Best UK Rugby League Betting Sites (2023)

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Top 10 Rugby League Betting Sites in The UK

Rugby League was born on 29th August 1895 when 21 English clubs broke away from the Rugby Football Union (RFU) after disputes over player compensation. The clubs formed the Rugby League, reducing teams from 15 to 13 players and introducing a few rules such as "play-the-ball" to improve areas where Rugby Union seemed to fail.

Presently, the highest global governing body for Rugby League is the International Rugby League (IRL), which oversees 68 national associations. Moreover, the UK alone has over 50 Rugby League Teams, 12 of which are in the Super League, Britain's top-level rugby league association.

The sport has also grown into the hearts of many punters and boasts significant betting markets for top-tier tournaments.

Here are the top betting sites in the UK where you can place wagers on the Rugby League;

Betfred

UK-based bookie Betfred is an established betting site dating back to the 60s, starting as a single betting shop in Salford. The bookie is an ardent supporter of rugby league and even sponsors the Super League, which is currently called the Betfred Super League. Unsurprisingly, the platform is the first to start rolling out Super League betting markets months ahead of the competition.

Betfred offers great rugby league coverage for domestic markets, and the international markets are also significantly represented. Moreover, bettors can further diversify the markets with Betfred's "Pick Your Punt" feature.

The bookie has a decent welcome bonus for new customers and occasionally issues exclusive promotions for rugby betting. You also get a comprehensive list of payment methods, including several eWallets and debit cards.

Other exciting Betfred features include: in-play betting, total/partial cash out, daily price boosts, live streaming, mobile app and excellent customer support — 24/7 live chat, dedicated line, and email.

Paddy Power

Paddy Power is a UK-based bookie headquartered in Dublin for local operations and a Maltese hub for international markets. It is licensed by the UKGC and the Malta gaming authority.

The bookie is renowned for its event-specific promotions in significant rugby league events, primarily through enhanced odds. As for markets, Paddy Power presents rugby league handicap as default but also offers excellent coverage of other betting markets, including match winner, tournament winner, try scorer, total points, etc.

Looking at the payment options, Paddy Power strikes a good balance between traditional debit card channels and modern eWallets. You get Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, Paysafecard, Neteller, Skrill, and Bank transfer, all of which have zero transaction fees and a low deposit/withdrawal limit of £5.

William Hill

Starting as a postal / telephone bookie in 1961, William Hill has grown steadily to become one of the leading betting service providers worldwide. The company holds licences from the UK Gambling Commission and the Gibraltar Gambling Commission.

William Hill features an attractive website with light colours that go easy on the eyes. It has excellent coverage of rugby league matches, ensuring dozens of betting markets even for second-tier competitions. Select games also boast enhanced odds.

For your payment methods, you get bank transfers, debit cards, and eWallets, such as PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard, Trustly, and Neosuf. The limits range between £5 (card) and £10 (eWallets), although bank transfer has a limit of £25. Like most established bookies, William Hill does not impose transaction fees.

Among the most common markets that will always be there, even for small competitions, are handicap, tournament winner, outright, top try scorer, dozen winning margins, and grand final winner. The bookie also provides several coupons for select events.

Ladbrokes

Ladbrokes has sustained its popularity as a significant betting destination for decades. It is licensed and regulated by the UKGC and works closely with other regulators. The bookie's highlights for rugby league punting include in-play betting, and a grand loyalty scheme.

The bookie also offers quick deposits and withdrawals with zero fees via Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, PayPal, Apple Pay, Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard, Giropay, Sofort, Cash In Store, Trustly, and Bank Transfer. The minimum limits range from £5-£10, while the maximum is capped at £99,999.

One downside of Ladbrokes, however, is the lack of 24/7 customer support that has become the standard among established bookies. Instead, Ladbrokes customer service team is available between 8 am and 11 pm. Still, you get a robust FAQ section and multiple communication avenues, including live chat, email, telephone, and social media.

Unibet

Unibet is an established bookie launched in 1997 as a telephone advice service. It is licensed by several jurisdictions, including the UKGC and the Gibraltar Gambling Commission. It now boasts over 1400 employees and 11 million users from more than 100 countries.

Key selling points for Unibet's rugby league category include about 35 markets for significant events such as the NRL and Super League as hundreds of matches for UK punters.

Another top reason Unibet made the list is the wealth of data and statistics it provides bettors. The site even offers data-driven recommendations in popular markets. Moreover, the platform has an active community forum accessible on-site, where users interact and discuss their issues.

Regarding the range of payment options, you get a comprehensive mix of debit cards and eWallets, much like other bookies on this list.

Betfair

The world's biggest betting exchange, Betfair, started in June 2000 as a platform that pitted customers against customers but soon added a custom sportsbook to its list of services. It is headquartered in Gibraltar and regulated by the Gibraltar Gambling Commission. It also has a UKGC licence for the British market.

Betfair consistently provides some of the best odds for rugby betting. It also offers live streaming for the big games, such as those in the NRL and Super League. However, as is the case across the board, smaller competitions do not have live streaming.

You get over 10 payment methods largely dominated by eWallets, but there's also Mastercard for punters who prefer debit cards. Unlike most bookies, however, you could be looking at a small fee of 2% when transacting with PayPal on Betfair.

Everything looks good regarding customer support, as you get the standard 24/7 live chat feature and lots of FAQs, telephone, and email.

Spreadex

Spreadex was launched in 1999 as a CFD and FX broker, introducing sports betting to their list of services in 2006. It is headquartered in St. Albans, UK, and licensed by the UKGC.

Interestingly, the platform offers spread betting services alongside conventional fixed odds betting. It even borrows from forex trading to put measures that limit your losses.

An example of spread bet types on the platform is total points to be scored, or entire try minutes, while a fixed odd bet would be something like handicap and outrights. The site makes it easy to toggle between spread and fixed odds betting through buttons just below the name of the sport you are navigating.

Spreadex also provides in-play betting markets, cash-out, and live streaming. However, live streaming is not available for rugby league. Still, you get in-play betting for the major tournaments.

The payment methods are not the most comprehensive and are especially short on eWallets. You only get MasterCard, Maestro, Wire Transfer, Direct Debit, and Cheque, all of which take at least two working days to withdraw.

Spreadex does a better job with customer support than payment methods. You can expect the conventional 24/7 live chat feature, phone, and email. The platform is also on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

BetVictor

BetVictor is a reputable bookmaker domiciled in Gibraltar but also licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. It has been in the betting industry for over 75 years and has grown to accommodate more than 500 workers.

Punters who prefer BetVictor for their rugby league bets enjoy dozens of markets for the Super League, NRL, and other Championship games. There's also a unique feature that lets you see the most popular bets among other punters.

Another key selling point for BetVictor is the availability of excellent mobile apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and Blackberry devices. In comparison, most bookies stop at Android and iOS, while others only have iOS apps.

The payment methods are few, but they strike a perfect balance between eWallets and debit cards. You get Visa, MasterCard, bank transfer, PaysafeCard, PayPal, Revlut, and Entropay.

Customer support on BetVictor is commendable, too. It includes 24/7 live chat, email, phone, and Twitter/ Facebook.

888Sport

888Sport is regulated by the Gibraltar and UK Gambling Commission, but its main headquarters are in Gibraltar. It began in 2008 and boasted over 1,300 employees as of 2022. The platform's website features a dark theme that's simple, attractive, and easy to navigate.

This bookie does not have the most comprehensive betting markets on the list, but makes up for it by providing more rugby league competitions than most. The platform is also popular for its fast customer support and great odds alongside offers.

Customer support is delivered via round-the-clock live chat, email, and phone. You also get an extensive FAQ section. It is especially commendable that email responses are quick and live chat is even quicker.

888Sport scores very highly when it comes to the range of banking methods. It provides about 20 cards and eWallets, including the most popular ones, such as MasterCard, Visa, Maestro, PayPal, Skrill, Trustly, etc.

Betway

Betway is an online bookie that emerged in late 2006 and struggled a bit during its early years. However, it is currently one of the most popular sportsbooks with licences for multiple countries, including the UK, Ireland, Malta, Italy, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, South Africa, and many more.

The bookie offers some of the best betting services for rugby league and other sports. Betway's markets are reasonable, with the top tournaments such as World Cup, NRL, and Super League enjoying at least 15 bet types, including total points, points range, handicap, and handicap 3-way.

Payment methods on Betway are well-balanced, allowing users to choose between Visa, MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill, PayPal, Paysafecard, bank transfer, ecoPayz, iDebit, Trustly, eCheck, and more.

As for customer support, you can expect 24/7 live chat, phone, and email. One key strength of Betway's customer support is that it comes in 17 different languages.

How We Rank the Best Rugby League Bookies

Here’s how we came up with the above list of the best Rugby League bookies in the UK;

Range of Rugby League Events

A wide selection of tournaments is a must if any bookie is to make it to our list of the best rugby league betting sites. The last thing any punter wants is getting stuck betting on only two or three local competitions.

When considering the range of events a bookmaker offers, we also factor the distribution across borders. Those keen on listing all major local and international events score high. At the same time, those adding a few less popular ones to the list score higher.

Betting Markets

Having a wide selection of events is good, but that's only half of it. Great bookmakers also have many bet options for any given match listed.

This factor is especially critical when shopping for a betting site because some bookmakers will list several events but only provide outright markets, which limits your options. At least 10 betting markets are decent for rugby league, but over 30 is much better.

Live Betting and Streaming

Betting on ongoing games is popular among today's punters. It is entertaining and allows for a better analysis of the game. Some might even say it is more profitable than pre-match betting. Any reputable betting site should have the option of in-play betting. It should also provide great match statistics and update them accordingly as the game progresses.

What’s more, the bookie should also provide live streaming — at least for the top-tier events. This consideration is especially challenging for rugby competitions because there are fewer viewers than in football. Still, it would help if a bookie had streaming services.

Mobile Options

A mobile-friendly website is standard nowadays, which is why all bookies on this list have a website that is navigable via both PCs and mobile devices. Mobile betting apps for iOS and Android are becoming more conventional, too. In some cases, you will also find apps for Windows and Blackberry, which is a plus for the bookie.

The apps should match the platform's desktop version in every way and have exclusive promotions as a plus. Another key feature we expect to find in the mobile apps is a reminder function, which allows the bookie to push notifications regarding new promotions, events, etc.

Promotions

For starters, decent signup bonuses are a must. We are always looking for value for money, wagering requirements, and qualification for the welcome bonus. Other factors we consider, though less pronounced, include the expiry duration and how the reward is issued (as a whole or several free bets). Smaller chunks give you more flexibility when using your free bet.

Legal and Licensed

UK laws are very strict about gambling sites, so it is always safe to go for licensed and regulated betting sites. Any bookie that claims to operate in the UK market should have a licence from the UKGC.

What's more, working with responsible gambling organisations such as Gamstop is a must. The good news is that betting sites have to be compliant before they are licensed, so you know any holder of the UKGC licence has responsible gambling covered.

High Rugby League Odds

High odds give you better chances of winning big. When evaluating betting odds, we also look at betting margins, which show how likely you are to be a winner on average after prolonged betting activity with any given betting site.

We calculated the betting margins of all the bookies on this list based on three similar matches across the World Cup and Super League. Here are the top five winners:

  1. Unibet: 5.73%
  2. Betfair: 6.88%
  3. 888Sport: 8.13%
  4. William Hill: 9.28%
  5. Betway: 9.51%

Customer Support

Bettors want responsive customer support that gives feedback in a matter of minutes. It will also help if the customer service team is available 24/7. Moreover, you want more than one communication channel. 

Live chat is great for urgent issues, while emails may handle less urgent ones. Social media presence is a good idea too, as it helps you get feedback from other punters and the betting company under one roof.

Rugby League Events to Bet On

The rugby league is less popular than Union. However, you still get a comprehensive selection of events thanks to its popularity in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and several other regions. Here are the top tournaments to watch out for.

The Super League

Also known as the Betfred Super League at the time of writing, this top-level tournament began in 1996. It is a UK event, but you can expect teams from France and Canada in the fixtures. Stadium attendance can soar as high as 64,000, as was the case for the St. Helens vs Salford Red Devils in October 2019.

The Super League season runs from February to September, with the top six teams battling for the Super League Grand Final title. St Helens is the current record holder with 10 wins, followed closely by Lees Rhinos, who have won 8 times. Surprisingly, the only other winners are Wigan Warriors and Bradford Bulls.

Rugby League World Cup

First held in 1954, the Rugby League World Cup is the biggest global event of the sport, which the IRL administers. It takes place every four years. The tournament brings together about 32 teams, including 16 men, 8 women, and 8 wheelchair teams, spanning 20 nations and competing across about 60 matches.

Interestingly, England has been a three-time finalist but never won the competition, while Australia has taken home 11 titles.

The National Rugby League

This tournament is arguably a top 3 contestant for the most celebrated Rugby League event. Often called the NRL, it was first held in 1998. It takes place annually — Australia primarily dominates the event, but it also includes teams from New Zealand.

The NRL typically brings together 16 teams, although the number may increase. For the event's highlight, the top eight teams at the end of the season qualify for a knockout competition to determine the ultimate champion, and no relegation is allowed.

European Championship

Often referred to as the Championship, this is the second-tier European rugby league competition. It only began in 2004 and consisted of 14 teams, typically including clubs from the UK, France, and Canada.

By the end of each season, the top five teams compete for a single promotion spot to the Super League, while the last two teams are relegated to League One.

The Challenge Cup

This event is another competition dominated mainly by the UK and France. Still, there have been past appearances by teams from Russia, Canada, and Serbia. The tournament started in 1896 and occurs almost every year.

Wigan Warriors are the most successful Challenge Cup participants. They have earned the trophy at least 20 times. Another remarkable record for the competition is the all-time high stadium attendance of 51,628 seats set at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in May 2022, when Wigan lifted the trophy for the 20th time.

State-of-Origin Series

One of the most popular events to bet on is the state of origin series, an annual best-of-three competition between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons. Queensland boasts the most titles, at least 23, while there have been 2 draws in the past.

Popular Rugby League Betting Markets

The rugby league's betting markets cannot be compared to what football gets, but there are always just enough to play around with. Here are the popular rugby league betting markets you want to know about;

Outright

This bet is the most popular type for any given sport. It involves simply choosing the tournament's winners. Conveniently, this market is often available months early. If you wish to stake months before the game, this bet is the type you want to go for.

Handicap Betting

A handicap bet requires a favourite to win by a particular number of points or for the underdog only to avoid losing by a given number of points for your stake to settle. Handicap betting is the most common type in rugby league other than outright betting. 

For instance, if the Wigan Warriors were drafted against a weaker team such as Toulouse Olympique. You would expect the Wigans to win by a landslide, so a handicap bet such as Wigan -2.5 could be used to even up the score. In this case, they would have to win by at least 3 points for the bet to settle because it means the Wigans begin the match with 2.5 fewer points.

The same could also be presented as Toulouse +2.5, which means they begin the match with 2.5 points against 0.0. Therefore, the bet stands so long as Toulouse does not lose by 3 points or more.

Try Scorer

It is also common for rugby league bookies to provide a market where punters can bet on who will score a try, the most common being the first try scorer.

This type of bet could be helpful when you know a particular team often makes an electric start and you are willing to bet on one of their players scoring the first try.

Total Points

This option is perfect when you don't want to back any particular team but are confident about the number of points you think will be awarded over the match. It can be varied to involve total points in one half of the game or even total points up to a particular time in the contest.

Half with Most Points

Bearing a close resemblance to the total points bet is the "half with most points" punt, which is just what it sounds like. You get to select the half that will have the most points, and if you are right, your bet settles.

First Scoring Play

Most high-street betting sites will let you bet on the first scoring play. This could include the team scoring first via a try, a penalty, or a field goal. Again, it is an exciting bet type if your gut has more to say about the events in the match than the match winner.

Accas

Also called accumulators, this type of bet combines several others to increase your potential gains exponentially. For instance, you could combine the results of more than one match, usually up to a particular acceptable number of games. The final odds for your accumulators are calculated as a multiple of the decimal odds for all the individual events you combined.

Punters love such unconventional bets as accas, total points, first scoring play, and try scorer because they often carry better prices. They are considered much harder to predict and, as such, attract higher odds than outrights.

Rugby League Betting Tips and Strategies

Successful betting takes more than just trusting your gut or dying hard with your favourite team. It would be best if you were prudent and keen on taking advantage of every available opportunity. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

  • Go for the best odds: Take a peek at several top bookies on our list to find the best odds. You could begin by choosing a wager and then shopping around to determine which betting site gives you the most prominent potential win for that particular event.
  • Leverage handicap betting to increase your returns: If you are confident about a hot favourite but find the potential gain too little, consider adding a handicap of the match to your bet. It should give you significantly more profit if you win.
  • Take advantage of bonuses and promotions: From the welcome bonus to ongoing customer promotions, freebies can give you an upper hand by allowing you more chances to bet risk-free and win real money.
  • Use stats: Rugby league may not be as data-driven as football, but you can still access valuable stats, including head-to-head records for the pair match you are considering. A quick google search should do the trick.
  • In your analyses, also keep in mind the weather and the team's shape on the day of the game. Remember, rain and wind can impact the total number of scores. So can missing or injured players.
  • Steady your emotions: Professional punters know a losing streak is typical, and so is winning. The trick is always to use your head and not your heart. Also, never take a stupid risk hoping to recover the previous losses; whatever happens, only stake what you can afford to lose.

FAQs

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Steven is responsible for all content on BettingGuide UK. He is an experienced iGaming content writer that has been working in the industry since 2018. If you have any questions regarding online gambling in the UK, don't hesitate to contact him.

Last updated: 11/30/2022