The recommendations, review and ratings you find on are all constructed by our independent team of authors and are solely our own. We pride ourselves on the accuracy of information provided and do our best to keep all content as up to date as possible. We are compensated for any traffic we refer to the bookmakers we review.

Which Betting Sites Have A UK License?

May 29, 2018 9:28 am Published by

UK Gambling LicenseNot all betting sites have a UK license and any gambling operator offering online gambling services to UK citizen without a license is royally breaking the law.

In this post I’m going to cover the reasons why UK licencing is actually a pretty good scheme and why it’s good news for you and me (i.e. your everyday, salt of the earth punters) that this scheme is in place.

First of all, a pretty little list to easily highlight which betting sites have a UK licence…

Top 5 Betting Sites With A UK License

New Customers only. Deposit and place a £5 qualifying bet at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 2x £10 Sports/Virtual Sports Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater, expires in 7 days, plus a £10 Casino Bonus, expires in 7 days. Wager the Casino Bonus 35x to withdraw winnings. Payment Cards only. Geographical Restrictions and T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly
New online customers only, min £10/€10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 X £10/€10, 30 day expiry, free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. Full T&C's apply.
18+ Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions + T&Cs apply.
New UK & NI customers only. 18+. Sign up using promo code ‘SPORTS60’. Deposit & place first sports bet at a minimum of £10 in one bet transaction at evens (2.0) +. £30 paid in free bets within 48 hours of bet settlement, expires 7-days after issue. E-Wallet & Prepaid Card restrictions apply. Your first bet must be settled within 60 days of bet placement. SMS validation may be required. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days. Full T&Cs apply.
New customer offer. Place 5 x £10 or more bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. T&Cs apply.

The above are my favourite sites with a UK license, for a full and exhaustive list you can visit:

Who is responsible for UK licenses?

The mighty Gambling Commission both issues licences and regulates the industry. By the way, I wasn’t joking when I referred to them as mighty – they are one of the most proactive public bodies currently operating in the UK.

We’ll discuss below some of the fines that they have levied on naughty betting companies in the past, but they are also happy to wade in and give a public slap to their members when they deserve it.

Very recently, they have been laying the Smackdown about the role of women in connection to the gambling industry – in particular their exploitation for advertising purposes. They has led, amongst other things, to William Hill and Sky Sports removing the walk on girls at Darts tournaments.

Frankly, all those girls did was highlight just how fat and ugly 99% of pro darts players are, so it’s no real loss in my eyes.

The gambling commission have also recently cracked down Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in betting shops now limiting the max stake to £2.

Broadly speaking though they do a good job of keeping everything legal, transparent and above board in the UK Gambling industry – which can only be a good thing for punters.

What does having a UK betting license mean?

License ReviewWith great power, comes great responsibility. So to, with the UK Betting Licence comes a responsibility on the part of the betting companies to uphold a number of conditions for the issue of that licence.

There are a lot of them, they cover a lot of things and some are specific to the industry the company works in – for example, there are set rules for high street bingo halls that are quite different from online betting exchanges.

Broadly speaking however, the key conditions are defined as:

Social Responsibility – We are talking here about efforts to protect problem gamblers from themselves. It’s also about helping to prevent underage gambling, certain restrictions on marketing and advertising – again, with the aim of protecting people with gambling problems and impressionable children.

Anti – Money Laundering – Even if they are made an offer they can’t refuse, the bookies must do all they can to monitor and stop the money from organised crime being laundered through their services.

Technical Standards – This refers to the technical tools – including websites and apps – that the bookies use. Essentially, it just means there are some acceptable minimums that the bookies soft and hardware must be built and operate to.

Alternate Dispute Resolution – We’ll chat more about this below when we briefly discuss making complaints against the bookies. But in essence this part of the licence means they must fund an independent service that can settle disputes between the bookies and punters.

What happens if a bookmaker breaks license conditions?

Ban HammerWell, the Commission will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger.

Or they will fine them. One or the other. The ultimate deterrent of course is that the licence is revoked, essentially preventing the company from operating in the UK. This could be a death sentence for a bookie – especially a UK based one. This punishment is therefore very much the nuclear option, and has not been invoked yet.

Instead, as we mentioned, naughty betting companies will instead be hit with fines for breaching any terms of their licence.

For example, 888, one of the largest all online gambling companies, were fined a record £7.8 million in 2017. This fine was actually a collection of smaller fines for various infractions all packaged up into one mega fine. One of the fines regarded an IT failure that meant that problem gamblers that had asked to be self-excluded from online gambling could still access – and use – their online accounts.

This breached both the social responsibility & technical standards sections of 888’s UK betting licence.

How can you complain about a bookmakers?

We have a whole article on this procedure, so feel free to check that out if you need to make a complaint against a betting company.

Broadly speaking, complaints must be made direct to the betting company – not the gambling commission. If you are not happy with the result from the complaint, you can take it to an Alternate Dispute Resolution service we mentioned above. More information about them can be obtained from the Gambling Commission.

More info here: