Ladbrokes Sports Review
Ladbrokes is a publicly listed sports book that is based in London. The company is as old as it is diverse, as it was founded in 1902 and owned hotels, racetracks, and betting shops throughout the world. They are listed on the London Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol LAD. The bookmaker can trace its roots back as far as 1896, where the first two of three partners, Messrs Schwind and Pennington teamed up as commission agents where they backed certain horses in horse races at Ladbrokes Hall. In 1902, Arthur Bendir joined the act and the combination of the three partners formed the company. Bendir adjusted their strategy slightly, as he proposed the group laid horses as opposed to backing them. Thus, they began setting markets for horses and races and they expanded beyond Ladbrokes Hall.
In 1956, Cyril Stein and Max Parker purchased the business with ambitions of targeting the “common man” in addition to the affluent marketplace that the founding group serviced. By 1968 Ladbrokes had over 15,000 shops situated throughout the UK. They additionally diversified outside of the racing industry (horses and greyhounds) and began setting markets for football matches. In 1967 they went public and they raised over £60 million with their public offering. In 1972 they entered the hotel and casino business, when they acquired the London & Leeds Development Corporation. This acquisition also placed the company in Amsterdam, as well as the USA, Paris, and Brussels.
During the seventies the number of betting shops they owned was reduced to a manageable 10,000. Location was more important to them than sheer volume was. Thus, they closed numerous shops to reflect their business model. In 2005 they moved out of the hotel industry by selling its Hilton Hotel arm for £3.3 billion quid. This allowed Ladbrokes to focus on its bookmaking, online betting, and casino businesses in terms of smartly expanding operations and moving into regions that were facing deregulation.
Today the company is run by Richard Glynn, CEO. Ladbrokes maintains a presence in Spain, England, Ireland, and Belgium, as they operate 2700 betting shops and their online presence maintains and services over 878,000 active customers, of which 435,000 are depositing customers. The company split itself into four different segments. The Ladbroke segments are UK retail gambling, European retail gambling, Digital (which includes online and mobile betting/games), and telephone gambling (which includes phoned in bets). Whilst the UK retail division is the most profitable segment of the group, the Digital segment turned a profit of £55 million in 2011. It is the biggest area of growth in their business in terms of customer base.
Online and Sign Up Bonus
As an online presence, they provides a number of different markets for sports betting customers to wager on. Additionally, you can play bingo, poker, slots, or your favourite casino table game when you register an account. When you sign up to open a sports account, Ladbrokes will match your first “single bet” up to £50. To get the free bet valued up to £50, simply sign up, deposit (using the deposit code FB50), and bet. The free bet will be credited to your account upon placing your wager.
Popular Markets, Specials and Products
When playing at Ladbrokes you will find a ton of options, deals, and bets. Like most UK bookies, they provide an extensive Greyhound and Horse Racing board. You can bet the dogs at Crayford, Monmore, Newcastle, Romford, Sunderland, and Sittingbourne, Newcastle, and Belle Vue. Most of the tracks offer simulcast right on the website, so you can watch the races that you have bet on. The same stands true for horseracing, as all the major tracks in the UK are included on the board. You can also watch each race from start to photo finish when you bet on the horses. You will also find markets to bet on Football (American, Aussie Rules, and proper football), as well as lines on basketball, baseball, cycling, darts, golf, rugby, tennis, harness racing, and motor sports.
In addition to sporting events, you can wager on pop culture at Ladbrokes. They make markets on television shows like Big Brother and X-Factor, as well as poker tournaments (World Series of Poker), and the financial markets. They also accept special bets on ridiculous things such as whether NASA will confirm the discovery of life on Mars during their “Curiosity” mission. They additionally run specials every day that coincide with the day’s big events. For football matches, Ladbrokes frequently offers specials that refund losing “correct score” bets on televised matches that end with a nil-nil score line. Additionally, they offer 10% cash back on losing bets when you take a shot at their casino games. You can get cash back on your choice of slots games, table games, or the combination of scratch card, arcade, and dice games.
Speaking of other games, Ladbrokes runs a full service casino that includes roulette, blackjack, video poker, scratch cards, and slots like The Dark Knight. You can also sit down at their three card poker games, play baccarat, and sic bo. Most of their games offer high stakes variations in addition to smaller stakes options. You can play in the traditional online casino or you can opt for the ever so hot live dealer casino games. They also provide a full online poker room in addition to a bingo hall.
Funding Money into your Account
In terms of funding and cashing out your account, Ladbrokes makes it very easy. They accept all major credit cards, and allow deposit by Western Union, bank transfer, NETeller, PayPal (please note that PayPal is not available for German players), UKash, Skrill, ClickandBuy, and PaySafe. Most deposits are credited instantly. However, both Western Union and bank transfers take one to five days to process. You can also deposit at a local shop so that you can bet with them online. When cashing out your account, you can do so quickly by using PayPal, NETeller, Skrill, and ClickandBuy. Withdrawals by these methods are nearly instantaneous, as they are available within six hours. Western Union, bank transfers, and credit card withdrawals all take approximately five days from request to receipt.
Ladbrokes is rich in tradition and their commitment to the online market reflects such things. The site can be accessed by computer or most of the services and games are available by mobile phone, as Ladbrokes has iPhone apps, as well as apps for the Android, Blackberry, and Nokia phones. Now you can bet your favourite sports whether you are at home in front of the television or at the pub with the boys supporting your favourite local side.
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pros & cons
- Huge UK and Irish high-street bookmakers
- Very reputable and recognised brand
- Expanding into Asian and regulated countries
- Competes with the biggest players in the industry
- Controversy over recent financial results