How to do Sports Betting and Trading in the UK | Taxes, Laws and Bookmakers


Sports betting and gambling have been in the UK culture for centuries, the first lottery in England came alive as early as 1694!

But it took 266 years after the first lottery for the first betting law to arrive. The Betting and Gambling Act came in 1960 and they allowed commercial bingo halls to serve in the UK for the first time.

After the legalisation, a series of events followed up quickly. Betting shops were legalised and 10,000 new shops had opened only 6 months later.

The Betting and Gambling act required every betting shop to pay their staff and set up premises, it wasn’t until 1981 that another law came around, called the Betting and Gaming Duties Act.

Today and throughout the 20th century, there has been an enormous increase in online gambling activity with more than 8,000 betting sites available online, which is responsible for over 35% of all betting activity today.

The new gambling law made restrictions on how betting sites could conduct and advertise offshore gambling services in the UK.

24 years later, the Gambling Act of 2005 was introduced, which basically said that every bookmaker that wanted to offer gambling services in any way to the UK people, had to have a UK commission license.

This rule got even more strict in 2014, which stated that every betting company that was offering their services in the UK, need to have a UKGC license. But what does really all these rules and laws mean?

Basically what it all means, is that sports betting in UK is completely legal. If you’re over 18 and a UK citizen, you can feel safe to bet online as UK has one of the most thorough and strict regulatory betting regimes in the world.


Regarding betting, taxes have been a never-ending question which people never seem to fully understand. It might seem complicated at first, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be, let’s simplify it for you.

The UK government made a stunning £2.9 billion in gaming related duty such as the lotteries and sports betting. So, does that mean that you have to pay taxes of your winnings? Not at all!

Betting is entirely tax-free in the UK, so you can bet as much as possible without thinking about any complicated tax rules. Another good thing is that there is absolutely no difference between a professional or amateur sports bettor, which means that it doesn’t matter how much money you make from sports betting, there are no taxes!

So, how does the UK government make so much money if every winning is tax free? That’s because gambling sites have to pay 15% levy on their earnings, which they of course will take out on the players. They will for example offer lower odds on the games, to give a bigger margin for themselves.

Nonetheless, even if it’s a lower odds than many other countries, there is a good thing that as a sports bettor in the UK, you can bet as much as you want, without having to learn any complicated tax rules.

There is no difference between a professional or amateur sports bettor, every winning is entirely tax free no matter what!


There is a lot to take into consideration when deciding which bookmaker to use, such as the bookmaker’s margin, the customer service, the welcome bonus and so on. As a UK citizen there is a bunch of different bookmakers you can use, here is a list of some of them:

888Sports, Bet365, Mansion88, Bethard, Betway, Leovegas, Betsson, Dafabet, Redbet, 32Red, Ladbrokes, William Hill, Bwin, Betfair, Redzone,, BetVictor, Unibet, Leovegas, Betdaq, Matchbook, Coral, Betsafe, Genting Bet, 10Bet, Marathon, ohmbet, sportingbet, Betcris, Boyle Sports, Gentingbet, Intralot,it, Skybet, Tipbet, Titanbet,, Mobilebet.

And yes, of course Trademate Sports covers every single one of them. This list might be a bit overwhelming, so here’s a bit more information on 4 of the most popular ones.

Bet365: The biggest of all European bookies and the most visited one. Being the biggest they have a large selection of games, both pre-match and live betting, from numerous leagues and countries.

They have the biggest selection of niche sports, so if you’re into Gaelic sports, darts and surfing this is the site for you. The odds are not the best, and if you win a lot, they are unfortunately quick to limit you.

They have a pretty good sign-up bonus of up to a €100, which we will come back to later, and a good website for getting in a lot of value bets. You can use our Matched Betting software called Oddshero to turn over the Bet365 bonus for free!

10Bet: 10Bet is a really popular one, same as with Bet365 they have a really solid selection of games and leagues. It isn’t just the most popular ones as football and basketball, you can also play on niche sports such as Gaelic hurling and E-sports.

The website is an absolute gem and is really easy to navigate around. Good customer service and a good app, banking however can be slow and sometimes annoying.

Unibet:Founded in 1997 and has over 14 million users, which proves it’s a popular bookmaker. Same as with Bet365, they have a large selection of games from multiple leagues and nations, even though Bet365 is slightly bigger.

The website is easy to understand and navigate around, the odds are also quite good, and in many cases better than Bet365. They have a couple of different sign-up bonuses, for example a £40 money-back deal if you lose your first bet.

Ladbrokes: One of the oldest bookmakers on the list, founded in 1886 they have made a rock-solid reputation for themselves. You can bet on a bunch of different leagues and nationalities, and they have broad options on their games.

The startup bonus is very standard, and we find the red-looking website rather hard to navigate around on. They have fewer payout options than many other betting sites, but offer the most important ones, such as PayPal, Visa and Skrill.

betting shop uk


There are several things you need to consider when choosing a bookmaker bonus for your sports betting adventure.

First of all, the bookmakers you pick all need to be licensed in your country. Secondly, they need to give away amazing welcome bonuses. Finally, they also need to have a website that’s available in your language, which as an UK citizen you’re as lucky as you can get as most websites are in English.

If you are a bettor from the UK, here are a couple of online bookmakers that match all the criteria discussed previously:

Bet365: They’re not only the biggest bookie in the world, they also give away a welcome bonus of up to £100. You can turn over the bonus for free with a Matched Betting software called Oddshero.

Leovegas: This might not be a well-known bookie such as Bet365, but they offer the same welcome bonus of £100. They use the same odds as Unibet, which all value bettors know gives away a lot of value betting opportunities.

Betfair: Betfair are more commonly known for their betting exchange, but they also have a regular sports book. Just as with the two bookies above, you get a welcome bonus of up to £100.

10Bet: The last bookie on our list is 10Bet, which offer a £50 welcome bonus. One downside with 10Bet though, and that’s the fact that they are really quick at changing their odds. This means that value betting isn’t the best at 10Bet, nevertheless, a £50 welcome bonus isn’t bad!


Sports betting is extremely popular in the UK, data says that over a period of 4 weeks, at least 46% of Brits gamble in some kind of way.

Not only do Brits bet often, but an average Brit spends £2.57 on gambling every single week, over a year the total will be £133 on average for every citizen!

But it might not be so weird that so many Brits are betting when you think of the fact that there is more than 8,400 betting shops in the entire UK.

Nevertheless, you could say that sports betting in the UK is extremely popular, so why not make a profit while doing it?

Want to know more about matched betting with our other software Oddshero? Check out this article here.

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