PayPal Bookmakers – Online Bookies That Accept PayPal in the UK

There are almost countless bookies available to UK customers, many of which are highly recommended and are rated among the best betting sites around. The ability to use PayPal to fund an account may not be the first thing on your list when it comes to deciding what site to make your bets with but, for some, it is important.

In this feature, we will look in more detail at using PayPal for online betting, looking at the functionality and practicality of this deposit and withdrawal method. In addition, we will also look at the history of PayPal and explain, for want of a better phrase, what it is.

Bookmakers That Accept PayPal (February, 2024)

Min Deposit
£10
Max Deposit
£5500
Fee
No Fee
T&Cs apply 18+ #ad

Can You Use PayPal for Online Betting?

Paypal mobile
Ink Drop / Bigstockphoto.com

This would be a rather short and totally pointless article if you couldn’t, so the answer is yes, you can indeed use PayPal for online betting. Phew. It is legal, both from your point of view as a customer and also from the perspective of the bookie. In addition, there are a number of top-notch UK bookies that accept PayPal.

That said, PayPal is not a magic wand that can be used to subvert legal practicalities. By this, we mean that using PayPal is not a way to get around restrictions that might prevent you from gambling. We would not recommend you try and get around such restrictions anyway, because it may be illegal and/or just plain unwise. However, if you cannot gamble because it is not legal where you reside, or because you have self-excluded, PayPal is not a way to overcome this.

Credit Cards Still Not Permitted via Paypal When Gambling

In addition, PayPal is not a sneaky backdoor way to use a credit card for gambling. Gambling should be fun and punters should be aware and accept that in the long run most people who bet tend to lose money. As such, you should only ever place bets with money you can afford to lose. That means that gambling with other people’s money, for example, with a credit card, is a very bad idea.

Thankfully, as of the 14th April, 2020 the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) banned betting with a credit card. That means that no betting company (be they a bookie, online casino or anything else) that is licensed by the UKGC will accept credit cards as a form of payment.

It would not take a genius to try and use PayPal or a similar payment processor to get around this. However, PayPal, the bookies and the relevant authorities have, themselves dare we say it also not being geniuses, thought of this too. As such, it doesn’t work and you cannot use credit card-derived funds via PayPal at an online bookmaker.

How to Use PayPal at an Online Bookies

Setting up Paypal account

At the time of writing, PayPal has a market capitalisation (the value of all its shares) of around $92bn. They have around 10,000 employees, revenues of $25bn per year and approximately 429m users. Unsurprisingly, therefore, signing up to use their services and then operating your PayPal account is very easy, with some of the best tech bods on the planet making sure things work as smoothly and simply as possible.

Before you can use PayPal to add funds to your favourite PayPal bookie you will, naturally enough, need an account with the California-based giants. Just visit their site and join the PayPal party pretty much the same way you would join a bookie or other online company. Accept the cookies, click on “Sign Up” in the top right-hand corner and away you go.

Setting Up a Paypal Account

Most punters will want a personal, rather than a business account and like all the best things in life (and many of the worst things too to be fair), it is free to have a PayPal account. You’ll need to add a mobile phone number and then input the verification code that will instantly be sent to it. Then it is simply a case of imputing some basic personal details (name, email address and a secure password of your choice) and away you go.

You’ll need to add a little more info, such as your physical address, nationality and possibly ID (such as a passport number, ID card or driver’s license) and then, assuming you want to actually do something through PayPal, rather than try and impress dates with the mere fact you have an account, you will need to add a debit card if you’re planning to use Paypal via an online bookie. As stated previously, you cannot use a credit card via Paypal to pay for a bet at an online bookmaker.

You may well need to verify your email address and perhaps your phone again at some stage but all in all it is really very simple and intuitive. PayPal guide you step by step and even have various FAQs and videos if needed.

Depositing & Withdrawing with PayPal

Paypal with debit cards only
wdnetstudio / Bigstockphoto.com

To use PayPal to make a deposit into your account, we would recommend simply heading to the deposit section at your preferred bookie. You should be presented with an array of deposit options, including debit cards, various e-wallets, bank transfer and, of course, PayPal. Click PayPal and then follow the instructions on the screen, completing whatever information is required.

This will vary from site to site and on whether or not you have used PayPal with the bookie before or not. Naturally, you will always have to enter the amount you want to deposit and then at some point you will be transferred to PayPal. This will usually occur via a pop-up window, so if you have blockers enabled you may need to turn them off in order for this to open.

If you are already logged in to PayPal, you will simply have to confirm what payment method you want to use (more of which below) and confirm the transaction. Again, the exact process may vary according to the bookie and also your PayPal settings. If you are not already logged in you will need to do so (via the pop-up) and then complete the aforementioned steps.

Either way, you should then be returned to the bookie, with the funds instantly available for you to make your bets. Bookies do not typically charge for making deposits via PayPal but you may find that deposit limits are lower than with some other methods, most notably debit cards.

Withdrawing

Withdrawing funds is fundamentally the same, though even simpler as you do not need to actually log in to PayPal, nor visit the site. Simply head to “My Account” or similar at the bookmaker, and select withdraw. Enter the amount you want to take out and choose PayPal as your method. Depending on if you have previously used other methods to deposit, you may only be able to withdraw some of your balance to PayPal, with part of it having to go back to the previous deposit methods used. Once again, this is normally a speedy and free process.

However, once you have withdrawn funds from your online betting account, they will only go as far as PayPal. In other words, if you want to return that cash back to your bank/debit card, you will need to log in to PayPal and do this manually. Just head to “Transfer Money”, then “Withdraw from PayPal to your bank account”. PayPal makes this all very simple once again, so just follow the onsite instructions and the funds should be back where they started in a matter of minutes.

What Shows Up on Your Bank Statement?

Mobile banking app

Gambling is legal, winnings are tax free (and do not need to be declared) and in and of itself it does not impact your credit score or ability to get a mortgage. That said, there are some punters who prefer gambling transactions not to show up on their bank statements. We do not recommend trying to hide your gambling and if you feel the need to do that perhaps you should consider why and whether you need help from a charitable organisation such as GamCare.

However, there are many regular but non-problem gamblers who may feel it is better for a number of different reasons not to have frequent deposits to gambling companies on their main bank account. There are various ways around this, including using a separate bank account for all your gambling, which can also make it easier to keep track of both your gambling and non-gambling budgets.

However, one option is to use PayPal, but you have to deposit in a specific way. If you use PayPal as a payment processor to send funds from your debit card to the bookie, the try will show on your bank statement as some variation on the bookmaker’s name. It might, for example, look something like: PAYPAL *LADBROKES

Direct Deposits to Paypal

However, if you make an independent deposit into your PayPal account, which you can do by accessing it directly, this will only show as a PayPal transaction, entirely unlinked to the bookie. Just log in to PayPal and then go to “Transfer Money”. Here you will see options for taking money out and putting it in. Under the latter there is the option to “Add money to your balance”. Just select this and then follow the on-page instructions to fund your PayPal account using either your online banking system or a pre-linked bank account.

This will mean you now have a positive balance at PayPal but because this money can be used for anything it will only show on your bank statement as a transaction to the processor. Now, when you come to make a deposit at the bookmaker, you should be presented with the option to either use your existing PayPal balance or, alternatively, add funds. Pick the former and you will have made a deposit at the bookie without it showing on your bank statement.

Is PayPal the Fastest Deposit Method?

Paypal method is quick

We have already touched on the fact that generally speaking both depositing and withdrawing with PayPal is quick and free of charge. But how do they compare in terms of speed with other methods? Well the simple, general answer is, favourably.

Increasingly over the last few years, payment processing has got much faster in most walks of life. It was not all that long ago that it was standard for a withdrawal to take several days to reach you no matter how it was processed. However now many bookie payment options are virtually instantaneous, both when it comes to depositing your money (no surprise there, as the bookies have always managed to take cash quickly) and also withdrawing funds. This includes transactions carried out via PayPal.

In short, nothing is quicker than PayPal, with some sites getting your money back to you in seconds and certainly within a few hours. Of course, any transactions depend to some extent on the bookie processing them but most of the best betting sites do this automatically and instantly.

As such, when you make a withdrawal to PayPal, that cash will normally be there as soon as you log in to the processor. Then in just a few clicks you can withdraw that money back to your bank account and, once again, that cash will normally be there as soon as you access your online banking.

What Actually is PayPal?

PayPal HQ in San Jose, CA
PayPal HQ in San Jose, CA (Sagar Savla / Wikipedia.org)

To some this may seem a silly question, whilst to others it may make them stop and think. Many of us (well, about 429 million at any rate) use PayPal but perhaps without really understanding what it actually is or how it works. Here we will explain a few basics, as well as looking at the history of the company.

Processes & Facilitates Payments

Wikipedia describes PayPal as an “American multinational financial technology company”, whilst PayPal themselves state that they allow anyone – business or individual – who has an email address to “securely, conveniently and cost-effectively send and receive payments online”. These simple and straightforward ideas about PayPal probably chime with what most of us would perceive the company to be and do. In short, therefore, PayPal is a pretty simple business that processes and facilitates payments.

How It Started

It started life at the end of the last century, with Peter Thiel the most recognisable name among the trio of entrepreneurs who set up its forerunner, Confinity. Confinity was more focussed on security software but this failed to take off and the company began to move into electronic payments in 1999.

In March 2000, they merged with an online bank, of sorts, that had been founded just a year earlier. One of the founders of X.com was a certain Elon Musk – Thiel, Musk and co set about developing and improving the payment transfer side of the business, leaving behind the other banking operations. Thiel became the CEO of X.com in October 2000 but, the following year, the company was renamed PayPal and then, in 2002, went public on the stock exchange.

Acquired by eBay

Shortly after this, eBay bought PayPal for shares in the parent company worth $1.5bn, instantly making Musk and many of the other founders very rich. Musk, the man now behind SpaceX (and Tesla), was the biggest beneficiary, earning a reported $175m – small change for someone now believed to be worth a truly staggering $228bn.

Since then, PayPal has grown, evolved and improved, buying various smaller payment processors and technology companies and having themselves been spun off from eBay to become its own publicly traded company once again. Its revenue, income and number of employees have grown steadily year on year and, in 2021, it was found to be the second most trusted brand in the world (Google was first so make of that what you will!).

Paypal’s Acquisitions

Whilst they have explored many new avenues, principally through the acquisition of other companies, payment processing remains very, very much at their core. In 2021, they paid almost $3bn for Japanese firm, Paidy, a company that essentially offers “buy now, pay later” that works without a credit card. Prior to that, in 2019, they spent even more money, around $4bn, buying Honey, a US technology firm that specialises in coupon-based browser extensions.

Present Day

Through their core business, PayPal offer a range of services to both businesses and individuals. They offer credit and peer-to-peer money transfers, facilitate in-shop purchases and offer a cheap and hassle-free way for small businesses to accept online payment – among many, many other things. They are also a great way to speedily add and withdraw funds from your favourite bookie!