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Five Most Popular Sports to Bet On in the UK

Punters in the UK are spoilt for choice when it comes to betting on the sport. Whilst the old-school high street bookies or a day at the races remain firm fixtures, gambling from the comfort of your living room or out on the go via online and mobile betting sites is rising steadily as popular options. Bookmaking is an exciting and fast-moving industry where millions change hands every day across a wide range of sports. Let's take a look at some of the UK's favourite sports to have a flutter on.


When it comes to sports in the UK, football reigns supreme. The Premier League is regarded as Europe's finest, attracting a huge global audience. Hundreds of thousands of dedicated fans follow their teams across the country, whatever the weather and millions tune into matches on the TV and online. So, it's no surprise that football fans make up the largest market when it comes to gambling. Whether you are just taking a cheeky flutter or you're a more seasoned gambler, the best UK betting sites will guide you on odds, cashouts, and all other technical jargon so you can concentrate on enjoying the action on the pitch.

Horse Racing

An odds on favourite with punters and bookmakers for centuries, the sport of kings still remains hugely popular, even though it's market share is slipping compared to tennis and football. However, with a busy racing calendar including several marquee events at the Grand National, the Epsom Derby, and Royal Ascot there is no shortage of opportunities to peruse the form card and have a crack at the races. There is a certain art to successful gambling on the horses - the form, the going and certain gut instinct is all involved when picking a winner. And these days, with jargon-busting apps and websites you don't have to be an expert to back a winner!


A sport that has truly benefited from the advent of live betting is tennis. It may come to a surprise that it has become such a firm favourite amongst punters, but now that it’s possible to bet on every set as you watch the matches live, it makes total sense. A degree of interactivity is something punters love, and a look at the ATP tour calendar shows that big events take place all year-round. Naturally, the biggest events are the Opens, in France, the USA, Australia and of course Wimbledon in the UK, and the dominance of high profile players - such as Serena Williams or Novak Djokovic - who transcend the sport, all serve to attract punters and means that tennis is making quite a racket at the bookies!

Gloves Are Off

Boxing, UFC and even WWE are increasing in popularity amongst punters. A wide range of betting options is usually available for fight night, usually based on the manner of the result (knockout or points/rounds and margins) but in some cases, round by round as the action unfolds. High profile fighters in big fights attract the most punters, and gone are the days when only heavyweights captured the imagination. Of course, there is no denying the popularity of big fighters like Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, but lighter fighters such as Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and Vasyl Lomacheko punch well above their weight at the bookies.

US Sports

Many punters look across the pond for their sporting action, betting on baseball (MLB), American football (NFL and college football), basketball (NBA) and ice hockey (NHL). And whilst it will never dominate the UK market in the way football and tennis do, lots of bookies now offer promotions and offers to flutter on US sports. The trend amongst UK punters is to put acc (accumulator) bets across a range of sporting events, and the market is geared towards this.

The Rest

Of course, punters will always place bets on their favourite sports, which means that golf, cricket, rugby union, and rugby league all find their place on the roll call. Large events, such as the recent Rugby World Cup or the Cricket World Cup will spike interest and usually means that a few casual observers will wager on events, rather than just the die-hard fans.

Football and tennis continue to dominate the UK betting market, but you're sure to find odds on just about any sport you love, online, on the high street or right on your mobile.