A reliable old hand in the bookmaking business that was initially established in the 19th Century.
Ladbrokes are now partnered with Coral, and employ over 17,000 people in their high street and online operations. If you want a traditional bookie with a huge sportsbook, various betting methods (online, phone, text, cash in store), a solid reputation, and every type of gaming and casino product known to man - then Ladbrokes are an excellent choice.
Not to mention the fact that Ladbrokes also run a betting exchange, and few other bookmakers can say the same.
Offers and promotions are both regular and good quality, aimed at standard punters, with odds that are fair without turning any heads. Price boosts are industry leading, live betting and streaming is outstanding and the mobile app/site is one of the best going.
- UK's Biggest Bookie - There is not a product, market or feature they don't have.
- King of Live Betting - Streaming, cash out, and stats package to seal the deal.
- Exchange - You can count on one hand the other betting exchanges of this calibre.
As a true all-round bookmaker there really isn’t anyone better than Ladbrokes. With a huge number of shops nationwide, full market coverage and great mobile apps you will always be able to place the bet you want when you want. This makes Ladbrokes perfect for the Joe Bloggs of the betting world, the everyday punter.
However, the integration of live betting with streaming, live scores, great stats and even up to date digestible sports news gives the more professional minded gambler something to think about as well.
There is also something comforting about betting with a household name; you get a real sense of belonging when betting with Ladbrokes, and once you get a feel for the site and its functions it is a great betting tool.
The Ladbrokes Grid service is a really interesting feature, especially if you like to bet online and in store. This means that if you are old school and you want keep your feet in the physical world but also venture online now and again then Ladbrokes are a great bookmaker for you.
A real strength of Ladbrokes is that they can offer a wide range of banking options in the shape of numerous different currencies, payment methods, and languages. This is down to the well established working relationships the company has built up over the years, and the trust that payment providers have in them.
Placing a bet with Ladbrokes is simple. Sign up, make a deposit into your digital account by any of the means discussed here, find and select your bet which will automatically be added to the bet slip, enter your stake, and if you are happy with the potential returns simply click ‘place bet’.
You can use the same account to bet over the phone and in store, although betting over the phone carries a minimum spend of £25+.
With Ladbrokes you can bet in lots of currencies, although once you open your account you must stick to one currency. Options include British pounds (GBP), Euros (EUR), Australian Dollars (AUD), Canadian Dollars (CAD), Danish, Kroner (DKK), Hong Kong Dollars (HKD), Japanese Yen (JPY), New Zealand Dollars (NZD), Norwegian Kroner (NOK), Singapore Dollars (SGD), Swedish Krona (SEK), Swiss Francs (CHF), and United States Dollars (USD).
Minimum and maximum deposits vary by method and currency but for general card payments (Visa, Maestro, Mastercard) the minimum is £5 up to £100k. The selection of methods is wide and even includes Applepay. Cash can be deposited in store by simply stating your customer ID or through the Grid service.
Ladbrokes will allow you to withdraw funds using all of the methods you can deposit with apart from a cheque - they are one of the few bookies that currently support withdrawals to a Paysafecard account. In general, though, you will be required to withdraw funds using the same method you used to deposit. All withdrawals are free of charge with the exception of some bank wire transfers although charges will be clearly displayed in the withdrawal section.
Withdrawal transactions are processed very quickly, although funds may take 2-5 working days to reach your account due to standard banking procedure. Other digital payment methods such as Paypal, Neteller and Skill can process within hours, and the pending period is short and mainly reliant on workload. Withdrawals can be reversed during this short window, however, which I never like to see. Maximum and minimum withdrawal amounts vary by payment method and currency but in general the maximum is £55k (by card per transaction) and the minimum £5.
Remember cash can also be withdrawn directly from Ladbrokes betting shops even if you are not a Grid member. Simply bring your customer ID and Ladbrokes account card and you can withdraw your winnings providing they have enough cash in store to meet your request; anything over £500 and you should check with them first.
Bets & Payouts: Top & Bottom
Don’t skip this section, it doesn’t just apply to those with larger bankrolls. Those of you who place bets with long odds or on multiple lines with high accumulative odds should also take heed. Winning big feels great but realising you are only entitled to half of what you thought you were getting is a kick in the guts.
Standard maximum payouts with Ladbrokes are in line with other bookies in their league, peaking at up to £1 million for most major football and horse racing, and for big events like the Ladbrokes millionaires bet. However, they can drop surprisingly low so search them out under the general terms. They have a sensible structure without tons of subdivisions so it’s easy enough to understand. Payouts on most major sports are usually at least £100k, while payouts on specials and non-sports can be as low as £10k.
Remember when placing bets on multiple selections your bet will be capped based on the selection with the lowest payment cap. It is worth checking in advance if you are planning on placing a big accumulator or mixing multiple markets.
Maximum and minimum bets are restricted by the odds of the selection(s) and the markets you are betting on, although Ladbrokes offer minimum bets as low as £0.01 on many markets. If you try to enter a stake that is outside of the limit you will be told what it is for that bet so you can adjust it, and if you want to bet more then they may accommodate you if you get in touch.
Note: The minimum bet by phone is particularly high at £25/call.
How the Website Feels
Ladbrokes are synonymous with the colour scheme of white on a red background, but they haven’t done much with it over the years. The website is more than fit for purpose, but visually it does feel a bit like a middle-aged man who has had a go at being fashionable. That’s maybe a little harsh; it’s a bright website that feels friendly and welcoming but it doesn’t feel cutting edge.
Saying all this, the simple Ladbrokes interface means it is all about the betting and for many this is all that matters, and actually, I love the way the punter can move through the site and make the most of its features. The simple design means that the various sections on each page are distinct, and the use of some light graphical content alongside the sharp white on black odds make the important info really ping out.
The homepage is effectively split into three columns highlighting in-play and upcoming matches and races, alongside any noteworthy price boosts, and the A-Z slides coolly in and out of view as requested so as not to waste screen space.
Each sports category is laid out as a sport specific version of the homepage so that imminent events are front and centre, but popular leagues/competitions have quick links along the top with the rest stored in a drop down menu. It all feels very instinctive and bettors can whizz through tasks in no time, partly due to clever design and partly due to the speed of the site itself, which betrays its slightly middle-aged appearance – all working parts are evidently in tip-top condition.
Another simple but fantastic piece of interface design allows punters to keep browsing whilst in event view. For example, if you were looking at the various betting lines for a specific basketball fixture, you could also browse every other basketball event on the site using a sidebar and jump to another without needing to go ‘back’. When using the in-play interface you can do the same but for any in-play fixture regardless of its category. Very useful indeed.
There are one or two more pop up new windows than I would like (deposit, help etc), but for a site this size it is completely understandable, and for the most part it doesn’t interrupt the flow. All in all this is well managed user friendly site that is intuitive and fantastic to use.
Ladbrokes are one of that exclusive group of bookmakers that run a betting exchange alongside their sportsbook, and this is one of the features that puts them in a different league to most.
While the list of sports available is a little smaller in the exchange, the options for them are endless, and it retains the excellent functionality enjoyed by the sportsbook so it really is a joy to use. It is organised well and feels less intimidating than other exchanges so would be a good place for start for the uninitiated, it is also searchable so you can get straight to the fixture you want rather than clicking through the options to find it.
The commission rate on winnings is 5% which sounds ok on the face of it, but what is interesting here is that the Ladbrokes exchange is fed through the BetDaq exchange, meaning that both exchanges have more liquidity and are therefore stronger contenders for your business. What is odd, is that BetDaq only charge 2% commission, and when you consider that a bet through Ladbrokes exchange is effectively a bet through BetDaq, it stings a bit.
Still, for the convenience of sticking with one bookie you might prefer to just take the hit. The exchange has its own app and promotions come up for it too, so if you do everything else with Ladbrokes it makes sense to stick with them here I suppose.
What on Earth is an Exchange?
“He who asks a question is a fool for 5 minutes; he who does not ask a question is a fool forever.” – bit of Mark Twain for you there, or is it a Chinese proverb? Anyway…
A betting exchange is a platform that allows peer to peer betting, so punters bet against each other rather than against the bookie. In this way it cuts out the middle man (the bookmaker) because the customer chooses the odds they want and then hopes someone will match them. If they do the bet is on, if they don’t the bet is cancelled. It’s a bit like a hunting ground for bets, and there is much more of a range available.
The bookie is happy because they take a small commission on winnings, and the punter is happy because they can find better prices than the bookie offers in the sportsbook.
One big difference between a sportsbook and an exchange is that bettors can bet on something to win, or to lose. Betting on something to lose is called a ‘lay’ bet; a bet on something to win is called a ‘back’ bet.
So the more people that are using the exchange the more chance there is that you will find a match for the bet you want to place (someone happy to bet on the opposite outcome to you but at the same odds), or that you will find someone else’s bet that tickles your fancy.
Ladbrokes: Est 1886
Ladbrokes were established in 1886 as an agent for horses trained at Ladbroke Hall in Worcestershire. The name was adopted formally in 1902 when the operation moved to London, although folk law says the name came from a pun on the words “broke lads”. Either way, the Ladbrokes lads didn’t stay broke for long.
For the next 50 years or so Ladbrokes operated from the Strand in London as a bookmaker for wealthy clients derived from the local gentlemen’s clubs, but after WWII they had to rethink their target market. In 1956, Ladbrokes was acquired for £100,000 by Mark and Cyril Stein and in 1961 they used the profits from the existing business to set up a chain of shops. Ladbrokes became the first bookie to offer fixed odds betting, reportedly losing over £1 million on the final day of the football season in 1963.
Over the next 50 years the company went from strength to strength, adding various acquisitions including Hilton hotels, which it later sold. Despite falling on harder times due to stronger competition in the early era of online bookmaking, Ladbrokes remains the overall largest bookie in the United Kingdom with over 2800 shops across the UK, Ireland, Belgium, and Spain, plus a large online operation.
The power and resources of Ladbrokes saw a significant jump when the group completed the purchase of Coral in 2015, making them the UK's outright biggest bookmaker. The two brands have been kept separate, though, and customers are allowed to hold accounts at both and take advantage of the welcome packages at each.
Ladbrokes launched their online site relatively early in 1998, and the company are progressively focussing more and more on this area of the business. Although still mainly geared towards the British market due to their extensive brick-and-mortar operation, in 2009 Ladbrokes moved their online operations to Gibraltar for tax purposes along with almost everyone else in the industry.
They remain an absolute giant of the industry with a loyal customer base who, even though they don’t always offer the very best odds, clearly appreciate the many positive aspects of betting with Ladbrokes.
Range of Markets
If size matters to you then you will love Ladbrokes. The range of betting markets that they offer is second to none and if you don’t mind not always getting the best odds then you can do everything with these guys. Ladbrokes are one of the best for betting on local right up to global leagues and events.
Their sports list settles somewhere in the mid 30’s most of the time, with nothing that really stands out as unusual. They follow the crowd when it comes to their most popular categories (football, tennis, cricket etc) but sports like hurling, pool and handball are also available in lesser quantities. Their boxing category felt busier than elsewhere.
Politics is a surprisingly well stocked category, even listing local by-elections, while other special markets are more in line with everywhere else and include awards, Eurovision, music, TV shows, Royals, next pope etc. Requested specials allows you as a customer to propose a betting line that Ladbrokes will not only offer you odds on, but also put up on site for other people to bet on too – so get thinking.
However, when it comes to offering choice of bets Ladbrokes are hard to beat, with 100’s of lines offered on most major events such as a premier league football match; when Chievo vs Caglieri has 176+ markets you know you are in safe hands with the big games. Less popular sports do suffer a little in this department but no more than anywhere else, and some mid-table markets like darts seem to offer more choice than at other bookies.
Quality of Odds
As the largest retail bookmaker in the world with revenues just under £2bn, Ladbrokes certainly have the power and deep pockets to offer good odds and promotions. They could probably be a little more generous if they wanted to be, but prices tend to be fair if nothing else. Football is where the margins are most favourable, but if you bet on more obscure sports you will probably feel the pinch.
They are by no means the best for basic odds, they don’t tend to go after the top place in the odds market, however the prices are definitely above average when using the exchange service. With steady odds on hundreds of thousands of markets and a large book it is certainly worth considering them as one of your favourites.
Ladbrokes have improved their range of enhanced odds promotions to customers and now offer daily price boosts on virtually anything; they don’t always make a huge difference but if you bet big you will certainly feel the difference. Since merging with Coral they have become much better at enhanced price promotions in general.
Odds come in fractional, decimal and American formats and the bookie are particularly good at offering customers bespoke odds - so If you think your lad is going to be the next Harry Kane or Rory McIlroy then stay with Ladbrokes.
Ladbrokes are a not a great bookie for taking very large bets by default, although you can negotiate with them before you wager.
Wager & Watch Live
With most online bookmakers now offering in play live betting it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. Ladbrokes certainly do a good job here though with a huge range of events and betting lines on offer with a great statistics and live scores service in parallel. Here you can get stats on horses, football, American sports and others, see all the latest results and listen to audio commentary for events not streamed. There is even a comprehensive sports news section and a bet calculator. This excellent package is mutually beneficial because it gives the punter little reason to leave the site, making your life easier and their retention rate better.
You can opt to list live fixtures by sport or by streaming availability, and a combination of bet type tabs, collapsible odds menus, and ‘show more’ tabs mean that not only is it easy to find and organise your betting markets, but there is very little scrolling to do to get there. This is a really great service that rivals the very best.
As with most things on the main site the interface isn’t so aesthetically pleasing but it is certainly very functional, although placing upcoming fixtures below rather than next to in-play ones can make forward planning a bit of a chore.
With Ladbrokes there is a distinct lack of in play promotions to really draw you in and this is something customers have been shouting at them for. If they listened up then their in-play service would be very difficult to beat.
Ladbrokes are a big presence in the world of sport with sponsorship deals left right and centre. A consequence of this is that Ladbrokes have access to an enormous array of events for which they can offer live streaming. Streaming is available on the desktop site and through the mobile app, and while primarily focused on horse racing and football lots of different sporting events pop up, some of which you may never have even watched before.
Live streaming is indicated by a small TV symbol and if not available there is usually audio commentary or at the very least live text stats and maybe a graphic depiction on the game to keep you busy. The streaming service has a short delay on both the stream itself and whilst your bet is processed – this is standard practice but does mean you can’t linger too long before taking action.
To watch most live streams you just need to have money in your account or to have placed a bet within the previous 24 hours. For streaming horse racing you will need to bet on the race itself to watch it.
Ladbrokes offer a main app for sports betting as well as dedicated games, casino, bingo, blackjack, live casino, exchange, roulette and poker apps – you won’t want all of them clogging up your device’s memory so its lucky that the mobile site is equally as functional.
Following a recent overhaul, the main sports app is now quicker to load and much less crowded. In fact, if we are just talking about performance speed and responsiveness, it’s one of the best. It serves as a complete betting package meaning that bettors can manage every aspect of their account from the small screen, from banking, customer support, in-play betting and streaming and beyond.
The interface is good to use without looking impressive, the red branding is less prominent and the odds stand out in black font against a light grey background. It’s easy enough to find your sport category if it’s on the scrolling menu bar but the Menu itself feels topsy turvy in the way it has been organised. The footer holds useful quick links to ‘my bets’ and ‘watch live’ which is a nice idea, and highlights, in-play, and next races are prominent on the start page.
The mobile in-play is pretty cool and clicking on a specific event gives you nice graphics showing some stats and where the action is up to, you can stream on your mobile and watch live horse racing too. To be honest it’s your battery that tends to run out before you lose interest in these features.
I also like the way the various areas of the site float in and out of view as required, such as the betslip and the account management area. The only thing that slows down the action a little is banking since it is a little slow to load.
If you like betting on football and horses this is a really nice app, and considering the news and information you can also get access to this is a lot more than just a betting app in many ways.
Fun & Games
Like most of the big players Ladbrokes have an extensive portfolio of casino and other games sections available.
Casino, live casino, games, poker, Vegas, bingo, poker, lottos, and virtual sections are all filled with different game types to keep players entertained. The casino itself is powered by Playtech but games from a whole host of top providers are available in the other sections.
Annoyingly, you will have to manually move your money to your casino wallet if you want to play these games. It doesn’t take long but it feels old fashioned.
For more information on Ladbrokes Casino take a look at our sister site OnlineCasinos.org.uk.
When Things Go Wrong
Ladbrokes have excellent customer service on the face of it, and seem to have some of the most knowledgeable staff around. I say some because it can be a bit of a lottery as to who you end up speaking to, but in general they are very good and can give you anything from the latest sports results to technical advice.
Customer services are available 24/7 via live chat and email and response times are good for e-mails but there is room for improvement on the chat function. You can feel forgotten occasionally and they insist on asking security questions for the most basic of queries which is immensely frustrating. On the whole, though, customers seem to be happy.
The phone support is limited to 8am-10pm which could do with extending until midnight at least if you ask me. Smaller bookies offer 24/7 phone support so there is little excuse for Ladbrokes not to do the same with the resources they have available. A dedicated Twitter account is another welcome option.
Support is available in many different languages and the Help Centre, which is their searchable FAQ, is packed with self-help options and a quick link to live chat if you are struggling at any point. This could probably do with a sweep to speed it up a bit and better consolidate complementary information, but it’s a very useful resource.
Ladbrokes can be slower than their competitors when it comes to new online innovations, but to be fair they have a nice cash out and partial cash out system up and running. If you have placed a bet that qualifies for cash out you have the option to settle your bet early for a fixed value, and you can do this at any point before the event begins and even during it.
Cash out is offered on many pre-event and live in play betting selections and appears as a green money stack symbol next to the odds, and next to your wager in the ‘my bets’ section. The centre of the box displays the amount you can cash out at that given moment, but this will change all the time so don’t dawdle.
Ladbrokes are one of the only bookmakers to offer cash out on bets placed in their shops too, through their The Grid service, and they also offer the facility to edit your bets, adding and removing selections live once placed.
Cash out works like this; you may have staked a bet on McIIroy to win the Golf Open Championships before the start, and with 3 holes to go on the final day McIIroy is one shot ahead in the rankings but you think the pressure is getting the better of him.
You may decide to Cash Out your bet at this point for fixed returns or maybe even while he is playing the hole.
Alternatively, you could opt for partial cash out and leave let's say 50% of your initial stake in at the original odds, and settle the other 50% at the cash out price.
A word of caution for the uninitiated; cash out prices will always be smaller when compared to the potential winnings if you allow your original bet to run.
That’s the tradeoff, a little less guaranteed profit now, or a little more profit later with the chance that your bet could go on to lose.
The Grid Service
The Grid is a free to join Ladbrokes service that rewards customers who bet both online and in store and makes their lives a little bit easier. When you sign up to the grid you will receive a fob or card that you can use whenever you bet over the counter or when using gaming machines in shops to receive benefits. You can earn various numbers of points depending on what you bet on and where, and these can then be exchanged for benefits.
With the grid you will also receive promotional offers not available to other non-grid customers including prizes and freebies direct to your inbox. The Grid will also give you exposure to offers not available to normal customers including discounts at retailers.
It also functions as a betting aid of sorts, playing host to stats and a shop locator, as well as a place to keep track of your bets, create accas and find your next runner.
This is an especially good service if you do some of your betting in store and some online, because it makes your online account accessible instore, so if you have money in your online account you can withdraw it in cash. The quick thinking among you will already realise that this makes withdrawal processing times a thing of the past; if you have a nice win you can nip out and collect your winnings instantly. You can also deposit to your online account instore meaning you don’t need to register a bank account.
Who You Gonna Call?
- Name: Ladbrokes
- Registered Name: Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Limited
- UK Licence ref/No: 54743
- Holding Company: Ladbrokes Coral Group Plc
- URL: www.ladbrokes.com
- Customer Services (sportsbook): 0800 731 6191 (UK), +44 208 515 2565 (overseas)
- Customer Services (exchange): 0800 151 0289 (UK), 1800 855 325 (IRE), +353 1673 3377 (overseas)
- Customer Services (gaming): 0800 032 1133 (UK), +350 200 43003 (overseas)
- Phone betting (sportsbook): 0800 777 888 (UK), +44 208 515 2565 (overseas)
- Phone betting (exchange): 0800 151 0289 (UK), 1800 855 326 (IRE), +353 1673 3369 (overseas)
- Text betting: No Longer Available
- Twitter: @Ladbrokescare and many more
- Registered Company address: LC International Limited, 57-63 Line Wall Road, Gibraltar.
- Principal Address: Ladbrokes Betting and Gaming Ltd, One Stratford Place, Montfichet Rd, London, E20 1EJ.