Gambling has seen huge growth over the past ten years with UK-licenced operators generating a gross gambling yield (GGY) of £14.4 billion during the period April 2018 to March 2019 according to the latest statistics from the UK Gambling Commission. Online gambling generated a gross gambling yield of £5.32 billion during this period which accounts for 37.1% of the market share. Factors such as the ability to gamble on mobile devices and the increased exposure of online betting sites have played a part in the popularity of online betting as well as the number of operators offering a huge number of betting markets on a variety of sports.

UK punters love betting on sports and so we decided to take a look at which sports are the most popular when it comes to having a flutter.

1. Football

Football is without a doubt the biggest sport in the UK, which isn’t surprising given that the English Premier League is considered to be one of the best leagues in the world. As such, UK individuals love to bet on football and now have the choice of hundreds of betting markets for each match at a selection of online bookies.

Punters can bet on anything from the match winner or first goalscorer to which team will receive the most cards or whether or not there will be a corner kick in the first 5 minutes. As well as a huge choice when it comes to betting markets, punters are also enticed by the increased number of betting offers from bookmakers for football matches. The majority of online bookies run some kind of promos for football matches whether they be for specific games or across all matches. These offers can provide great value to the punter and a great reason to bet on football with one bookmaker over another. As well as these offers which are available to existing customers, bookies also offer incentives to new customers which can be great to use on football matches. Betway’s sign up offer for new UK customers at is one example and offers new customers a free bet when registering and placing their first bet.

2. Horse Racing

Horse racing has always been a popular sport to bet on and with multiple race meetings taking place every day, there is never a shortage of options. Similar to with football, bookmakers run a number of promotions for horse racing which entice punters to bet online. Offers such as Best Odds Guaranteed, Money Back if 2nd and Extra Places are all extremely popular and are one of the reasons UK punters bet on horse racing online. William Hill is one bookmaker which generally runs a number of horse racing offers.

Some punters place horse racing bets every day whereas, for others, they enjoy a flutter on the big races. The UK is host to some of the biggest horse races and meetings in the world which generated huge interest and millions of pounds of bets each year. The Grand National, Glorious Goodwood and Royal Ascot are just a few examples of major horse racing festivals which attract both professional bettors and casual punters.

3. Tennis

Tennis tournaments take place all year round, allowing punters to bet on a number of matches featuring their favourite players. Some of the biggest tournaments include the Australian Open, the US Open and of course, the worlds most prestigious Gland Slam tournament, Wimbledon, which takes place in the UK every June/July.

Betting on tennis has become increasingly popular, especially with the addition and improvements to live in-play betting. This allows punters to bet on a number of in-play markets such as the player to win the next point, whether or not the next serve will be an ace and many more. The sport also has had some great figures over recent years with players such as Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and the UK’s Andy Murray dominating the men’s game and Serena Williams being the one to beat in the women’s game.


As you would expect, football, horse racing and tennis are the most popular sports to bet on in the UK but there are many other sports which attract interest from punters. Sports such as golf, rugby, darts and a range of US sports such as basketball, ice hockey and American football are all very popular.