Ladbrokes – The UK’s Longest Running Bookmaker Reviewed

The origins of what is arguably the UK’s most widely recognised bookmaker can be traced back to the late 19th century, when two commission agents by the names of Messrs Schwind and Pennington decided to put some financial backing behind the horses being trained at the Ladbrokes Hall in Worcestershire. Since then, the name Ladbrokes has been synonymous with honesty, integrity and high quality sports betting services. Using our tight set of testing criteria and sparing no attention to detail, we put the UK’s longest running bookmaker to the test and invite our readers to gain an in-depth and detailed insight into the quality of the Ladbrokes online sportsbook and all it’s associated aspects including the customer service, the odds levels and the quality of the mobile betting products.

Our Rating of Ladbrokes
  • Betting options:over 24,000
  • Sports markets:around 26
  • Odds level:up to 97.63%
  • Licensed by:UK Gambling Commission
Our Overall Rating78/100 Top Operator

For all the areas that deserve our undivided attention, we’ve written a number of extra sub reviews which asses the strength of the live betting arena, the bonus deals, the terms and conditions and the mobile app. To find out how the one of the world’s most widely recognised betting operators faired when set against the other main betting sites in the UK, keep scrolling down to the main review below.

The Ladbrokes Sports Catalogue 8

When it comes to betting options, Ladbrokes offer a whole host of well-known, and some of the more particular sports markets. In addition to all the major sporting competitions from the UK and the rest of world, the operator also carries an extensive selection of eSports markets, professional poker markets, TV specials, and politics and awards options. Our readers will also be interested to learn that they are one of the only bookmakers in our review of the 10 best UK betting sites that allow for exchange betting. All the punters out there who enjoy going head to head against other players take note: Ladbrokes are the only other operator out there that can compete with the exchange betting leader Betfair.

Sports & Betting Markets

With this betting operator, players have the ability to bet on a vast selection of domestic and international leagues and competitions across a wide range of different sports markets. In addition to common favourites such as football, cricket, tennis and darts, there’s also feature a fair selection of outside sports markets in speedway, futsal, floorball and Aussie Rules football. American sports are also well covered with popular leagues such as the NBA, NFL and MLB all featuring.

For the most popular UK sports, (namely football, horse racing and tennis) punters can expect to find up to 66 different international leagues during the peak season. For domestic football, the markets range from the Barclays Premier League right down to the English regional leagues and the FA Cup – punters also have the option to bet on all four Scottish divisions as well as on the Scottish cup competition.

The Most Popular Sports Markets at Ladbrokes
Football (66) Tennis (14) Horse Racing (54) Golf (14) Rugby (11)
UEFA Champions League Wimbledon Ascot Racecourse PGA Championship RBS Six Nations
Barclays Premier League US Open Cheltenham Ryder Cup Aviva Premiership
La Liga French Open Grand National US Masters European Champions Cup
Serie A Australian Open Kentucky Derby US Open Super Rugby
Argentinian Premier Division WTA Tour King George Vi Chase Maybank Championship Malaysia Guinness Pro 12
Brazilian Women’s ITF Tour Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle Race to Dubai European Challenge Cup

Outside the UK, there are a large number of different leagues and competitions from many of the lower tier nations. For football, where there are an almost infinite number of leagues to choose from, the number of competitions on offer is very much dependent on the popularity of the sport in a particular country. For instance, in top tier European countries such as Germany, Italy and Spain where football is main sport, punters can expect to find the full range of professional leagues (or very close to it). For some of the lower ranked nations with a slightly less popular following such as Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Iran and Iceland, there are betting markets for the top 1 or 2 leagues, and on some occasions a few select age group tournaments.

In-play Betting & Live Streams

After making some significant improvements to the live streaming service in recent years, Ladbrokes customers can now enjoy a number of top quality, high level sports streams across a good range of different sports. In addition to live streams of almost every major horse and greyhound racing event in the UK, the service also includes action from the Spanish La Liga, ATP World Tour tennis, NBA basketball and NHL ice hockey.

Adding to this, there’s a quality in-play betting platform that during peak season, provides over 800 in-play fixtures every day via mobile, desktop and tablet. The bookie is well-known for providing a top selection of creative in-play markets for the big sports fixtures, which can of course prove to be extremely helpful in securing those quick-fire profits, and providing a thrilling live betting experience. Although we’d love to go on highlighting all the outstanding features of the Ladbrokes live betting platform in this section, the full low-down on all the different aspects of the service can be found in our full and complete in-play review page here.

Multiples Betting Types

For punters who enjoy the excitement of placing multiples and combination bets, Ladbrokes offer a solid selection of different bet types. They’re also one of the best operators out there when it comes to managing your bet slip, and keeping track of the potential earnings from your singles as well as your multiples bets.

First of all, players are permitted to have a maximum of 20 different selections on their online bet slip at once. These selections can be split into numerous bet types that include the Canadian, the Lucky 31, the Heinz, Super Heinz and the Goliath. The multiples bet options will appear at the bottom of the bet slip so that you can clearly differentiate your multiples from your singles. Ladbrokes also allow you to include every selection you have on your bet slip into an accumulator bet, meaning that you can have giant accumulators of up to 20 folds. This is significantly higher than some of the other bookmakers we’ve reviewed that only permit accumulators of up to 14 or 15 folds.

Every selection on your bet slip has its own individual potential earnings box, so no matter how many singles and multiples combinations you may have, you’ll always be able to see exactly how much each bet is set to pay out. You can also make use of the “Include in Multiples” tick box, which allows you to manage your bet slip by including and/or excluding certain singles selections from your multiples bet type. For a complete tally of your potential earnings, simply scroll down to the bottom of your bet slip and check the “Total Potential Returns”.

Bet & Win Limits

The minimum accepted stake with this bookmaker is set at 10p. Although there are other operators out there that will accept bets of a lower amount, 10p is a more than reasonable lower betting limit that allows experienced punters to place numerous, well calculated smaller bets, and also allows for new players to experiment with small stakes before moving on to play with bigger numbers.

Maximum winning limits are set at £1,000,000 per day for the most popular sports such as football and horse racing, and up to £10,000 for some of the non-sports and specials betting markets. There aren’t too many bookmakers that are willing to pay out more than £1,000,000 per day so there are no real complaints here. However with regard to the maximum payout for non-sports betting options, you might expect the maximum payout to be slightly higher.

Good In-Play Odds8

Truth be told, the average pre-match odds price here isn’t so high. Although there are some extremely competitive numbers that place the bookie in the top 5 category for a select few sports, the outstanding odds levels at operators such as bet365 mean that that Ladbrokes can’t quite claim the top prize for offering punters the best odds prices for the most popular sports. For football, the pre-match odds levels get up to just below 95%, and 87.58% and 95.88 for horse racing and tennis respectively. With regard to live odds, Ladbrokes prove again to be a very competitive operator. Scores of 93.8% for football and 93.58% for basketball are extremely high numbers even when compared with some of the best prices on the market.

Odds Levels for the Largest Sports Markets
  • .
  • Tennis92.36 - 95.88%
  • Darts92.01 - 95.80%
  • Snooker93.98 - 95.39%
  • Cricket91.50 - 95.00%
  • Football91.70 - 94.93%
  • Ice Hockey89.12 - 93.05%
  • Horse Racing84.62 - 87.58%
  • Greyhounds81.80 - 84.10%
  • ..
  • .....
  • Return to Player(%)

Overall, the operator can’t claim the top spot for having the highest odds levels across the board. Generally speaking however, punters can rest assured that Ladbrokes will always deliver very competitive odds prices in a number of different categories.

The User-Friendly Platform 8

The desktop platform is by far one of the best on the market when it comes to ease of navigation and user-friendliness. You’ll often find that bookmakers sometimes make the mistake of either having a data-heavy platform, which makes the information on the page appear cramped and hard to differentiate, or that sometimes the information on the page hasn’t been properly arranged, which leaves large blank spaces at the bottom and the side of the screen. The platform we see here is a perfect compromise between the two; all the information has been carefully tailored to fit the screen so that all the space on the page is filled with useful content. The tabs at the top of the page allow for quick and easy-one-click access to the in-play betting platform and the most popular sports markets. On the right hand side of the page, players can make use of the quick link windows that show the current odds prices for some of the most popular, upcoming sports fixtures for the weeks ahead, as well as information regarding the different long term promotions and daily price boosts.

With the A-Z sports tab at the top left hand corner of the page, punters can scroll down and see the full range of different sports and specials markets on offer. Clicking on the different drop down arrows allows you to minimize and maximize the different sports markets on the page so you can make more space for your favourite sports and sporting competitions. The drop down tools also allow you to toggle between in-play and pre-match betting so that you’re never more than a few clicks away from the action.

As previously mentioned, the platform also comes with a quality exchange betting portal. In order to toggle between the main homepage and the exchange betting platform, you need only click on the “Exchange” tab located at the top of the homepage. Although it must be said that the exchange betting service is not as extensive as Betfair’s, there are over 20 different sports markets available, and an impressive number of leagues and competitions available for football and horse racing. To add to this, the odds levels on offer aren’t too bad either.

How to Place a Bet

When it comes to the most important part of the sportsbook, (that is actually placing your bets) Ladbrokes have implemented a quick and straight forward process. To make your selection, you need only click on the displayed odds price of a given betting market; this will add the selection to your betting slip at the top right hand corner of the screen. Once the selection appears on the bet slip, simply key-in the desired stake amount into the “Stake” box, and see the calculated potential return amount displayed just below. To place multiple bets, continue clicking on the odds price of your desired fixture; each selection will appear automatically on the bet slip along with all the different possible multiples bet combinations. You’ll also receive a notification on your bet slip should be there be any price fluctuations before you actually get round to confirming your selections. Once you’re happy with your chosen selection, simply use the “Place Bet” button to finalise your bet.

Unlike some of the other bookmakers that display their cash out icon next to the given odds price, customers at this betting operator must refer to the “My Bets” tab on the bet slip to see whether or not a given betting market has the cash out option available. This is one slight draw-back of the bet placement system as ideally, us punters would like to know whether or not the cash out option is available before we click on the selection so that we know exactly where we stand before the bet is added to the bet slip. To make use of the cash out option, punters are required to refer to the bet slip and use the “Open Bets” tab to view the available cash out price. Punters should be aware that the price may change between clicking the cash out button and actually confirming the new cash out price. You will however have the option to check the new cash out price and decide whether or not you want to accept or decline the offer.

The Fine Details of the Business

When making an informed decision about the quality of an online bookmaker, there are a number of extremely important points that punters should always bear in mind. Knowing whether or not the operator has a reliable customer support service, whether they adhere to all the proper licensing procedures and testing and security standards, and if they respect the government’s policy on promoting responsible gambling are just a few of the important questions that should never be taken for granted.

All About the Business

Ladbrokes holds the record for being the UK’s longest running betting operator. Even more impressive is that bookie has managed to maintain such a considerable retail presence, and the fact that they continually strive to improve both the online and offline services. In recent years, the bookie has rebranded its image with a glamorous new marketing campaign known as the “Ladbrokes Life”, and appointed a new chief executive in Jim Mullen in April of last year. As a result the company has undergone a process of steady growth and experienced a new rise in popularity. At present, the company has over 960,000 unique online registered players spread across four different continents, and a dedicated staff force of over 14,000 employees.

Over the last 12 months, Ladbrokes have been involved in continuing negotiations with one of its main rivals Coral regarding a possible business merger. Although no formal agreement has yet been reached, both companies have expressed their willingness to move towards a full merger that has been reported to be a worth over £2 billion. The prospective deal has unsurprisingly drawn the attention of the British Competition and Markets Authority, who have expressed their concern at the weakening of competition that would be likely to ensue if two of the biggest bookmakers in the UK were to join forces. Although it’s difficult to fully predict the outcome of what would truly be a historic merger, it’s pretty safe to say that the business move would have a far reaching, profound effect on British bookmaking culture for years to come.

All About the Ladbrokes Business
Company Support Security Player Protection
Name:Ladbrokes International PLC Live Chat:supported, 24h Encryption:Comodo, 256bit Deposit Limits:adjustable
Head Office:Harrow, London Phone:0800 731 6191 Licence Number:1611 Betting Limits:adjustable
Owner:Jim Mullen (executive chairman) Email:care@ladbrokes.com Testing Agency:ESSA Self Exclusion:available
Employees:over 14,000 Fax:n/a Audit Organisation:PricewaterhouseCoopers Child Protection:guaranteed
Registered Players:916,000 Other:contact form via website Anti Money Laundering ControlsKYC Partner Organisations:GamCare, Responsible Gambling Trust, Gambling Therapy.org

Customer Service 8

As you would expect from a bookmaker that has long prided itself on top quality customer service, Ladbrokes provide a multitude of different avenues through which their customers can speak with the support team, and get help resolving a whole range of different issues and queries. For all the not-so-urgent problems, players are free to contact customer support via email or telephone. In most cases you can expect an email response from a customer agent within 24 hours of reporting your issue, and telephone assistance is available from round the clock, 7 days a week. If you have a really pressing issue and you’re in need of a quick-fire response, using the live chat service is by far the best option. After having numerous dealings with the live chat team, we can confirm that in the overwhelming majority of occasions, the operatives were friendly, quick to respond, and extremely helpful even when faced with some rather challenging questions. Even when the site is experiencing a high volume of calls, the live chat window is quick to load, so you normally won’t have to wait more than a few minutes until you’re connected with a customer agent.

Licensing & Security9

When playing with Ladbrokes, punters can rest assured that all the correct measures and procedures have been put in place as to ensure that all players can enjoy a safe and fair gambling experience. All information sent to and from the website is automatically encrypted using the advanced Secure Sockets Layer technology. The company employ this same technology on both desktop and tablet devices, so regardless of how it is you choose to gamble, you can do so with full assurance that your private details will never fall into the wrong hands. With regard to licensing and fairness testing, the bookie is fully licensed and regulated by a number of reputable, well trusted organisations. The company has a dual license with the UK Gambling Commission and the Government of Gibraltar as to ensure that all their operations are carried out in full accordance with the law. In addition, Ladbrokes are a fully registered member of the ESSA. This means that punters who choose to gamble with this betting operator can do so with full knowledge that stringent rules and controls have been put in place to combat any signs of corruption, and to uphold the integrity of sports betting. If ever a serious dispute were to arise between the operator and a customer and a gridlock situation were to occur, the working partnership with the IBAS organisation ensures that the player has the opportunity to report their grievance to the third party adjudication service, and have their case reviewed by a fully independent body.

As with all the other leading bookmakers in the UK, Ladbrokes are obliged to follow strict rulings as to adhere to the governmental guidelines in regard to promoting responsible gambling. At the footer of the webpage, users can find a number of different agencies that work tirelessly to install measures that first, help to prevent gambling addictions from developing, and also ensure that those who already suffer from an addiction to gambling can receive proper help and care. GamCare and the Responsible Gambling Trust are two leading organisations listed by the by operator that are always there to help should you feel as though you’re beginning to develop signs of addiction. Adding to this, there are even further measures in place on the platform with which can users control their own gambling limitations; the setting of deposit limits, betting limits, gambling time-out controls, and website blocks can all be accessed in the “My Account” section.

The Live Streaming Saves Some Bonus Points6

Despite being a common favourite operator for a considerable number of UK punters, the operator only managed to claim five points out of ten in our extra bonus points section. After making some improvements to the live streaming service some years ago, Ladbrokes customers can now enjoy a selection of high level football, tennis, basketball and ice hockey streams, as well as streams of almost every major greyhound and horse racing event. For this, we felt as though the operator deserved two out of a possible three points here.

Rather surprisingly, the company haven’t received any notable accolades in recent years at any of the prestigious awards ceremonies; this unfortunately meant that we weren’t able to award any extra point in this category. However, after having recently signed a long term deal with the FA (Football Association) to become the official betting partner for the next three years, we felt as though they deserved an two points here. A solid selection of specials markets and a good free bet welcome offer meant the company managed to rake-up another well needed, two points and ultimately finish with a satisfactory five points out of ten score in our special bonus round.

Conclusion – A Solid Performance

After putting Ladbrokes through our rigorous testing procedures and analysing all the good points along with the bad, we still think it’s safe to say that the company fully deserves its reputation as being one of the best betting operators in the UK market. They do fall short in a few key areas; for a leading bookmaker it must be said that the company is somewhat lacking in sports sponsorship department, and the odds levels for some of the most popular sports could indeed be higher. Other than this, the bookie fulfills all the other criteria that you would expect to find in a top quality betting operation.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Ladbrokes
  • Major Strengths
  • wide range of betting markets
  • The Grid customer loyalty scheme
  • Major Weaknesses
  • none
  • Minor Strengths
  • easy use, aesthetic platform
  • numerous daily price boosts
  • Minor Weaknesses
  • not so many payment methods

The user friendly, aesthetic platform makes navigating around the site a simple, stress free experience, and there are thousands of pre-match and in-play betting markets to go alongside a top selection of different sports markets and competitions from all around the world. When you also consider the many benefits available on The Grid customer loyalty scheme, the sleek, high performance mobile app and the vast range of daily price boosts, it becomes clear to see why Ladbrokes have been able to hold onto their status as one of the UK’s leading bookmakers for so long. If you’d like to get an even deeper insight into some of the more stand out features Ladbrokes has to offer, we recommend heading over to the bonus review page and the live betting platform.

Q&A/FAQ

If you have any questions about the review, or about anything else contained on this site, please feel free to email at info@bestbettingsites.uk.

How do I sign-up to the grid?

To get on the grid, simply click on the “Join The Grid” button on the front page of The Grid section on the Ladbrokes website, or ask one of the retail agents inside your local Ladbrokes store for a card of a fob.