Online lottery betting explained
There are two ways you can play the lottery: by buying tickets —either directly from operators or through third party sellers— or by betting on the lotto. Lottery betting differs from the traditional way of playing, as you don’t actually purchase a physical or online ticket. Instead, and as the name implies, you’re betting on the result of a lottery draw.
Now, you’re probably wondering what happens if you win the jackpot. If you buy a lottery ticket, the operator pays out winnings. Lottery betting sites, on the other hand, work on an insurance model. This means that lotto betting sites partner with insurance companies and insure each bet that’s made. So if you pick the lucky numbers, the insurance company will pay out and you’ll receive the same amount as if you bought a regular ticket.
Bet on every lottery you could possibly dream of
Physical lottery tickets are only available to residents of countries where that draw takes place. Powerball tickets, for example, can only be purchased in the US. Lottery messenger services overcome this somewhat, but nothing comes near to the range of options you have when you bet on the lottery. Lotto betting sites offer a huge variety of draws to bet on worldwide, meaning there’s no shortage of options to have a punt on.
Some sites allow you to bet on over 50 lotteries, including draws in Australia, Hong Kong and Brazil. You’ll be able to bet on the biggest jackpot draws like Powerball, Mega Millions and EuroJackpot as well as other popular lotteries like Italy’s SuperEnalotto, Spain’s El Gordo and the Irish Lotto, to name just a few.
Get more bang for your buck with a lotto bonus
When you buy tickets from official lottery operators, more often than not, there won’t be any handy perks or deals on offer. This is where lottery betting sites blow traditional operators out the water. You can enjoy a whole range of great bonuses when you sign up and play at lottery betting sites, including matched first deposit offers and free bets. This is the perfect way to make the most of your bankroll and enjoy some free lotto betting.
It’s not just new players who benefit from lotto betting bonuses, either. Many of the top lottery bookmakers also offer promotions and VIP rewards for existing players, meaning there’s no shortage of handy bonuses up for grabs.
Don’t forget to check the terms and conditions – lotto betting bonuses usually come with a wagering requirement as well as time limits and win restrictions.
Enjoy more betting options
Some UK lotto betting sites offer a range of wagering options. For example, rather than simply selecting the numbers that you think will be drawn, some sites let you bet on markets such as first or second ball to be drawn, ball colours, odds/evens and the highest or lowest ball drawn. This can be a great alternative if you don’t fancy your chances of predicting every number. However, not all sites offer this feature, so make sure you check the available betting options before signing up.
Increase your chances by joining a syndicate
Some of the top lottery betting sites let players join syndicates for a better chance of winning. A syndicate is a group of players who buy tickets collectively, and if any of the members’ numbers come up, the prize will be split evenly. You may not win as much as if you’re placing individual bets, but joining a syndicate can mean you’re more likely to bag some returns. Considering the unlikely odds of landing a lottery win, this is a big plus for many players.
More than just lottery betting
It’s not just lottery draws on offer at the top lotto betting sites. You’ll often find a range of scratch cards and instant win games on offer, perfect for a quick game in between lottery draws. A number of the best sites also offer casino games. These are usually online slots, but you can also find table games like roulette and blackjack at some sites. A few lottery bookmakers even offer live casino games, meaning you can do all your lotto betting and casino gambling from a single account.
How to collect your lotto betting winnings
How you collect your lotto betting winnings depends on how much you win, as well as the policy of the site you’re playing at. While some sites state that all winnings are credited to your lotto betting account, at other sites only relatively small wins will be. For example, a lotto betting site may state that wins up to £500 are automatically credited to your account, and that any larger wins a may be sent via cheque or bank transfer.
Another thing to keep in mind is that large wins or jackpot prizes may not be available immediately. As lotto bookmakers operate on an insurance model, the terms and conditions of some sites state that it may take up to 90 days for insurance brokers to clear the payment.
Make sure you’re clued in on tax laws
Lotto betting winnings aren’t taxed in the way that some lotteries are. While UK lotto winnings are tax free, US lotteries are taxed, with the exact amount varying from state to state. When you bet on the lotto the prize you receive isn’t coming from the lottery operator itself, so it’s not taxed.
However, it’s important to know the payout you receive will still be equal to the value of the lottery win after tax is deducted. So, while your prize won’t be taxed itself, you will still receive the same amount as you would if you bought a regular ticket for a taxable lottery.
Non-jackpot winnings are generally already pre-taxed, but jackpot winnings are usually stated pre-tax, so the amount you receive will probably be lower than that advertised.
Another thing to keep in mind is the tax laws of your own country, as you may have to pay an actual tax on your winnings. For example, if you place a winning bet on the Powerball and live in a country (other than the US) where gambling winnings are taxed, then you could end up with less than a US resident who won the same amount.
In the UK, gambling winnings aren’t taxed, so your all lotto betting winnings are yours to keep. However, make sure to always check the tax laws of the country you’re playing from.
Bet on lotto on the go
The top lotto betting sites on our list have all optimised their websites for mobile use, which means you can try your luck when out and about. Some of the best lottery sites have also developed native mobile apps, which we think are the best option for those who like to play lotteries on their smartphone.
Mobile lottery betting apps make betting on your favourite draws easier, faster and more convenient, so they’re definitely the way forward. Those aren’t the only benefits, though. By activating push notifications, you’ll be alerted to the hottest bonuses and promotions. Not only that, but you’ll also be instantly notified whenever you bag a win, so you can then go about cashing out your prize.
Choose from a range of banking options at lotto betting sites
Most of the best online lotto betting sites offer a range of deposit and withdrawal methods. As well as the traditional debit card methods, you’ll often be able to use e-wallets such as PayPal, Neteller and Skrill. Some top sites also offer paysafecard and pay by phone bill options, so there’s a range of banking methods to choose from. The accepted methods vary from site to site, so make sure you check this before signing up.
Ready to try out lotto betting for yourself? Our list of recommended UK lottery betting sites is the perfect place to start. Compare the best lottery bookmakers and the most generous bonuses to find your ideal match. Then simply sign up and bet on lotto!
Your lotto betting questions answered
Yes. We only recommend UK Gambling Commission licensed, trusted lotto betting sites. All the licensed UK sites on our list are held to high standards in terms of security, player protection, responsible gambling and fairness, so you can bet on lotto in peace when you play at our recommended sites.
Yes. Licensed lotto betting sites are legally obliged to pay out prizes in accordance with lottery prizes, so you can rest assured. The insurance model makes this possible, so you’ll get the right amount even if you win huge jackpot amounts.
Yes. Pretty much all of the best lotto betting sites allow players to set up a subscription to their favourite lottery draws. This means you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to place a bet, and you can set the number of tickets and frequency to match your preferences.
No. Regardless of what you may hear or read online, there’s nothing you can do to improve your chances of winning the lottery, whether you’re buying a ticket or betting on the result. Every lottery draw is completely random and independent, meaning your chances are exactly the same regardless of the numbers you pick.
18. While UK players can buy National Lottery and EuroMillions from the age of 16, you have to be 18 to bet on the lottery. This is because lottery betting falls under the same laws as sports betting and real money casino games.