From the early days of the racecourse bookmakers in the UK and the gambling underworld in New York to the billions made by the best betting sites and the industry in general this day, it would be fair to say that gambling has changed beyond all recognition in the past century.
The key driver of that, of course, has been the internet, and by the year 2024 it is estimated that nearly ten billion US dollars will be bet annually via websites and apps.
Best Online Bookmakers
|Sportsbook||Promo Code||Current Promotions|
|William Hill||BETEXVIP||Check out their current promotions|
|bet365||JBVIP||Check out their current promotions|
|Unibet||Use our links||Check out their current promotions|
An industry of that size needs to be regulated appropriately, of course, but it’s fair to say that each country has its own idea as to how that should be carried out – hence the different rules on online betting as you move from nation to nation. Since the market is still growing and it may be difficult to make a decision regarding the brand you want to gamble with, take a look at the best bookmakers ranked for December 2023 we present below to pick the ones that are definitely worth joining.
1. Which Countries Is It Legal to Bet In?
As far as English-speaking countries are concerned, the major online betting market remains the UK, where hundreds of millions of pounds are wagered on sports like football, horse racing, tennis, cricket and many more.
The reason that online betting continues to thrive in the UK is because the legal framework is one that allows it to. The government, assisted by the UK Gambling Commission, has introduced a range of methods to protect against irresponsible gambling, and this includes banning the use of credit cards to make deposits at online betting sites etc.
In order to meet their regulatory demands, the best betting sites in the UK – whether they operate on the high street and/or online – have to be approved for a licence by the UK Gambling Commission.
If you're interested in top online UK bookmakers, we invite you to a tour of the best betting sites for players from United Kingdom.
Just across the water, the Republic of Ireland is another country where gambling continues to thrive. With a rich tradition of horse racing in the country, the Irish love to have a bet. The gambling rules and regulations can be found in Betting Acts 1931 to 2015 (latest amendment). The last amendment has made it illegal for a remote sportsbook to offer their services to Irish punters without a proper license. You can find more information about that in our article about top Irish betting sites and promo codes for registration.
In the USA, the rules are quite unusual because thanks to a decision by the Supreme Court in 2018, each state has the power to legalise online gambling should they please.
As you may know, you could bet in Las Vegas for a good few decades now, but the law change has seen a number of other states – New Jersey, West Virginia and Pennsylvania being just three – allowing online betting companies to offer their services to their natives. So the list of best ranked online bookmakers is different for each state.
In Canada, the rules are even stranger. It is considered illegal to operate an online betting platform from Canadian soil, and yet it is not illegal for Canadians to actually bet online.
Confused? Well, it’s not complicated because a number of ‘offshore’ sports betting sites and online casinos offer their products to Canadian players without infringing any rules, so for that reason it is – technically – legal to bet in Canada.
2. Which are the Best Online Bookmakers?
It is commonly agreed as to the identity of the best online bookmakers available in the UK, Ireland, Canada and beyond.
One of the oldest and the best bookmakers in the world is William Hill, a brand that started on the racecourses of the UK way back in the early 1900s. They deserve their billing as one of the top online bookmakers thanks to the breadth of their sports betting offering, the quality of their casino games and the generosity of their welcome bonuses and promotions – more on those later.
Amazingly, bet365 are one of the biggest betting brands in the world, and yet they have never owned a single bookmakers’ shop on the high street. So the secret of their success is clearly in the quality of their website and app – making them a standout contender as one of the best online bookmakers.
And another brand that deserves their billing as one of the best online sports betting sites is Unibet.
This is a firm that started out from the Scandinavian market, and so to make their brand stand out in English speaking countries Unibet had to do things a little bit differently. So, they offered new customers a range of innovative bonuses, introduced a selection of interesting betting markets that have since been ‘borrowed’ by other brands, and they were one of the first to also offer live streaming of sporting events around the world.
These three firms continue to thrive in England, Ireland and Canada, and while progress is slightly slower in the USA you can rest assured that eventually they will all break through based upon the quality of their platforms.
If you are looking for information about other countries, for example about best betting sites in Ghana, we've got you covered. There are some reputable betting companies in Ghana and we present those betting sites in Ghana on our website. Take a look at our article about Ghana betting sites.
3. The Best Online Betting Offers
It will perhaps come as no surprise to learn that the best bookies are those which offer the most generous of online bookmakers sign up offers.
Take bet365, for example. Their welcome package features a stack of bet credits when you sign up and make your deposit – in the UK, this equates to £50 in bet credits (T&C Apply), in Ireland it’s €50 and in Canada it’s up to $200.
To qualify, all you have to do is sign up for an account, make a deposit and place your first bet – it’s that easy!
As far as William Hill are concerned, the welcome offer is equally rewarding. Sign up using your William Hill bonus code, make a deposit and when you bet £10, you will be rewarded with £30 in free bets (T&C Apply, the bonus is available to Irish players in Euros).
With Unibet, you will get your first bet back as bonus funds, with a maximum of £40 for UK players (T&C Apply) and €25 for Irish players. There’s also a deposit bonus offer for players in Canada, the USA and beyond.
All of the above mentioned bookmakers set really high standards and their promotions are always worth following. Come to think of it, you might also want to familiarise yourself with the best promo codes unlocking the best casino and sports offers in your area. Also keep checking our site on a regular basis to discover any new online bookmakers with attractive offers!
4. Best Betting Sites FAQ
4.1 🔝 Which are the best UK betting sites?
There are many online bookmakers in the UK, but we were to pick the best betting sites in the UK, we would go for bet365, Unibet and William Hill.
4.2 💰 Which online bookies give best odds?
Bet365, Unibet and William Hill - all the above brands offer competitive odds and, what's more, you can also find special deals and attractive bonuses there.
4.3 🔐 Why should I use bonus codes at the best bookmakers?
Using promo codes at the best betting sites recommended by our JohnnyBet team of experts in this articles can, in most cases, make the available offers even more attractive and give you access to exclusive welcome bonuses!