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Best Scottish Betting Sites

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and has a rich gambling history that dates back to the 16th century. It is the birthplace of the iconic football manager Sir Alex Ferguson, the great striker Kenny Dalglish and the former world no.1 tennis player Andy Murray. It is also home to the legendary football clubs Celtic and Rangers. When it comes to online gambling, Scotland leads the UK in online betting participation, as 65% of its population wagers on a regular basis.

As of July 1, 1999, Scotland has its own devolved government. Nonetheless, all gambling-related activities are regulated by the UKGC under the Gambling Act 2005. Due to the liberal approach that the Gambling Act brought to the Scottish market, local players are allowed to bet on any bookie they prefer. Football, horse racing and golf are the most popular sports, and punters opt for legal betting sites in Scotland, like Bet365 and Betfair, in order to place their bets on their favorite events.

Best Scottish Bookmakers

scotland-flagThe following shortlist comprises the best bookmakers Scotland has to offer. We brought them together since they offer high football odds, a great variety of betting markets and appealing promotions.

Gambling in Scotland - 5 Things to Know

  • 1
    Betting became legal in Scotland in 1960
  • 2
    The legal age of gambling online is 18
  • 3
    The UKGC oversees land-based & online bookies
  • 4
    900 betting shops and 12 casinos operate in the country
  • 5
    Around 65% of the population are active gamblers

General info

Population: 5.465.000

Active players: 1.563.000

Currency: Pound sterling (GBP)

Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse racing, casino games, lottery, bingo

Operator types: Licensed online bookmakers & betting shops, land-based & online casinos

Designated authority: United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC)

Status: Regulated

Online Betting in Scotland: The Law Framework

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Throughout most of the 19th century, betting was considered illegal in Scotland. In 1845, the Gaming Act came into force, and it was followed by the 1853 Betting Act, which outlawed betting shops and prohibited gambling all across the country.

Everything changed in 1960 when all forms of gambling became legal under the Betting and Gaming Act. Betting shops opened in May 1961 for the first time after 108 years, and casinos were also legalized. Within the next four years, 16,000 betting licenses were issued, and the business began to boom.

Today, all online gambling activities are legal in Scotland under the 2005 Gambling Act, and the market is regulated by the UKGC, which assumed power on the 1st of September 2007. Therefore, both land-based and online operators in the country come under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission.

Currently, there are 900 betting shops in Scotland and twelve land-based casinos. Moreover, there is a wide array of online sportsbooks that operate legally, and all of them hold licenses issued by the Gambling Commission. 888sport, Betfair and Bet365 constitute the most prominent Scottish bookies.

Most Popular Sports on Scottish Bookmakers

BMB_Sports_GenericFootball is by far the most popular sport in Scotland. Scotting football has its origins back to the 15th century and the Scottish Cup is the oldest national trophy in the world. So, it comes as no surprise that football betting is the favorite pastime of Scots.

The Scottish Premiership is the top competition and punters love to place their bets on the Old Firm derby on the bookie that is the main sponsor of the league and comes with a 94% football payout, namely Ladbrokes Scotland. Horse racing is also considered very popular among local bettors, and the Scottish Grand National is the top domestic event.

William Hill Scotland is a great choice for horse racing enthusiasts in terms of odds, markets and promotions. Golf is yet another sport that is very popular in the country. Scotland is known as the ‘Home of Golf’, and Scottish Open betting is very widespread among punters.

Bet Scotland: How to Deposit at Online Bookies

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The most popular deposit methods among Scots punters are debit cards, bank transfers, Paysafecard, and e-wallets, like Skrill and Neteller. PayPal bookies are very common, and major brands in Scotland, such as Unibet and Betfred, offer a wide range of deposit options, including the ones mentioned above.

This means that bettors are free to choose the payment that suits them the most in order to fund their betting account.

The Future of Sports Betting in Scotland

BMB_Book SpySince the establishment of the Gambling Act 2005, the Scottish betting market has become liberalized, and punters are totally free to bet on any sportsbook they want, including those that are not licensed domestically.

It is worth noting, though, that the most decent operators are the ones that hold a valid license issued by the UKGC. Therefore, the top bookmakers in Scotland, such as Betvictor and Coral, are regulated by the Gambling Commission. The future of betting in the country looks promising, with newly licensed UK bookmakers constantly coming into the scene

Gambling Regulations in Nearby Countries

Ireland: has a large regulated market for the most part, as all land-based operators, as well as many online providers, are fully licensed. However, betting sites in Ireland face no restrictions, and players are free to sign-up with the bookie of their choice. 

Wales: adheres to the regulations set by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), granting locals access to leading operators in the industry. The Welsh betting sites are also subject to regulation and hold Tier-1 international licenses.

Northern Ireland: has legal online and on-land gambling in all its forms. It is regulated by the same international commission overseeing the other British countries, the UKGC. Players can choose to bet on many top brands in the rich list of Northern Ireland bookmakers.

FAQ
Q: Is gambling legal in Scotland?

Yes, all forms of gambling in Scotland are legal according to the provisions of the Gambling Act 2005 and regulated by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), which was established on September 1, 2007.

Q: Is sports betting legal in Scotland?

Yes, betting on sports has been considered legal in Scotland since September 1, 1960, when the Betting and Gaming Act was passed. Nowadays, all the major Scottish betting companies are overseen by the UKGC under the Gambling Act 2005.

Q: Which are the top sports for betting in Scotland?

Scottish football betting may be the most widespread betting activity in the country; nonetheless, sports of Scottish origin such as golf and tennis, along with rugby and horse racing, are also very popular among local punters.

Q: Which is the best betting site in Scotland?

There are several decent betting companies in Scotland licensed by the UKGC. However, the most prominent one in terms of odds and betting markets is the Betfair sportsbook and exchange. It comes with a 98% overall payout & 150+ betting markets on EPL football games. You might be interested in checking out and claiming the Betfred welcome bonus.

Q: Are betting winnings taxed in Scotland?

No, they are not. Any winnings deriving from Scottish online bookmakers are not subject to tax since betting is a recreational activity according to the government. Therefore, betting winnings are not considered a source of income, that’s why they are tax-free.

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