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Ladbrokes – Bookmakers face £5m Russia 2018 goalfest torpedo

Entering the last round of FIFA World Cup group matches, UK bookmakers fear a ‘significant payout should Russia 2018’s goalfest continue’.

The tournament has broken the record for the longest stretch of games at a World Cup without a goalless (0-0) draw.

Thus far 32 Russia 2018 matches have been played featuring 85 goals (ratio – 2.6 goals per match). By previous standards, Russia 2018 may not be a high scoring World Cup, but the tournament is yet to deliver bookmakers a 0-0 draw.

Issuing a Russia 2018 update, Ladbrokes details that ‘UK bookmakers stand to lose a staggering £5 million from one special bet taken before the World Cup knockout stages got underway’

According to Ladbrokes, prior to the start of the tournament, the majority of UK bookmakers had priced 40/1 for ‘a goal to be scored in every Russia 2018 group game’.

Yet to play host to a 0-0 draw, UK bookmakers stand to payout a combined £5 million should Russia 2018’s goal-per-game trend continue.

Commenting on World Cup markets, Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “We shot ourselves in the foot offering 40/1 for a goal to be scored in every group match so now we’re praying for a 0-0 in any of the next 16 games to avoid a hefty payout before a ball has been kicked in the business end of the tournament!”
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Playtech and Ladbrokes Coral team-up for built-in bet slip

Playtech and Ladbrokes Coral have enhanced their burgeoning relationship, with its new built-in bet slip the “first ever sports solution directly integrated into live casino”.

The omni-channel firms new offering will allow customers to follow live odds and action without leaving tables, and will feature roulette operated by sports trained dealers – who are to also provide match commentary for the remaining World Cup game.

Kevin Kilminster, Head of Live Casino Innovation for Playtech, stated: “The new Ladbrokes Coral integrated bet slip is a significant step forward for the live casino experience. Sports fans no longer have to choose between playing roulette and keeping up-to-date with the big events.

“With everything they need to place sports bets fully incorporated into the live studio, it’s a more convenient and engaging experience for the players. This is the first time any provider has delivered a full solution to bring an operator sportsbook offering into the live casino client. Owing to our unique omni-channel capabilities, Playtech is best placed to deliver this type of premium experience for operators.”

Developed with a mobile first approach, available 24/7 and featuring a fully tailored studio, it is detailed that players will enjoy a seamless experience across all devices.

Antonio Ruggeri, Live Casino Product Manager for Ladbrokes Coral, concluded: “Following the highly successful launch of Cheltenham Roulette last year, we’re delighted to be partnering with Playtech again to launch the industry’s first fully integrated bet slip.

“This technology adds a brand-new dimension to our live offering, and is a great opportunity for players who enjoy sports betting to try out the live casino environment without missing out on any of the action. We’re confident the new bet slip will get a great reaction from players during the World Cup and beyond.”

This is the latest sports and live casino crossover developed by the two parties, following the creation of Cheltenham Festival themed roulette room, featuring live streaming of all races, for the Coral brand last year.
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Ladbrokes owner agrees $200m deal with MGM Resorts

GVC Holdings confirms 50-50 venture in newly liberalised US sports betting market

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The UK owner of Ladbrokes and Coral has sealed a $200m (£152m) tie-up with the world’s biggest casino operator, catapulting it into the lucrative, newly liberalised US sports betting market.

On Monday, the FTSE-listed gambling group GVC Holdings confirmed the joint venture with MGM Resorts, giving both partners a foothold in what is forecast to grow into a multibillion-dollar sector.

MGM – best known for Las Vegas casinos such as the MGM Grand and the Bellagio – and GVC have agreed to inject an initial $100m each as part of a 50-50 joint venture focused on US sports betting.

It would make GVC the lead sports betting and online gambling services provider for all MGM’s casino and hotel properties in the US.

Importantly, the deal will allow GVC and MGM to work together to create gambling/betting ventures within newly sanctioned US states, delivering a range of land-based and digital gambling opportunities.

In May, the US supreme court overturned a federal law that banned gambling on American football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most US states.

That was an eagerly anticipated watershed for Britain’s bookmakers, who have been jockeying for position to gain a strong foothold in the US. They have the advantage of years of experience due to Europe’s more liberal approach to sports gambling, while the common language reduces barriers to entry.

Analysts have been scrutinising GVC’s movements, and those of its FTSE counterparts, Paddy Power Betfair and William Hill. Both used horse racing and sportsbook acquisition to sow the seeds of a solid base from Nevada to New Jersey, where sports betting was already permitted.

Paddy Power Betfair already has 300 US staff and owns the TVG television network, which shows live horse racing – betting on live animals was not banned under the previous legislation.

In May, it bought the US fantasy sports betting site FanDuel, which allows customers to bet on fantasy sports games based on professional American football, basketball, baseball and ice hockey.

The 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (Paspa) effectively outlawed sports betting nationwide, with the exception of a few states. The result was a thriving underground betting industry that accepts an estimated $150bn in illegal wagers every year, according to the American Gaming Association.

GVC, which also owns the Sportingbet brand and has grown rapidly through acquisitions including the purchase of Ladbrokes last year, had been evaluating opportunities to expand in the US since the supreme court decision.

Gambling employs more than 100,000 people in the UK and contributed £2.8bn to the public purse last year. But the industry was left reeling by the government’s decision earlier this year to slash the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals from £100 to £2, and is seeking other opportunities to make money.

In the US, domestic operators have been bracing themselves for what has been billed as the biggest British invasion since .

The supreme court ruling came despite opposition from the Trump administration, major sports leagues and religious groups. One research company estimated that as many as 32 US states would offer sports betting within five years.

Richard Thorp, the business development director at the US consultancy FSB, said: “If US operators want to beat back the Brits, it’s imperative that they move quickly and choose their suppliers wisely.

“The post-Paspa scene which US legislators set still has many unanswered questions – for one [whether] the advertising of gambling will be permitted.”
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Ladbrokes confirms partnership with All-Weather Championships

Ladbrokes has strengthened its relationship with British Racing, signing a new three year partnership with the Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) to sponsor two categories of the All-Weather Championships.

A founding sponsor of the All-Weather Championships in 2013, Ladbrokes will now sponsor both the “Fillies and Mares” and the “Three-Year-Old” categories. The deal will see the Ladbrokes branding displayed prominently on track and Ladbrokes race titles for all races in the two categories across the four ARC All-Weather Championships racecourses, Newcastle, Wolverhampton, Southwell and Lingfield Park.

The sixth season of the All-Weather Championships will start on 23 October 2018 at Newcastle Racecourse and will once again culminate in the £1 million All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield Park on Good Friday (19 April), 2019.

Simon Clare, Ladbrokes Coral PR Director, commented on the deal: “The All-Weather Championships has very quickly become a firmly established and very successful part of the British racing calendar and we are proud that we were one of the founding partners of what was such an innovative new initiative when launched in 2013. It is therefore great that Ladbrokes is back involved as a partner of the Series and we look forward to contributing significantly to the future success of the All-Weather Championships.”

As it falls within the All-Weather Championships’ “Three-Year-Old” category, Ladbrokes will also take over title sponsorship of the Listed £100,000 Ladbrokes Burradon Stakes at Newcastle on Good Friday. The race was won in 2018 by Phoenix Thoroughbreds’ Gronkowski, who went on to finish runner-up behind US Triple Crown winner Justify in the Belmont Stakes in June.

Director of Partnerships at ARC, David Leyden Dunbar added: “We are delighted to welcome Ladbrokes back to the All-Weather Championships for season six. As an original partner back in 2013, they were hugely important in helping to establish the Championships into the competition they are today, popular with racing fans, punters and horsemen.

“Our racecourses are very much looking forward to working with their team over the coming months as we get underway with another fantastic All-Weather Championships season.”
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Ladbrokes places the Senet Group’s core message at the heart of SPFL sponsorship

Industry-independent watchdog and standards body, The Senet Group has praised Ladbrokes (GVC Holdings) for its commitment to promoting Responsible Gambling through its marquee sponsorship of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL).

Promoting safer gambling, Ladbrokes marketing confirms that the Senet Group’s ‘When the Fun Stops, Stop’ message will appear across all SPFL players’ shirts for the 2019/20 season.

David Macdonald, Sponsorship and Events Manager at Ladbrokes Coral, said: “As a responsible business, we hope this innovative scheme proves our commitment to tackling problem gambling through sport, across Scotland and will encourage other operators to follow suit, for the benefit of our customers, colleagues and communities.”

In addition, the Senet Group’s core message will be displayed across match-day programmes, LED boards and TV interview backdrops, with Ladbrokes marketing outlining the most comprehensive coverage for UK safer gambling initiatives.

Entering 2018, Ladbrokes renewed its SPFL sponsorship until 2020, with the betting brand agreeing to invest in Scottish football projects.

Backing Ladbrokes, Senet Group Chair, Gillian Wilmot, said: “The When the Fun Stops, Stop campaign has proven its ability to connect meaningfully with players and to help tackle problem gambling. Since its launch in 2015, the campaign has reached an estimated 82% of regular UK gamblers, with 33%, or an indicative 5 million adults confirming that it has helped them gamble more responsibly.

“The decision by Ladbrokes and the SPFL to use our campaign materials is a great endorsement of the work we do to engage with players through positive and engaging messaging, which drives reflection and behaviour change.”
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GVC to meet shareholders to discuss executives pay plan

GVC has agreed to speak with shareholders over remuneration packages for its senior team after one of the biggest investor rebellions of 2019 so far.

At the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) this week, 42 percent of investor votes were against pay plans for its leading executives, including CEO Kenny Alexander.

The pay plans were therefore passed with 58 percent of the vote, but GVC has since agreed to talk with shareholders following the latest reaction to the remuneration document.

It is the second year in a row that GVC has been embarrassed by shareholder protests after 44 percent of votes were cast against its pay schemes at last year’s AGM.

Alexander has taken the value of what is now the UK’s biggest betting operator, whose brands include Ladbrokes, Coral, PartyPoker, Sportingbet, bwin and Betdaq, to a market cap of £3.6 billion. He had tried to avoid such a revolt a week ago by proposing to have his basic salary cut from £950,000 to £800,000.

GVC’s recent annual report showed that he took home a total of £19.1m last year, but this included £16.4m from the firm’s acquisition of bwin.party in 2016 as “legacy awards” – something that will no longer form part of its remuneration framework.

Jane Anscombe, Chairwoman of GVC’s Remuneration Committee, explained: “We understand that some shareholders ultimately felt unable to support the remuneration report, in part due to our legacy arrangements, which going forward no longer form part of our remuneration framework.

“We engaged extensively with shareholders ahead of the annual general meeting and would like to thank them for their helpful and constructive input. We will be engaging with shareholders further in the coming months to listen and reflect on their views on remuneration at GVC.”
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Ladbrokes suspend betting on Wan-Bissaka joining Man Utd

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According to Manchester Evening News, bookmakers Ladbrokes has suspended the betting on Aaron Wan-Bissaka joining Manchester United this summer.

With United, We Stand editor and incredibly reliable journalist Andy Mitten claiming Wan-Bissaka has agreed terms with the Red Devils, as per GQ, it’s time to get excited.

Wan-Bissaka is exactly the sort of young hungry player United should be targeting. The maturity he showed last season for Crystal Palace was phenomenal and there’s a lot pointing towards a stellar career for England U21 international.

If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants players for the future, he picked a good one in AWB.

It now looks like he will become the club’s second signing of the summer after sealing a deal for Daniel James from Swansea City.

Bookmakers often to do this with transfers and it’s not because they know more than you or I, so I’m not suggesting that it’s worth getting excited over because Ladbrokes has suspended the betting on him joining United.

Diogo Dalot must be looking at this with an ugh-esque expression across his face. As a young talented player himself, he should see this as welcome competition. AWB will be starting games at right-back next season but it’s also an opportunity for Dalot to shake him up, or even try to take the right wing spot since Solskjaer played him there last season.

More Stories about Aaron Wan-Bissaka
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Gambling crackdown hits Ladbrokes and Coral owner GVC but High Street sales plunge is offset by surge in online betting

* GVC has seen sales from its betting shops tumble by nearly a fifth
* This, it said, was driven by a 39% plunge in UK like-for-like machine sales
* A surge in online revenues helped offset the betting shop woes


Britain's biggest bookmaker GVC saw its income from high street betting shops tumble by nearly a fifth after a recent Government crackdown slowed down the takings from its fixed-odds betting terminals.

The Ladbrokes and Coral owner, which currently has more than 3,400 shops, said UK retail revenue dropped 19 per cent in the last three months - driven by a 39 per cent plunge in machine sales.

Earlier this year, the Government slashed the maximum stake on FOBTs from £100 to £2.

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The machines have been widely blamed for the proliferation of betting shops on the high street and a sharp rise in problem gambling. Critics have dubbed them ‘the crack cocaine’ of gambling.

However, the firm said the UK hit was not as bad as feared as it was offset by a surge in online sales and international growth.

Overall, GVC's gaming revenues rose 3 per cent in the quarter, and 5 per cent in the first half.

Boss Kenneth Alexander said: 'The transition to a post-£2 stakes-cut environment in UK retail is progressing very well and we believe the Ladbrokes Coral estate is best placed to take market share.'

Its comes as rival bookie William Hill pushes the button on a dramatic cull of its store estate - putting 4,500 jobs at risk.

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William Hill blamed the new FOBT regulation for a decision to close 700 UK shops, but analysts claimed the move was also linked to a rapid switch to online betting and tough high street conditions.

Bookmakers can be found on many of Britain's most deprived high streets, where declining footfall is already contributing to the collapse of many shops and restaurants.


GVC previously claimed that around 1,000 of UK stores are at risk of closure.

In its trading update today, GVC said its website gaming revenues jumped 16 per cent during the period, despite coming up against a strong performance a year earlier driven by the men's football world cup.

In the UK, online sales surged 19 per cent.

GVC shares slipped 0.5 per cent in morning trade on Wednesday to £6.05, and are down 45 per cent in the last year.

It has been a tempestuous period for the gambling giant, which recently faced a shareholder showdown over boardroom pay and raised eyebrows with the sale of its Turkish business to a business partner of Alexander.
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Ladbrokes backs Irish boxing champion Jason Quigley

Hours before he is set to defend his NABF middleweight title, Jason Quigley has been announced as the official Ladbrokes Boxing Ambassador.

The initial deal, which is set to run for one year, will see Ladbrokes work closely with Quigley as the currently undefeated competitor works towards a possible World Championship bout in 2020.

Irish-born Quigley showed his appreciation to Ladbrokes for the deal, stating: “I was delighted when the Sport Endorse team told me Ladbrokes were going to support me with a brand ambassador role. It’s brilliant to have a brand like Ladbrokes behind me. I really appreciate their support as I get back in the ring to continue my quest in becoming World Champion.”

As part of the deal, Ladbrokes will have the ability to provide customers with weekly blogs and interviews with the middleweight champion, where he will share his views on big-time boxing fixtures.

Nicola McGeady, Ladbrokes spokesperson, conveyed the excitement surrounding the deal: “We’re thrilled that Jason is joining Ladbrokes. He has achieved so much and is one of the biggest prospects in the middle-weight division. We believe by signing him, he will help us grow and bring our brand to a new audience as we join him on his exciting journey in hopefully becoming a World Champion.”

Quigley, who won World Silver and European Gold in 2013 as an amateur, turned professional in 2014 and has since competed in and won all 16 of his bouts – 12 of which were via knock out.

Tonight, the Irishman will look to come out victorious for the 17th time in his professional career when he defends his middleweight belt against Tureano Johnson, someone who he has dubbed as his “biggest test to date”, in California.
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‘Systematic failings’ cost Ladbrokes Coral £5.9m

The Gambling Commission has found ‘systemic failings’ at the Ladbrokes Coral Group leading to the imposition of a penalty package consisting of £5.9m payment and a series of improvement measures that must be implemented by new owner GVC.

The regulator has also revealed that more sanctions may be coming down the line as further investigations into the actions of Personal Management Licence holders continue.

An investigation by the Gambling Commission found between November 2014 and October 2017 Ladbrokes and Coral failed to put in place effective safeguards to prevent consumers suffering gambling harm and against money laundering, with this failing continuing after their merger as the Ladbrokes Coral Group.

As a result the following occurred:

* Ladbrokes did not carry out any social responsibility interactions with a customer who lost £98,000 over two-and-a-half years, had 460 attempted deposits into their account declined, and even asked the operator to stop sending promotions.

* Despite one customer spending £1.5m over two-years 10 months, Coral did not ask the customer to evidence their source of funds and could not provide evidence of any social responsibility interactions being carried out. During their time with the operator, the customer displayed signs of problem gambling including logging into their account an average of 10 times a day for a month and losing £64,000 in one month alone.

* Ladbrokes could not provide any evidence of carrying out social responsibility interactions with a customer who deposited over £140,000 in the first four months of their account being open.

*Ladbrokes, having identified concerns with a customer, then allowed further significant gambling without taking additional steps to verify the source of funds or consider if the customer could afford to spend and lose that amount of money.

Richard Watson, Commission Executive Director, said: “Decision makers at gambling businesses need to invest in the welfare of their customers and the integrity of money being gambled with.

“These were systemic failings at a large operator which resulted in consumers being harmed and stolen money flowing though the business and this is unacceptable.”

As part of this settlement the Ladbrokes Coral Group’s new owners GVC will pay £4.8m in lieu of a financial penalty and will divest £1.1m gained from customers as a result of its failings. GVC will also review the top 50 customers for the years 2015-2017 to consider whether any further failings can be identified, and if so they will divest themselves of profit accordingly.

GVC has committed to making a number of improvements to the business including overhauling its responsible gaming and customer interaction processes, retraining staff, and hiring new staff.

These improvements, said GVC, led to the launch of its Changing for the Bettor responsible gambling strategy in January 2019, which included a comprehensive package of measures designed to better understand the issues around problem gambling and to protect and treat vulnerable individuals.

The company said that this strategy is “underpinned by a ten-fold increase in investment into research, education and treatment of problem gambling as well as a drive to adopt a responsibility-first cultural change throughout our business”.

GVC CEO Kenneth Alexander added: “Soon after the acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral following meetings and ongoing enquiries by the Gambling Commission, it became clear to GVC that there had been historic compliance failures within certain areas of the operations. Working closely with the Gambling Commission and an independent firm of solicitors, GVC facilitated a thorough, prompt and far-reaching investigation, which has led to today’s settlement.

“These historical failings were unacceptable and since the acquisition, I have overseen a systematic review of the enlarged Group’s player protection procedures and the individuals responsible for these problems have exited the business. I am confident that, we now have in place a robust and industry leading approach to player protection.

“More broadly, GVC is determined to take the lead in the critical area of responsible gambling, and is taking decisive, tangible action across a range of initiatives. This includes our recent voluntary commitment to increase funding for research, education and treatment projects ten-fold, as well as our decision to end all sponsorship deals that promote our brands on UK football shirts or on pitch-side advertising hoardings.

“However, there is more to be done and social responsibility and we will continue to work with other gambling companies and the Gambling Commission to raise operating standards.”

The Gambling Commission is still making enquiries into the role Personal Management Licence holders played in these failures.
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Ladbrokes goes ‘paperless’ with Racing Post Digital Betting Shop Display

Ladbrokes has confirmed that it will become the first high street bookmaker to go ‘paperless’ in its shops after launching a Racing Post Digital Betting Shop Display in two retail shops in Dublin and Galway.

The launch coincided with the Galway Summer Festival, and will offer punters an interactive digital format of the odds and information of the runners and riders of all UK and Irish racing throughout the day with live Ladbrokes prices.

At the launch of the digital display, Head of Operations and Product at Ladbrokes, Philip Chubb spoke about the advancement of the tech approach Ladbrokes are taking in-store.

He said: “At Ladbrokes, we pride ourselves on our forward-thinking approach and we’re delighted to launch our first paperless shops. Launching them here in Galway during the summer festival and in Dublin has been a huge success. The screens look great and contain even more content than before.’’

Ladbrokes customers will be able to compare the form for horses side-by-side while the new interactive touch screens will also contain Racing Post content including verdicts and the predictor.

Philip went on to discuss how vital it was that Racing Post was included in the tech transition: “The Racing Post Betting Shop Display has been plastered to every betting shop wall across our estate for over 20 years. It was vital for our customers to see Racing Post content available in our digital shops as we know just how valuable it is.

“It looks great in the shops and has gone down really well with punters who have been interacting with the screens all week.”

Alan Pepperell, B2B Head of Retail with Racing Post expressed his excitement at the digital transition taking place in retail stores: “If you look at the general retail landscape most high street stores are becoming more tech-driven and we know bookmakers are no different. Our newspaper and betting shop display has been a stable of bookmakers over the past 20 years and we are delighted to now be at the forefront of Ladbrokes digital transition.”

Pepperell then discussed the advancement of the tech behind the Racing Post display and touchscreens: “The tech in the displays is second to none and we now offer customers more content than ever before. Being able to give full form, live odds and verdicts on all UK and Irish racing in-store, at the touch of a button means punters are armed with the best information to help make their selection.”
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Responsibility mandate sees Ladbrokes end SPFL legacy sponsorship

Serving GVC Holdings’ group-wide ‘Changing for the Bettor’ social responsibility mandate, Ladbrokes informs that it will not renew its legacy title sponsorship of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL).

The bookmaker, who has served as SPFL sponsor since the 2015/16 season, had previously chosen to donate its £2 million per season sponsorship to industry charity GambleAware, promoting its ‘Bet Regret’ campaign.

Issuing a media update, Mark Chambers, Managing Director of Ladbrokes Retail, confirmed that the bookmaker would not be renewing its sponsorship of the SPFL following the end of this season.

“We have enjoyed a very positive relationship with the SPFL and all the clubs involved and would like to thank them for their support and hard work in making this sponsorship such a success over the last few years,” Chambers detailed.

Fulfilling a key directive of the ‘Changing for the Bettor’ campaign, GVC Holdings has instructed its UK betting brands to donate all football sponsorships to charities, which has seen betting exchange Betdaq donate its shirt sponsorship of Sunderland AFC and Charlton Athletic to Children with Cancer UK.

SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster thanked Ladbrokes for their contribution to Scottish football, adding that the league had begun its search for the bookmaker’s replacement and that it was confident of securing significant interest.

“We’re proud of the tremendous partnership we’ve enjoyed since 2015,” said Doncaster. “Given the growth of Scottish football over the past four years, we’re in great shape to attract significant interest from new sponsors, both nationally and internationally.

“We’ll no doubt have strong interest from potential title sponsors in light of the unrivalled level of nationwide coverage, passion and drama that the SPFL consistently delivers.”
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