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Sports Betting Alternatives: The Top Choices

Top-flight football has ground to a halt, prestigious horseracing meetings such as The Grand National have been cancelled, with no clear indication when normality will return. To help you through this lull, we’ll suggest some alternatives to sports betting you may wish to consider. We want to ensure you have the latest information to keep you updated during this time.

As many of us are now self-isolating or social distancing to protect ourselves and others, boredom can quickly become an issue. Many of us bet regularly on sporting events, and often part of the fun of betting is sharing tips with friends. To help fill this void, we’ll suggest some other betting activities that you may not even be aware of. You never know, you may find a new favourite pastime.


What Are Good Sports Betting Alternatives?

Throughout the world countless leagues and events have been postponed, leaving punters with nothing to wager on. With sporting events looking highly unlikely to return for perhaps many months, let’s take a look at some other betting opportunities!

The Five Best Operators with Sports Betting Alternatives
Operator Virtual Esports Casino Bingo Poker Welcome bonus To Operator
Betway Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Up To £30 In Free Bets Visit Site
New UK & Ireland customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £30. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Credit Card, Debit Card & PayPal deposits only.
888sport No Yes Yes Yes Yes £30 Bet £10 Get £30 Visit Site
Min deposit of £10. A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10. 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. Full T&Cs apply
bet365 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Up To £100 In Bet Credits Join Now
Up to £100 Bet Credits. New Customers Only. Sign up, deposit £5 or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply. 18+
MansionBet Yes Yes Yes No No Up To £100 100% Matched Deposit Visit Site
New customers only. Min deposit £10 (UK Credit/Debit cards only). Max bonus amount is £100. Deposit and bonus amount must be wagered 10 times (min odds Evens) prior to bonus funds and associated winnings becoming withdrawable. Winnings accumulated from ‘real money’ bets may be withdrawn at any time. Bonus is valid for sports betting only. T&Cs apply.
Bethard No Yes Yes No No Up To £100 Account Credit Visit Site
New Customer Offer. Please Gamble responsibly. T&C’s Apply. 18+

As you can see from the table above, we have selected five UK licensed and regulated bookmakers who offer a wide range of activities that you can still participate in. Away from sport, they provide virtual sports, e-sport betting, casino games and much more. In the following sections, we take a closer look at these alternatives that you may be interested in.

Virtual Sports – Business as Usual

In these worrying and uncertain times, it is somewhat reassuring that there are still forms of entertainment that remain unaffected. Virtual sports, available at most online sports betting sites, offer a realistic and authentic betting experience and as they run 24/7 365 days a year, you never have to wait long for the next event to take place.

Betway logo and virtual sports betitng
The Top Bookmaker for Virtual Betting
  • Choice of Seven Sports
  • Virtual Football Every 3 Minutes
  • Realistic Visuals
  • Available 24/7

New UK & Ireland customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £30. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Credit Card, Debit Card & PayPal deposits only.

Even before, virtual sports were already popular with many sports betting fans. Featuring excellent graphics, as well as realistic crowd and sound effects, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish these games from the real thing. The virtual sports available do vary from bookmaker to bookmaker. Still, the most popular ones are horseracing (flat racing, sprint and jumps), football (club and international), greyhound racing, motor racing and tennis. If you’ve never tried virtual sports, give it a go, it comes highly recommended.

Esports – Cancellation of Live Events

Few sports demonstrate the ever-changing nature of the current climate than esports. Thought to be immune to the crisis due to the online nature of the games, the reality is that as players need to be in the same location for tournaments, esport players are just as vulnerable as anyone else. The risk to players has led to the cancellation of many live esport events.

Esports betting and bet365 logo
The Top Betting Site for Esports Betting
  • Great eSports Payout Levels
  • Large Selection of eSport Games
  • Good Choice of Markets
  • Cash-out Available

Up to £100 Bet Credits. New Customers Only. Sign up, deposit £5 or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply. 18+

However, the great news is that the industry has recognised the threat. And while there are some events cancelled such as League of Legends Pacific Championship Series and Pokemon Video Game Championships, the requirement for players to be on the same local area network (LAN) has been suspended. Players can now compete via online play, a move that means the betting market for esports is very much open for business, and high profile events such as the Call of Duty League and the Overwatch League should continue as usual.

Casino Games – Monte Carlo at Your Place

As a sports bettor, the chances are you’ve already seen your favourite bookmaker offer casino games. Highly popular with players, online versions of slots, roulette, baccarat and blackjack authentically recreate the thrill and excitement of a casino but without the risk of coming into close contact with other people. You can play these games on your phone, tablet or computer making these game accessible wherever you are.

Casino betting and Grand Ivy logo
Top Online Casino
  • Games from Many Providers
  • Excellent Live Casino
  • VIP Program
  • Rich Mobile Game Selection

18+. New players only. One bonus offer per player. Minimum deposit £20. Max bonus bet is £5. Bonus spins on selected games only and must be used within 72 hours. Bonus funds must be used within 30 days otherwise any unused bonus shall be removed. Bonus funds are 100% match up to £300 on your 1st deposit, 25% match up to £800 on your 2nd deposit, and 50% match up to £400 on your 3rd deposit. Bonus funds are separate to Cash funds, and are subject to 35x wagering the total bonus & cash. Only bonus funds contribute towards any wagering requirements. Terms apply

It seems highly likely that over the next few weeks, brick and mortar casinos will be forced to close or will voluntary close their doors. The up-close and personal nature of table games like blackjack, in which several people touch the cards, increases the chances of spreading. The online option is much safer, and with bookmakers offering generous welcome bonuses to try the games, this could be a win/win for you.

Get Your Bingo Fix Online

For many in the community, especially many of the older generation, going to a bingo hall is one of the ways they enjoy socialising. For some, this may be their primary source of contact with friends and family. Although the current government guidance does not call for the closure of bingo halls, it does recommend avoiding pubs, clubs and other crowded spaces, especially for the elderly or with those with underlying health issues. Therefore, playing bingo online is a safe and sensible alternative to visiting a bingo hall.

888ladies logo and bingo
The Top Bingo Site
  • 90 and 75 Ball Bingo
  • 37 Bingo Rooms
  • Free Bingo Rooms
  • Earn Loyalty Points

New players only. NI excluded. Dep. min £10 to get 200% bingo bonus + 200% games bonus (max £100 per bonus). Valid once. Bonus must be claimed within 7 days of grant. Bonus wins capped at £100, exc. JP win. To withdraw wins related to bingo bonus, wager 2x the deposit + bonus funds. To withdraw games bonus & related wins, wager 50x the amount of the bonus; wagering req. vary by game. Deposit balance can be withdrawn at any time. Withdrawal restrictions & Full T&Cs apply

All the fun and excitement of bingo transfers well to the online world, and due to the ability to chat while playing, it’s a social experience as well. There are some improvements in the online version of the game, turn on the auto-dabber, and you’ll never miss marking off a number again. As online bingo is so simple to play, even the most non-tech savvy players can enjoy the game in the safety of their own home.

Online Poker: Are You a Bluffer or a Folder?

Poker is one of the most popular games of skill on the planet and many sports betting fans also enjoy a game of poker or two. Online poker is every bit as exciting as visiting a casino to play but with the added benefit of not having to dress up. As players cannot see each other, if you’re a terrible bluffer, you may prefer playing online.

888poker logo and poker cards
The Top Poker Site
  • Several Poker Variations
  • Real Money and Practice Tables
  • 10 Million Registered Members
  • Great Mobile Experience

New players only. £20 free bonus: includes $1 immediate bonus & $31 in tournament tickets. Bonus will be granted gradually throughout 7 days after claimed. Bonus will expire 24 hours after granted. Immediate bonuses may be withdrawn only after a player accumulated 2.5 Bonus Points for every $1 of the received bonus. Offer may not be combined with any other offer. Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. General Withdrawal restrictions & further T&Cs apply.

The best online poker sites not only have several variants of poker such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha and 7 Card Stud, they also have live poker rooms. You’ll be able to see a real-life dealer who will chat to and engage with the players, creating an atmosphere that is just as good as being in a casino.


The Current Situation of Sports Events and Competitions

Even-numbered years traditionally hold the most significant sporting events, and 2020 is no different. Euro 2020 and the Olympic Games instantly stand out. The Euros have already been postponed till 2021, and the Olympics have too. In the following sections, we will take a closer look at how each type of sport is being affected.

Football – Euro 2020 Postponed

The announcement that Euro 2020 will be held instead in 2021 wouldn’t have come as much as a surprise to many fans of the beautiful game. With the current suspension of all top-flight football, the postponement was very much just a matter of when. Officially, the Premier League and EFL are suspended until the 3rd of April, but many experts are predicting a much more severe delay until action resumes.

Football and Betway logo
The Top Football Site
  • High Football Pay-out Rates
  • Huge Range of Leagues
  • Virtual Football
  • Plenty of Betting Markets

New UK and Ireland Customers Only. Min Deposit: £/€10. First Deposit matched up to £/€30. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Credit Card, Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. Additional Terms Apply

It is, however, not all doom and gloom. The suspension of football action, currently at least, does not cover the globe and there are still betting opportunities on football in different leagues. The Australian A-League is still active and well supported by bookmakers. Over 240 betting types were available in a recent Australian A-League game, including the popular goalscorer markets.

Elsewhere, football betting is still available for Germany (DFB Pokal), Sweden (Allsvenskan), Turkey (Süper Lig), Argentina, Bahrain, Chile, Fiji, Myanmar, Nigeria, Palestine, Singapore and Tanzania. Don’t forget, even if all footy does fall victim, virtual football is available at most bookmakers; it will never replace the real thing but it is good fun nonetheless and is guaranteed never to be called off!

Golf – Tournament Betting for 2021

The cancellation of the Masters, the Players, the Valspar Championship in Florida, the World Golf Championships-Dell Matchplay and the Texas Open in San Antonio among others means the golf betting market is tiny at the moment. At the time of writing, only minor league golf tours and minor tours were listed. If you wish to place a bet on golf, many bookmakers are already taking bets for 2021 events such as the winner of the Solheim Cup and The Presidents Cup.

Horse Racing – Irish Racing Still Continuing

Cheltenham Festival entertained huge crowds earlier this month, but this would prove to be the last hurrah, at least for the time being, as horse racing has also succumbed to postponement. It was initially announced that racing could continue without spectators, but this has since changed, and all British racing will now be suspended until the end of April. Horse racing betting is still possible though as racing in Ireland continues, albeit behind closed doors.

Ladbrokes logo and horse racing
The Top Horse Racing Site
  • Great Irish Race Selection
  • Best Odds Guaranteed
  • Virtual Racing
  • £20 in Free Bets

Full T&Cs apply. 18+ New UK+IRE customers only. PayPal and certain deposit types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account registration at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply.

What Is The Situation With Other Sports?

To say that sport has been hit hard with cancellations is a colossal understatement, with barely any sports escaping the impact. We’ve already mentioned football, horse racing and golf, in this section we will summarise the situation in other sports. The situation is likely to change often as more events are cancelled or postponed.

Betway logo and different sports
The Top Bookie for Sports Overall
  • £30 Free Bet Bonus*
  • Great Mobile App
  • Over 19,000 Betting Markets
  • Acca Insurance

New UK and Ireland Customers Only. Min Deposit: £/€10. First Deposit matched up to £/€30. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Credit Card, Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. Additional Terms Apply

All UFC events are cancelled, although president Dana White is confident UFC 249 will go ahead in April as planned. Despite White’s words, this seems unlikely as strict US government measures have restricted gatherings to no more than ten people. Even if the event took place in an empty arena, fighters, trainers, and support staff alone is likely to be well over this total.

In boxing, all public tournaments under the jurisdiction of the British Boxing Board of Control are cancelled until further notice. Snooker’s World Snooker Tour in Llandudno is off as are all the organised activities of the Wales, Scotland & England Athletics teams. British Cycling is suspending all sanctioned cycling activities, including racing, recreational rides and education courses, until at least the 30th of April.

One sporting event that is still planning to go-ahead is WrestleMania 36, albeit behind closed doors. Originally due to be held in Tampa Bay, the competition has been moved to the WWE’s training facility in Orlando and will be a pay-per-view event in April. Time will tell with this one as the County’s commissioner, Les Miller, has threatened to “pull the plug” on the event if WWE doesn’t make the tough decision on its own.


Take Care of Yourself and Others

Whenever we are stuck at home it is easy to forget to take care of yourself! We recommend keeping active and doing your bit to support friends and family. This blunt but highly informative website is very nice for giving you clear guidelines. Overall, we have provided this page to help you get through and give you some real sports betting alternatives.