Coral first began as a betting entity in , with Joe Coral the founder establishing many speedway and greyhound tracks across the country. Coral then became one of the first bookmakers to open shops after the legalisation and have been a strong player in the UK betting shop market ever since.
Ladbrokes was established in as commission agents for horses that were trained at Ladbroke Hall, with it adopting the Ladbrokes name in After the legislation, Ladbrokes used their profits to set up a series of betting shops. Ladbrokes has established itself abroad in recent years, setting up shops in Spain and Australia.
Ladbrokes have recently announced a sponsorship partnership with the Scottish Premier League, as well as with other sports in order to increase the awareness of their brand. First established as a shop in Ordsall, Salford in , Betfred originally called Dones now owns over 1, betting shops in the UK.
However, this proved to be costly for the firm as Arsenal ended up winning the league. Betfred are very active with football in particular, with them being the official partner of Wembley Stadium. This means that they operate the in-stadium betting facilities for all England and FA matches. The company was initially founded by William Hill in At this point gambling was illegal in the UK.
When gambling was legalised in , William Hill wanted nothing to do with it due to the capital investment that purchasing licensed premises would require, although they soon changed their stance. William Hill have expanded into both the US and Australia. Paddy Power are quite possibly the most controversial of all UK and Irish bookmakers in terms of their advertising campaigns.
Relatively modern in comparison to the aforementioned betting chains, Paddy Power was established in based in Dublin. Unlike most other chains that favoured side-streets, they decided to situate their first facilities in the most prominent streets and locations. In , it was noted that Paddy Power were the largest bookie in Europe in terms of total share value and they are listed on both the Irish and UK stock exchanges. Stan James has a history in the UK going back to and operated around 90 betting shops on the British high street.
In the business was split into two parts representing the online and high street markets. Stan James Online, as it became known, was sold to Unibet along with the rights to use the Stan James name whilst the betting shops rebranded as Mega Bet. BetVictor are an independent bookmaker whose roots go back to the s and their headquarters, like Stan James, are now located in Gibraltar. The move to Gibraltar came about in order to avoid the UK gambling tax and this occurred in Originally named after its owner Victor Chandler, it was rebranded in to BetVictor which was seen as being more easily transferable to other international territories.
Michael Tabor, the prominent racehorse owner, took control in , although Victor Chandler son of the original Victor and Grandson of founder William Chandler remains as a brand ambassador. The company states that it has over half a million customers worldwide, operating in over different countries, although they sold their 41 betting shops in Over the years betting shops have changed dramatically.
Previously they were centred almost exclusively around horse racing and greyhounds that was ongoing throughout the day. Within these betting shops there would be the racing form and tips for the events that were occurring on that particular day. Whilst the racing and form can still be found in a bookies, more and more different things have been introduced into the shops.
There are now large flat screen televisions in most bookies, covering lots of different sports, not just horse racing, and this enables customers to be able to check how their wagers are doing. Live television in these shops is something that was only introduced in , with their previously only being coverage of the racing via radio — if you were lucky! In order to further attract and keep punters, bookies now usually offer free tea and coffee services, whilst snacks such as chocolate and crisps are also available.
Bookies were once smoke-filled, dirty places but increasingly they are clean, bright, airy and welcoming to all sorts of different gamblers as the betting shops seek to appeal to w wider market. When placing a bet in store at a bookies, the easiest way to go about this is by picking up a plain betting slip. Most people tend to check the screens available in the store which as well as screening live racing, football and other sports, also highlight the odds that are available for the most popular bets.
The odds can be confirmed at the desk, whilst bets are also placed manually this way, with payment now possible by card, cash and even via your online account with some bookies. Many betting shops, mainly for football but also for big events, have pre-printed coupons featuring various odds and markets and these are often a simpler way to place your bet, as opposed to hand-writing a slip.
These terminals have been crucial in bringing in a new generation of customers into bookies since their introduction to UK betting shops in New members only. Existing members do not qualify. Offer applies to sports bets only. A bet must be placed using real money in combination with the Odds Boost Token. Odds Evs, Max. Skrill and Neteller deposits are not eligible - See full terms. New depositing customers on STSbet. When: Qualifying accumulator bet with min.
Bonus wagering requirements: x6 on min. Bonus valid for any sports, for 7 days. Deposit method restrictions apply. Free bets applied to account on consecutive days. Multiple bets with cumulative odds of evens 2. Free Bet stake not returned after bet settlement. No wagering requirements. Valid for 7 days, each Free Bet must be used in its entirety. Most experienced bettors will have at least heard of bet as the company has millions of customers worldwide. It has one of the best sign-up offers on the market which is extremely generous and simple to claim, with the minimum deposit one of the lowest on the market.
The sports markets bet offers to customers are second to none, and it is known for offering prices on many leagues and sports other bookmakers do not have. As such, it is one of the best at gaining the trust of their customers. It may be more well known for its casino offering, but sport has a sportsbook that is one of the fastest-improving online from a player perspective, with an incredible amount to offer in terms of sports and markets.
This includes some great odds on some of the biggest and more niche events. The welcome bonus is strong and sport has made it easy for users to claim and its website is just as easy to navigate. It also has a great offering of promotions for existing players. Virgin Bet is a newcomer to the industry but features on our list for its ability to compete with some of the long-established bookmakers already.
The sign-up offer is less impressive than some rivals but its wide-ranging sportsbook offering, run on the popular SBTech platform, makes it one to look out for if you are looking for a new bookmaker. The self-proclaimed money-back-special king, Paddy Power offers so much more for its players. The welcome bonus is simple and easy to understand, and effectively gives you a free bet on its vast sportsbook. Its rewards scheme for customers is the best on the market, so if you are looking for a long-term bookmaker, Paddy Power is the one for you.
If you are looking to bet on horse racing and are an avid fan of the races, then the Tote is for you. Ladbrokes is well known in the UK through its high-street shops and adverts but their online presence also holds up well to the competition. A competitive special offer along with some great free-to-play games makes the Ladbrokes experience highly enjoyable.
A bookmaker that definitely should be considered by all bettors is SportNation, which has shown itself to be a great alternative to more well-known high-street names. Its welcome offer is on the lower end of the scale in terms of free bets compared with some rivals, but the SportNation Rewards system more than makes up for it, with free bets or withdrawable cash up for grabs every week. Betway has become one of the biggest brands in the UK, helped by its welcome offer and free bets as part of its loyalty scheme.
It has a great website and app for sports betting, with competitive odds for a number of events and sports. Coral has improved its website and app over recent years and is now up there with the best within the internet gambling space.
Its in-play betting feature sets it apart as one of the best on the market with its dedicated free-to-watch live streaming service showing more than 2, events a week, while it has many additional promotions on top of its appreciable sign-up offer. A brand with heritage, William Hill is one of the best on the market and has been for a number of years, having built a website and app that is very popular.
Every market is easy to find, while its horse racing section is one of the best on the market when looking at the major events and festivals over the year. Betfred has been one of the most popular betting sites on the market for a number of years, with customers recognising them from numerous sponsorship deals at races and in football. They have a solid reputation as a destination for football betting and enhanced odds, as well as having a great welcome offer for new customers.
BetVictor has been in the industry since and continues to be a pioneer with its online offering. It is one of the most trustworthy bookmakers on the internet and has a record of great customer service. The sportsbook is extensive and rivals many competitors while the experience for desktop and mobile make it a perfect online bookmaker for any bettors, with the price boosts one of its selling points.
Betfair has more than just an incredibly vast sportsbook. It also offers the best betting exchange on the market. The exchange and sportsbook are both easy to use and they have a number of offers for existing customers once signed up. The new customer offer for its sportsbook is also one of the best on the market at the moment.
BoyleSports has been an underrated sportsbook among bettors over the years but recently it has really started to up its game. Its welcome offer is satisfactory and the BoyleSports sportsbook offers a select amount of sports and markets that anyone who wants to bet on a regular basis would want. Grosvenor is known for its high-street casinos but its sportsbook has often flown under the radar, having a unique sign-up offer that sets it apart. The interface is well thought-out and simple and the easy deposit and withdrawal are pluses, but it may be a betting site more suited to a casual player, or someone who wants to also play on the Grosvenor casino.
It has plenty of sports markets to choose from on nicely laid-out website and mobile versions, and also has a live-streaming platform that helps when betting in-play. The site is not as good as well-rounded of the more established UK bookies and the wagering requirements on its welcome offer should be looked at before signing up, but if you like football then all the markets are there for you. Spreadex is the second bookmaker on our list that offers a sportsbook and exchange, both of which are very good for new customers.
The layout makes it clear when you are on the sportsbook or exchange, and the website is well laid out to make it clear what events are in-play, popular upcoming events and the more niche markets. The welcome offer also means a good amount of free bets are available, but you must remember that your losses can exceed the deposit.
Mansion Bet is well known among football fans after sponsoring a number of Premier League clubs, and the company is certainly on its way to being in the top flight of online bookmakers. The welcome offer is generous enough and the Mansion Bet price boosts are a great way for customers to get extra value. Matchbook is a well-rounded betting exchange which allows punters to bet against each other rather than a bookie. The welcome offer is good and will help those unfamiliar with betting exchanges to get used to their platform, with all the big football and horse races, as well as more niche sports, well covered.
Play are another bookmaker which a lot of bettors may be unaware of but are great for those looking for a solid welcome offer, a great selection of sports and satisfactory odds. You can bet on everything from football and horse racing, to floorball and futsal on their easy-to-use website and app. There are numerous options when looking for the best betting sites in the UK with the industry well known for giving punters incredible choice. The downside is that customers can often get lost in how many UK online bookmakers there are and need help in sifting through to find the best out there.
We have signed up, deposited and bet with every bookmaker on our list to ensure we are well placed to advise you on the best betting sites in the UK. These include important factors such as wagering requirements, how long your free bets are valid for and how long it takes for them to be rewarded.
Wagering requirements can often catch out even the most experienced bettors, and our best betting sites all have easy-to-understand wagering requirements to trigger the free bet, such as bet and Betfair. There can also be wagering requirements on withdrawal, although the vast majority on our list do not have any. Usually, bookmakers will give you seven days to use your free bets once they have been awarded to your account, but this can differ with some bookies.
Free bets are usually given to you instantly after making either a qualifying deposit or qualifying bet. However, some are paid out after your qualifying bet is settled. The user experience on any top betting site starts with the sign-up process. A simple and easy way to enter your details and get set up with an account is integral to being one of the best betting sites as it will give you a good idea on how the rest of the website will function and whether it will be a good experience for you.
The main reason for people to sign up to a betting site is to place their bets on the sports of their choice, so we look at the variety of betting markets each bookie provides. All of our bookmakers offer markets on the major sports that the majority of users will be looking for, including football, horse racing, golf, tennis and boxing. Some bookmakers will have their free bets clubs such as Betway.
The industry was rife with scams and William Hill used this to his advantage. He opened an off-track betting shop in Park Lane London and required punters to post up a check. The deal was he would only cash the check if they lost. If they won the check would be returned along with their winnings.
In he expanded beyond horse racing and pool wagering by becoming the first bookmaker to offer fixed odds wagering on football. When betting shops became legal in , William Hill wanted nothing to do with them. He was a Roman Catholic and socialist and went as far as calling betting shops a cancer that preyed on the working class.
Whilst an odd comment coming from one of the largest bookies, Hill had spent his career servicing a much different type of clientele. Betting shops however became so wide spread he realised there was no choice but to adapt. He began doing so in He retired in and died a year later. Oddly enough, William Hill would grow into the largest bookmaker in the United Kingdom where they now have 2, betting shops. The story of Ladbrokes began in This is when a man known only as Pennington partnered with Messrs Harry Schwind and the two began working as horse racing commission agents at Ladbrokes Hall in Ladbroke village located in Warwickshire, England.
They took on the company name and began working as bookmakers in when Arthur Bendir joined the partnership. Originally the trio booked bets at upscale clubs such as the Whites, the Carlton and the Athenaeum. In Ladbrokes expanded their business to include on track betting. Unheard of at the time, in they hired Helen Vernet of a noble Scottish family to act as their on track representative. She became known as the first lady bookmaker. This proved much more than just a publicity stunt as she would continue to hold a management position until her death in Perhaps its best said that Ladbrokes took advantage of what William Hill refused to do.
When betting shops were legalised in they were first to the market and had new shops opening week after week. William Hill actually sued them over this and won. This was done more over his then opposition to betting shops as covered earlier in this article. The publicity of this was equally good for both companies. Ladbrokes continued to be the most aggressive opening betting shops. In they owned over shops and 5 credit offices when they floated on the London Stock Exchange. As a public company they grew and grew and grew some more.
They later purchased casinos, racecourses and even hotels. The red Ladbrokes branding is instantly recognisable in both their real world and online businesses. Today Ladbrokes has 2, betting shops in the UK, and their total number worldwide exceed 2, Their website offers sports betting, horse racing, financial wagering, poker, online casino games and bingo where a player can use one log-in ID to access all products.
He originally focused on greyhounds , horse racing and speedway. However when legal gambling came around Mr. Coral was not hesitant to embrace it. When a s laws made off course race booking legal he established several shops around London.
When betting shops were allowed in , he opened several that same year. Coral continued to grow and beginning in went through a series of ownership changes. In Ladbrokes acquired Coral but this was broken up as being a monopoly a year later. They were forced to unload their Coral shops. In they were purchased by Eurobet becoming Coral Eurobet. Then more recently they merged with Gala, to become Gala Coral. Despite changing ownership many times they are now the third largest bookmaking company in the UK.
Coral employs 9, in England alone. In addition to their betting shops they are also the largest provider of UK bingo with bingo halls in our nation. This one the top gambling companies in the UK. They also run and internet website www. This was founded by Fred Done and Peter Done who opened their first betting shop in Salford in and their second in It took all the way until for them to reach betting shops.
This was a small family owned business that grew in time. Finally in they embraced the internet and were a huge online hit. With one of the most exciting and rewarding websites for sports betting they grew, grew and kept growing. They can be found online at www. The Tote, originally known as the Horserace Totalisator Board, from its establishment in until it was sold to BetFred in , was owned by the UK government. Since its establishment it has been the sole source of legal pari-mutuel horse race betting the United Kingdom.
Even today more than 7, UK betting shops including those of William Hill, Ladbrokes, and Coral offer betting on the various totepools. It can also be wagered at online betting sites such as www. The Tote was granted permission to also accept sports bets beginning in and opened its first betting shop in In it was granted permission to accept bets all forms of wagers including numbers. In they rebranded their sports betting side Totesport and there are now betting shops in the UK using this branding.
The racing side has since been branded Totepool. They also run an online betting site www. Totesport is perhaps the most reputable and well regulated bookmaker in the industry for pool wagering and sports betting done both in person and online. All Rights Reserved. Online Betting Sites Those new to sports betting are strongly advised to start by taking advantage of free bets and bonuses offered by online bookmakers to first time depositors. PaddyPower betting shops also provide live betting terminals.
Find out more about PaddyPower betting shops by clicking the orange button. William Hill betting shops also offer sports betting updates, results as well as refreshments. Find out more about William Hill betting shops by clicking the orange button. High street betting shops have come on in leaps and bounds over recent years and are now a far cry from the seedy and secretive back street establishments that they were. Todays modern betting shop locations are more high street than back street and offer UK punters an excellent environment to safely place bets and socialise in.
The success of online bookmakers are the main reason for the resurgence of betting shops as they've put a lot of their profits back into the betting shops you find on the UK high street. Our mission is to help UK punters bet at the best bookmakers. We review and rate online bookmakers, their signup offers and betting offers and only showcase the best. If you have concerns about gambling, please visit: BeGambleAware. Signup online at Betfred.
Claim Offer. Betfred Betting Shops There are more than 1, Betfred betting shops throughout the UK, so you're probably closer to a shop location than you think. Betting Shop Locator. Signup online at Coral.