The history of Ladbrokes goes back deep into the past, to the year 1886 and takes its starting point – as usual in Great Britain – on the horse racecourse.
From this point on, it was to take a few more years before sports betting was finally accepted under the name “Ladbrokes” since 1902.
Over the decades, the three-man company developed – from the on-course bookmaking business, to stationary and telephone betting, and finally to the step into the Internet – into a globally active and listed major corporation.
With around 2,700 betting stores – mainly in the UK -, around 120,000 telephone betting customers, over 1 million online tipsters and more than 14,000 employees, it is a major player in the industry.
It is no longer true that in this mix of sales channels – and given that Ladbrokes generates 70% of its revenues from its UK betting stores – the online business only plays second fiddle.
It was only with the relaunch of the betting site realized in 1998 in 2015 that the bookmaker impressively demonstrated how important it is for it to remain competitive online as well.
Thanks to countless improvements, there is hardly anything to criticize about the online sportsbook, both functionally and in terms of usability.
This also applies to the betting offer, which is one of the bookmaker’s core competencies, given the fact that the bookmaker’s craft has been tried and tested for more than a century.
Detailed Reviews of the Betting Provider Ladbrokes
In this Reviews you will find a detailed description of the experiences that our test experts have made with the betting provider Ladbrokes in the individual evaluation categories over the past years.
1.) The Ladbrokes betting odds
If the first Ladbrokes bookmakers still knew how it is to calculate betting odds entirely without technical and statistical aids, the last decades have brought a significant relief in this regard.
Probabilities and sporting handicaps can be called up at the click of a mouse, and the entire sportsbook can be subjected to a clear odds policy thanks to the computing power of the computer.
For the latter, clear rules can be established at Ladbrokes, based on observation alone:
For example, the majority of the betting offers have a payout key of 93 to 94 percent, and Ladbrokes’ betting odds are also characterized by the fact that over the course of time there is hardly any change to a payout ratio determined for a betting event.
However, one deviation from this approach can be noted: the bookmaker seems to have a heart, especially for its early-decided clientele.
Not only that, for example, for a top match in soccer, which is only scheduled for the next but one match day, even 96% of the bets are often returned as winnings, but also the favorite tip is often traded well above the industry average so long in advance.
US sports are generally written large at Ladbrokes: the odds key for two-way bets on the top American sports leagues NFL, NBA and NHL rarely slips below the 95% mark.
Not only “early birds” are in good hands at Ladbrokes, but also tennis, basketball and ice hockey fans.
While events from these categories are usually still subject to the standard odds (payout key of 93/94 percent), bettors with a soft spot for US sports – and the classic two-way bet! – are given preferential treatment thanks to Ladbrokes’ reduced profit margin of 5%.
2.) The Ladbrokes betting offer
As a bookmaker that comes from an English-influenced betting tradition, Ladbrokes attaches great importance to appropriate variety.
This can be seen from the betting menu right at first glance, which is always well-filled not only with tennis, soccer, basketball, volleyball, motor and winter sports, but also with fringe sports such as floorball, rugby league, speedway, social and entertainment betting.
Only the actual roots are denied in this country: the horse and dog betting, with which the founders started their betting business and Ladbrokes was associated for so long, now no longer find their way into the German sportsbook.
This restriction is a relatively recent development in the course of efforts to individualize the offerings for the German market.
It is up to each individual to decide whether this reduction represents a cutback or is good for the Ladbrokes betting offer in terms of streamlining and increased compactness.
The fact is that the omission of relevant betting options is far from being able to take away the Sportsbook’s impression of richness.
Fact check: these 7 sports are bet on the most by German Ladbrokes customers:
- Soccer betting (almost 55% of sports bets placed at Ladbrokes).
- Tennis betting (between 10% and 15% of bets placed, depending on the season)
- Bets on basketball (at times of the NBA up to 12% of betting tips)
- Ice hockey betting (in the winter months around 10% of betting tips)
- Bets on volleyball and beach volleyball (around 7% of betting tips)
- Football betting (less than 5%, playoff and Super Bowl excluded)
- Handball betting (maximum 3% of sports betting turnover in Germany
On the contrary, this also continues in depth, with countless special and long-term betting offers.
Here, in connection with pre-match betting, popular betting markets are opened very early in terms of time.
For example, the “standard repertoire” for soccer events (around 45 betting options) already makes its way into the betting program one match day in advance, only to be extensively stocked up a few days before the match, up to a three-digit value.
Special mention must also be made of English soccer, which is not only overrepresented with around eight leagues and competitions, but is also represented with numerous ante post special bets (team and player specials).
3.) The Ladbrokes Live Betting
While the Sportsbook is filled to the brim with sports, the Live Betting Center, with its focus on the near future, has to make do with much less variety.
However, since the Ladbrokes live betting calendar extends on average six days into the future, up to 15 sports represented by name are not uncommon in the betting selection for real-time betting.
Particularly striking: Ladbrokes does not even stop at accompanying TV decisions (e.g. the UK editions of the jungle camp and Let’s dance) with live betting offers.
While such offers are merely amusing extras, the bookmaker is particularly serious about soccer.
As in the Sportsbook, this is over-represented in the in-play calendar, with which Ladbrokes makes a clear concession to European tastes.
Nevertheless, the betting provider does not miss the opportunity to add an English touch to the offer with Gaelic sports and cricket.
Once an event is underway, the focus is on the variety of betting markets offered.
This is somewhat tighter than in the pre-match program and of course varies greatly depending on the popularity of the event.
In any case, the bettor can at least expect double-digit betting options on the live bets from Ladbrokes.
4.) Deposits to a Ladbrokes betting account
The conditions for depositing on the personal Ladbrokes betting account are kept very customer-friendly.
Not only that with VISA and Mastercard, Skrill, Neteller, Paysafecard, Sofortüberweisung and bank transfer all major methods of electronic payment (e-wallet, prepaid card, credit card) are covered, the bookmaker also has something over for old-fashioned money transactions.
If you want, you can also make your deposit by check or simply visit a Ladbrokes store to add funds to your online betting account.
However, the latter method is not particularly practical for customers from Germany, Austria or Switzerland, as the majority of Ladbrokes outlets are spread across the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The processing of deposit requests is particularly fair.
Not only does Ladbrokes process them promptly, but they also do not charge any fees and have set generous limits, as can be seen in the following list.
The limits to deposits to a Ladbrokes betting account:
- 5 Euro: credit card
- 10 Euro: Skrill, Neteller, PaySafeCard, Bank transfer, EPS (Austria only), Giropay (Germany only), Sofortüberweisung
- No maximum amount is set for any of the deposit methods!
5.) Payout of betting winnings at Ladbrokes
Of course, the processing of the payout of betting winnings at Ladbrokes is also handled in an exemplary manner.
According to the peculiarities of certain payment service providers (including Sofortüberweisung and PaySafeCard), these are not available for a return transfer of funds.
However, all other options from the range of payment service providers can be used – and this, as with the deposit, free of charge.
With 5 or 10 euros, the minimum requirements for the transferred amount are also kept customer-friendly.
The only thing that is not quite as positive is that even with transfer methods that are known for their immediacy, such as Neteller, there is a time delay of up to 6 hours before the amount appears at the destination.
The limits to withdrawals from a Ladbrokes betting account:
- 5 Euro: credit card
- 10 Euro: Skrill, Neteller
- No lower limit is set for bank transfer!
- No maximum amount is set for any of the withdrawal methods!
6.) Ladbrokes customer service
On the basis of the Ladbrokes customer service, as already mentioned at the beginning, the two-tier society reveals itself.
As a grown, listed bookmaker with a core market in the UK, Ladbrokes now has the corresponding infrastructure.
Therefore, customers based in the UK or Ireland can rightly expect to be served satisfactorily all around.
This fact is not so convenient for customers from Germany. This is because the German-speaking customer service by phone is only available at limited times.
German-speaking service staff, on the other hand, is available by phone from Monday to Wednesday from 8 am to 2 pm and from Thursday to Sunday from 12 pm to 8 pm.
Ladbrokes can only promise to answer digital mail within 48 hours by e-mail.
Ladbrokes customers who are logged into their betting account can use the live chat around the clock.
However, since not every question immediately requires a personal contact, it is recommended to first consult the FAQ.
Unfortunately, these are also evidence that English betting customers are considered to be the clearly “more important” clientele – this is quite understandable, since they also pay for Ladbrokes services in their mass.
The reason for this diagnosis is the fact that although a collection of questions is also written in German, it does not stand up to comparison with the FAQ section in English.
This is not only evident in the content, but also in the visual presentation.
7.) The Ladbrokes website
After Ladbrokes initially, in 2014, ventured into a completely new web concept with the mobile website in cooperation with the Playtech subsidiary Mobenga, this was also allowed to be implemented for the main portal.
In July 2015, this must have had quite a surprise effect on the established Ladbrokes customers, who found nothing the same when they visited the portal.
After the implementation of the new mobile portal, Ladbrokes has seen a 110% growth in mobile betting.
For the bookmaker, this is a clear indication that the new web strategy is paying off and that aligning the main portal is the right move.
What can be relied on, of course, is the Ladbrokes red, which ultimately earned “The Big Red” its nickname, and which is also appropriately showcased on the new portal.
Otherwise, the color concept is somewhat darker than before due to the numerous shades of gray. However, this alone does not account for the changes.
In fact, the new appearance radically breaks with the usual usage patterns.
After all, not only visually, but also structurally, the Ladbrokes website has been heavily interfered with.
The overall result is now not only very modern, but also reminiscent of interfaces programmed for mobile devices, thanks to a fade-in side menu and variable content arrangement.
This is because the makers of Ladbrokes have set themselves the goal of providing a “consistent betting experience” across all screens – be they small as on a smartphone, slightly larger as on a tablet and laptop, or be it a monitor.
That means the user should find everything, there and then, in one and the same place and with the same look.
For the desktop version of the betting portal, this initially results in an appearance that takes some getting used to and new navigation paths.
Once seen through, however, these must be perceived as refined and very functional.
Summary – these are the pros and cons of the new website:
- shorter loading times
- shortened navigation paths
- responsive design
- adaptation of the different online platforms to each other
- integration of live betting into the sportsbook
- new features can be implemented faster
- Betting account is still outsourced to a separate window
- possibility to create a favorites menu has been removed
- still no search function
8.) The new customer bonus from Ladbrokes
Of the two offers that are preferred within the betting industry as a new customer bonus, Ladbrokes has shifted to the free bet.
With this, the bookmaker is not in great company, as most of the competition offers a deposit bonus.
At Ladbrokes, the bonus can be requested via a code during the registration process.
If the conditions are finally met, 4 free bets of 5 euros each are credited to the newly opened betting account.
If we now disregard the fact that already the free bet as a welcome present does not correspond to the mainstream, this can also definitely not apply to the fixed amount of the possible additional betting credit.
While in the majority of cases the bonus amount depends on a deposit or bet, at Ladbrokes every new user who plays a €5 bet with odds of 1.50 receives a fixed amount of free bets worth €20.
The most important conditions of the Ladbrokes bonus:
- After registration, the promotional code must be entered
- Play qualifying bet within 14 days
- The minimum stake of the qualifying bet is €5, the minimum odds are 1.50
- Credit by Ladbrokes of 4 free bets of 5 euros each.
- The free bet must be placed within 7 days from receipt.
- First deposits with Skrill, Neteller, PayPal or Paysafe Card do not qualify for the offer
9.) Security: how reputable is Ladbrokes?
Ladbrokes is a company that has grown over the decades and as such can point to continuity in its offer and has long proven its reliability.
The fact that the company has been listed on the London Stock Exchange (since 1967!) also subjects the bookmaker dinosaur to strict disclosure regulations, which is why interested bettors can find out about the bookie’s constitution at any time on the investor page.
To ensure that everything is “above board”, Ladbrokes has of course secured the backing of the European regulatory authorities over time and has hoarded several betting licenses.
The fact that not just one, but numerous control authorities stand behind the bookmaker’s offer can be seen as a real quality verdict.
After all, the award of such a license – especially in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein! – is tied to strict conditions, which not least check how the company is financially positioned and what measures have been implemented to protect players.
Ladbrokes holds betting licenses from the following European governments:
- Great Britain
The only drawback in the “Ladbrokes package” is that the bookmaker is still strongly anchored in the English market and does not focus its energies exclusively on the Internet as a sales channel.
This is especially true since the stationary betting business on the British Isles (incl. Ireland) still accounts for the lion’s share of sales.
In view of the fact that – even for a stationary “giant” like Ladbrokes – the online business is increasingly turning out to be one of the markets with the greatest growth potential (interestingly, this also applies to telephone betting, which is popular with high rollers), bettors can also expect to benefit increasingly from relevant investments in the future.