Seeing as we go by the name ‘best betting sites’, there’s no way we could get away without offering you a list of our top ten betting sites. Included in this list are online bookmakers, sportsbooks and even the odd betting exchange.
This page looks at the betting sites on the whole, so if you tend to only bet on one particular sport, you might also like to check out our recommendations on the best online bookmakers based on sport. We currently have lists for football, horse racing, tennis and snooker with more to follow soon.
More sites: Below are our top 10 favourite bookies. You can see a list of bigger list of all betting sites recommended by us on our free bets page.
1. Bet365 – Up to £100 in Bet Credits
For our number one pick we’ve chosen Bet365 who are an institution in British betting. Through a combination of great odds, a smooth site and more markets than any of the other sites we’ve tested, they offer a sports betting package that should keep everybody happy – no matter what your bet of choice is.
In terms of promotions we’ve found them to be very generous, and not just for new customers either – existing customers also get well looked after with plenty of offers to keep you happy once you’ve signed up. These offers tend to change regularly so for full details of their welcome bonus and current offers, see this page.
What we like:
- Great Promotions – For both new and existing customers
- Massive Range of Markets – More bet choices than you can shake a stick at
- Fantastic Mobile Site/App – One of the easiest to use and most reliable we’ve tested
2. BetVictor – Bet £5 Get £30
Next up are BetVictor – formally known as ‘Victor Chandler’ or ‘VC’. BetVictor are particularly good for their competitive odds and they have officially had ‘best odds most often’ and ‘best average odds’ over multiple premiership seasons. Combined with some strong payout limits they're a great option for any serious punter.
Their offers are generous and whilst they do change regularly they seem a little more consistent than other bookmakers, meaning you know what you're likely to get. Another feature that's often overlooked by some bookmakers is the usability of the site. BetVictor recently gave their platform an overhaul making it much simpler, faster and easier to use.
What We Like:
- Fantastic Odds – Some of the best odds in the business, especially for football.
- User Friendly Site – The newly redesigned site is fast and to the point, just how we like it.
- Racing Money Back – Cash back if your horse refuses or whips around at the start of the race.
3. 888 – Bet £10 Get £30 + £10 Casino Bonus
888 are one of the oldest online betting companies in the business, with their first gambling site going live around two decades ago – before a lot of people even had email. They’re listed on the London Stock Exchange and are definitely a force to be reckoned with.
Their odds are decent, but not the best, but it’s their offers that’s earned them a spot in our top ten. They’re almost unmatched for the sheer volume and spread of promotions which run on a daily basis.
Offers range from weekly free bets on football through to money back specials on darts, and everything in between. There’s even a VIP rewards program that dishes out free bets and other goodies to loyal customers.
What We Like:
- Tons of Offers – There’s a giant list of money back offers and regular free bets running all the time on a wide range of sports.
- VIP Program – Big bettors take note, 888 have a very strong VIP program with enhanced offers for VIP’s, dedicated account managers and VIP events.
- Easy to navigate – We’re big fans of the new version of their site which is clean and easy to navigate. Their search feature in particular is brilliant.
4. Betfair – £100 in Free Bets
Betfair were the first to produce a commercially viable betting exchange, and to this day they still hold the #1 spot in the peer-to-peer betting world. But they’ve grown to be something much more than just an exchange, also offering an excellent fixed odds sportsbook with odds that rival most bookies, especially for football.
Feature wise the site offers all the normal bits and bobs – cash out, live betting and so on. But they also leverage the power of their exchange to introduce new features other bookies can’t match such as Price Rush, where your fixed odds bet is checked against the exchange to make sure you’re getting the best odds.
Betfair don’t offer as many promotions as some of the other bookies in the list, instead focusing on better odds, but when an offer does crop up it’s usually worth claiming.
What We Like:
- Great Odds – Statistically some of the best odds for UK football.
- Price Rush – An interesting feature that ensures you get the best odds between the sportsbook and the exchange.
- Biggest Exchange – Liquidity wise, Betfair are the Daddy’s of the exchange world. So if you want to lay bets, do it here.
5. Coral – Bet £5 + Get £20 in Free Bets
The folks at Coral have recently gone to great efforts to turn their product into something awesome, and it really shows. With a new sleek design and intuitive navigation system, you can get straight to the betting market you’re looking for with minimal effort. And as always they offer highly competitive odds that rival all of the other UK high street bookmakers.
Where Coral really come into their own is with their betting offers, and they consistently offer cash back specials and free bet promotions on all major sporting events – including offers for Football, Horse Racing, Golf, Cricket, Rugby and F1. We’re incredibly impressed with the new Coral, and we’re hoping that they keep up the good work in the years to come.
What We Like:
- Great All Rounder – Easy to navigate, good odds & wide range of markets.
- Plenty Of Bonuses – Regular money back specials & free bets for existing customers.
- Coral Connect – Deposit & cash out through any of Coral’s 1800+ high street shops.
6. Unibet – £40 Money Back + £10 Casino
Unibet are part of the Kindred Group and a quickly becoming a strong contender in the UK. Whilst they started out with a more Scandinavian focus they've embraced us Brits in recent years, even acquiring former high street bookie Stan James which was merged into Unibet (just in case you were wondering what happened to SJ!).
We've been impressed by what Unibet have been offering over the past couple of years and it's clear that they really are trying to make a product that's good for users. The result is a fast, clean site that's backed up by regular offers and excellent market coverage. They also offer a full suite of products covering sports, casino, bingo and poker.
What We Like:
- Fast Intuitive Site - The Unibet site is refreshingly fast and easy to navigate with events laid out logically complete with handy indexes. We're always surprised how many sites manage to make it so difficult to find the right bet!
- Healthy Supply of Offers - There's a good solid base of offers to keep you interested. We also like the way their offers are combined onto one simple page, meaning you don't need to hop between sections and products to see what might tickle your fancy.
- International Coverage - As an international site they're great for non-UK coverage, particularly for racing.
7. 10Bet – £50 Deposit Bonus
10Bet may be relatively new to the UK market, but they’ve been operating around the world for many years. Before entering the UK market they acquired a UK Gambling licence, which to us speaks volumes to their integrity (many simply try to fly under the radar) and has instantly put them into our good books.
It’s fairly clear that the main focus of 10Bet is football, and footie fans are particularly well catered for when it comes to coverage and markets. The latest arrow in their quiver is a much improved new horse racing section, with strong coverage and offers, particularly around bigger meetings.
What We Like:
- Huge Range of Markets – Over 12,000 events a week and more than 150 football leagues covered.
- Live Betting - 10bet have a cracking live betting section that covers sports from around the globe.
- Plenty of Offers – There's almost always something going on in the promotions section of the site.
8. Ladbrokes – Bet £5 Get £20
Ladbrokes are one of the UK’s most prevalent high street bookies. As well as a simple matched bet when you sign up, Ladbrokes run plenty of one-off specials for the bigger events and the occasional accumulator bonus offer.
One of the features that make Ladbrokes stand out are their banking options. As well as being able to deposit and withdraw with PayPal (which many of the bookmakers in our top 10 offer), Ladbrokes also let you deposit and withdraw using cash via their betting shops. And seeing as you can’t go two minutes without seeing a red Ladbrokes sign, this makes it a very convenient way of getting your hands on your money right away.
What We Like:
- Odds Enhancements – Daily price boosts on popular markets, and regular enhanced accas. For all customers, not just new ones!
- Live Streaming – Nice range of sport available to stream including racing, football, snooker and more. Plus integrated live betting.
9. Betfred – Bet £10 Get £40
Betfred consistently offer some of the best promotions of any bookie – and Fred truly does live up to his name as the bonus king. They run a number of ongoing specials – including double/triple odds on winning first goal scorer bets when the player scores again (Double Delight/Hat Trick Heaven) and double odds on winning correct score markets when a goal was scored in added time.
Betfred were also the first site to offer goals galore – a new type of bet reminiscent of the old football pools your grandad used to play. But instead of picking draws, you pick games where both teams will score. This feature alone makes Betfred worth have a look at, and with their new no deposit bet you can give it a go with no risk to your pocket.
What We Like:
- Wide Range Of Offers – Not just footie, they run promotions on rugby, darts, novelty bets and more. Including plenty of doubles odds offers.
- Innovative Bookie – From inventing markets and offers, to embracing technology (there’s even an Apple watch app) Betfred are always doing something new.
10. Paddy Power – £20 Risk Free Bet
Paddy Power are known for their tongue in cheek marketing, which has gotten them into trouble on more than one occasion. Combined with a light hearted approach to life they're a great site for anyone who wants to place some bets and have a bit of fun.
They don't just bring a good attitude to the table though, and they are our go to bookie for many types of less common bets, in particular special markets on politics, TV and general interest. All of the normal sports are also well covered, but it's the specials that keep us coming back.
What We Like:
- Wide Range of Bets - If there's something you want to bet on and you're struggling to find a market, Paddy Power probably cover it.
- Plenty of Promotions - Those of you who are into your offers will be in for a treat. The promotions page at Paddy Power is normally bursting with goodies.
- Light Hearted Jokesters - Whilst this may not be everyone's cup of tea, Paddy Power don't take things too seriously and often inject a bit of humour into their emails, promotions and marketing efforts.
Looking For More Online Betting Sites?
The bookmakers listed above represent our current top ten recommendations for UK punters and both the order and contents of this list change from time to time as bookies improve (or slack off).
There are, of course, more than ten places to bet online. So if you’re looking for additional recommendations, head over to our free bets page which lists introductory betting offers from a wider array of bookies.
Betting Sites Listed By Sport
In our bookmaker top 10 we list sites based on our overall opinion of them – so we look at odds, promotions, features and general usability as a whole. However, some sites will be better for particular sports and a bookie that’s excellent for football betting might be rubbish when it comes to F1.
With this in mind we’ve created a number of guides in which we provide specific recommendations of the best betting sites for various sports. These provide a more in depth look at how good a bookie is for a single sport:
Who Are Behind the Sites in Our Top 10?
In our main list you’ll find a quick summary of what’s on offer from each site, as well as what we like most about them. Or to put it another way, why they’ve earned themselves a stop in our top 10.
However we’re aware that some people might a want a bit more information about who exactly operates each site, which brings us to our next table. Here you’ll see the key information on the companies behind the brands – who runs them, what their license number is and what they do to protect your money.
Note: The following information is correct as of 25/6/20 and was independently compiled from informational gathered from the UKGC and from the relevant betting sites terms and conditions.
|Site||Operated By||License Number||Deposit Protection|
|Hillside (UK Sports) ENC||55148||Medium|
|888 UK Limited||39028||Medium|
|PPB Counterparty Services Limited||39439||High|
|LC International Limited||54743||High|
|Platinum Gaming Limited
(Part of the Kindred Group)
|Blue Star Planet Limited||43173||Medium|
|LC International Limited||54743||Medium|
|Petfre (Gibraltar) Limited||39544||Not Protected|
|PPB Counterparty Services Limited||39439||High|
What Does Deposit Protection Mean?
There are three levels of protection which range from not protected at all to super secure. Whilst there is no minimum that UK licensed sites have to meet, they do have to tell you whether or not your money is protected. This only really matters if something were to go so drastically wrong with the company it resulted them going bust, but it’s something to bear in mind nonetheless.
The levels found in the table are:
- No Protection – Client funds are kept in the main company bank account and not segregated. This isn’t ideal as it means in the unlikely event of a bookie going under your funds could be lost.
- Medium Protection – Medium protection is normally sufficient and requires the bookmaker to make arrangements to ensure the return of customer funds if they were to go bust. This could involve maintaining separate accounts for customer funds and/or purchasing insurance that would pay out if something went wrong.
- High Protection – The highest form of protection makes customer funds legally separate from the bookies and controlled by an external auditor.
Who are the Biggest Betting Companies in the UK?
If you look at the table above you’ll notice that a few of the license numbers and names of the operators are the same. That’s because some companies operate multiple brands either as part of their branding strategy or because they’ve bought up one of their competitors (something that becoming increasingly common in the UK). The bigger names to watch out for are as follows:
Flutter Entertainment: Paddy Power + Betfair
Flutter have changed their names a few times over the years, but the main brands at its core are Betfair and Paddy Power. In fact, until the most recent name change in 2019 they were known as Paddy Power Betfair. The two main brands had previously operated independently and merged in 2015, laying the foundations of what has become a huge player in the online gambling world.
In 2020 they also merged with the Stars Group – another large firm who have some of the biggest names in the poker world under their belt, including their namesake Poker Stars and sister site Full Tilt.
GVC Holdings: Coral, Ladbrokes + Many More
GVC are another betting company who have formed as the result of multiple mergers and acquisitions and includes major sports brands Coral and Ladbrokes alongside some of the biggest and oldest names in gaming such as Gala Bingo and Party Casino.
The foundations of the company that we see today came from the initial purchase of Coral Eurobet by Gala which took place in 2005 forming the newly named Gala Coral Group. Ten years later in 2016 the Gala Coral Group merged with Ladbrokes to form the Ladbrokes Coral Group, a transaction that required the disposal of ~400 of their high street betting shops to rival brands.
Interestingly Ladbrokes and Coral had been in business before and in 1998 Ladbrokes attempted to purchase Coral along with it’s 900 or so betting shops, but the Monopolies and Mergers Commission decided that the newly formed group was anti competitive and so Coral was sold off through a management buyout.
It wasn’t long after Ladbrokes Coral was formed that it was snapped up by the venture capital firm that owned Party Casino, GVC Holdings, in a whopping £4 billion deal. The purchase was agreed in 2017, just one year after the previous merger, and completed in 2018.
Kindred: Unibet, 32Red + Others
Kindred are a relatively small group compared to the others but contain some strong brands including Unibet and 32Red. Their origins come from Unibet which was the first brand in the group (and still remains the biggest today) after which they performed a variety of smaller acquisitions which eventually led to the change in name from Unibet Group to Kindred in 2016.
It was in 2017 that they purchased 32Red, a brand that is more commonly associated with their casino but who also operates a sportsbook alongside poker and bingo rooms. A year earlier, in 2016, they also picked up another reasonably well known UK name – Stan James. Although it was short lived as the Stan James brand was eventually closed and customers migrated to Unibet.
Kindred also operated the Kambi platform which provided sports betting and risk management services to various brands, although this was split off into its own company in 2014 and now operates entirely independent of the original Kindred group.
Independent Betting Sites
Whilst there has been a shift towards the big venture capital funded groups in recent years there are still a number of betting sites who operate independently. Either as a stand alone brand or as a small group within a private company. So if you’d rather place your bets with a smaller operation then these are the ones you’ll want to look out for:
The observant among you may notice that these names all either currently operate betting shops or used to at some point. But more on that in the next section.
What About High Street Bookmakers?
If you’re looking for a more traditional bookie then you may have already considered some of the names you know from the British high street. We go into this in more detail on our bookmakers page but pretty much all of the big high street chains operate online as well, something that brings with it added benefits as you’re able to straddle the virtual and physical betting worlds.
Many of the larger betting shop groups realised that their customers might want to bet both online and in shop and created connections between the two, allowing punters to bet in store and claim any winning bets into their online account rather than heading back down to the shop. Or conversely to bet online and then go and collect winnings in person (and in cash).
When it comes to smaller independent betting shops it can be a little more hit and miss. Some do have online sites but they tend to be fairly standard white labels which means you’re not going to find anything particularly interesting when it comes to odds or offers.
High Street v Online Only
Aside from the ability to bet and manage your account in store, you might be wondering whether the brick and mortar brands offer a better service or if their online only counterparts are hungrier for business and therefore putting out better odds or offers.
In the early stages of the internet the latter did seem to be the case and many high street names coasted through on brand recognition and easy customer acquisitions rather than focusing on their product, however this is definitely not the case now. Online betting in the UK has grown into a multi billion pound business and as such huge amounts have been invested to provide better features and offers.
This raising of the bar has applied to both online and more traditional brands and whilst there are clear differences between the good sites (such as those recommended above) and the poorer sites, there doesn’t seem to be any correlation between a brands physical presence and how good they are.
How do the Odds Compare?
For the brands that operate both in person and online you would be forgiven for assuming that the odds for a specific brand are the same regardless of whether you bet in store or over the web. However this isn’t the case. In fact the online odds almost always beat the high street even within the same brand – so betting at MrBookie online is generally going to give you better odds than in one of MrBookie’s shops.
The terms are often different as well and online sites often offer enhanced places on races compared to a traditional betting shop, especially when it comes to higher profile events. For example, with one bookmaker their site was offering 6 places on the Grand National whilst their shop only offered 4.
It sounds strange but shops have increased overheads with higher staffing and running costs meaning they’re not able to be quite so competitive. They’re also aware that your options are more limited as you’re less likely to leave a shop to find another if you don’t like their odds, whereas when betting online a new bookie is only a click away.
What To Do If You Have A Problem With A Recommended Bookmaker?
As well as giving them the thumbs up, we also maintain relationships with contacts at all of the betting sites listed on our website – this means that we are able to offer our assistance in the unlikely event that you run into problems with any of the bookies that we recommend. To get in touch simply head over to our contact page and we’ll do our very best to help resolve the situation.
If you’re looking for a more formal way of complaining about a bookie – whether it be relating to a bet or payout, or even about an offer you think was missleading, you do have various options including IBAS, the ASA and even the Gambling Commission themselves. For more information, see our guide here.
About This Page
We created this page as a way of highlighting the very best of the best – the bookmakers who are not only trustworthy and reliable, but are also at the very top of their game. You might notice that a few big names are missing from the list – that isn’t by chance. In particular we don’t recommend one of the ‘big’ high street bookmakers for a variety of reasons which we wont go into here.
In addition to our seal of approval, all of the betting sites in out top 10 are licensed and regulated in the United Kingdom in compliance with the rules set down by the UK Gambling Commission – this not only adds a level of protection, security and peace of mind to you as the customer, but also means that they pay tax in the UK.