Betting Online vs Betting in Shops – The Complete Guide

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Last Updated on: 31.03.2023

Betting online vs shops – which is better? The online betting industry is now worth millions; come 2024, it is expected to be valued at over 94 billion USD. Here is all you need to know about online betting, betting in shops, the online betting registration process, the best betting shops, the advantages of online betting, and more!

Betting Online vs Shops

The online betting industry has taken the world by storm, with the launch of several noteworthy betting sites over the years, a plethora of betting markets and several outstanding betting features. The online betting industry is worth over 50 billion USD, at the time of writing (05/2020), and is poised to breach the 90 billion USD mark by 2024.

Betting sites like bet365, Unibet, Betfair and 888sport, among others, are a few of the best bookmakers in the industry. These betting sites offer a wide array of sports-based betting markets to choose from, live casino tables, excellent promotional offers, plenty of deposit and withdrawal options and betting features such as Cash Out and Bet Builder tool.

Betting in shops allows you to place bets and retrieve your achieved winnings almost immediately. That being said, betting shops come with a maximum withdrawal limit, which tends to be considerably lower than that on offer at most top betting sites.

You can withdraw your winnings via a placed online bet at a betting shop near you, using your customer identification number, valid proof of identity, and your bet slip details. Keep in mind that you may have to call the shop in question beforehand.

A betting shop allows you to watch a match and bet on it physically, without having to rely on a medium such as a computer system or a mobile phone. There are approximately 9,000 betting shops in the United Kingdom, each of which offers separate perks, bonuses and features. While betting shops offer bonuses and prizes from time to time, as well as varied betting functionality, the transition from betting shops to online betting is becoming more evident by the day.

Betting from the comfort of your home also allows you to make more carefully thought-out decisions, which may not be the case when you are betting in a shop. Let's take a look at more advantages of betting online vs shops below.

Best Betting Sites We Recommend for Online Betting in 2023

  • Many sports betting markets on offer
  • Dedicated sports statistics
  • Regulated and licensed by the MGA

18+ - Offer for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and Full T&Cs apply. #ad

  • Live stream select sports matches via Unibet TV
  • Regulated and licensed by the UKGC and the GGC
  • £40 Money Back Offer

18+ New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first bet loses. Wagering requirements: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Unless forfeited the sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. No deposit required for NI customers. Call 08081699314 to claim. Full T&Cs apply. #ad

  • Live streaming for select sports matches
  • Excellent odds on sports
  • Regulated and licensed by the UKGC and the GOG

18+ Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days. To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days. Wagering requirements vary by game. Deposit methods, Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&Cs apply. #ad

  • Odds on offer for sports-based betting markets
  • An excellent quality of odds on offer
  • Licensed and regulated by the UKGC and the GGC

18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first 5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x 5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions + Full T&Cs apply. #ad

Coral logo
  • A good quality of odds are on offer
  • Wide variety of sports markets and odds
  • Licensed and regulated by the UKGC and the GGC

18+ New UK+ ROI Customers only. Deposit & Bet min £5 as first bet at minimum odds 1/2 to qualify for 1x £20 Free Bet. Certain deposit methods and bet types excluded. Free bet valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions apply. Full T&Cs apply. #ad

Pinnacle Logo
  • Vast selection of sports markets on offer
  • Licensed and regulated by the Government of the Netherlands Antilles
  • Many Responsible Gambling tools available
William Hill
  • An excellent quality of sports odds on offer
  • Several sports markets to punt on
  • Regulated and licensed by the UKGC and the GGC
Betfair logo
  • Excellent mobile apps for both Exchange and Sportsbook
  • Regulated and licensed by the UKGC and the MGA
  • Up to £30 in Free Bets as a welcome bonus

New customer offer. Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards or Apple Pay will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.Full T&Cs apply. #ad

Best Betting Shops – Top 5

#01 Ladbrokes

#02 Coral

#03 William Hill

#04 Paddy Power

#05 Betfair

Advantages of Online Betting

1. Better Odds on Offer

Given the fact that betting shops have to take care of operating costs, they often charge higher margins when compared to betting sites. Betting shops often compensate for these increased margins of personal profit by offering lower odds on betting variants. For example, instead of offering 3/1 on a win, they may offer 2/1 instead, reaping an increased profit off each winning bet. Betting shops may also incorporate hidden costs, unlike online bookmakers, who more often than not operate with the highest transparency possible in order to attract and retain customers.

2. Larger Offering of Betting Markets

Betting shops offer a lower variety of betting markets when compared to betting sites. Popular betting sites often offer odds on over 20-25 or more different sports, esports, special markets, live casino tables and other products. On the other hand, betting shops normally opt and settle for only the most popular markets.

3. Better Offers and Features

Betting sites offer a much larger selection of welcome offer bonuses, weekly offers, promotions, prizes and betting features in general, and those which incorporate VIP programs offer an even larger set of perks.

While betting shops too offer prizes, loyalty programs and offers, betting sites offer a much larger amount of perks for their customers. Features like Cash Out and Bet Builder, for example, are particularly useful and highly sought-after by online bettors. Some sites even offer the latest news about the world of betting, together with betting statistics and results, which can help you formulate an effective betting strategy.

Moreover, the best betting sites offer specialised promotional offers pertaining to sports-based markets, esports and other products from time to time. Regarding the booming popularity of betting on esports, betting sites are a much better prospect for this particular market than betting shops.

4. Privacy

When you are betting at home, you have absolute privacy. Only you know the markets that you have punted on, the money that you are staking, how much you have won or the losses that you have incurred. Additionally, the best betting sites incorporate SSL encryption to ensure that all the transactions that take place on a betting site are secure.

Betting sites should always be licensed and regulated, and incorporate responsible gambling sections and tools to help you set betting limits and to help regulate your betting activity.

5. Bet Anywhere, at Any Time

The rise of mobile devices as well as betting apps and mobile sites means that you can bet whenever you want from wherever you are. Gone are the days of needing to get dressed, running to the nearest betting shop and waiting in line. Mobile betting apps can be used to place bets conveniently from any place you find comfortable. Moreover, betting apps allow you stay up-to-date with the latest news and events via notifications and other features.

Online Betting Registration Process

Registering at a betting site is usually very straightforward. Simply click on the registration button or section of the site in question (which is usually very easy to access) and you will be redirected to the registration form. You will have to enter personal details like your full name, email address, date of birth, country of residence, and your full address. Afterwards, you normally need to create a unique username and a secure password.

Some betting sites may complete the registration process at this stage, while others may ask you to upload documents to prove your identity and your address. As soon as the site has verified these documents, you will be allowed to deposit funds into your online betting account and place bets. Some sites may also ask you to upload personal identification documents when you initiate your first withdrawal, or when you are withdrawing a large sum of money. Although this may seem like a hassle, at the end of the day, this process of verification is to counter fraud and protect customers.

The best betting sites offer a large number of deposit and withdrawal options to choose from, so you can choose the payment method best suited to you. These options may or may not come with fees, and vary in their processing times and limits. Therefore, it's always best to do your research on these payment methods before registering and making deposits or withdrawals.

Best Betting Shops

#1 Ladbrokes

Ladbrokes currently has over 2,000 betting shops in the United Kingdom. Via Ladbrokes’ “The Grid” programme, you can receive free bets, money back offers, and machine bonuses. You can also win prizes, surprises, and experiences by accumulating points, betting or playing on machines in a Ladbrokes shop.

You can track the bets that you have placed at a Ladbrokes shop via Ladbrokes’ mobile app. With the help of your Grid Card, you can transfer your winnings from a Ladbrokes shop to your online account. There are also several other fantastic features on offer for Ladbrokes’ betting shop customers.

#2 Coral

Having been acquired by Ladbrokes in 2016, Coral has nearly 2,000 betting shops in the United Kingdom. Coral’s “Connect” system offers several shop exclusive offers, bonuses, and prizes, including 20 GBP in free bets upon wagering 5 GBP in-shop. As is usually the case with these promotions, certain terms and conditions may apply.

You can track the bets that you have placed at a Coral shop via Coral’s mobile app, and transfer the winnings acquired at a Coral shop via your linked Connect Card

#3 William Hill

William Hill has over 2,000 betting shops in the United Kingdom, at the time of writing. Their “Plus” programme offers several features, promotions and benefits. As with Ladbrokes and Coral, with the help of your linked William Hill Plus Card, you can transfer your in-shop winnings to your online account.

#4 Paddy Power

With over 100 betting shops in the United Kingdom, Paddy Power offers not one but two cards to customers. There is the Paddy Power Cash Card PPlus, which is a prepaid MasterCard that can be linked to your online Paddy Power account and can be used not only at a Paddy Power shop, but also at outlets such as KFC and Pizza Hut. Then there is the Cash Card, which can be used to deposit funds into your online account and to earn VIP rewards and benefits.

You can acquire both cards if you wish to.

#5 Betfair

Betfair has no shops of its own. To deposit funds into your Betfair account, you can visit a Paddy Power shop near you. Make sure you have your Betfair customer identification number and a valid identification document with you, and bear in mind that you cannot withdraw funds in-shop.

Betting Online vs Shops – Which is better?

CriteriaOnline BettingBetting in Shops
Quality of Odds
Deposit and Withdrawal Options
Deposit and Withdrawal Limits
Variety of Betting Markets
Offers, Perks and Prizes
Betting Features
Ease of Access
Responsible Gambling


There approximately 9,000 betting shops in the UK at the moment.
These would be Ladbrokes, Coral, William Hill, Paddy Power and Betfair.
There are so many excellent online bookmakers these days – however, we would recommend bet365, Unibet, Betfair and 888sport as the very best.
bet365, Luckbox (exclusively for esports) and Unibet are some of the best sites for live streaming.
Online betting offers better odds than betting in a shop.

ThePuntersPage Final Say

While both online betting and betting in shops each come with a set of pros and cons, there has been a sizeable shift from betting in shops to online betting. In the battle of betting online vs shops, it looks as though the former definitely has the edge over its land-based counterparts, especially with all the advantages online bookmakers have to offer; however, preferences differ from person to person.

The online betting industry is expected to continue growing by leaps and bounds over time, and it is little wonder that the best betting sites are not only improving in terms of what they have to offer but are also facing increasing competition. If you prefer to bet online, we recommend Unibet, bet365, Betfair and 888sport; however, if you'd rather pop down to a betting shop, you can't do any better than Ladbrokes, Coral and William Hill. You can easily grasp the concept of betting online by reading our article on How to Bet Online.