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How Popular is Sports Betting UK?

Here we look at the emergence of the sports betting industry and it’s growing popularity in the United Kingdom.

When did Sports Betting come into the Picture?

The fame of sports betting in the UK is known worldwide as a safe and fair gambling environment for sports enthusiasts. Sports betting is a possible source of income for the English and is a way of socializing and interaction among friends. The history of betting in sports dates back to the formation of towns like Ascot and Newmarket. These towns were carefully converted into active racecourses by the English Royalty.

However, gambling on sports dates back to the 1600s, when trade between Italy was prevalent in the UK. The first game that grew popular was the game of cards which led to an increase in the popularity of casinos. The shift from betting in casinos to sports betting happened in the 1700s. Horse racing was a trendy sport among the English aristocrats since the 1500s. Numerous racing tracks were constructed across the whole country to facilitate this sport. Wagers began to be placed on horses by the attendants, but this was popularized in 1790 by Harry Ogden. He created an organized methodology for betting on races by giving each horse the odds of winning. It meant that not every horse had the odds of winning, but it differed from horse to horse based on factors like the horse’s health, speed of the horse, physique, etc. Ogden further created a profit margin for himself, and thus this is how betting on sports was officially introduced in the UK.

Risks Associated with Betting

Betting on races wasn’t very fair and clean. Bookkeepers were the ones who were in charge of getting bets at the race tracks. Most of the time, the bookkeepers weren’t honest and lied about the results of the matches to profit from it. Many people weren’t able to pay when they lost a bet, and the bookkeepers would keep threatening for the due payment. After years of corrupt bookkeeping, in the year 1845, the Gambling Act was passed. The act stated that wagers were not a legally binding contract and made it appear illegal. It, however, made betting into a private activity, conducted away from the eyes of the officials. Due to the backfiring of the Gambling Act in 1853, a new law was passed saying that owning a betting house or property was illegal. And thus, the betting returned to the racecourses. Currently, the government plays a vital role in ensuring that the betting has a very safe and fair environment through the laws introduced by the UK Gambling Commission. 

Types of Sports used for betting 

The first “sport” to be involved in sports betting is the game of cards, but in today’s day and age, the field of sports has spread out. According to famous trustworthy football bookie, interested gamblers can place their bets on sports like football, cricket, tennis, horse racing, etc., the most famous sports for betting continue to be football, rugby and cricket. Bets can be placed online or offline, whichever is convenient for the gambler. 

Types of Sports Bets

The world is now global, and everything is just a button push away. The world of sports betting in the UK, too, has advanced to accommodate the changing times. There are in total of 5 types of bets you can place on the mark, they are –

  1. Standard Bet – A single bet is a bet placed on a unique selection. This type of bet will have a single unit stake and a straight-line accumulator. 
  2. Handicap Betting – In this bet, the contestant has both an advantage and disadvantage due to the handicap bet. This bet is usually used for horses who have an injury. This bet can be applied to horse racing as well as football. 
  3. Full Cover Betting – Full cover betting is placing multiple bets that enable the gambler to win more. For getting a return in total cover betting, the gambler must win at least two selections.
  4. Conditional Betting – In conditional betting, there are a set of rules that need to be followed to place the bet. 
  5. Forecast Betting – In forecast betting, the final order of selections is forecasted through a series of selections. 
  6. Spread Betting – Spread betting, as the name suggests, is non-fixed, and you get the award based on the accuracy of your prediction.
  7. Specialty Betting – this type of betting works on a mathematical algorithm and is complicated to understand.


The laws made by the UK government enable gamblers to place their bets safely and securely. The arena of sports is ancient, and placing bets on the outcome of the sport has its exceptional heritage. The UK has had to bet on sports from the early times and has only grown more prevalent in today’s world. 

The industry of sports betting is vast and has mainly developed with the help of advanced technology and a string of interested gamblers. Online betting has given people the opportunity to place bets on the sport of their choice and win rewards in turn. Numerous online betting portals like the bookie offers, etc., help interested gamblers to place their bets online. 

Sports betting is an exciting and lucrative field that can become addictive if not practised properly. However, an occasional bet never hurt anyone!

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