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How we review and rate betting sites
Our experts have over 10 years’ experience in the online gambling industry. And they carefully vet all the new betting sites in the country, before bringing you up-to-date news and reviews on the UK’s best betting sites.
There are so many sites available and, as a customer, it can be hard to know where to start. Therefore, let us do the hard work for you! Here’s what our experts take into account when researching and reviewing online bookies.
Betting companies across the country need to offer a variety of sports and other concepts to wager on. If you’re a football fan, then you want a bookmaker that offers bets on the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup. But why stop there? You should have the option to bet on football all over the globe too. From La Liga in Spain, to the Chinese Super League and everything in between, a good bookies will have a massive market of matches and competitions for you to wager on.
And this goes for all sports. As they say, variety is the spice of life. So, you want access to a range of sports to bet on, such as golf, horse racing, hockey, NBA basketball or even curling and WWE wrestling.
Here at Gamble.xyz, our expert reviewers dive deep into a bookie’s markets. If they don’t have a wide selection of sports on offer, then they don’t make it to our lists!
Bonuses and free bets
With so much competition between online bookies, this can pay huge dividends to you as a customer. Online betting UK companies want your business, and they’re prepared to fight for it. This means bonuses and free bets being offered to new punters from all the country’s major operators.
The most common type of welcome bonus at online bookmakers is a free bet, which you can use to wager on sports across their site.
Most bookmakers also offer casino games, and you may find that you’re offered a casino bonus as well when signing up. These bonuses can include free spins for slots games, deposit bonuses and no deposit bonuses. And they’re a great way to combine sports betting with casino gaming, if that’s your thing.
As with any bonus or reward, it’s important that you read the T&Cs attached. Almost all casino bonuses have wagering requirements and game weighting rules attached. And free bets will have time limits and other restrictions on them. Therefore, it’s imperative that you read and understand these terms, so that you can get the most out of your bonus offer.
Our experts trawl through these offers and their T&Cs. And, if they’re too restrictive or unreasonable, the operators that offer these types of deals will be struck off our lists.
In an age where most of us have a smartphone, you want to be able to access online betting any time, any place. So, good bookies will have a fully optimised site, where betting from your mobile is as simple as pie.
Gone are the days of whole web pages being stretched and squeezed onto a mobile phone screen. Now, with modified mobile sites and dedicated apps, betting from your phone is arguably easier than on a PC or laptop.
Therefore, our reviewers make sure that the top betting operators in the UK have mobile optimised sites for you to use. That way, you can access your account and place bets from the palm of your hand.
Odds & prices
When it comes to betting sites, you want to know you’re getting the best odds and prices on the market.
The discrepancy between different odds over different sites can be enormous. And these odds will affect your winnings hugely. Therefore, we look for sites with the best odds and market prices around.
Some bookies add large margins to their odds, so that they make a bigger profit. While we expect them to have some mark-ups in place (they’re a business, after all), these margins should be fair to bettors. With that in mind, our experts look at odds, market value and the bookmakers’ margins, before bringing you the fairest sites around.
Live betting & streaming options
In an ever-changing gambling world, punters now want to be in on the action during live matches and games. It used to be that betting was stopped the moment the match/race started. So there was no way to change your bet or add new ones into the frey. However, nowadays, with cutting-edge tech and advancements in live streaming, you can now make in-play bets. As well as watching your sports games and matches live from the betting website itself.
Remember when you’d have to run to the bookies to make a bet and then peg it back to the boozer to catch the start of the game? Well, not anymore! The best sites around offer live streaming and in-play betting. So that you can get the thrill of watching events unfold. And be able to change and add bets throughout proceedings.
Our experts take these two things very seriously when reviewing a site. We want you to get the very best gambling experiences around. And there’s nothing as exciting as live matches and live betting.
When it comes to online betting, customers want access to multiple payment methods. So that you can make bets and snatch your winnings quickly and easily. In the online world, dedicated apps and platforms are being released every year, with the view to make our internet payments and withdrawals as seamless as possible. If you’re excited about an up-coming sports match, you want to concentrate your attention on that. You don’t want to worry about fiddly things, like fishing around in your wallet and looking for the last 3 digits on the back of your debit card!
Some of the most popular online payment methods include:
Mobile betting sites
As we’ve seen, the best sites around will offer their customers mobile play. So that you never miss out on a winning match or race again.
But how should you access your favourite betting website on your phone? The two main options you have available are accessing your favourites sites with a browser, such as Google or Safari. Or downloading a dedicated betting app directly to your phone.
As with anything, both options come with their own benefits and drawback So, let’s take a closer look at both of them, to see which one is best for you:
Browser based betting
As simple as it gets! Access betting sites via your phone’s internet browser for fast and simple betting.
Pros of using your browser include:
- Quick and easy to use
- Browser play doesn’t use any of your phone’s memory like apps do
- Save your details for quicker access the next time you log in
Cons of using your browser include:
- Slower loading times than dedicated apps
- If you don’t save your info, it can be time-consuming logging in each time
- Lacking some special features available with dedicated apps
Using a betting app
There’s an app for just about everything these days. And, of course, it’s no different for placing bets online. Use your app for speedy access to your favourites sites in seconds.
Pros of using a dedicated app include:
- Lightning-fast access to matches, odds and bets
- Specialised features, like push notifications to keep you up-to-date
- Crisp imagery and seamless access
- No need to log in every time you enter
Cons of using a dedicated app include:
- They take up a lot of memory on your phone
- Apps need updating frequently
- App bugs can lead to lagging and sudden app closures
New UK betting sites 2021
With new bookmakers come more sports, better odds and tons of fresh and exciting bonuses. And our job is to bring all these sites and their offers to your door. If there’s a new kid on the block, our experts will give it a thorough going over.
We look at their betting market, how good their odds and prices are and what deals they’re offering their bettors.
So, if you want the best prospects from the country’s leading bookmakers, then always check our lists of trusted and reviewed new sports betting websites.
What the best online bookies should offer
The best gambling sites need to fit certain criteria for them to make the mark. Punters have high expectations, and we make sure that the sites we work with meet those on every level.
We take pride in assessing a bookie and looking into every aspect of their business in great detail. So you know that any sportsbook that we represent right here is put through the wringer!
However, it always pays to know what you’re looking for even if you do have access to trusted recommendations like ours.
✅ UK license
Betting sites that offer gambling services to the UK public must have the correct licence in place. These licences are issued and controlled by the UK Gambling Commission.
The application is strict and, therefore, ensures the integrity of companies that wish to work with UK customers. Many have tried and failed in the past, and only the best achieve licensed status in this jurisdiction.
You may well have seen some sites bearing the mark of some other licensing bodies. But if it’s not the UKGC, then you shouldn’t play there. Players from outside the UK are obviously welcome to bet at these bookies from overseas.
✅ Easy registration
Nobody wants a time-consuming and laborious signup process. Naturally, you expect a professional organisation to be thorough, but not over the top.
The majority of bookies will ask for some basic data from their customers before opening an account for them. This will include your name and address, for example, and probably email and phone details too.
You might wonder why a gambling site needs your email address. It’s simply so that you can confirm your intention to own the account. It’s also useful for informing clients of new deals etc.
✅ Solid welcome bonus
Swooping in on a welcome bonus is now pretty standard practice for punters choosing a new site. It’s unusual to find a bookie that doesn’t offer up a little incentive, so why not take advantage?
The best betting offers will come in the form of free bets, as you might expect! You will usually have to make a deposit first, and then the bookmaker will reward you with a free wager on one of their featured events.
There may also be deposit match offers available. But, we’ll go into more detail about these a little later on.
✅ Easy deposits and withdrawals
Online bookmakers worth their salt will make it simple for customers to move their money around. It’s in everyone’s best interest to have the cash rolling freely so that the action is fluid and unhindered.
It’s always best to check for a decent selection of payment options as this can give some indication as to the reputation of the bookies. If top payment gateways are happy to work with them, then they must be reputable.
Also, it pays to keep an eye on deposit method rules when you are attempting to claim a welcome bonus. Bookies and casinos often exclude e-wallet payments for this purpose.
✅ Variety of markets
Variety is the spice of life and online betting is no different! A site’s ability to house loads of varied action is always a great sign that they’re serious about their business.
There are so many markets available now and it is possible to speculate on pretty much any mainstream sport. And even some random ones as well!
Keep your options open and aim for a site that likes to entertain its punters.
✅ In-play betting and streaming
The last few years has seen a rise in in-play gambling. The action doesn’t stop on the pitch until the final whistle blows, so why should the betting?
We love to see as many live bet options as possible and so do our readers.
You can see what types of bets are available by selecting an event and then selecting one of the side bets that appear. Football, basketball and many others will have a mind-boggling selection of in-play wagers to keep you on the edge of your seat.
✅ Great customer support
Many people will overlook the customer service side of an operation, but not us! We think it’s super important that a sportsbook comes complete with helpful staff and a sharp customer focus.
There should be several ways to contact the site. Some of these may include contact forms, live chat, phone and email, for example.
Bonuses & promotions at UK bookmakers
Betting websites have an awesome inventory of bonus deals up their sleeve and they’re happy to share them around freely.
Increased competition, especially in the online market, has paved the way for better and more lucrative promos to rear their heads. We’ll take a look at those now to see what offers you too could get your hands on.
If you like the look of any of them, then check out our listings to see which bookies currently have them in play.
One of the top ways to entice punters in through the virtual door is to hand them a free bet upon entry.
These are fantastic, no-risk deals that can mean great things for the customers. It might be a straight bet on a certain sporting event or it could even be an accumulator across a range of games. It varies from site to site, but they’re all fantastic in their own right.
It’s always wise to check the small print to make sure that you understand the rules and limitations of such an offer.
Betting sites, along with their casino counterparts, are able to offer some cracking deposit deals. They’re fairly easy to get your head around and they could mean a nice little earner as a result.
When making your first deposit, you will find that the casino is often happy to match it. The key here is not to expect to see thousands of pounds on the table. Expectations at virtual bookies need to be managed and these deals may fall around the £50, for example.
Check the T&Cs for wagering rules and any other limitations that may apply.
Deposit bets aren’t just for the new crowd. It’s great to know that bookies are also looking to please their current customers as well.
A reload bonus is where the site will match your deposits at a specific time during the week or month. It may not be 100% of your deposit, but it should still be attractive and worth your while.
As with the above bonus, check the details to ensure that you know exactly how it works.
Acca bet bonuses
Another type of promotions that you could see swinging your way is an accumulator bet bonus.
In a similar way to the standard free bet, a bookie may offer you the chance to land a nice win with an acca bet.
You’ll need to make a range of bets across various events and hope that each one comes good for you. As a result you can see some incredible prize hauls. It’s tough to get them all right, but that’s why the payoff is so attractive!
Big events come around like the Olympics or World Cup, for example. On a regular basis. This gives a bookie the chance to offer promos with some interesting propositions.
It’s always great to take a punt on some random sports or obscure matches and it’s even better when you can do it for free!
This is yet another way that betting operators can reward you for opening an account with them.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that we get asked by our sports betting fans.