Explore the Different Ways You Can Bet on Cheltenham

Betting and horse racing betting are two peas in a pod – and in British sporting culture, few things go hand in hand as smoothly as these two. Crank it up a bit and cut out some of the lesser-known festivals, and you’re left with the Mount Rushmore of elite UK race meets that rivals any other horse racing market.

Many ardent horse racing fans will say that Cheltenham trumps Aintree and Ascot because of the overall standard and the sheer anticipation for the week ahead. One thing that can be agreed upon is that they’re all huge dates in the calendar, and that means that betting companies are working tirelessly to put together their optimum marketing campaigns to get you to use their services for all of them – including this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

Betting on Cheltenham Races Using an App?

Mobile Betting App

There’s an app for everything these days, and with so much money swirling around in the global digital sports betting market, technology has long been present. However, there’s a continued push for more app-friendly platforms, given that fewer people use desktops to bet and prefer to place horse racing bets on their phones, iPads or Android tablets.

Ultimately, many of the top platforms, such as Sky Bet, bet365 and TalkSPORT BET, understand that it’s about having a well-rounded service instead of simply focusing on one type of customer. Placing a bet on Cheltenham falls into a very distinct category, as many UK bettors who might only have a passing, glancing interest in horse racing may place a horse racing bet on Cheltenham or Aintree.

With over half the world now having access to a smartphone, and the betting market expected to smash past a half-a-trillion pound market cap in the next decade, all of the prominent names in UK sports betting have mobile apps that are easy to use and easy to place bets with. Even if you have a relatively old iPhone or Android, you shouldn’t encounter any issues – that is, unless you have one from 2007 or something, in which case, you’re probably best looking for an upgrade!

Keeping It Retro – Placing Cheltenham Bets on a Laptop or PC

Betting Websites on Laptop

If you’re a Millennial or older, you’ll probably have a fading memory of life before the internet. Gambling companies were land-based shops, and many of the companies that dominate the landscape today hadn’t yet launched. If you’re part of this golden, cultured generation like I am, then maybe you still prefer seeking out desktop gambling.

There is still a strong appeal if you use a PC with a solid sound and display system. You can place the bets on your PC or laptop and watch the action unfold without having to lock and unlock your phone screen every 2.7 seconds.

While companies like bet365 and Sky Bet have invested millions of pounds in research and improvement to ensure their apps are at the premium end of the market, their website functionality hasn’t suffered as a result.

During peak times like Cheltenham, they need to ensure the broader juggernaut of their service is firing on all cylinders to provide as well-rounded a service as possible. You can even explore Betfair, which offers an exchange for horse racing punters looking for direct markets – another way to bet on Cheltenham. But do be aware that their current offer only applies to specific Cheltenham races.

Land-Based Shops

Betfred High Street Bookmakers
Betfred High Street Bookmakers (Tupungato / bigstock)

BoyleSports and Betfred are two legendary names in horse racing betting. Although they have both been able to adjust their business models to accommodate the seismic shift from physical to digital gambling, many of the other prominent names, such as Sky Bet and bet365, don’t own any physical bookies.

It’s obvious why sports betting companies have moved from physical to digital operations. There are fewer overheads involved, and no rent or electricity bills, while overall maintenance of the shop can prove costly, too. However, an entire generation of bettors still come out for Cheltenham and prefer to take a stroll down to the local sports betting shop and check out the offers in-store.

It’s easy to see why many have started shutting down shops and pivoting their focus online – it’s the new market, and with so many offers and far more convenient ways to play, it feels like an uphill struggle for them to remain viable in 2024.

Why Is Cheltenham So Iconic?

It’s a perfect blend of significant TV audience and revenue, vast streams of people piling through the turnstiles and a horse racing heritage of over 200 years. In addition, the prize money on offer for many of the top races over the week blows every other UK race meeting out of the water, excluding Aintree.

Once you combine these variables, it becomes crystal clear why so many of the top stables in the UK and Ireland descend on Cheltenham in March every year. Iconic jockeys such as AP McCoy and Rachael Blackmore have become such huge names in UK horse racing that many people who don’t even watch the sport know their names – predominantly because of their performances at Cheltenham over the years.

Given the hive of activity that takes place over the week, you could make a strong case that it is one of less than half a dozen race meets that transcend the sport.


As you can see, with the excitement bubbling over for horse racing fans, jockeys, trainers and stables this year, this trickles down into the colossal gambling market, which helps drive a lot of organic social media traffic and keep people engaged with everything Cheltenham over the entire week.

Although more people are using mobile apps to place their bets, millions of pounds worth of activity still occurs on websites, desktops and laptops, as well as at the good old classic, land-based bookie. You won’t be left short of options if you’re looking for different ways to bet on Cheltenham, and with so many welcome bonuses available online, you’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re looking to get a bit more bang for your buck when placing a bet on this year’s festival.