Few countries can match the UK for its sporting enthusiasm. Whilst it is an integral part of the British DNA to be pessimistic and self-deprecating about our sporting chances, the fact is the UK boasts a plethora of world class sports teams, stadia and this has birthed an enormous sporting culture.
One child of this sporting love fest in Britain is the sports betting market. Legal in the UK for over half a century, and having today evolved into a huge online marketplace, British sports betting is unrivalled across the globe. Whilst many other countries face antiquated and conservative sports betting restrictions, the UK has a famously liberal stance on betting, and as such, most sports popular in Britain are well represented in sports betting markets.
These are the most popular sports bet markets enjoyed in the UK today.
Despite the wildly diverse range of sports played, attended and broadcast in Britain, with football on the scene, any debate about sporting popularity is an open and shut case. The modern game was codified in Britain, and whilst international success for all home nations is often at a premium, this never dampens the immense enthusiasm for which football commands.
Betting on football has truly skyrocketed over the last decade or so. Although it has been legal to bet on football since the 60s, recent developments like online betting, with the allure of lucrative promotions and innovative wagering features, such as those outlined in the details of betting offers on freebets.com have helped football betting explode in popularity.
Accumulators, goalscorer bets, both teams to score bets and in-play wagering have firmly elevated the nation’s favourite pastime to the top of the sports betting pantheon.
2. Horse Racing
Having a flutter on a knackered old mare is as integral a part of British culture as chips on Brighton beach. Once the preserve of royalty and the aristocracy, racing is now a pursuit for the masses, and this is reflected in its enduring popularity with bettors. A complex lexicon has evolved around horse race betting which would leave many uninitiated punters baffled. Start talking to a stranger on the bus about “Dutches” or “Canadians” and they’d assume you were a geography student.
Still, whilst horse racing may be a little complex for outsiders, it remains amongst the most popular market for Britons. Just look at the lines outside your local bookie on Grand National Day.
“The Game of The Empire” is a sport which requires a degree of patience, to put it politely. It’s perhaps unsurprising that betting on cricket is increasingly popular, especially with younger fans. Matched bets remain the most popular market for cricket, but other bet types like number of runs, top bowler and top batsman can help a Test match glimmer with just a little more excitement. So whilst some cricket traditionalists may insist that anything which compromises the gentle flow of a day at Lords is tantamount to blasphemy, a well-placed cricket bet can really assist with some of the slower aspects of the game.
4. Ice Hockey
One explanation in Ice Hockey’s representation on British betting sites is their popularity with Canadian and American bettors. With sports betting restrictions much more stringent on the other side of the Atlantic, although this is starting to change, many North Americans choose to bet via UK based sites, which offer much more competitive rates than the American domestic market. Ice Hockey is still something of a niche sport in Britain, but is wildly popular across the pond, and even ranks amongst one of the biggest sports globally; this should go some way to explaining its representation in the catalogues of many online bookies.
To the chagrin of many Rugby fans, their favorite sport largely plays second fiddle to the popularity of football (soccer) in Britain. Still, there are perhaps more similarities than both sets of fans would like to admit.
Both sports in practice involve guys chasing a ball around a field for over an hour, although Rugby is slightly more aggressive.
There are also similarities with the types of bets that can be placed on Rugby matches, with match betting, try scorers and accumulators all popular with Rugby fans. So whilst fans will argue till they are blue in the face about which is the superior sport, in the UK, particularly when sports betting is involved, we always have more in common than sets us apart.