The UK is the largest online gambling market in the world. As such, many businesses have opened virtual bookmaking operations in the country over the years and continue to do so today.
However, with so much competition in the market, many would-be entrepreneurs wonder if it’s even worth the time, money, and effort to launch an online sportsbook in the country.
The truth is that success can be found in this saturated sector. It’s simply a matter of understanding the industry, knowing what is required to run a legitimate business in the UK, learning the popular player trends and tips for newcomers, analyzing your competition, and implementing smart marketing strategies.
Growth of Sports Betting in the UK
To start, it helps to understand how online sports betting became so popular in the United Kingdom.
Online gambling was legalized in the UK in 2003. Since that time, the number of residents in the country who engage in online betting has rapidly increased. According to a Statista survey, more than 75% of respondents had between 1 and 3 betting accounts at UK gambling sites in 2018.
This surge in growth over the years occurred for a variety of reasons including:
- Convenience – As the world became more digital, bettors loved the convenience of using their computer and/or mobile device to bet on their favorite teams, markets, etc. Online betting can be enjoyed anytime and anywhere, whether a player is at home, at work, or at the game.
- Improved technology –As technology advances, online/mobile betting continues to improve in terms of product diversity, visual appeal, functionality, and speed. The past decade alone has seen more markets, events, betting options, competitive odds, and live streaming emerge. As such, the best new betting sites to launch in the UK for 2022 are able to offer the fastest and most immersive user experiences.
- Better security – Greater online security has helped to boost player confidence as has tighter regulations from the country’s gambling regulator, the Gambling Commission. Along with increased security measures has come a variety of payment options, making it easier for punters to bet with the payment method they prefer.
- Promotions and bonus systems – High competition has resulted in companies implementing special welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions to both attract and retain players to reward loyalty.
Increased interest in online betting has led to more players, which has led to more revenue. In 2020, the revenue from off-course betting in the UK was just under £2 billion. Additionally, a report from the Gambling Commission revealed that in 2020, not only did the majority of online bettors bet in-play, but more online bettors (74%) used their mobile devices for in-play betting compared to 50% of online gamblers overall.
With the increase in mobile users and demand for betting, there is certainly room for more players in the industry who want to get involved in the business side of betting. So, what do you do if you want to launch one of the best new betting sites in the UK for 2022 or 2023 and how do you compete with the other top sites in the market? You need a plan, money, software, a license, and a marketing strategy.
How to Start a Successful Online Sports Betting Business in the UK
It is possible to start successful sports betting business online. However, you should know that opening a business is a complex, costly and time-consuming process. There’s also no guarantee that you’ll be successful.
If you’re up for the challenge to take your piece of the lucrative UK betting industry pie, there are several steps you need to take to launch a new betting site. The following are the basics of what is involved in bringing your online sportsbook business goals to fruition.
Create a business plan and obtain capital
You need to outline all your business goals and strategies, including key management positions, hiring staff, shareholders, budget, projected profits, etc.
You will also need to be prepared to invest tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of pounds into your business just to get it off the ground.
Choose a reliable sports betting platform provider
Whilst you can build your sports betting platform from scratch, this is not recommended unless you happen to have this particular skill set and are knowledgeable about the UK iGaming industry. It’s far better to hire a reliable software company you can trust that has experience with the UK online betting industry and that can provide you with fully compliant, secure, and glitch-free solutions.
Moreover, be sure to choose a software provider that can deliver sports betting mobile applications. As mentioned above, more online bettors are choosing their mobile phones as their preferred way to bet. Investing in sports betting mobile apps at the start can help you to meet the mobile betting demand, enabling you to target a large number of users.
Choose partners wisely and understand all third parties involved in your operation
From payment providers and betting products to odds services, statistics, analytics, KYC, security, marketing, customer service, and more, several sports betting platforms rely heavily on third parties to provide these services.
Get a remote betting license from the Gambling Commission
If you want to enter the UK gambling market, you will require a license from the Gambling Commission to legally offer your services to UK residents as well as to advertise to them. Failing to do so will result in serious legal issues and potentially the closure of your business.
The application process is complex and application fees vary depending on annual gross gambling yield. Moreover, you may be required to apply for more than one license depending on the type of remote (online) betting activities you’re offering (e.g. real events, virtual events, pool betting, etc.). It’s usually best to hire the services of a professional who can help ensure your business meets all licensing requirements to avoid having your application rejected.
Implement a marketing strategy
Finally, you’ll need both acquisition and retention marketing strategies to build your brand. Players need to know that you exist, they need to be given a reason to want to take a chance on your site, and – most importantly – they need a reason to want to stick around.
There are several marketing methods that you can employ. Some of the most important include social media marketing, SEO marketing, affiliate marketing, email marketing, advertising, registration bonuses, tournament and special promotional campaigns, loyalty programs, refer and earn programs, etc.
Be Prepared to Work Hard
Although success is never guaranteed for any business, starting a successful betting company is more than possible. That said, it isn’t easy and isn’t cheap. If you are serious about finding success as one of the new betting sites in the UK market, you’ll need to be fully committed to this endeavor from the moment you begin formulating your business plan until the day the operation is no longer yours.