Ladbrokes are a bookmaking and gaming company who provide betting and gaming services across multiple channels. Ladbrokes has a:
- Strong presence on the high street, with over 3500 betting shops across England, Wales and Scotland under the Ladbrokes and Coral brands, employing over 25,000 people.
- Comprehensive online offering (ladbrokes.com) with digital sports betting and gaming products (slots, casino games, bingo, poker and other skill
games) provided across its brands.
- Telephone betting service, which includes offering a personalised service for high net worth individuals, whose invitation is dependent on a certain level of staking size and activity level. Telephone betting is in decline, as Ladbrokes actively encourages customers to migrate to equivalent digital products.
In 2016, Ladbrokes merger with Gala Coral was approved by the Competition and Markets Authority. The merger produced the Ladbrokes Coral Group. Ladbrokes is the ultimate holding company of the Ladbrokes Coral Group
Ladbrokes offers betting on a number of sporting and non-sporting events, with horseracing being the most popular sport it offers odds on, followed by football.
Ladbrokes currently operates in the UK, Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Italy and Spain.
Ladbrokes was incorporated in England and Wales in 1956 and was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1967. Ladbrokes’ experience in wagering and betting extends back to 1886 when its founders, Pennington and Schwind, went into partnership as commission agents, principally with the objective of backing horses trained by Pennington at Ladbrokes Hall in Worcestershire. Ladbrokes gained its name in 1902 when Arthur Bendir joined the partnership and changed the emphasis of the business from backing horses to laying them as a bookmaker.
In 1956, the company was sold to Mark Stein (known as Max Parker) and his nephew, Cyril Stein. Immediately following the acquisition, Ladbrokes introduced ‘no limit’ and ‘ante post’ betting and sponsored its first horse race.
The Ladbrokes Group believes that its heritage and strong brand presence in the UK provide a competitive advantage in an industry where attracting and maintaining customers is crucial to developing the business. The Ladbrokes brand is long-established, trusted and widely recognised.
Ladbrokes offers odds on sports such as horseracing, football, rugby, cricket, tennis, golf, motor racing, greyhound racing, darts, snooker, American football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey. The company accepts a range of different types of bets from simple bets on the outcome of a single event to more complex bets, such as accumulator bets on the outcome of a number of different races or sporting events.
Ladbrokes also offers a number of gaming products such as slots, casino games, bingo, poker and other skill games. Gaming products are games whose outcome is dependent on chance, such as roulette or slot machines. Although skill games are partly based on chance, some argue that the odds can be changed over the long run based on the application of skill. This applies in games between customers, such as poker.
With gaming products, the customer bets against the house and Ladbrokes Group makes its profit based on probabilities in the long run of different events occurring and applying risk limits. In skill games, the Ladbrokes Group enables customers to play against each other, thereby taking on no principal gaming risk itself. In return for facilitating these games, Ladbrokes charges commission, in poker known as a ‘rake’, or a one-off entry fee for tournaments.
A Ladbroke licensed betting office consists of a high street storefront that contains one or more over the counter betting positions where customers place their bets and settle their winnings. Television screens and seating are provided, enabling customers to follow live sporting events. Licensed betting offices also provide fixed odds betting terminals and self service betting terminals and gaming machines such as jackpot slot machines, roulette, blackjack and video poker.
Ladbrokes also owns greyhound stadia in the UK and has a holding in Satellite Information Services, a data and content provider to the betting and gaming industry.
Ladbrokes.com offers pre-event and in-play betting on sporting events, as well as betting on political, entertainment and other newsworthy events. The gaming offering includes casino, slots, poker, bingo and virtual sports. Ladbrokes’ digital offering also includes two betting exchanges, the Ladbrokes Exchange and Betdaq, which allow customers to lay the outcome of an event as well as back them.
Ladbrokes has a loyalty scheme called ‘The Grid’, which:
- Offers promotions and rewards.
- Enables retail customers to scan, track and cash out retail bets online.
- Enables cash deposits and withdrawals of online funds via a single wallet across retail and digital channels.
Ladbrokes manage trading risk in their bookmaking products by:
- Employing a team of expert odds compilers and bookmaking risk managers.
- Accessing market information before odds are compiled and after odds are published.
- Tightly controlled bet acceptance limits. Ladbrokes is under no obligation to accept any bet.
In gaming machine and online gaming products, it’s possible for Ladbrokes to incur losses in the short term, but over time, the margin reverts to predetermined averages and hedging is not required.