If you’re like a growing number of people all over the world, you enjoy the thrill of competition or an exciting game of chance. In Europe and the United Kingdom, gambling is more popular than ever, and online gambling is fast becoming the betting method of choice. But picking the right betting site in Europe isn’t necessarily as easy as it sounds. Almost all of the EU countries permit a variety of internet gaming options; casino games, poker, and other games of chance are popular. But not all countries allow the same games, and some offer a much more limited array of betting options.
Gambling in the EU is big business, and it’s only getting bigger. According Statistica, the EU’s 2015 gross gambling revenue (GGR) was roughly 18 billion euros in it Italy, the highest among European Union countries. The UK came in second at 17.9 billion euros. Spain, Germany, and France brought in about 8 billion euros each.
That year, the European online gambling market was the world’s largest at 18.11 billion U.S. dollars and was projected to increase to nearly 24.75 billion U.S. dollars by 2018. Most of that, almost 40 percent, comes from sports betting, and over 20 percent went to online poker and another 20 percent to online casinos. Online gambling represented 15 percent in 2015, and it was projected to reach 18 percent by 2020.
There’s a reason why online gambling is becoming so popular. While traditional gambling shops have limited business hours and limited in-play possibilities, they may offer a broad range of betting options and lower odds. Online gambling offers 24-hour service, higher odds, several betting options, in-play betting on mobile or PC devices, and a range of promotions and bonuses.
Online gambling is also the fastest way to secure your bets, it happens literally at the push of a button. Online gambling is also a lot safer than most people may think, with a variety of safety protocols such as RapidSSL, SHA 256bit, Comodo, Thawte, Hydrokid, Trustwave, and others.
Still, the first thing to note when choosing a gambling site is to make sure it is legitimate. The United Kingdom, Gambling Commission (UKGC) monitors and controls all gambling in the country, for example. So your favored UK gambling site must have a proper license. All the sites on this list of UK betting sites are properly licensed.
Not all online gambling sites in the EU and UK operate traditionally. Exchange betting has become popular, made available by the site Betfair, which offers a discount program and takes a five percent commission. Exchange betting offers gamblers the chance to bet against one another instead of strictly against the bookie.
Among traditional UK betting sites, there is a wide variety to choose from. Gamblers can bet on all manner of sports too, including tennis, Formula 1 racing, boxing, greyhounds, cricket, rugby, eSports and even fantasy football.
So let’s take a closer look at a the biggest and the best UK betting sites, and what may make one or the other the best choice for you. Keep in mind that we’ll be looking at current offers in the spring of 2019, and these may change without notice.
Betway is known as a five-star site, offering competitive odds and a £30 bonus. 888sport is also very popular, with very high odds for football and a £100 bonus. Bet365 has the very best sports book interface and up to £100 in bet credits. Minimum odds and payment method exclusions may apply, however.
Bonuses are an important factor. With so many reputable EU and UK betting sites, bonuses have become a big part of attracting new players. 888sport currently advertises a bet-£10-get-£30 offer. Royal Panda offers up to £20 free bet, and Mansionbet offers its players a discount of 50 percent up to £50. Totesport has a £35 new customer offer, and Unibet offers £40 cashback plus a £10 casino bonus.
Betfred currently has a bet-£10-get-£30 offer, and coral provides new players with a £20 free bet.
These bonuses all come with various stipulations, of course, so you’re well advised to look into these offers with careful scrutiny.
But bonuses aren’t the only thing to consider. Grosvenor is well-known for excellent sports coverage, and its users enjoy the odds. LVbet offers (literally) thousands of betting options and Karamba features amazing odds levels that keep their players coming back. Volt casino is renowned for great odds of eSports competitions, but 21bet has the best odds on UK horse racing, and that’s their guarantee. Moplay has promotions and partnerships that make them worth a look before choosing your preferred UK gambling site.
A wide variety of other sites, also worthwhile, offer phone service, live chat, and email contacts. Betvictor does not offer phone service, but Ladbrokes, Coral, Bettered, Paddy power and others do.
Online betting also offers a variety of other markets that traditional betting shops may not. 888 allows players to bet on political races and award show results in addition to sports betting. Netbet allows gambling on politics and even global finance. Betway, Coral, Betfair, and Betfred all allow players to gamble on current affairs, politics, a wide variety of gaming options.
Another thing to consider is player protection. Because online gambling is becoming so popular, many sites incorporate access to Gamblers Anonymous, GamCare, Gamble Aware, Gambling Trust, Gamble Aware, and other socially responsible agencies. Betway, Ladbrokes, BetVictor, William Hill, Coral, Betfair, Paddy Power, and Betfred all offer these or other services to their players.
No matter what your online gambling preferences, you’ll need a payment method. Most of the leading gaming sites accept the standard methods of payment, such as Visa, Mastercard, as well as online methods such as Paypal, Neteller, Skrill, and others. But take note that some have more limited options; Coral and Ladbrokes won’t take Neteller, Betfair refuses Paysafe cards.
Online gambling is at the cutting edge of entertainment, making the most of modern technology to bring wealth, excitement, and unrivaled convenience to players all over Europe, the UK, the entire free world. The betting sites listed above represent the best of the best, and you know why. All that’s left for you to do now is sign up and start playing.