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Ladbrokes Eager For Online Gambling Expansion


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Gambling giant Ladbrokes may be a household name in the UK in terms
of its multitude of land betting shops, but when it comes to its
online gambling site, Ladbrokes.com, it has fallen behind its
competitors, and seems eager to change that.

While leading Ladbrokes’ rivals such as William Hill are continuing
to bolster their online gambling businesses through mergers,
acquisitions and joint ventures, Ladbrokes has been very slow to
follow suit which has ultimately proved detrimental to the firm’s
bottom line, because an increasing number of people in the UK are
choosing to do their betting over the internet.

As proof of this, Ladbrokes recent quarterly results showed a drop
in revenues across its land betting shops. The firm reported a 2 per
cent increase in net revenues across its 2,100 betting shops – as a
result of a 20.4 per cent hike in betting terminal revenue, however,
it is only averaging £866 a week in revenues per terminal,
compared to £836 for the same time last year.

Ladbrokes Counter Revenues Dropped by 3.5%

In addition, bets made over the counter revenues at these same
betting shops have dropped by 3.5 per cent, while net revenues for
counter wagers have dropped by 8.3 per cent. And although Ladbrokes
reported a 2.5 per cent increase on its net revenues for the three
months to September 30, its operating profit has decreased by 2.7
per cent to £49.7 million.

In a move to ‘offset’ these results, Ladbrokes Chief Executive
Officer Mr Glynn has been drawing the attention of investors to what
he has labelled ‘Plan A’, which is to grow the firm ‘organically’,
primarily through a notable £50m boost in investment. But most
online gambling experts agree that what Ladbrokes needs is to give
its online business a big shot in the arm, and quick.

Mr Glynn did, however, highlight the fact that Ladbrokes’ existing
online marketing push has resulted in an 11 per cent increase in the
number of its active customers. ‘We are starting to see clear
evidence of momentum,’ he explained. He also confirmed that between
70 and 75 per cent of Ladbrokes’ online customers are UK-based. ‘We
have got a lot more to play for in the UK. We haven’t done as well
in the last few years as we can do,’ he said.

According to Glynn, Ladbrokes will be looking to apply for online
gambling licenses in other jurisdictions on a ‘case-by-case basis’,
including in Denmark and Spain. ‘In the next few years, a far higher
proportion [of online gambling customers] will be coming from
Europe,’ he said.

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