There are many, but here are a few of our top reasons:. This includes online poker, casino games and sports betting. Punters can feel comfortable giving action to sites that adhere to the strict licensing process set forth by UK Gambling Commission. Funds deposited at these sites are just as safe as they would be at corner betting shops. The UK started regulating online gaming in It was one of the first countries in the world to do so. That was at a time when the industry was still evolving.
The industry was regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. A loophole in the law permitted companies to remain offshore and dodge taxes and regulations set force by the UKGC. These companies had the same access to the market as ones located in the UK. The only difference was the lack of regulation or taxes paid. The law was changed in to address this concern. The Gambling Licensing and Advertising Act of required remote gaming companies to register as of October 1, Sites were mandated to do this to obtain proper licensing to operate in the UK.
The full law went into effect on December 1, A separate license is required for each segment of gambling offered to UK players. Poker, casino, sports, bingo and lotteries all require unique licensing. Those that do not comply with these regulations and still accept UK players violate the act and are subject to criminal penalties. Media outlets are not permitted to accept advertising from these companies.
The largest point of contention between remote gaming companies and the Act is the tax rate. The UK has a point of consumption tax of 15 percent. This and the licensing procedure caused several major players to leave the UK market. Some of those that stayed were forced to adjust pricing to cover the tax rate. Many of these companies previously operated in tax havens like Gibraltar and Isle of Man where rates were well into the single digits. This kept operating costs down.
That luxury is no longer available to these companies. Some sites moved players to. There is little or no difference between the two sites in most cases. UK poker sites network into international player pools. All casino games and sports bets available to customers outside the UK are available to those in the country, even if access is from the.
Most changes were to bonuses or VIP programs. Additional taxes were typically attributed to these changes in policy. Having established those important points, we then move on to consider choice and value. Does the bookmaker cover a good range of sports and is there an interesting selection of markets for each event? Do they provide value with competitive everyday odds and is that value backed up by excellent promotions and bonuses?
Live betting and live streaming are also important and it is helpful if you can access the bookie via a mobile app. The best betting sites will also have a good back up in their customer service and funding options and we check those key elements too. This is a very important area of our reviews. We only want trusted betting sites to be showcased, so that means taking a very close look at the question of licensing.
Firstly, it is important to understand that betting is legal in the UK. As long as you are 18 years of age and are not excluded for any other reason, it is OK for you to bet online. However, we do need to make sure that the sportsbook in question is licensed and regulated and therefore allowed to provide betting services in the UK. In , some new laws laid down by the UK Gambling Commission meant that operators had a change to the tax laws.
The tax was now applied at the point of sale rather than the point of origin and that meant that some sportsbooks ceased trading here. Those that remain have to abide by those laws and they have to be fully regulated by the K Gambling Commission. Their registration number should also appear on the website so that customers can be sure that they conform.
Only the best betting sites are allowed through and these are the ones that we will be picking up. Is the sportsbook in question safe to play at and will it make sure that your personal information — including your financial details — are ring-fenced and cannot be compromised?
The top betting sites work with a number of external third parties in order to ensure that they meet these important requirements. Thawte are responsible for assessing the secure socket layer SSL technology which encrypts and protects data.
Moving on, we have governing bodies such as EGBA — the European Gaming and Betting Association who oversee operations and make sure that they are adhering to regulations. In the modern-day, sportsbooks are also expected to pay particular attention to the question of responsible gambling. Sportsbooks will work with a number of these organisations, and this is another point that we will assess as we work through our reviews.
We can give you positive guides to all of our top betting sites, but, on occasions, it can all come down to whether or not you feel comfortable here. Before you sign up with any of the UK bookmakers, just spend some time looking at the site to assess whether you want to play here. Are your favourite sports easy to find? If you are going to be in a long-term relationship — business or otherwise — you simply have to be happy so remember to check on this before you sign up.
Obviously, this all comes down to personal choice, but we will guide you in terms of design and navigation as we work through our list of best betting sites. Everybody wants a little extra when they go online and the betting community are no different so what types of free bets and other bonuses are we looking to uncover? These deals can be listed by the best online betting sites for the life of your account, so the logical place to start is with the welcome offer.
Look out for maximum and minimum amounts along with any rollover requirements that may be attached. Other welcome deals may release a certain number of free bets when you open and make your first bet. In all instances, check the terms and conditions in full, including minimum odds requirements on the qualifying stake plus the expiry dates for free bet tokens.
Validity is an important element too: You should check to see that the offer in question is available in your country, and we will highlight this point. Free bets can also be given under certain sporting circumstances. Refunds as free bet tokens are common in football correct score betting, but they can crop up anywhere.
Operators can also cross over into other areas of their websites so, you may find that you receive a free bet on the sportsbook as well as some free spins to use at the casino. A new innovation among the sportsbooks is a loyalty club where free bets are awarded when you stake a certain amount during a set period — usually seven days. These are similar to VIP programmes which tend to reward high rollers. Betway are among a growing number of bookies providing free bet clubs right now.
All of the best online bookmakers should be making an effort when it comes to offers and promotions. Among the busiest are the established brands such as William Hill and Ladbrokes who have recognised the need to move with the times and give their customers more value.
As a final point in this section, we will point to any sites that issue promo codes. These are not compulsory, but the top betting sites will publish these, and they are important so we will highlight them where applicable. Having a wide set of funding options is a good sign because it suggests that your chosen bookmaker is flexible in their general approach to customer service. At a very basic level, you can expect to deposit to and withdraw from the top betting sites using a bank card while others will also allow bank transfers as a method of funding.
This allows most of us to get on board, but the best betting sites will go much further by providing a choice of eWallets. PayPal is a good example of an eWallet, and this is the most popular option among consumers, but they only tend to attach themselves to the more established sportsbooks who have been around for ten, twenty years or more.
These are modern times, and you may also see a number of operators taking Cryptocurrency. As we work through our guides at GlobusBet, we will tell you exactly what payment methods each operator provides, along with details of transaction times, deposit and withdrawal limits and any fees that may apply.
Technology is moving all the time, and the best online betting sites are the ones that move with the times. We would expect all operators to have a dedicated mobile betting site, but we need to ask whether or not they have an app. Apps are the easiest way to access betting companies in the UK, and the vast majority of companies will have them. Having established this point, there are further questions to ask.
What are the minimum software requirements in each case? How does the app compare to the regular mobile betting site and the static portal that you can access via your PC? It should have comparable design and functionality and, because apps will frequently be used to access the fast-moving live betting markets, it should load pages immediately without any delay. There are a number of great apps around, and some good examples are those provided by Sport, Coral and bet In each case, those sportsbooks have apps for both Android and iOS.
They are free to use and easy to download and they carry the same great functionality and navigation qualities as the main website. Those are three very good examples, but there are more to consider and we will be looking at each one in greater detail as we work our way through the list of top betting sites. We just mentioned the importance of apps for in-play betting and this is a specific area of gambling that we will be looking at in more detail.
Live betting is a huge success story and these days, you cannot be classed among the best betting sites unless you cover it comprehensively. If you are already involved in these markets, then you will already know about the advantages that they hold. Markets react to events in the game so, for example, if a football team concedes an early goal, their odds will lengthen but they may still go on to win the match.
Live betting really tests your skills as a sports analyst, and this is another reason why it is so popular. Along with live betting comes live streaming , and this is something that you can access via the best online bookies.
As the name suggests, this involves the live streaming of a number of events that you can watch via your customer account. During our reviews of our recommended betting companies, we will tell you which ones offer live streaming and what you need to do in order to access it.
As UK punters, we have our favourite sports, and we need to know that these betting companies are going to cover them. Statistics show that football is the most popular sport for the betting community, and this is followed by horse racing in second place. However, there are cases where even some of the top betting sites are starting to exclude horse racing and greyhounds.
Aside from those already mentioned, the British betting community also like their tennis, golf, rugby and cricket.
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