5 Most Popular Sports to Bet On in the UK

5 Most Popular Sports to Bet On in the UK

In the United Kingdom, sports betting has been legal since 1961 and nowadays, punters can bet online, on their mobile devices and in high street betting shops. Seeing as how betting on sports is big business, it comes as no surprise then that there is a wide variety of sports that people are allowed to bet on. With so many options, it’s no wonder that its popularity keeps growing. Keep on reading to see which sports are the most popular when it comes to placing wagers.


Keeping in mind that football is one of the most popular sports on the planet, it’s only normal for it to top this list. With so many leagues and teams to follow, there is a huge number of passionate fans willing to bet on their favourites and it’s not uncommon to overhear people in pubs and restaurants discussing upcoming fixtures. Plus, having access to UK betting sites 24/7 and seeing as how there are so many different things to bet on – from the final outcome to who the first goalscorer will be – it’s not surprising that people have an incentive to bet on these matches.

When it comes to the UK, there are people who bet regularly and those who only choose to place bets during certain, bigger events. For example, people that support a certain team, whether it’s in the Premier League, the Championship or any other league, are likely to bet on them every time they play a game. On the other hand, there are also those individuals that prefer betting on their team once they reach the final of the FA Cup or the knock-out stage of the Champions League and those who would rather bet on international matches and World Cup fixtures.


Perhaps it comes as a shock that tennis ranks this high on the list but it has a lot of fans and it’s growing in popularity with each passing day. Betting on this sport brings in billions of pounds in revenue every year which is a great statistic seeing as how people usually only talk about it when the Grand Slams are being played. Plus, being home to the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world is no small feat and it means that even people who don’t regularly follow the sport will tune in to see some of the biggest matches.

Live betting has widened the appeal of placing wagers on tennis matches as it allows punters to bet on the winner of each set as well as the winner of the match. Moreover, it is somewhat easier to bet on tennis because there are a few names that are dominating the game such as Djokovic and Nadal. However, there are always upsets, which makes this game even more interesting and betting against the favourites can sometimes bring punters great prizes.

Horse Racing

While there was a time when horse racing would have topped this list easily, nowadays it has to settle for third place. It has slipped due to the globalization and wider availability of sports like football and tennis. However, even though the new generation of punters seems to be losing interest in this sport, this does not mean that horse racing is completely ignored – on the contrary, it’s still going strong.

For instance, just take into account the fact that punters bet around 150 million pounds during the 2017 Cheltenham Festival alone. Plus, there are other popular events such as the Epsom Derby, Royal Ascot and the Grand National which can still draw big wagers and plenty of punters.

US Sports

Interestingly, overseas sports are becoming increasingly popular in the UK. Bookmakers are becoming aware of this fact and are shifting their focus to promoting these markets as well. US sports are usually grouped together but UK pundits are increasingly interested in betting on everything from American football matches to basketball. Besides the NFL and NBA, baseball and even ice hockey are also gaining a lot of attention.


The last sport we’re going to mention on this list is golf, which is slowly but surely rising in popularity, mainly thanks to the opportunity to place bets online. Punters usually opt for the two main tours – the PGA Tour and the European Tour – and for the four Majors that are played every year. What is more, it is also possible to bet on some lower-ranked tours as well as on the Ladies’ game which has never been better. Other than betting on the winner, people also make side bets such as will there be a hole-in-one and what the winning margin will be.

As you can see, from football to golf, there is a wide variety on offer when it comes to sports betting in the UK. If you’re thinking about doing it as well, it is obvious that you can easily find a sport that might appeal to you and give you the opportunity to win big. Good luck! 

By Matchedbets Experts


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