As we spend more and more of our lives on our mobile devices, it’s unsurprising that sports betting apps have become the most popular betting method for UK punters. An ever-increasing number of operators are entering the market, so it can be difficult to work out which might be the best betting app for you.
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Sport never sleeps. There is always a significant event or match happening somewhere in the world every minute of the day, that can grab your interest. The biggest advantage of sports betting apps is that you are never out of the game and can be engaged 24/7, wherever you are.
However, the best betting app will always give you much more than this. Whether it’s live streaming of matches, race replays, extensive form guides or tips from the experts, mobile sports betting means you always have access to the best information directly in your smartphone or tablet, so you’re never betting in the dark.
And because betting apps are designed specifically for use on the smaller screens of tablets and mobile phones, moving between markets, or between race replays and your betting slip, is always quick and easy to do — essential when you’re punting on the go.
All of the sports betting apps that we recommend here are by reputable and established bookmakers, who are licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. All are fully entitled to offer remote sports betting services to residents of the UK.
This means that betting on sports or playing online casinos games on a mobile app is entirely legal. Of course, you must be 18 years of age, able to confirm your identity and provide proof that you are resident in the UK.
Our featured sports betting apps provide UK punters with a variety of different methods for both depositing and withdrawing funds. You can operate your account in GBP and in most cases, there are no fees to make deposits or withdrawals (but where this isn’t the case, we’ll let you know in our review).
Boku, or Pay-by-Phone, is a popular method for making payments on betting apps for iPhone and Android. The amount you deposit is either added to your monthly bill or deducted from your balance if you’re on a pay-as-you-go plan. This is very convenient, of course, but the only drawback is that you can’t make withdrawals. So, if you use Boku you’ll need to use an alternative withdrawal method (usually direct bank transfer or bank cheque, both of which can be very slow).
Other popular payment methods that allow you to make deposits and withdrawals are PayPal and e-wallets such as Skrill, Neteller and EcoPayz. E-wallets are a particularly good option as deposits are credited instantly, and withdrawals reach your account as soon as the operator has processed them. E-wallets and PayPal also give you added security, as your personal financial information is not shared with the sports book. Popular pre-paid methods include Paysafe Card and POLi.
You can also use credit and debit cards with most of the betting apps that we feature here, although MasterCard can be more problematic, as many sites only enable you to use it for deposits, not withdrawals.
The range of markets on football is enormous and the type of sports bets you can make extends far beyond simply backing the winner of a match. You can bet on the first goal scorer, how many goals will be scored in a match, who will be ahead at half and full time, as well as acca bets that incorporate several different fixtures into the one wager. The best sports betting apps will not only cover the Premier League, but all levels of football in Britain, as well as La Liga, Serie A and Bundesliga, along with competitions from further afield like MLS and the A League in Australia.
Although you can bet on tennis all-year round, with all ATP and WTA tournaments covered as well as satellite events from around the globe, it’s when the Grand Slams come around that you get the best tennis sports bets. You can take a punt on the outright winner of the tournament, as well as on who will win an individual match, who will serve the most aces or double faults, etc., and there is also live in-play betting available in most of our betting apps, where the odds fluctuate depending on the situation in any given match.
For UK punters who like to bet on boxing, there is a surprising number of markets available, and although it’s only the big bouts that get the media attention, for aficionados there are always high quality fights taking place around the world. In-play betting is available on most boxing matches. You can bet on the outright winner, but you can also take on long-range punts on future fights, as well as who you think will hold a particular title.
There is increasing demand for e-sports bets on the sports betting apps we feature. Outright and in-play betting is available on most major competitions, and you can make sports bets on CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends, Overwatch and other popular e-sports as well.
Along with football, horse racing probably gets the most coverage of any sport in the apps we feature here. All of our sports betting apps offer extensive markets on all UK and Irish racing, with a growing number enabling you to make sports bets on races from Australia, the US and South Africa as well. A number of apps also offer live streaming of races, and many have race replays on offer as well. At the biggest meetings, as well as being able to place conventional win/place bets, there are always lots of specials and exotics on offer, and most of the apps featured here offer Best Odds Guaranteed to ensure you get the best possible value.
To download betting apps for iPhone and iPad, the simplest way is to visit the iTunes store and to search for the brand you want install. This process works the same as installing any other type of app, and is free of charge and quick to do. Once the app is installed, it should be easily accessible from your home screen.
With regard to betting apps for Android, most of these are now becoming available in Google Play, after Google lifted its ban on stocking real money gambling apps in 2018. Previous to this, most Android betting apps were downloaded directly from the operator’s website and in some instances, this is still how you have to do it (if this is the case, we’ll let you know in our review). If you do download an Android betting app from a site other than Google Play, make sure you adjust your settings to ‘Allow Unknown Sources’.
The most important step you can take to ensure your security when you use betting apps is to make sure you’re betting with a brand that is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, and that SSL digital encryption is used to protect data and financial transactions. Also, if you use a third-party payment method, such as an e-wallet, a pre-paid card or PayPal, your financial details are not being shared directly with the sports book, and so there is one less potential hacking target.
You should also take the same sort of basic precautions that you would for any sort of mobile phone or online use, such as don’t share your sports betting app password with anyone, don’t submit financial information on sites that don’t have a secure https:// URL, don’t stay logged into your mobile betting account when you’ve finished a session, and always ensure your phone or tablet is protected by a PIN.
If you back a horse at a lower price than the eventual starting price (SP) and it then wins, you get paid out at the better odds.
If you make a multi-leg accumulator (acca) bet that involves a combination of races and/or fixtures, and only one of those legs fails to win, then you get your stake back, usually in the form of bonus bets.
This means you can continue to bet on a match once it has started, with the odds you receive going up or down depending on the state of the game.
Usually applied to acca bets but also available on single bets as well, once you’ve made your bet you can effectively ‘cancel’ it if the outcome looks as if it’s not going your way. However, the amount you receive when you cash out will of course depend on when you do it and the likelihood of your bet being successful at the time you make your request.
UK punters do not need to pay tax on winnings made from winning sports bets. Operators instead pay a point of consumption tax on every bet they handle.
If you’re an Apple user, you will generally need iOS 8.0 or above to download the majority of the sports betting apps featured here (although recently updated apps may require iOS 9.0+). This means that you will probably need an iPhone 6 or later, or an iPad 2 or later, to download and install most apps.
For Android users, if you have Android 4.3 or later on your device you should be able to download and install most of the best betting app brands found here, and you can access them on a wide variety of devices, including Samsung, LG, Google Pixel, Sony, Huawei, HTC, Motorola and others.
The best sports betting apps enable you to switch between live streams of matches and races, and markets, so it is generally possible to bet in-play and watch an event simultaneously on your betting app.
Provided you bet with a reputable and licensed brand, have a secure payment method, and take some of the basic precautions listed above, it is very safe to bet on your mobile device.
If you need general information about how betting odds work in a mobile app, all of the brands listed here have FAQ pages that explain how different bets and odds operate. If you’re looking for the odds on a particular match or race, simply navigate to that sport in the main menu, and all the current matches for which the markets will be listed. Click on the fixture or race, and the odds for all the different bets on offer will be displayed.