Well before the internet, gambling in the UK was a part of the culture. If you have ever traveled there, you have likely seen how many betting shops there are – it almost appears as though there is one on every block. One of the major players in the business back then was Ladbrokes, and when they were able to take their brand online, it was just assumed that the company would be just as successful. However, this was more of a challenge than anyone could have imagined. Our review of Ladbrokes will see where the online presence stacks up against its competition.
History of Ladbrokes
Ladbrokes first launched an online site in 2000, so they have been around long enough to have seen everything that has happened in the industry. Their land-based competitors also launched sites around that time, but without regulations in place, Ladbrokes was also up against sites from foreign countries.
To be competitive and to help with costs of both the online and land-based businesses, Ladbrokes and Coral merged in 2015, and are publicly traded on the London Stok Exchange. This allows everyone to see how the company is doing and where they are spending their money. The company has two gaming licenses for its online presence. One is from the UK Gambling Commission while the other is from the tax-friendly UK territory of Gibraltar.
Let’s get this out of the way early: many of you reading this review will be prohibited from playing at Ladbrokes due to restrictions from the gaming authorities.
Software and Site Design
Back in the early days of online sportsbook software, many of the companies chose to build their own platforms. This allowed for the most creativity when it came to bet types and design. When you first get to the homepage of Ladbrokes, you are shown all the different products that are offered (there is more than just sports, despite it being the first product launched back in 2000). When we click on the Sports tab, the sports betting screen opens.
We were immediately drawn to the list of In-play games and matches that are highlighted on the screen. In-play betting has become incredibly popular in the last decade, and for sports, like soccer and tennis, these bets are far more interesting than predicting the winner of the game. Your betting slip is shown on the right-hand side of the screen, but what we thought was an excellent addition was the ability to play roulette right from the sports window. Most sites force you to pull up a casino page to play games, but we were enticed to play while we were looking through possible bets. This is an excellent innovation that we hope other sites pick up on as well.
From a betting perspective, it is easy to find all the sports that are available by clicking on the A-Z button at the top of the Sports page. As you may expect, there are a ton of different sports to choose from at Ladbrokes.
We wanted to test the speed and ease of making a bet or two, so we quickly clicked on a couple of odds,
entered the amount we wanted to wager on the betting slip, and with a couple of clicks, we were done. This is very well designed and doesn’t leave much room for anyone to get lost during the process.
There are a lot of wagers highlights for you to scroll through – the page is a little long for our liking. There is a big chunk of real estate given to the sportsbook promotions, which is great for some, but we would like to be able to minimize those banners in order to see more wagers above the fold. Overall, we are very pleased with the sports betting setup, and we think it will be very easy for you to find the bets you want to make.
The Ladbrokes site offers far more than just a sportsbook. Recognizing that the iconic brand could also generate traffic from casino players, the company went out and secured licenses from several content partners:
- Ash Gaming
- Evolution Gaming
- Net Entertainment
- Realistic Games
- Push Gaming
- Endemol Games
- Games Warehouse
- Genesis Gaming
- Blueprint Gaming
- GW Games
- CORE Gaming
- SG Interactive
- Bally Technologies
Some of the world’s best developers are listed above, and this can only mean great things for players. You will find hundreds of slot machines complemented by Table Games and Video Poker in the casino lobby at Ladbrokes. Have a look at some of the titles that we really enjoyed playing:
As for the rest of the games available at Ladbrokes, we won’t go into too much detail, but here are your options, all of which are available from your central account.
- Exchange Betting
- Live Casino
Mobile usage is growing by leaps and bounds, and much of this comes from the convenience of being able to download an app to your phone or tablet to complete daily tasks. This is also true of online gambling, although Apple and Google have been very conservative when it comes to approving these apps. The good news for almost all the players who want to play with Ladbrokes is that there is an app available of the site. Here, you will be able to play casino games, make your sports bets and play some of the other games all from within the app. The login information is stored on the phone, so you don’t have to keep entering your password.
For those of you who cannot or don’t want to download the app, then you can access the majority of the games offered by Ladbrokes via its mobile site. This site has been modified to work on the browsers of mobile devices, and the quality and speed of the games are not compromised in this format.
With so many different product lines, the marketing department is kept very busy trying to come up with offers that will attract players of all kinds to the site. Here are a couple of the sports-specific promotions that we came across when performing this review.
New Player Match Bet
This is an offer exclusively for players in the UK, which means it must be tied to the land-based licensing in some way. We think it is an offer you have to take advantage of if you can. All you have to do is make a deposit and place your first wager, and as soon as you place it, a credit for a match bet of the same amount (up to $50) will be placed in your account. There are some Terms and Conditions for you to review, but we love a free match bet anytime we can get our hands on one.
Match Bet on Virtual Sports
Virtual Sports are a growing segment of the betting market. Here, you are betting on computer-simulated matches in Tennis, Soccer, and Horse Racing among other sports. The games take only a few minutes to complete, which makes them very attractive to impatient bettors. Ladbrokes will match you first Virtuals bet up to $10, which isn’t a huge amount, but it’s worth grabbing that potential free cash!
Ladbrokes has a distinct advantage over non-UK based online sites when it comes to payments, as they have land-based betting shops where players can enter and perform transactions. There are still plenty of online payment methods available, and the site does not charge you for withdrawals which is an added bonus.
- Bank Wire Transfer
- Visa Electron
- Western Union
- AstroPay Card
- Visa Debit
- Visa Electron
- Visa Debit
Well, this is interesting. It would appear that the folks at Ladbrokes want you to reach out to them in many different ways to tackle your queries before you pick up the phone and call them. The telephone customer service is not open 24/7, while the Live Chat feature is – this is surprising to us. However, it is likely you won’t need to contact anyone in real-time after you check out the very detailed FAQ section of the website.
You can also use social media, with a special Twitter handle for support, as well as a Facebook page where they are very responsive.
Ladbrokes is legendary in the sports betting market in the UK, and with that kind of backing, it is no shock that the online offering is also excellent. Players who enjoy more than betting on sports will find a
huge array of other games to play. The sports betting interface is easy to navigate, and the site hits home each area of its offering with great promotions. We highly recommend Ladbrokes to anyone who can access the site.