all of the sites and score them according to how they performed. Those that score the highest get ranked the highest. There are several factors we take into account when applying these scores, including the following.
Please note that the process we've outlined here is effectively an ongoing one, as we're committed to ensuring that our rankings always reflect the best options at any point in time. We regularly re-evaluate the sites on our list of recommendations to see if they're maintaining their standards, and to see if they're making the necessary improvements to continually earn a place in our rankings.
UK Gambling Laws & Regulation
As we've already mentioned, online gambling is legal in the United Kingdom. It's strictly regulated though, by the Gambling Commission. This commission was established as part of the Gambling Act of 2005, and it's responsible for governing most forms of gambling in the region. Only sites that have been approved and licensed by the commission are legally allowed to offer betting and gaming services to UK residents.
The most recent gambling related legislation passed in the UK was back in 2014. The United Kingdom Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act introduced several new measures, including a requirement for licensed sites to report any suspicious betting patterns that might suggest corruption in sports events.
The POC is a 15% tax that must be paid on all gross profits earned from servicing UK residents. Although this tax is still in effect today, many of the biggest names in the industry are attempting to fight this tax. Some operators even chose to withdraw from the UK gambling market as a result. Other sites have simply reduced the overall value of the bonuses and rewards they offer to UK customers.
More details on UK gambling laws can be found on the following page.
Offline Gambling in the UK
It's not just online gambling that's legal in the UK either; most forms of offline gambling are legal too. So there are plenty of other ways for UK gamblers to enjoy betting and gaming if they fancy a break from the Internet. We have provided details on some of the most popular online betting alternatives.
The high street bookmaker shops of today are very different from the shops of yesteryear. They're no longer dark, dingy and smoke-filled. Best of all, they're no longer frequented only by hard-core gamblers. They're bright and modern, with no smoking allowed, and they are visited by people from all walks of life. There's a lot of them too. In many towns and cities you'll find three or four of them all within a few minutes' walk of each other.
They're no longer just for betting on horse racing and other sports either. In most shops you'll find at least a couple of FOBTs (fixed odds betting terminals), where you can play a variety of gambling games. Many people have criticized bookmakers for allowing these machines in their shops, as they tend to increase the chance of problem gambling.
There are over 50 racecourses in the United Kingdom, and all of them have betting facilities onsite. You'll find Tote kiosks and booths at most of them, and several traditional on-course bookmakers. At the major venues, the bookmakers pay a small fortune for their pitches.
A trip to the horse races is a great day out for anyone, and particularly those who like a gamble. Racing takes place the whole year round, with Christmas Day and Good Friday being the only two days when no events are held.
The UK is home to around 140 land based casinos, with approximately 25 of these in London. These venues vary greatly in size and exclusivity. Many of them are members only establishments. The biggest operators with venues in this region are as follows.
The most famous casino in the UK is surely the Ritz Club, located in Piccadilly. It's also one of the most exclusive. You can't just walk off the street and play a few hands of blackjack here, as only approved members are welcomed here.
Live bingo is no longer as popular as it used to be in the UK. There are still plenty of bingo halls, but the total number has declined significantly over the years, along with the overall attendance. We believe this is probably a directly result of the emergence of online gambling, as online bingo has proved to be a huge hit.