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The Difference Between Betting on UK Versus US Sports

It goes without saying that sports betting is a huge component of the sports culture in both the United States and the United Kingdom. These two territories have quite a lot of things in common in as far as sports betting is concerned but this does not make them indistinguishable from each other. In fact, their differences are quite pronounced, to say the least.

For this piece, we are interested in breaking down the things that make both industries stand out. Both of them are huge sports betting markets so it is not necessarily too hard to pick out these differences. We are just digging a little deeper in order to give you a little more insight.

The Legal Landscapes

Sports betting laws in both the United States and the United Kingdom are pretty straightforward. The biggest difference comes in the timing – while the activity has been going on in the United Kingdom for years, the United States only officially lifted a federal ban on sports betting in 2018. Even then, states in the US have to decide for themselves if they want to legalize sports wagering. Just a handful of states have since legalized the activity which puts the US behind the UK in as far as the maturity of the sector is concerned.

This presents a pretty interesting dynamic when it comes to finding reputable and trustworthy sports betting sites. There are, of course, more legal and regulated sports betting options – both offline and online – for bettors in the United Kingdom. Sports betting sites can, for instance, run ads to target audiences.

In the United States, the vast majority of states have not legalized sports betting, and therefore sports bettors have had to rely on offshore betting sites. Naturally, finding great sportsbooks can be quite difficult. In the case of online sportsbooks, US bettors have to keep an eye out for such things as community or expert reviews, certification badges, and regulatory backing in order to find the best online sportsbooks.

The Actual Sports

The laws aside, perhaps the biggest difference between sports betting in the United States and the United Kingdom is in the actual sports markets that are the sportsbooks cater for. Their sports cultures have an undeniable impact in this case.

As far as ‘Football’ talk goes, Americans would argue that involves American football rather than what is referred to across the pond as ‘soccer’. Football—there—along with basketball, baseball, college sports and NASCAR are some of the most popular sports in Vegas and thus sports betting sites like Vegas Odds cites these US sportsbooks from the Reddit community as the most popular in USA for those sports. In contrast, bettors in the UK are more likely to have interests in soccer (football), cricket, tennis, and horse racing odds, as seen on staple British oddsmakers like William Hill and Bet365. This does not necessarily mean that there aren’t some outliers but, in most part, that is all they are.

Their Futures

By looking at the current sports-betting landscapes, it is safe to say that we can project where they will be in the next few years to a given extent.

The United Kingdom’s sports betting sector has matured in so many ways. In fact, it could be a great place for emerging markets such as the US to benchmark. Even so, the sector still has a lot to deal with especially with regards to brings some sanity into the industry. Case in point, gaming authorities in the country have been aggressively pushing for responsible gambling and advertising. New measures are being introduced and old ones are being updated to suit the current landscape. Future-proofing the industry seems to be a big part of these developments.

As mentioned earlier, the United States’ sports betting market is still quite young despite the rapid growth of the sector in states like Pennsylvania. Being an emerging market, it has drawn the attention of several operators including a number of UK-based ones that are looking for newer opportunities or less restrictive operating environments. This interest has also begun to show how beneficial the sector can be with sports media companies jumping onto the bandwagon and more states now considering legalizing the activity.


As much as they are very different, the sports betting markets in the UK and the US are actually headed in one direction. They both intend to fully capitalize on the very lucrative market while at the same time trying to eliminate the shortcomings. This will, of course, take time but we have to appreciate how far they have come.

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