What’s the Best Betting Site for You?
When you look at the basic principle of sports betting, bookies may all look the same. Seems like a pretty straightforward process – you bet money on a team or a player. If they win, you win; if they lose – you lose. So, you better put your money at a betting site that offers the best odds and therefore the highest wins, right? Well, sort of. In the 2010s, with all the technological advancements and online possibilities, there’s a lot more to finding a reliable betting site than choosing the one that offers the seemingly best winning potential. When betting online, you need to consider:
- Safety / Security – as convenient and ubiquitous as doing everything online is, cybercrime is never to be snubbed especially at the rate that personal data is flying around the internet. Any website that stores your personal and financial details has to be secure and offer multi-tier protection like domain validation and SSL encryption.
- Licensing – it’s hardly necessary for us to point out that the first thing you need to check about a site where you will be depositing money and sharing personal information is whether it is licensed and regulated, offering a top level of customer protection.
- Variety of markets – you don’t need to leave your house in order to watch any sports event you like, so why limit yourself with just the omnipresent football and horse racing when it comes to betting? A good bookie will dote on their customers’ every whim with a variety of tournaments, games, and markets.
- Payment options – the top online betting sites will offer you flexible banking methods, with instant deposits and fast processing of withdrawals on different platforms. Along the traditional credit & debit cards and e-wallets, cryptocurrencies are also gaining ground.
- Bonuses – if there’s one thing that we can say holds true for all betting sites, it’s that they will offer their customers different types of bonuses and promotional offers. From the standard deposit match to the different free bets, cashbacks, or best odds guaranteed – no sportsbook will even entertain the idea of omitting promotions.
- Mobile – with in-play betting taking the spotlight from pre-match bets, and options like live streaming and omnichannel, the top betting sites are changing their availability and are making sure they can provide relatable experiences to all their customers on relevant touchpoints.
- Site usability – in order to meet today’s savvy users’ needs, online betting sites are designing their sites to be responsive and easy to use across all platforms. The level of immediacy required by the way operations are processed on different devices necessitates contemporary clear-cut design and scalability, which add to an unhindered betting experience.
- Reputation – going for an illustrious brand may seem obvious; if they’ve been around for decades and have millions of customers, they must be doing something right. However, it’s not a rare occurrence that even the biggest players on the market may be subject to huge fines for not so righteous practices.
In addition, a betting website boasting a squeaky-clean reputation may not be able to offer you the betting options you need, so going off the beaten track with a lesser-known operator may actually grant you a more satisfying while equally secure experience. That’s why, we always recommend exploring all your options before making a commitment.
An inherently dynamic industry, online betting undergoes constant blips and so far, has managed to adapt successfully to any goalposts moved. Read reviews online, make a comparison based on the aspects we discussed above and keep in mind the following peculiarities and novelties on the UK betting scene.
How Sports Betting Is Regulated in the UK
One of the main concerns people may have when it comes to placing a bet online is whether it’s a legal activity that is controlled by the respective authorities. If you’re a British resident, you can rest assured that the UK betting market is one of the safest and most strictly regulated in the world. Betting and gambling has been legal after the Betting and Gaming Act 1960 allowed shops to be opened and legalised gambling for small sums.
In the years to come, with a surge in shops openings and the rise of the internet making betting available to broader audiences than ever before, new regulations were introduced, and the UK Gambling Commission was assembled under the Gambling Act 2005. It is now the Government’s executive body responsible for the regulation of all gambling and betting activities. All UK-facing operators, regardless of where they’re based, need to be licensed by the Commission in order to sell their services and advertise to British clients.
Operators’ Licenses and Monitored Practices
If you’d like to be absolutely sure that you’re betting at a regulated site, check for the UKGC’s logo at the footer of the page. It should be clickable and take you to the commission’s page where you will be able to see the current status of the betting site’s license. If it’s just a picture, or if the license has been suspended, stay away from the sportsbook. Spread betting is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority which also regulates UK’s financial markets and operates independently of the UK Government.
Bonuses Are the Stuff of Sports Betting
As we already mentioned, and as you’ve surely noticed when browsing betting sites, or just by turning on the telly or logging into social media, betting sites offer bonuses. For anyone lacking interest, such unsolicited messages can be a nuisance, but for bettors on the prowl for lucrative offers it is very often the determining factor when choosing a betting website to sign up with. For bettors, the welcome bonus is still the main reason to click on an ad or go all the way through with a registration.
Welcome Bonuses for Newly Registered Players
There are two main types of bonuses available to newly signed up players – a match-up for their first deposit or a free bet. With the first one, you will receive a bonus amount that matches your deposit and can vary across sites, starting from 50% and reaching as much as 500%. The bonus funds and winnings made from using them are cashable, which means that you will be able to withdraw them after you have met a set of requirements such as wagering, minimal odds, and validity. A quintessential deposit match situation will be as follows: a newly registered customer makes a first deposit (there are minimum and maximum amounts stipulated in the T&Cs of the promotional offer, so keep those in mind), the sum they’ve deposited is matched 100% and the bonus (sometimes both the deposit and the bonus) needs to be wagered a specific number of times before the customer can withdraw the funds and winnings. In addition to the rollover of the bonus, additional requirements may have to be met, such as specific markets, minimal odds (it’s usually 1.5 or higher), and validity which can be anything from one week to 90 days. Best case scenario – you will get a higher percentage match bonus, with a minimum wagering – something like 2x on all markets and odds, and you will have no time constraints in order to fulfill the requirements.
Free Bets and How to Make Use of Them
With free bets, the bonus is not bound to a deposit you make, but rather a qualifying bet instead. Almost all good betting websites offer free bets much to their customers’ delight. Although it’s a popular sign-up incentive, it’s also commonly used by best betting sites as a promo offer for loyal customers as well, especially during big tournaments, competitions, and championship. The free bet bonus is sticky, which means that if you win, you will get to keep the winnings, but the amount of the bonus will be subtracted from the sum you can withdraw.
Loyalty Rewards and More Promotions
Although deposit match-ups and free bets typify the welcome offers, there’s a multitude of other promotions you can expect from the most generous betting sites. There are different incentives known as bonuses on loss like cashback offers or the ACCA insurance which provides a refund (up to a certain amount) if an accumulator bet is lost because of a single leg. Loyalty rewards are gaining more and more popularity since both bookies’ and bettors’ attitude seems to be gravitating more towards retention rather than bonuses with wagering requirements. This commitment of customers is evident in the declining number of accounts the average bettor has, which was four in 2017.