What can I say about Ladbrokes? There is so much to talk about here that it will be difficult to fit all of it in to be honest, but let’s start with a bit of trivia explaining why they are arguably the most famous bookmaker in the country, if not the world.
Ladbrokes are the worlds oldest bookmaker still in operation, dating back all the way to 1886. Originally an exclusive bookie for high profile clients, the brand is now merged with Coral which makes them one of the biggest betting companies on the planet.
There is nothing that Ladbrokes doesn’t offer punters, whether you bet daily or yearly then this is a great product to suit all. With every single feature you could ever want (cash out, streaming, news and results, bet requests, betting shops) and a vast array of short and long term promotions, Ladbrokes is a must have online bookmaker for anyone’s portfolio.
Ladbrokes is the sort of place that a professional bettor would come to work. Put plainly, it has everything you could ever need to analyse the market, study form, explore multiple betting options, and even watch the fixture you are betting on.
Horse racing is big business here and the company offer odds on meetings from all over the world. At the time of writing there are around 250 races at 25 different courses on the site. 16 of those courses offer live streaming (£1 min bet), and best odds are guaranteed – this applies to the greyhounds too.
Football also gets a lot of screen space on the Ladbrokes site, and you can use their #getaprice scheme to get odds on anything football related that you don’t find on site. You probably won’t need to though, the market depth is strong.
A top Premier League match will have 200+ markets available pre-match, and that’s about as much as you will find anywhere else. They cover the length and breadth of the globe – albeit not as extensively as some of their rivals, but you can still bet on matches in Uzbekistan to give you an idea – and they tend to list fixtures on a weekly basis unless they are big competitions in which case they will start taking bets much earlier.
For an idea of what else is available, see below:
|Cricket||Test matches, 20Twenty, womens|
|Tennis||All major games, ITF, China and Rakuten Japan open, Barcelona Challenger|
|Basketball||Fantastic coverage; German, Slovakian, USA, Turkish, Finnish, Russian, and more|
|Baseball||NBA, Japan NPB, KBO Korean Series|
|MMA/Boxing||Good coverage but single betting markets|
|Specials||Movies, TV, politics is especially impressive|
|Snooker||All major competitions and qualifiers|
|Ice Hockey||World club competitions + USA, Belarussian, Swedish, Swiss, Norwegian, Czech, and more|
Live Betting and Extra’s
There are plenty of little extra features to help you with your betting, and it’s all of these little additions that separate a site like Ladbrokes from the rest. Audio commentary is often available when there is no live streaming, the stats tool goes into great depth so you can really get down to the nitty gritty, the results service is always bang up to date.
I could write a whole section on their in-play offering but suffice it to say you won’t be disappointed. There’s loads of live streaming across all sports, cash out availability, a high quality graphic representation of what’s going on in each game, an easy to navigate interface with lots of filtering options to scale down your search, and live betting is available even at the lower leagues – I’m currently looking at an Indonesian League 3 match.
I suppose the depth of market per fixture isn’t the absolute best you can find but that really is picky, and it’s still head a shoulders above what most other online bookies are offering.
This is a major selling point for Ladbrokes, and a key element as to why they are such a magnet for more serious punters.
The betting exchange at Ladbrokes is actually the Betdaq platform, since Ladbrokes acquired Betdaq in 2013. They only charge 2% commission and this decision has seen activity and market share rise dramatically, so liquidity here is much better than it used to be.
As an example, 12 hours before kick off for a fixture between Man Utd and Arsenal, the exchange at Ladbrokes had matched almost £55k on the match winner market. Granted, this is only 1/7th of the money matched at their biggest rivals, but Betdaq still represents the second biggest betting exchange in the industry.
It’s an easy interface to navigate, they’ve made something potentially complicated quite simple actually, and while there are plenty of sports available with lots of options of fixtures to lay/back, outside of the most popular sports like football or the big competitions, you might struggle to get your wager matched. There is value here when there is liquidity though.
I may as well tag on something about the virtuals here as those of you that get a kick out of betting on fake fixtures will find a pretty decent package at Ladbrokes.
Graphically it is decent enough, certainly better than what a lot of other bookies have managed, and the commentary wavers from average to good too – it’s always a tricky area this because it’s obviously pre-recorded so tends to be generalised.
I love the way you can cycle through the different sports so quickly and easily though; if you are getting a bit bored of the football you can switch to motor racing in an instant with no reloads or anything like that. It’s fab.
Events across the 6 categories start every 3 minutes and are staggered so you will never be waiting for more than 60 seconds for something to start. The football teams have some interesting names too: the Swansea Jacks, Baku Horsemen, Porto Flames.
Ladbrokes has the longest history, perhaps, of any bookie in the world, with its roots traceable to 1886 at Ladbroke Hall, the base for a horse training operation and commission agency. Naturally much has changed since then, not least their clientele which used to be restricted to only the highest in society, but even their more recent history is as colourful as most rivals.
Ladbrokes became a high street operation in the UK with the legalisation of betting shops in the 1960s, and the ownership structure has changed many times over the years. Already one of the biggest bookies out there, Ladbrokes merged with Coral in 2016 to create possibly the biggest gambling company in the world, with over 30,000 employees and 4000 shops between them.
Ladbrokes is a household name, a familiar presence on the high street, and something of a British institution. They are a huge, trustworthy company with a long history, high standards and an unquestionable reputation for fair play and honesty.
Ladbrokes’ long history hasn’t always worked in their favour though, as were perceived to be a little old-fashioned for a time, although that image is changing. They have redeveloped their site and mobile betting facilities, improving the look, feel and functionality of both and bringing them into the 21st century.
This modernisation hasn’t been at the cost of Ladbrokes’ traditional strengths and value though, and their football and horse racing betting provisions remain superb, with a huge range of markets and mostly decent odds. Their purchase of Betdaq makes them the only ‘traditional’ bookmaker to also offer a betting exchange, and this is a nice little extra for those who like the exchange model.
All in all, Ladbrokes are a very good bookmaker. Whilst they lack some of the style and sophistication you get with other betting sites, they do provide a hell of a lot of features and markets.
High Street Presence
Of course, one glaringly obvious benefit of betting with Ladbrokes is that they have a shop on seemingly every high street in the UK. The current number stands at around 2,300 so you will never be too far away from one. Like rats in London.
Ladbrokes shops are always staffed by a friendly professional team, and they are clean sociable places to bet. You might get slightly shorter odds by betting on the high street but it won’t be by too much, and you have the advantage of being able to use their facilities like the live sports on multiple televisions, gaming machines, daily sports papers etc.
It also means you can bet in cash as opposed to having to enter bank details online.
Staying on the theme of payments, Ladbrokes have come up with a way to link the cash in your pocket to the funds in your online account. For anyone who bets instore as well as online this will make your life a lot easier.
It’s free to sign up to The Grid and once you are all set up you can use your online balance in store, collect the winnings from bets made online in cash, and top up your online account using cash too. You can even use it with your mobile to scan betslips and cash out on the move. It gives the punter total freedom and most importantly, it cuts out withdrawal timeframes.
But there are other advantages too, such as promotions specific to members that will be sent to your email, you will accrue points when using the card in store and could win some pretty cool prizes from them, as well as a bet tracker and some other useful tools to enhance the betting experience. It’s well worth signing up to, and there is literally nothing to lose by doing so.
I’ll squeeze payment options into this section as well.
Even without using The Grid the payment/withdrawal terms are favourable. Your minimum deposit will be either £5 or £10 depending on the method you use which will be no problem for most of us, while the minimum deposit is literally a penny. Don’t abuse this though or Ladbrokes will notice and start to charge you for wasting their time.
In terms of methods and timeframes, see below:
|Payment Type||Withdrawal Time|
|VISA Debit/Credit||1-3 Days|
|Skrill||Min 6 Hours|
|Paypal||Min 6 Hours|
|Neteller||Min 6 Hours|
|Paysafecard||Min 6 Hours|
It goes without saying that withdrawals made in store are free and instant, doesn’t it?
There Must Be Something Wrong With Them
Not a lot. They’ve been in business long enough to know how to keep their customers happy and they have the resources to provide pretty much anything they can come up with, alongside a customer base that comes back time and time again.
You could argue that the site itself is too busy, and potentially overwhelming for those new to betting or used to a smaller online bookmaker. There is certainly a lot going on, but then the company offer such a wide range of products and then a dizzying list of betting/gaming options within those products that this is somewhat inevitable. You can’t have it both ways.
You could also draw attention to the fact that their odds are often beaten by other top bookmakers, although it’s not usually by much. Ladbrokes are clawing back a few extra pennies here but it all adds up when they are taking bets on the scale that they do. Then again, there are plenty of odds boosts and promotions that could make up for this, so again it’s swings and roundabouts really.
All in all Ladbrokes are a solid bookie with no major weaknesses, a real contender for the more serious or old school bettor.
The sportsbook has such a lot going for it that there isn’t room to talk too much about everything else on offer at the site, but you still need to know what’s there so let me give you a lightning fast round up of the best of the rest:
- Casino – They haven’t flooded the casino with slots but have chosen a good 400 or so of the best from developers such as Playtech, IGT, NetEnt and more. The live casino is Evolution powered and there are some exclusive tables for Ladbrokes players too.
- Bingo – If you fancy something a little more gentle than there are plenty of bingo rooms to choose from, with 90, 80, and 75 ball variants all available. There are some branded games too, like Coronation Street and Emmerdale.
- Poker – This is for the serious poker players. A dedicated downloadable poker network with plenty of liquidity, lots of tournaments and plenty of special offers. There’s a VIP scheme too.
- Mobile – The mobile app from Ladbrokes is great. There’s quite a few of the actually, including a separate one for both the sportsbook and The Grid, which is a bit annoying, but the functionality is superb. Quick to respond, instinctive to use, and lacking nothing from the desktop site with even live streaming still available.