According to the Gambling Commission, which regulates commercial gambling in Great Britain, remote gambling activity generates an annual yield of £3.6 million, of which online sports betting constitutes £1.23 million or 34%. The growth of the Internet and more recently, the growth in popularity of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, have made online sports betting easier than ever before. Here at online-betting.org, we’ve assembled the very best online sports betting sites and arranged them in a way that you can compare them with each other. Each of the sports betting sites listed has established a reputation for watertight security, comprehensive market coverage, competitive odds, inviting promotions and exemplary customer service.
How to Choose the Right Bookmaker
One of the most respected businessmen in the world, Warren Buffett, once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” This principle also applies to online sports betting. The top betting sites have spent years establishing a reputation for being secure, fair and reasonable and would never willingly to do anything to tarnish that reputation.
Thankfully, the online sports betting market is intensely competitive and in this age of social media, online bookmakers who pay lip service to customer satisfaction or indulge in sharp practices such as closing or restricting winning accounts are quickly named and shamed. Similarly, there are many websites, including this one, that provide ‘warts and all’ reviews of online bookmakers, side by side, so it’s easy to separate the wheat from the chaff.
best Sportsbook in Test
- Excellent customer service package
- Good selection of sports and bets
- Well-structured Website
- Great for mobile betting
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Markets & Odds Offered
Sensibly, the ‘right’ bookmaker for you is one that covers all the sports on which you want to bet. The best betting sites cover not only the most popular sports, such as football and horse racing, but also tennis, golf, greyhound racing, cricket, boxing and even ‘niche’ sports such as darts or snooker. Nevertheless, it’s worth investigating to what extent, if at all, your favourite sport, or sports, are covered before signing up with any online sports betting operator.
Once you’ve found a betting site that offers the markets on which you want to bet, you’ll want to know that the odds you’re offered are competitive and represent value for money. The easiest way to do is to look at an odds comparison site, such as oddschecker.com, which lists the odds available from all the major online bookmakers side-by-side and highlights the longest odds available for each outcome. If your chosen bookmaker is consistently best, or joint best, all well and good, but if not, you might want to think about choosing another bookmaker or opening multiple accounts.
Banking Options & Fees
A debit card is by far the easiest and most popular method of funding an online betting account. You simply enter you card details during the registration process and enter the CVV number. (That’s the three digits on the reverse of the card). An amount, typically a minimum of £5.00 or £10.00 each time you make a deposit. Withdrawals are made to the original method of payment and funds can be in your bank account within two or three working days, depending on your bank. A credit card or an e-wallet such as Paypal, Skrill or Neteller is another possibility. Be aware that different minimum/maximum amounts, processing times and other fees may apply, so as ever, check the terms and conditions of your chosen online sports betting operator.
Generally speaking, the longer a sports betting operator has been in business, the less likely you are to experience problems with basic operations such as, opening an account, depositing or withdrawing funds or placing a bet. Of course, problems can still occur, but whatever your grievance, it is in the best interest of the sports betting operator to act quickly to prevent potential damage to its reputation. Even the largest betting operators can’t afford to lose customers because of poor customer service. Those who fail to take responsibility for their mistakes, and or fail to respond quickly enough, in what is often a time-sensitive environment, will soon earn a bad reputation.
If you have a dispute with an online bookmaker that cannot be resolved by the usual internal dispute procedures, you can refer the dispute to the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS). As the name suggests, IBAS is a third-party, impartial adjudicator, but its rulings are binding on all parties.
Promotions & Special Offers
As mentioned above, online sports betting is a dog-eat-dog business, so online bookmakers will do just about anything in their power to attract and retain new customers. They may for example, offer to match your initial deposit up to 100%, or offer to refund your first bet as a free bet if it loses, up to a specified maximum amount. Another popular ploy is to offer ludicrously long odds on the outcome of a sporting event, to a maximum stake of say, £1.00, £5.00 or £10.00, and pay out a portion of the bet above the regular much shorter odds as one or more free bets. Other ongoing, ‘loyalty’ bonuses include your money back as a free bet if your horse is beaten by a nose, falls at the first fence, refuses to race and so on. All these offers increase your initial bankroll and give you more chances of winning.
Live Betting & Streaming
Live, or ‘in-play’ betting allows you to bet on a sporting event, such as a football match, after it has started. Most established sports betting sites, for example Ladbrokes, offer a comprehensive selection of live markets, including events that aren’t televised. The best betting sites also offer live video streaming of selected events, which goes hand-in-hand with in-play betting, insofar as you can watch, as well as bet on, your chosen sport. Depending on your bookmaker, you may need to have funds in your account, or bet a nominal amount on the event being covered to watch live video streaming. Check the terms and conditions to avoid disappointment.
Ladbrokes Inplay Bettting
Gambling has become more socially acceptable in recent years and at the same time, the take-up of smartphones and tablets has increased, providing online betting operators with an opportunity to widen their customer base. Most sports betting operators have invested heavily in increasing the quality of their mobile offerings and most have a sports betting app that makes mobile betting as easy as betting from a desktop. Those bookmakers who keep pace with mobile betting demand are the ones most likely to flourish in the future.
Five Tips for Online Betting
- Choose a bookmaker licensed by the Gambling Commission. The Gambling Commission licenses online betting operators, ensures they meet licensing conditions and holds them to account if they don’t. Consequently, any licensed site should be a safe spot to enjoy online betting.
- Don’t limit yourself to just one online betting site. Not all sports betting sites have the same ‘look and feel’ and you may find yourself more comfortable with one than another. Of course if you do sign up with more than one bookmaker, you may be eligible for more than one introductory offer!
- Take advantage of promotions and special offers. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, right? Well, no, not really. Bookmakers really are prepared to offer you what is effectively free money to attract and retain you as a customer. The only catch, if you can even call it that, is that the bookmaker will offer free bets, rather than cash, and you’ll need to turn over your initial stake and winnings a certain number of times before making a withdrawal. However, if you’re betting anyway, bookmaker bonuses increase your bankroll without any effort on your part, especially if you’re just starting out.
- Keep a proper written record of every bet you place. This may sound like a chore, but at some point you may want to review your performance to identify where you’re winning and losing. If you have no proper records, you’ll have no way of doing so.
- Gamble responsibly. In other words, never gamble with money you cannot afford to lose. Set aside a sum of money exclusively for gambling, which you can lose without any emotional attachment. All gamblers, even successful ones, experience losing runs, so try to accept losing bets as an ‘occupational hazard’ and never chase your losses. There’s always another day!