Last updated on: December 20th, 2022

Legal Sports Betting in the United Kingdom

Legal sports betting in the United Kingdom has been an option since 1961. The United Kingdom was one of the first countries to embrace the sports betting industry and has some of the most developed laws among countries that allow legal sports betting. The United Kingdom is famous for establishing the first sports betting exchange. In a betting exchange, you don’t bet against a bookmaker or against fixed odds, instead, you’re betting against other bettors. Betting exchanges offer higher odds and allow bettors to set their own odds for any sporting event. The betting exchange also gives bettors the opportunity to trade their bets as prices can fluctuate before and during a sporting event giving bettors plenty of opportunities to find ways to make a profit.

The United Kingdom sees more sports bets placed than any other country in Europe. The menu of sports you can bet on legally in the United Kingdom is vast. Football, basketball, American football, hockey, eSports, boxing, golf, tennis, and cricket are all sports that can be bet on legally in the United Kingdom. With minimal legislation, many sportsbooks can advertise their brand and odds without government regulation. In the United Kingdom, you can also place legal wagers at any of the major legal sports betting venues because most venues are partnered with gambling companies and operate booths or have roaming bet takers throughout the venue.

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The Legality of Sports Betting in the United Kingdom

The legality of sports betting in the United Kingdom has a long history of reform.
  • The Gaming Act 1845 made the United Kingdom one of the first countries to allow betting on horse racing.
  • With the Racecourse Betting Act of 1928, legislation allowed fixed-odd betting on horse racing. This created the Racecourse Betting Control Board.
  • The Betting and Gaming Act of 1960 legalized cash betting either by post or in person. It also made it legal to open a UK betting shop.
  • From the Gambling Act of 2005, the Gambling Commission formed. They regulated all forms of betting in the UK but opened gambling advertisements. It was also the first time a bill containing online gambling language saw approval.
  • To deter fixed sports matches, the 2006 Fraud Act passed. This made sports corruption a criminal offense.
  • The Gambling Licensing and Advertising Act of 2014 saw further regulation. The Gambling Commission need a registration if sportsbooks wanted to continue operation in the UK. Shortly after the Point-of-Consumption Tax passed. This placed a 15% tax on all foreign-based United Kingdom sportsbook operators.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in the United Kingdom?

Yes, online sports betting is indeed legal in the United Kingdom and is one of the best ways to get in on the action. With online betting, it does not matter where you are in the UK, you can find the best betting lines for major leagues. You do not need to travel to a physical sportsbook in order to wager on your favorite team in the EPL. There are currently over 500 online sportsbooks that operate in the UK. These include big dame European sportsbooks like Paddy Power, Betway, and MyBookie. The UK has consistently been a major player in the mobile and online sports betting arena and continues to supply all sports bettors with the best odds on offer.


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The NFL has continued to gain popularity throughout the UK, especially with London hosting games over the last couple years. For betting on the Dolphins, MyBookie has game lines for every single regular season game, and odds and prop bets for the postseason as well. The online sportsbook helps keep up with every NFL Sunday, with a live betting section for all games taking place.

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With XBet, you can use several different forms of cryptocurrency to place your bets as they have adapted very nicely to the crypto market. You can now deposit, withdraw, use bonuses, and place bets with up to 10 different forms of cryptocurrencies that are accepted on XBet. Those range from Bitcoin and Ethereum to Avalanche and Apecoin. All of which are very beneficial and easy to use as they have no transaction fees and some of the quickest processing times.

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United Kingdom Sports Betting Markets

London is the United Kingdom’s largest individual betting market with a population of nearly 9 million people. Soccer is the most popular sport among UK bettors, and London is home to five different English Premier League (EPL) teams. After soccer, horse racing is the next most wagered-on sport with the country’s 60 licensed horse racing tracks. Other popular sports in the UK include tennis and cricket. Expect the 2023 World Cup to bring a huge volume of cricket bets in England.

UK Betting by Sport

  • Football (soccer) 48.4%
  • Horse Racing 28%
  • “Other Sports” 9.7%
  • Tennis 5%
  • Virtual Betting 3.2%
  • Dog Racing 3.1%

Betting NFL London

Possibly the biggest sports betting event in the U.K. is when the NFL comes into town. Coming more popular and more regular, betting on NFL London games is one of the biggest draws for American football betting fans in any of the U.K. countries. While local betting parlours will feature NFL lines, the best U.K. sportsbooks that take action on NFL football will break down prop bets even more. Be sure to sign up in time for these events, which generally take place in October or November.

London Games For The 2022 Season

  • October 2nd At Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Minnesota Vikings against the New Orleans Saints
  • October 9th At Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – New York Giants against the Green Bay Packers
  • October 30th At Wembley Stadium – Denver Broncos against the Jacksonville Jaguars

Where United Kingdom Sports Betting Revenue Goes

The sports betting industry generates a lot of revenue for the United Kingdom. In 2020, the gross gambling yield (GGY) in Great Britain was 5.89 billion British pounds (~$7.75m). Recent studies suggest the online gambling market in the UK to grow by more than $80m by 2024. Between the 15% tax on foreign sportsbook operators and a fully developed gambling market, the sports betting industry in the United Kingdom is one of the best in the world. The United Kingdom does send some of the revenue back into the sports that the wagers are being placed on. The revenue also goes back to the workers as the industry employs over 100,000 people and generates £700 Million ($862.53 million) in tax revenue.