Even so, Ladbrokes Coral Group plc is far and away the largest high street bookmaker in the UK, with over 1,000 more betting shops than its nearest rival, William Hill. Gambling software development company Playtech has backed the merger and increased its stake in Ladbrokes to 10%.
All in all, it’s difficult to find much wrong with Ladbrokes, apart from reiterating that if you want to find the most competitive odds available on any event you’re probably better off looking elsewhere.
- Traditional bookmaker with over 125 years of history
- Wide betting offer up to 30 sports
- Overall average odds with some outliers
Ladbrokes in History
The Ladbrokes betting business, as we know it today, was founded by philanthropist Cyril Stein and floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1967. At the time, Ladbrokes was worth £1 million, but when Mr. Stein left the company in 1994 the company was valued at around £2 billion. One of the original ‘Big Four’ bookmakers, Ladbrokes has continued to thrive, establishing an online presence in 2000. Ladbrokes finalised a £2.3 billion merger with rivals Coral in November 2016 and, in the year as a whole, revenue from Ladbrokes.com rose by 17%, despite unfavourable sporting results in the UK. The combined odds against Leicester City, Brexit and President Trump were apparently 4,503,905/1.
Historically, Ladbrokes built its business on providing betting services, primarily on horse and greyhound racing, to generations of British customers. By focussing on the interests of its customers, the company has built a strong market reputation for itself, but continues to innovate, through extensive online betting coverage, promotions and overall customer experience.
Betting markets and odds quality
Punters can have few complaints about the range of betting markets available from Ladbrokes. Horse racing coverage obviously includes the UK and Ireland, but also Europe, North America, Asia and Australia, while football coverage includes all the major European leagues, plus a few from further afield, such as the Japanese J League and the Australian Hyundai A-League. Indeed, the ‘A-Z Sports’ list includes everything from American football to volleyball, with enough markets to keep even the most avid sports fan happy.
On the downside, the odds offered by Ladbrokes, even on traditional, ‘bread and butter’ markets, such as football and horse racing, really aren’t competitive when compared with other bookmakers. In many cases, the disparity isn’t huge but, over time, even fractions of a point can make a tremendous difference, especially in markets such as football, where doubles, trebles and accumulators are popular. In smaller, ‘niche’ markets, the problem is worse still, with Ladbrokes falling well short of the competition.
Arbitragers beware, too. Arbitrage involves taking advantage of different odds offered by different bookmakers to make a profit from a bet regardless of the outcome. Ladbrokes’ customer service staff may have weaknesses in other areas, but not so in spotting ‘arbing’ which, while perfectly legal, may result in your account being severely limited, or closed altogether.
Website & Mobile Apps for all Devices
Historically, one criticism levelled at Ladbrokes was that, while its website and mobile apps were fine from a functional point of view, its betting software was slow and less user-friendly than that available elsewhere. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case; Ladbrokes has invested no little time and effort in improving its interface and the results are there for all to see. Whether you bet via the original website, the mobile version or the mobile application, you’ll instantly recognise Ladbrokes’ distinctive red-and-white livery and everything is laid out to make finding and placing the bet you want as quick and intuitive as possible. Ladbrokes’ mobile application is fully integrated and allows complete functionality from your smartphone.
- Best offers in horse racing and football
- daily price boosts on selected markets
- ‘Cash Out’ facility is available on selected ‘live’ or ‘in-play’ markets.
Live Betting & Streaming
‘Live’ or ‘In-play’ betting – that is, betting on an event, such as a football match, after it has started – is an area in which Ladbrokes excels. Ladbrokes offers an extensive range of traditional markets, alongside more creative ‘proposition’ bets, on football, cricket, golf, tennis, rugby and many smaller, ‘niche’ sports. Clicking on the ‘In-Play & Streaming’ tab reveals all the markets on which in-play betting is available, while clicking on the ‘Stream’ tab allows you to watch any of the events currently being streamed live on the site. To watch a live stream, you must be logged in and have a positive balance in your account, or have placed a bet with the last 24 hours.
Bonuses & Promotions & Freebets
Ladbrokes offers new customers the chance to claim a free bets of up to £30 when they place their first bet. New customers simply need to register with Ladbrokes using the latest promotion code, deposit and place their first bet of £10. The deposit must be made in EURO or GBP and not using PaySafe, Skrill or Neteller and your first bet must be at minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) to qualify, but provided you meet those conditions Ladbrokes will credited 3 x £10 free bets.
Ladbrokes’ promotions are by no means limited to new customers. On all UK and Irish, horse racing punters can take advantage of enhanced best odds guaranteed. If they take a price on win or each-way and the starting price is greater, Ladbrokes pays not only at starting price, but ‘boost’ the price by a fraction as well. If, say, a punter backs a horse at 3/1, which subsequently wins at 7/2, Ladbrokes pays 4/1, up to a maximum of €200 or £200. Ladbrokes also offers daily price boosts on selected events, large and small, and for football punters the chance to have your money back as a free bet if one team in an accumulator of five teams or more, on selected matches, lets you down, up to a maximum stake of €25 or £25.