Ladbrokes (ladbrokes.com) bookmaker review: rules, support, sign up
Long before the internet was a thing, the dandies and aristocrats of London liked nothing more than a sportsman’s bet on the horses. That prompted Ladbroke Hall stables in Warwickshire, England, to set up as commission agents in 1886. By 1902 they moved to London – first on the fashionably raffish Strand, then wealthy Mayfair – and started trading as Ladbrokes. Back then, the clientele came from the members of the elite gentlemen’s clubs of London’s West End.
Today, betting with Ladbrokes is far more egalitarian – after all, the company’s slogan is ‘Where the nation plays.’ When betting shops were legalised in Britain in 1961, the firm expanded onto the high street and later moved into racecourse management and casinos. At one time, it even had its own DIY chain! Today, the familiar red shop front is a common sight in Britain’s towns and cities, and in 2013 the company claimed to have 7% of the UK betting market. Can punters today build a winning streak with Ladbrokes, or is this a bookmaker best left in the history books? Let’s find out with a look at the Ladbrokes website.
Today, Ladbrokes is operated by GVC, which also runs Bwin. The business is known as Ladbrokes Coral, following a merger between the two gambling chains in 2016. However, both Ladbrokes and Coral retain separate, strong brand identities and, as far as most punters can see, operate as separate companies. Ladbrokes is based in Gibraltar. The company is registered by the Government of Gibraltar and the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner. UK bettors are covered by the British Gambling Commission license and regulation.
Ladbrokes operates in 20 territories from its www.ladbrokes.com website. However, the site is only operational in English at present. A full list of available countries can be found at https://help.ladbrokes.com/en/general-information/registration/wherecaniregisterfrom. In addition, gamblers in Australia can access Ladbrokes’ services via www.ladbrokes.com.au, in Belgium via www.ladbrokes.be. In the Netherlands, Ladbrokes is available but not all services can be used. Sports betting (apart from horse and greyhound racing) is blocked, as are Lotto, scratch card and fixed-odds games.
Anyone familiar with a gambling website will be instantly at home with Ladbrokes. The top markets and promos take prominence at the top of the page, with a colourful display of adverts for the latest promos plus advice about keeping your betting habit under control. All the usual layout features are immediately accessible, with the extensive list of sports easy to see and navigate down the left-hand sidebar and the big events of the day front and centre.
The Ladbrokes app looks quite similar but in a mobile-friendly format. It can be downloaded from Google Play or the App Store. To access other Ladbrokes services, such as casinos, lotto or poker, there are separate Ladbrokes apps to download.
The Ladbrokes sportsbook has impressive range. There are more than 40 sports available for betting and you can find close to 200 markets for the biggest games. So, if Champions League football is your thing, you won’t be short of punts to pick. Alternatively, if your tastes run to the obscure, there are markets on chess or even bandy, an alternative form of ice hockey popular in Russia and Scandinavia.
Odds at Ladbrokes are fair but rarely exceptional. With a margin of around 6.1% on its football markets, prices are usually competitive. In-play Champions League win markets on Nov. 4 were very much in range, with a best-priced 3/1 on offer for the draw in the Zenit vs Lazio game (Zenit leading 1-0 at the time, early in the second half). Pre-game markets for the later RB Leipzig vs PSG fixture were very much in the middle of the overall market, suggesting that Ladbrokes will normally be competitive with its prices at the big games. It was a similar story for Championship football and the evening’s televised game between Derby and QPR. However, in minority sports, Ladbrokes is rather less generous. Nobody is going to pretend that Belgian volleyball game is a big market, but the prices for the Wednesday night clash between Leuven and Menen were some way short of the top of the betting market.
Like most online bookies, Ladbrokes also offers plenty of live betting action. Most events turn in-play and Ladbrokes football offers more than 150 live markets on games involving big Premier League teams. Naturally, that dwindles fast for lower-profile games: the Danish U21 league has a mere 18 in-play markets for punters to explore. It’s a similar story in other sports. A tennis match involving Rafa Nadal has 79 live markets, but a doubles match from the same Paris Masters tournament has just 39.
There are solid live-stream options although, as usual, the selection of games to watch can be eclectic. Ladbrokes, like most bookies, is not interested in bidding big money for the rights to elite competition, so you won’t be watching Champions League football here. Champions League volleyball, though, is another story. There is plenty of lower-level footie as well – from Brazil’s Sao Paolo championship to the Faroe Islands Premier League and it’s no surprise that the Ladbrokes easily clears 100 live streams per day. Racing is well represented, with all UK meetings covered. And, as long as there’s credit in your account, you don’t need to place a bet to watch the action.
The bulk of the action happens in a traditional sportsbook. However, Ladbrokes also offers an exchange. This addition follows the company’s purchase of Betdaq in 2013. While Betdaq continues to operate under its own name, the exchange technology also runs under the Ladbrokes brand, giving more options for punters and offering a rival to Betfair, the market leader among betting exchanges.
In addition to the Ladbrokes sportsbook, there are also gaming and slots options, plus casino and live casino. Bingo and Poker rounds out the offering.
The Ladbrokes welcome bonus offer is a nice, straightforward one. Simply sign up, place a bet of £5 or more at odds of 1.5 or higher, and you’ll get 4x£5 free bets credited to your Ladbrokes account. Win or lose, you get the bonus bets to use as you see fit. Can’t be bad, right?
Once fully involved, there are other ways to boost your pot – especially if football is your game. The weekly 1-2-free game offers a top prize of £100 in cash if you can predict the correct score in three chosen games each weekend. Get two right, and there’s a £5 free bet and one correct pick gives a £1 no-risk flutter.
Ladbrokes also offers its 5-a-side game, a variation on fantasy football, where punters select five players due to take part in an upcoming game and back them based on their stats. So you might choose a goalie to back for a clean sheet, a midfield clogger to get a card, a defender to get the tackles in or a playmaker to complete a minimum number of passes. Then the site tots up some odds for you and you can choose whether to take the bet. For acca fans, Ladbrokes football offers a daily acca boost, plus insurance on selected fivefold (terms and conditions apply).
It’s not all about football, either. The Ladbrokes sportsbook offers a free daily bet boost to use on any sport that takes your fancy and there are daily specials where long shots and single-game multis get a few extra pennies on your stake – if they come in. Horse and greyhound races come with the best odds guarantee if your fancy drifts in the market after you place your bet on race day. Ladbrokes racing also promises extra places on selected races. Then you can have a daily free spin for prizes on the slots.
Users who enjoy playing on the in-store slots at Ladbrokes extensive network of betting shops can also benefit online. The Grid is a special feature that helps punters build up bonus points while spinning the reels. Those points add up to prizes that can be cashed in-store or transferred to your Ladbrokes account balance.
Ladbrokes customer services start with a helpdesk offering access to extensive, searchable FAQs. However, these may not answer all questions and sometimes steer you to a different part of the site. For example, a query about ‘languages’ – with a view to discovering how many languages are supported by Ladbrokes.com – gave an answer to a very specific question about how to change the language of Ladbrokes Poker app. Not wrong, but not the answer to my question.
Online chat is available but is now handled via Facebook messenger – it’s not clear what happens if you don’t have a Facebook account. Messages can also be sent to @LadbrokesCare on Twitter. The service is open 8 am until midnight every day and replies come back in a few minutes.
It’s easy to create an account at Ladbrokes. The initial registration process involves just three screens of simple questions. You’ll be asked to give your name, address, DoB, email and phone contacts … and, for many users, that’s all there is to it.
However, like every British bookmaker, Ladbrokes has to sign up to the ‘Know Your Customer’ scheme. As a result, it reserves the right to carry out electronic ID checks. Normally, your identity will be verified automatically via your bank details but in certain cases, there might be more questions. If additional verification is required, customers will be asked to scan copies of documents such as passports, driving licenses or bank statements to confirm their identity and address.
Once your account is up and running, you’ll be invited to set deposit limits. This is part of Ladbrokes’ commitment to preventing problem gambling.
Deposits can be made using several different systems. The minimum deposit at Ladbrokes is £5 (£10 for Paypal users). Money can be paid into the account using bank cards, Paypal, Apple Pay, ecoPayz, Trustly, paysafecard, instant banking and Grid. All of these payment methods promise instant delivery of funds.
Withdrawals have to be made to the same source from which the money was originally deposited. If you deposited money with Ladbrokes using two different sources – eg bank card and Paypal – you need to withdraw the total sum deposited from each account before you can access additional funds. For example, a bettor deposits £25 from a bank card and a further £25 from Paypal. After a successful week, he wishes to withdraw £100 in total. However, he cannot withdraw the whole £100 to one source of funds. He must first ‘break-even’ by withdrawing £25 from Ladbrokes to each of the original sources. After that, he can withdraw any amount to any source of funds, until he makes a further deposit.
Ladbrokes offers services in seven different currencies: GBP, EUR, USD, AUD, NOK, NZD and CHF. When you set up your account, you will be asked which currency you wish to use. Choose carefully, as it is difficult to change this subsequently. Typically Ladbrokes requires users to close their existing accounts and open a new one to change currency.
Minimum bets at Ladbrokes are just 10p, and maximum payouts can reach £1 million for top-level football and horse racing.
Security and reliability
Ladbrokes promises solid security for your financial transactions. All payment details and other personal info submitted to the Ladbrokes site via online forms is protected by 256-bit SSL technology, which is certified by Verisign. Its gaming integrity is ensured by independent test agency eCOGRA, which ensures that everything in the casinos and on the slots is fair and above board. For added reassurance, the Ladbrokes casino uses games from leading providers including Playtech, Microgaming and NetEnt.
Ladbrokes is also signed up to Britain’s campaigns to eliminate problem gambling. New customers are encouraged to set deposit limits on their accounts when they sign up, and the site also offers curfews and time-outs to help punters limit the time they spend betting. Responsible Gambling guidelines are easily found from a link in the top menu bar.
However, not everything is perfect. In 2018, Ladbrokes was heavily criticised after a software error resulted in customers believing their bets were on when, in fact, the wagers had been declined. This tended to affect high stakes bets on Ladbrokes racing which were referred to the in-house traders for approval. The issue was referred to IBAS though was resolved in December 2019 when Ladbrokes made a series of pay-outs in cash to the affected users. No formal ruling was ever recorded over this case.
Ladbrokes has got a good package to recommend. The bookmaker company has a solid reputation in the gambling industry, a great heritage in sports betting, an attractive welcome offer and some impressive depth to its markets all point to a winner. However, there is no much evidence of recurring free bets – something that might disappoint enthusiastic punters – and the odds on minor sports could be a touch more competitive. Overall, though, Ladbrokes is a safe bet for a good gambling experience.
Bonuses & Promotions
Ladbrokes.com only operates in English.
Products and apps
Ladbrokes offers apps both for Android and iOS platforms. The apps are only for sports betting. You can download them either from the Ladbrokes website or from Play Store and App Store.
You can fund deposits in Ladbrokes through VISA, Mastercard, Maestro, PayPal, Apple Pay, ecoPayz, Trustly, paysafecard and Instant Banking. The minimum deposit is £5 for all methods, except Paypal (£10). The maximum deposit varies though there is a limit of £5,500 daily when you fund deposits in shops. The processing time is instant for all methods. No commission is held by the bookmaker for the deposit.
The withdrawal can be made through VISA, Mastercard, Maestro, VISA Fast Funds, Diners Club, Skrill, Neteller, WebMoney, PayPal, paysafecard, eMONEYSAFE, MuchBetter, Fast Bank Transfer. The minimum withdrawal sum is £5 for all methods. The maximum amount varies. The processing time is 1-3 business days for VISA, Mastercard, Maestro and Diner Club cards; 2-4 business days for Fast Bank Transfer; 8 hours for Skrill, Neteller, WebMoney, PayPal, paysafecard, eMONEYSAFE and MuchBetter; and 4 hours for VISA Fast Funds. No commission is held by the bookmaker for the withdrawal.
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Ladbrokes accept 7 currencies including USD, EUR and GBP.
Support service operates quickly. Live chat answers in 1-3 minutes. Email answer comes within 2 hours. You can also write a direct message to the Ladbrokes Twitter page.
as an arbitrator
Lower the maximums
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Pros and cons
Placing a bet via the app is like a walk in the park. When you open the app, popular sporting events will be listed which will occur in the next few hours. You can also see sporting events that are currently taking place that you can bet on live right away. With a huge choice of available markets, Ladbrokes app provides easy navigation, giving you access to almost any event with just a few taps of your screen.
Just a few simple steps are required for a Ladbrokes withdrawal: log into your Ladbrokes account using your chosen credentials → enter ‘My Account’ by first clicking on your name at the top of the page → click on ‘Withdraw’ from the cashier page. → enter the amount you would like to withdraw → click the withdraw button and the process will begin.
Obviously, this is dependent on whether you have a code or not. Create an account and use the code to unlock the Ladbrokes sign up offer. Firstly, create a new account by filling in details and use your promo code → Next, make the minimum deposit in the cashier section → Finally, place a qualifying bet and you will receive your reward after it settles.
If you have a Ladbrokes card, withdrawal is instant. Debit and credit cards can take between 3 and 5 days but are typically a lot faster. The slowest methods are bank transfers which can be up to 5 days (working, of course).