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UK Online Betting

UK Sports BettingIf you’re familiar with any of the big names in bookmaking in the UK, you probably noticed that they were established well before the internet was a twinkle in anyone’s eye. In fact, some of the originators have been around for nearly a century now. We’re talking about prominent operators like Coral and William Hill.

Gambling has been a part of the cultural make-up in England and Ireland for several centuries and has continued to grow and evolve despite the vocal opposition along the way. The United Kingdom has a gambling governing authority through the UK Gambling Commission that allows players access to legal betting and other forms of gambling through registered operators. The legislation extends beyond the traditional in-person casino or bookmaker shop to online sportsbooks, racebooks, casinos and poker rooms.

What are the Most Popular Sports in the UK?

Without a doubt, football (soccer) is the number one sport with UK punters. Two of the biggest sporting associations in the UK are the English and Scottish Premier Leagues with internationally renown teams like Manchester United, Glasgow Celtic, and Liverpool FC.

Although cricket is the national sport, football is the most popular sport and has been a mainstay in Britain since the Medieval period. In 1848, the University of Cambridge published the first official set of rules (the Cambridge Rules), and the FA (Football Association) was established in 1863.

Due to the international growth and popularity, FIFA, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, was instituted in Paris in 1904 and still presides over international competitions.

Football is the sport that is bet on the most within the UK with nearly a billion dollars turned over in stakes.

Cricket comes in a bit lower behind football, but the real national pastime is still one of the most popular for English bettors and one of the highest earners for the bookmakers.

Other favorite options include tennis, golf, rugby, badminton, swimming, rowing, athletics, and ice hockey. UK punters also enjoy American Sports and online bookmakers typically have a good number of lines devoted to NBA basketball, NFL American football, MLB baseball, and NHL hockey.

We put horse racing into another category as racing bets can be made right at the track or in a separate area of online sportsbooks. Wagering on races is up there and typically surpasses football betting. It’s estimated that over 11 million people bet on horse racing in the UK each year. There are now about 60 racetracks in the country so fans and bettors alike can experience up close action at Cheltenham York, Ascot, Doncaster, Goodwood, Hamilton Park or any of the other beautiful and highly trafficked racecourses.

Popular Ways to Bet on Sports

There are a variety of options for wagering, many are sport-specific, and some are offered through all books, but others may not be, so it’s best to review the betting rules for the bookmaker you’re going to use.

Single Bet – This is the most straightforward and is used for most events. Single bets prompt the bettor to declare a winner. It’s that simple. It can be the most successful team or player, but it’s a basic prediction of the overall winner.

Each-way – This takes the single bet to the next level by splitting it in two. It’s typically used in horse racing where there are three, four or more contenders. The each-way allows for half of the bet to go to the “win” and the other half to “place.” If there’s a win, it’s an overall winning ticket. If there’s a place, it typically pays out at quarter odds.

Accumulator –This is also called a multiplier or parlay, and involves more than one selection on one bet slip. All of the selections need to come in as winners for the overall ticket to be successful.

Double Bet – A version of an accumulator whereby the punter has one bet slip with two selections on two events and both must be successful for the resulting win.

Scorecast – A scorecast is another form of an accumulator and is most particularly used in football whereby the winning ticket consists of two successful predictions: the overall winner of the game and the first player score a goal.

Fixed Odds – This is a basic bet where you bet at specified odds such as 3/1. If your ticket is a winner, you get paid out at three times your stake.

Spread Betting – The opposed of fixed odds where you’re selecting based on a handicap. For example, if you bet on a team at -3, that team will need to win by more than 4 to cover the handicap and be successful.

Totals – This is a bet on whether the total score will be over or under a given mark. It involves the combination of both teams’ scores.

Propositions – A prop bet is a wager on something that does not directly affect the overall outcome of the game. It can also be a novelty bet. A proposition bet would be something like “Will this particular player score a goal during the match?” Proposition bets can be made pre-match or in-play when available.

In-Play Betting – This is extremely popular and allows players to make proposition bets throughout the game or match. In-play betting is live action interaction and adds to the fun of watching the game. Some sportsbooks will also feature a live feed of the events to keep their players engaged and continuously betting.

Asian Handicaps – Asian handicaps are also particularly used toward football (soccer) betting where there are three possible outcomes, win, tie, or loss. The Asian handicap does add the handicap into the equation just like with spread betting, but it also reduces the number of outcomes from three to two by eliminating the draw possibility.

There are three types of odds, and most UK sportsbooks default to Fractional odds, but may also offer Decimal and American formatting as options for their players.

Fractional odds – These are as they sound, a fractional representation. For example, 4/1 is read as four to one odds and provides a £100 bet with a £400 payout.

Decimal odds – Another mathematical equation, but this time the fraction is converted to a decimal read-out, such as in the example of a £100 bet at 1.5 odds results in a £150 payout. The Decimal odds appearance is favored by Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and by many punters throughout Continental Europe.

American odds – As you probably guessed, American odds are the favorite in the US, and these are odds that appear with a plus or minus sign attached to them. The plus sign illustrates what that bettor will receive if 100 is staked and the minus illustrates what the stake needs to be to result in a 100 payout.

Banking Options

Players from Britain and Ireland, without a doubt, have options. In fact, they have more choices than many other locations but probably don’t even need them due to the government’s viewpoint regarding gambling and the overall legalization both with in-person betting and through online sportsbooks.

When a government has accepted sports betting (or any other form of wagering), the banks typically follow suit so transaction approval is not nearly the challenge it can be in other places.

In any case, there are a plethora of options for UK punters and each sportsbook offers a different combination of these providers. You’ll note that if a sportsbook is more globally focused, meaning they’re attracting many non-UK based members as well, it will typically have a more extensive menu to include some options to accommodate those international customers.

Credit and Debit Cards

Debit Cards

Debit and credit cards are still the most widely accepted and utilized methods of funding a player betting account. Whereas, credit card use may prompt some cash advance fees to be charged by the bank, debit cards are typically fee free. Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard, and Maestro are the primary systems and, although there may be the occasional bank that will decline a gambling transaction, most will go through without any issue in the United Kingdom.

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Credit Cards

Visa and Mastercard are the two big ones in this category. There are a few sportsbooks that may accept American Express, but they are few and far between. Credit cards, of course, carry the standard monthly purchase fees but these requested transactions for player account funding may also be converted to cash advances depending upon the card issuer. The cash advance fees can be substantial so credit card users would be wise in asking the provider for details before requesting any transfer.

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Entropay

Entropay is a virtual pre-paid Visa card. It’s widely accepted by betting sites not only in the UK but throughout Europe as it’s safe, secure, and more apt to be approved that regular Visa cards, debit or credit. As it still carries the Visa designation, Entropay users retain bonus eligibility whereas Skrill and Neteller users are sometimes exempt.

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e-Wallets

PayPal

PayPal is one of the more well-known e-wallet solutions, especially for UK customers but, surprisingly, it’s not offered everywhere as a funding alternative. It’s more like a 50/50 proposition that the bookmaker will accept PayPal transactions. PayPal allows for instant transfers and offers its customers a lot of flexibility in funding or withdrawing from their PayPal accounts. Bank accounts or debit and credit cards can be linked to back and forth money movement. PayPal was founded in 1998 but got out of the gambling business for a few years starting in 2003 and now, once again, allows its service for bookmakers in Australia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

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Skrill (Moneybookers)

Whereas PayPal books are not always easy to find, Skrill is one of top e-wallet solutions chosen by the majority of gambling operators. Skrill is a London-based company, so it goes without saying that it’ll be top ranked by UK players. Skrill accounts are funded by credit, debit or bank account transfers similar to PayPal’s structure, but Skrill users can also fill their account with a cash transfer via Paysafecard. Skrill does allow for free and instant transfers to and from gambling accounts, but it could delay withdrawals out of the actual Skrill account for a few days, and attach a small fee to those cash outs. Skrill not only has 30 million users worldwide but has been around since 2001 so it’s a good, safe and viable method.

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Neteller

Neteller is also a London based company and launched a year before Skrill. Neteller also has the same basic premise as Skrill, but members can also receive a Net+ Prepaid card that allows for even easier payouts. Neteller is one of the original online gambling payment providers and players opt for it because of its high acceptance rate and simple process for obtaining an account. Transactions are nearly instant in both directions.

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ecoPayz, ecoCard, and virtual ecocard

These options are all through the same ecoPayz global payment company and, again, are similar to the other e-wallet options. Payments can be sent from one person (or company’s) eco account to another’s in a matter of seconds. It’s similar to a wire transfer without the hefty fees, and the various versions, including a prepaid and a virtual prepaid card, provide that many more options for the eco account holder.

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Cash Alternative

Paysafecard

Without a doubt, the Paysafecard is the best way for conducting a “cash” transaction into a player account. Paysafecard is a voucher rather than a card, and it can be purchased at several retail locations. Once it’s secured, the voucher number is input into cashier area of the sportsbook, and it then acts as a cash transaction. The only downside to paysafecards is that they’re not usually allowed for withdrawals. A bank transfer is an alternative method to paysafecard payouts.

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At this point, we would probably list Ukash as another cash alternative, but Paysafecard purchased Ukash, so there’s really only one main option now.

Other Banking Options

Bank Wire

Some sportsbooks prefer the bank wire method, especially when it comes down to the withdrawal transfer process as it’s a straightforward transaction for them. Bank wires allow for money in and out of a regular bank account. Sportsbooks don’t usually charge for this method, but many banks do have a fee imposed for the service so, again, players should question their financial institution to have all of the information necessary.

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Cheques

Cheque deposits and withdrawals are getting harder and harder to find these days, primarily because there are so many new faster and easier alternatives now available to customers. If a sportsbook does allow for cheque transactions, they can delay funds for up to two weeks or so. Cheque withdrawals also may incur processing fees by the bookmaker. Unless a player is using an operator who favors this type of banking, cheques will be the least convenient of all modes of financing.

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Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin

In October of 2016, Netbet became the first UK-licensed gambling provider to offer Bitcoin as a payment option so you should see more and more cases of Bitcoin joining the roster of deposit and withdrawal methods. Bitcoin indeed allows for anonymous transactions. It’s a virtual currency and can be a bit challenging to understand at first, but Bitcoin users like the ease in conducting transactions and the value of Bitcoin fluctuates daily, so there’s an additional gambling element attached to this option.

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Banking in Comparison to Other Regions

Adding the Bitcoin option for UK punters is a great addition as Bitcoin has already been accepted by several of the global bookmakers for quite awhile now. It’s a benefit to having anonymous and easy transactions that don’t require disclosing bank account information.

As far as everything else, banking for anyone in the UK who is interested in betting is as comfortable as possible. Great Britain and Ireland are two of the top markets for secure player account funding due to the legalization of gambling and the inclusion of online betting in its regulations.

The fee-free transactions that UK-based bettors enjoy are also a significant benefit, especially to the more active of players. Bookmakers that service some other regions like Canada or the elusive customer base in the US, regularly charge fees for both depositing into a player account and cashing out from it, so UK players are winners right at the start.

A Look at Sportsbooks in the UK

Pound SterlingMany prominent bookmakers service the active UK gambling community with online packages that offer bonus promotions, easy to fund betting accounts, and a huge number of sports and markets that appeal to both the recreational player and the sharp bettor.

We’re going to give you a snapshot look at two of the bigger bookmakers in the United Kingdom. The first, William Hill, has the longevity due to its participating in early bookmaking services through retail locations that date back over 80 years.

The second, bet365 is a relative newcomer but is an excellent example of how operators can contribute so much more than betting services through tax contributions, charitable efforts, and hometown sponsorships.

There are certainly plenty of other options, and every owner has a slightly different service menu with various promotions and value adds as well as different ways to fund a player’s account, but these two bookmakers are amongst the best for players in the UK and beyond with their international reach.

William Hill – Williamhill.com

A sportsbook with history, that’s what William Hill represents. It was originally established in 1934 and took its expertise online in 1998 primarily servicing UK punters, but also accepting players from around the globe with just a handful of exceptions.

This bookmaker has two million active customers who appreciate the tremendous amount of international markets available as well as comprehensive in-play betting that comes with the additional benefit of live event streaming. Football (soccer) is the number one sport here, as well as all UK-based books, and over 60,000 annual matches are offered up for wagering each year through William Hill.

This sportsbook does not rely on bonuses to entice new players or to retain their loyal ones. It offers a small minimum bonus of “bet £10 and receive two £10 free bets”. Aside from that, there are a few promotions such as the Offer Club, Acca Five Insurance, and Cash in your Bet, but that’s mainly the extent of their value-adds.

William Hill also hosts:

William Hill balances both ends of the spectrum with a flat 1p minimum bet and then a high £2 million maximum payout on top-level football and £500,000 on other match bets.

Its main sports betting menu:

Players 18 years of age or older can get started with as little as a £5 by using a credit or debit card. Withdrawals have just a small £5 minimum and transactions are free of any additional processing or other fees.

Deposit and Withdrawal Options

Credit and Debit Cards – Visa, Mastercard, Visa Electron, Maestro
Minimum Deposit – £5
Maximum Deposit – £99,000
Funds available – immediately
Maximum Withdrawal – Credit Cards – £99,000; Debit Cards – £60,000
Funds available – 3-5 business days

William Hill Cash Direct
Minimum Deposit – £10
Maximum Deposit – £5,000
Funds available – immediately
Maximum Withdrawal – £5,000
Funds available – immediately

PayPal
Minimum Deposit – £10
Maximum Deposit – £5,500
Funds available – immediately
Maximum Withdrawal – £5,500
Funds available – immediately

Skrill
Minimum Deposit – £10
Maximum Deposit – £80,000
Funds available – immediately
Maximum Withdrawal – £80,000
Funds available – one business day

Neteller
Minimum Deposit – £10
Maximum Deposit – £30,000
Funds available – immediately
Maximum Withdrawal – £30,000
Funds available –one business day

Paysafecard
Minimum Deposit – £10
Maximum Deposit – £250
Funds available – immediately
Maximum Withdrawal – £250
Funds available – 5-10 business days as bank transfer or cheque method needs to be utilized

Entropay
Minimum Deposit – £10
Maximum Deposit – £99,000
Funds available – immediately
Maximum Withdrawal – £99,000
Funds available – 3-5 business days

Pingit
Minimum Deposit – £10
Maximum Deposit – £1500
Funds available – immediately
Maximum Withdrawal – £1,500
Funds available – one business day

Ecowallet
Minimum Deposit – £10
Maximum Deposit – £8400
Funds available – immediately
Maximum Withdrawal – £8,400
Funds available – one business day

Bank Transfer
Minimum Deposit – £25
Maximum Deposit – £100,000
Funds available – 3-5 business days
Maximum Withdrawal – £100,000
Funds available – 5-10 business days

Bank Cheque
Minimum Deposit – £25
Maximum Deposit – £100,000
Funds available – within ten days
Maximum Withdrawal – £100,000
Funds available – 5-10 business days

An overall picture of William Hill:

Bet365 (bet365.com)

Bet365 is not one of the oldest bookmakers in Britain, but it has certainly become one of the most established. Since its launch in 2001, bet365 has elevated itself as one of the top online bookmakers with over 22 million customers from 200 different countries. There are a handful of excluded jurisdictions, such as the United States and France, where players cannot register and wager but, for the most part, bet365 is a global book servicing a worldwide customer base.

Not only does it offer a vast menu of sports and markets for punters around the globe, but does boast one of the best all-around live in-play areas elevated even further with the schedule of live events that it streams right from within the bet365 betting area. As players today enjoy the in-play action, it’s a huge benefit for them also to be able to watch the games in progress and add another betting slip here and there along the way.

We specifically wanted to include bet365 for its strong ties to its home community. Bet365 is owned by the Coates family, with Denise Coates holding the position of primary owner and CEO. She’s based the operation in Stoke-on-Trent employing more than 3,000 from the community. The bet365 Group is the largest private employer in the area and, in addition to providing a livelihood for many of the residents, it gives back with its charitable efforts through the bet365 Foundation. The foundation has a focus on community, education, and medical research. Additionally, bet365 contributes over £100 million to the tax base in Britain, and specifically in the Stoke-on-Trent area. It’s a real British operation that goes way beyond offering bookmaking services.

Bet365 also doesn’t have an overwhelmingly impressive welcome bonus, as it’s a basic £100 deposit match plus an accompanying three-times rollover requirement before anything can be cashed out. However, there are a few other fun promotions that enhance the experience and, potentially, the bottom line for bet’s players. Euro Soccer Bonus, Euro Basketball Bonus, Parlay Bonus and a Tennis Accumulator Bonus all provide sport-specific value-adds through different match percentages. The Bore Draw Money Back offer issues refunds for 0-0 football.

Bet365 also hosts:

Bet365 utilizes a one-wallet system so their players can move from one area of the website to another and can participate in gaming with wagers from one main player account.

Their main sports betting menu:

Just like William Hill, Bet365 does have the highest maximum payout around with its £2 million top-level football limit, but it also offers some better opportunities through some of the other sports. Compared to William Hill’s £250,000 cap on golf, rugby, tennis, and American sports, bet365 doubles that with potential £500,000 payouts for these games and matches. They are both at the top of the list for big payouts, but bet365 slightly edges out William Hill and can do so easily as it does have more registered international players.

Deposit and Withdrawal options

Credit Cards
Minimum Deposit – £5
Maximum Deposit – £20,000
Funds available – immediately
Maximum Withdrawal – £20,000
Funds available – 1-3 business days

Debit Cards
Minimum Deposit – £5
Maximum Deposit – £20,000
Funds available – immediately
Maximum Withdrawal – £20,000
Funds available – 1-3 business days

Neteller
Minimum Deposit – £10
Maximum Deposit – £37,500
Funds available – immediately
Maximum Withdrawal – £37,500
Funds available – up to four hours

PayPal
Minimum Deposit – £10
Maximum Deposit – £5,500
Funds available – immediately
Maximum Withdrawal – £5,500
Funds available – up to 24 hours

Skrill
Minimum Deposit – £5
Maximum Deposit – £25,000
Funds available – immediately
Maximum Withdrawal – £25,000
Funds available – up to 24 hours

Skrill – One Tap
Minimum Deposit – £5
Maximum Deposit – £8,000
Funds available – immediately
Not available for withdrawals

Paysafecard
Minimum Deposit – £5
Maximum Deposit – £770
Funds available – immediately
Maximum Withdrawal – £2,000
Funds available – up to 24 hours

Entropay
Minimum Deposit – £10
Maximum Deposit – £20,000
Funds available – immediately
Maximum Withdrawal – £99,999
Funds available – within 24 hours

iDebit
Minimum Deposit – £5
Maximum Deposit – £5,000
Funds available – immediately
Not available for withdrawals

Apple Pay
Minimum Deposit – £5
Maximum Deposit – £5,000
Funds available – immediately
Not available for withdrawals

Bank Wire – Bank Transfer – Fees will apply
Minimum Deposit – £100
Maximum Deposit – £100,000
Funds available – 2-10 business days
Maximum Withdrawal – £100,000
Funds available – 2-10 business days

Fast Bank Transfer
Minimum Deposit – £5
Maximum Deposit – £100,000
Funds available – 1-3 business days
Not available for withdrawals

Cheque
Minimum Deposit – £100
Maximum Deposit – £50,000
Funds available – 5-28 business days
Maximum Withdrawal – £50,000
Funds available – 5-28 business days

All of the methods are complimentary except the bank wire withdrawal that does incur some fees, but they are only available during the cashout process.

An overall picture of Bet365:

Legality of Sportsbooks for British Players

We’ve established that sportsbooks both in-shop and online provide legal betting services in the United Kingdom as long as they’re registered with the UK Gambling Commission.

The UK Gambling Commission was established to regulate commercial gambling in Great Britain as a result of the 2005 Gambling Act. The Commission issues licenses for arcades, betting, bingo, casinos, gaming machines, lottery, remote gambling whether by phone or online and toward gambling software.

Its central premise is to protect consumers by:

Since the Gambling Licensing and Advertising Act came into play in 2014, any operator that is offering service to or even advertising to British consumers is required to obtain a license from the UK Gambling Commission.

Anyone partaking in gambling activities in the United Kingdom must be 18 years of age or older, but 16 year olds can also participate in some football pools. Staking some bets here and there is especially appealing in this country, as the individual punters do not pay taxes on their winnings. The operator bears the tax burden.

History

UK HistoryWe need to go even farther back to discuss the origination of gambling in the United Kingdom, though. It doesn’t date back as far as Ancient Rome where circus and chariot races were legal forms of betting, but various types of lotteries have been attempted since the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in the mid-1500s. The monarchy recognized the financial contribution that could be made to the local economy, so various lotteries were held for nearly 300 years until the government put an end to them through the final lottery for that era took place in 1826 and wouldn’t be back again with national presence until 1994.

Ironically, the 19th century would bring more opposition to betting and other forms of gambling, but also heralded a new era of traditional sports betting through the then-considered sport of pedestrianism.

Pedestrianism is a fancier term for race-walking, and the British enjoyed being a part of the action by risking some of their own money in the hopes to win, even more, courtesy of their favored participant. In fact, players were so active in this new activity, that a brand new organization, the Amateur Athletic Association was established in 1880 for the sole purpose of preventing any race tampering to alter the results.

We did say that resistance ensued as legislation typically ushers in differing opinions. Gambling became a hot topic widely debated in the late 1800s, and early 1900s and The National Anti-Gambling League (NAGL) was established to publicly and loudly voice the opposing viewpoint.

The NAGL worked diligently to make sure that the Street Betting Act of 1906 passed to prohibit money changing hands through any form of street betting.

Other activities did come into play during this time, notably newspaper-sponsored football pools. By the turn of the century, newspapers started offering prizes for correct scores, and north of England, football coupons at fixed odds were widely offered to anyone who wanted to get in on the action. These types of wagers continued well past the 1906 act to 1928 when courts finally intervened and declared these publicly presented betting opportunities to be illegal.

As you probably have figured, 1928 certainly wasn’t the end to betting in the UK as John Moores had already launched a Liverpool-based retail and football betting company. Unfortunately or fortunately, the first season yielded a loss for Littlewoods, the name of this new venture, and Moores’ partners pulled out, but his family stepped in. Littlewoods expanded into mail order retail and then opened its first high-street store in 1937. To label the operation as a success doesn’t do it justice as Littlewoods grew to become the largest private company in Europe by the 1980s and, at one time, was the largest family-owned firm in the United Kingdom.

The development of online betting and revolution of bookmaking didn’t fare well for Littlewoods as the original company is now defunct and the brand name was sold to the Shop Direct Group in 2004.

But we digress…

Getting back to the history of sports betting in the UK, you have newspapers banned from offering football pools in 1928 but, simultaneously, have Littlewoods coming out strong with betting services. In fact, it was so popular that, in 1929, one week’s pool alone topped the £19,000 mark and in the mid-1930s Littlewoods sponsored radio broadcasts that now featured the weekend’s match results.

The popularity and high demand prompted the creation of the Pools Promoters’ Association in 1934 when these relatively new bookmakers were turning over £8 million in stakes escalating to over £22 million just four years later. The promoters kept 20% of the overall take, so sports betting was not only proven to be popular but extremely lucrative.

The same year that the Pool Promoters’ Association commenced activities, the Labour Party, through the awareness of the profitability of gambling, was the driving force behind the 1934 Betting and Lotteries Act. The legislation no longer tightened the grip on betting activity; it eased up on the restrictions thereby allowing for small lotteries and some gaming to be legally recognized and accepted. The Labour Party self-funded themselves in the 1940s and 1950s through some of these lottery-based activities.

More forward progression in 1960 with the Betting and Gaming Act that provided for the legal acceptance of sports betting shops that launched in 1961. In just four short years, 16,000 licenses were awarded to shop owners throughout the United Kingdom and in 1968 further parliamentary legislation allowed for poker rooms and bingo halls to enter the mix.

So for the next few decades, the UK experienced physical growth in the number of bookmaking shops that continued to pop up, and the gambling state of affairs remained fairly consistent until the dawn of the millennium.

The evolution of sports betting takes another huge leap forward with the launch of Betfair’s online service in 2000. Although online gambling technically started six years earlier under Antigua and Barbuda’s Free Trade and Process Act, the UK punters weren’t introduced to computerized betting until Betfair launched with just 36 players and now has more than four million on its roster.

Betfair led the pack but it didn’t take long for others to follow suit and online sports betting became big business, really big business. It’s estimated that over two million UK-based customers alone participate in online sports betting. That’s just sports betting and does not include bingo, poker, casino games, or any other type of gaming activity for real money.

This new form of wagering was a free for all for a few years. There were no real laws governing internet bookmakers as it was such a relatively new service. But, in 2005 the first legislation came through regarding online betting although it didn’t significantly change anything. The Gambling Act of 2005 stated that internet betting is legal as long it’s not a crime or disorder.

2014’s Gambling Licensing and Advertising Act added a new measure of protection by including remote operators who offered betting services to UK customers. This new Act required these offshore providers to be additionally licensed by the UK Gambling Commission as well as held them to consistent regulation regarding transparency, fairness, and security. It was not developed to withhold rights from its citizens but rather to protect their interests.

There are now five license opportunities for sports betting operators to service their UK-based clientele:

1. Non-remote general betting license (for in-country operations)
2. Remote general betting license (with specifications for real events, virtual events, and remote platforms)
3. Remote general betting license – limited (email or telephone betting under £550,000)
4. Remote intermediary license – (allows for trading rooms that allow people to bet with a third party remotely)
5. Pool betting license – (remote and non-remote pool betting on races football and other sports)

The legal gambling age in the UK is 18, but 16-year-olds can enter into football pools. As far as non-commercial or private gaming and betting, there is no minimum age requirement imposed via the 2005 Gambling Act.

Gambling has provoked many twists and turns in Britain’s history over the past few centuries, but the result is that it’s a liberal country regarding betting regulations. Players from the UK can bet on sports, racing, and even virtual sports through in-person bet shops that have been around for decades and are still going strong. They can also hop on their computer or mobile device and place a wager with any number of local or offshore bookmakers that cater to the millions of active punters throughout Britain and Ireland.

In Conclusion

UK punters have homegrown bookmakers like Ladbrokes, William Hill, and Coral and they are all well utilized, but the United Kingdom is also one of the biggest contributors to international gambling through offshore operators, adding over £6 billion to their gross takes annually. Due to the increase in online wagering, new legislation came to light in 2014 mandating offshore-operator registration with the UK Gambling Commission that supplements their original licensing. The British government allows for extreme flexibility for its citizens but also takes measures to keep their interests protected.