Ladbrokes operates more than 2,700 real-world betting shops and employs over 14,000 people around the world. Today, Ladbrokes.com is a publicly-traded company on the London Stock Exchange that offers online sports betting, casino games, poker, bingo and a betting exchange all on one website.
Notice: This is an opinion review, not a promotional review. All content on this page presents our personal opinions and impressions of Ladbrokes.
Ladbrokes is a household name in parts of the world thank to a long history in bookmaking and a successful strategy of constant expansion. The company was formed in 1902 as a partnership between three people and now has a presence online and in the real world via some 2700 betting shops.
- Safe bookmaker that dates back to 1902
- Comprehensive sports coverage and thousands of markets
- Offers an independent peer-to-peer betting exchange
- 500+ casino games
- Busy poker room with games at all stakes
- Betting odds vary from excellent to poor
- Confusing casino layout
- Poker does not support Mac users
My point in rehashing this history of Ladbrokes is to demonstrate that it is an established and trusted name in online betting. With new betting sites popping up like mushrooms these days, we place a premium on trust. Ladbrokes has been in the public eye long enough and weathered enough storms that I have no hesitancy in recommending it as a safe online bookmaker. So with that out of the way, I’ll spend the rest of our Ladbrokes review going over everything it has to offer.
Let’s begin with a look at Ladbrokes’ core competency. They have been involved in bookmaking for about 115 years now and are going just as strong as ever. Between coverage of 32 sports, a busy schedule of in-play betting events, live streaming video and mobile betting, it’s no wonder Ladbrokes manages to keep 14,000 people employed.
The main sports betting area on the Ladbrokes website presents quite a bit of information at a glance. You’ll see lists of sports along the right side of the page along with a whole bunch of open markets arranged across the middle of the screen. One thing Ladbrokes does differently than other bookmakers is that it has an integrated live betting menu within the front betting page. This allows you to see a full list of both pre-match and in-play markets at a glance without switching back and forth between different tabs.
- Sports Coverage: Ladbrokes has an extensive selection of bets on major and minor sports alike. This includes all the standard sports you expect to see (football, baseball, cricket, rugby and so on) along with hard-to-find sports such as hurling and shinty. Major sports are broken down into sub-categories with betting opportunities on premier leagues as well as secondary and lower leagues.
- In Play Betting: The in-play options are also worth a mention. Ladbrokes.com has a busy schedule of live events that allow punters to bet on matches as they play out in real time. The calendar is so full that there are often multiple live events covered simultaneously.
- Number of Markets: Don’t be surprised if you choose a major sporting match and see 100+ individual markets for that one event alone. Big football matches often include everything from match betting to scorecasts to penalty shot predictions.
- Odds are Hit or Miss: The odds are usually competitive in larger events but they can be pretty poor for smaller markets and low-tier leagues. It would be smart to always compare the odds between Ladbrokes and another major bookmaker to make sure you’re getting the best value for your bet.
- Confusing Layout: The sportsbook is not organized in the most intuitive manner. It’s nice that they present so much information at a glance, but it’s almost overwhelming. Furthermore, the color scheme doesn’t do much to break up different sports and markets. I found myself squinting and staring at the screen just a little longer than I would like to find the bets I was looking for.
Ladbrokes doesn’t just cover a wide variety of sports, it also offers a wide array of options within each sport. There are literally thousands of markets open for action every single day.
|American Football||Aussie Rules||Achievement Awards||Baseball||Basketball|
|Football||Gaelic Football||Golf||Greyhounds||Horse Racing|
|Hurling||Ice Hockey||MMA||Motor Cycling||Motor Racing|
|Music||Politics||"Requested Specials"||Rugby League||Rugby Union|
|Shinty||Snooker||Speedway||Tennis||TV & Specials|
Greyhound and Horse Racing Betting at Ladbrokes
Given that Ladbrokes’ founders got their start in the local horse racing scene, it comes as no surprise that Ladbrokes.com offers a strong horse racing betting product. The horse racing platform is organized in a manner that makes sense for navigation with upcoming races displayed prominently across the front page and then all future events and specials occupying space in the bottom half of the page.
You will find the betting interface intuitive with today’s races organized by track and then each race and time displayed next to the name of the track. This makes it easy to find specific races and then bet on those races. Choosing an upcoming race takes you to the betting card where you can choose from the fixed-odds prices, take the SP or place forecast/tricast wagers.
The betting cards for each race are set up in a manner that provides a significant amount of information without overloading the senses. In the same place where you place your bets, you will see the names of each horse, their jockey and trainer information, recent results, a quick blurb describing each horse’s form and previous odds if available. In short, you get a lot of useful information at a glance right on the same screen you place your wagers.
Ladbrokes also offers tote betting with wagers taken online contributing directly to live Tote pools in the UK. You get paid at real track odds when these wagers win because your bets are comingled with the bets taken at racetracks across the country. Furthermore, Ladbrokes provides all the same wagers online that can be placed in person at Tote-backed racetracks. Some of these options include win, place, jackpot, placepot, quadpot and scoop6.
Greyhound racing at Ladbrokes is treated similarly with all of the day’s races listed prominently and then futures events listed below. Despite greyhound racing being a much smaller sport than horse racing, Ladbrokes manages to cover dozens of greyhound races every day with a full range of bets on offer. They also cover major greyhound events such as the Golden Jack and Greyhound derby with futures bets and specials.
All in all, the Ladbrokes dog and horse racing product is well-done and easy to use. Their fixed odds wagers are competitive and the interface is easy to use. The ability to participate in UK Tote wagers is another major advantage as well. If you’re in the market for a new horse racing betting site, Ladbrokes is worth a look.
- Tote betting on offer: Ladbrokes provides tote-betting options with your wagers going directly to live Tote pools in the UK. Not only do you get paid at true track odds, but you can also know that your wagers contribute to the local horse racing industry.
- Intuitive betting interface: Ladbrokes has one of the better horse racing betting interfaces. Choosing races, building bets and getting the information you need is all very simple.
- Audio commentaries for all UK/Irish racing: Live audio commentary is available for all customers, even if you do not have any money in your account.
- Best odds guarantee plus: Ladbrokes has a great “best odds guarantee.” If you back a horse at a price but the SP is higher, not only do you get paid at the higher price, but you also get an odds boost beyond the higher price.
- Only one day of racing at a time: The Ladbrokes website only displays today’s races and major future events, but not races that are coming up tomorrow or the next day. Other bookmakers show at least a few days’ worth of races, but Ladbrokes focuses entirely on today’s races. I am still unable to find a way to look more than a few hours into the future for regular, fixed-odds or SP wagers.
- No live horse racing video: Ladbrokes provides free audio commentary right on its website, but they lack racing video. This is a big miss as most online betting sites do offer horse racing streams.
Ladbrokes operates one of the largest casinos on the internet with about 500 real money games of all different types. To cut straight to the chase, I like the casino games here a lot. The selection isn’t just big, but most games are of a very high quality. Ladbrokes works with numerous gaming software providers and many of the games remind me of animated Disney CGI films. Some of the more prominent providers include NetEnt, Playtech,
The variety consists of traditional table games, slot machines, video slots, progressive jackpot slots, video poker and specialty games such as keno and scratch cards. Within each of those categories are dozens of games. Progressive jackpot games at Ladbrokes range in size from a few pounds to as high as £1.3 million when I last checked. In total, the casino had about £4.5 million in progressive jackpots at the time of this review.
Note that the “casino” tab in Ladbrokes consists of about 290 games, but there are even more games when you look into the “Vegas” and “games” areas on the website. There is some crossover but each section does have its own unique games. You will also find collections of games licensed from Marvel, Universal Studios and MGM.
- Game Variety: This is one of the strongest points of the Ladbrokes.com casino. As I mentioned above, they have almost 500 slots, table games and video poker machines. I don’t know of any other casino sites with a larger game variety.
- Progressive Jackpots: If you’re into jackpot games, Ladbrokes will be a good fit for you. They have a sensible balance between small but frequent jackpots and large, once-in-a-lifetime jackpots.
- Live Dealer Games: The Playtech-powered live casino at Ladbrokes offers dozens of tables and dealers between roulette, blackjack, casino Holdem and baccarat. They also have a high stakes VIP area for high rollers and frequent players. I also like the ability to access the live dealer casino through my web browser (instant play) or by downloading the software.
- Mobile Support: Both the regular casino games and live dealer games are available on all internet-enabled smartphones. Ladbrokes.com has a mobile-friendly website plus apps for the iPad, iPhone and Android devices.
- Poorly Organized: The casino games are organized into three distinct areas on the Ladbrokes website labeled “Casino,” “Vegas” and “Games.” There seems to be no rhyme or reason as why some games appear in just one section while other games appear in all three sections. According to an FAQ on the website, the “Vegas” area has a stronger emphasis on slots and large jackpot games. It’s a little confusing but the good news is each area has its own special offers.
- The VIP Program: The VIP program offers numerous benefits and will even take you on trips to live events. One player was recently sent to the Monaco Grand Prix where he was given the full VIP treatment and even got a free helicopter ride. The only problem is that qualifying for the VIP program requires you to deposit and play through at least £7500 a month.
Ladbrokes is a member of the iPoker Network, which is one of the larger poker networks online. What this means for you is access to real money cash games and tournaments at a wide variety of levels and in multiple game types. Player traffic on the network is healthy and you will always find several thousand players online at any time.
Game selection includes Texas Holdem, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, 7 Card Stud, 5 Card Stud and Razz. This isn’t the biggest variety of game types, but it should be more than enough for the average player. Most of the action is found in Texas Holdem and Omaha with games running at all stakes. The Omaha Hi-Lo, Stud and Razz games are hit or miss, but you will find some action at the lower limits.
Action junkies will appreciate the Speed Poker cash games in which players are shuffled around from table to table as they fold hands. If you are dealt a trashy starting hand in a Speed Poker game and decide to fold before the flop, the software automatically moves you to a new table just as new cards are being dealt. You don’t have to sit around all day and wait for people to play through hands just so you can get your next two cards.
The software supports multi-tabling, full ring games, shorthanded games and turbo ring games. Tournaments at Ladbrokes come in all forms, but again most of the action is relegated to the Holdem Games. The poker room provides a full schedule of guaranteed prize pool games, with some of these having prize pools exceeding £100,000. All in all, this is a high traffic poker site with quality software and a never ending list of promotions.
- Traffic: The iPoker Network has a large player base so you will never have a problem finding action at any level.
- High Quality Software: Ladbrokes Poker employs a high quality software interface that makes it easy to see what’s going on, chat with the other players and customize your experience. Cards are dealt quickly and multi-tabling is allowed, so you can more hands per hour here than at most other poker sites.
- Strong Tournament Selection: Tournament players will appreciate the tournament offerings at Ladbrokes. They host a wide variety of tournament types (including shorthanded, turbo, large guarantees, satellites to live events and sit-n-go contests).
- Busy Cash Games: Ladbrokes has an active cash game scene with many players online day and night. Between the Speed Poker game and standard ring games, it’s possible to put in serious volume if you’re a frequent player.
- PC Download Only: The most frustrating thing about sites on the iPoker Network is that they only offer a PC software download. There is no Mac or instant play option to be found. If you have anything other than a standard desktop PC, you won’t be able to play poker here. This is a major downside for us Mac users.
- Cash Games Max Out at 5/10 NL: High rollers may want to look elsewhere as Ladbrokes only spreads cash games as high as £5/£10 NL. There is plenty of action at the stakes they do spread, but it’s unfortunate that you can’t participate or even railbird any true nosebleed games.
Finally, we have a competitor to the almighty Betfair exchange. If you’ve been looking for an alternative to Betfair, Ladbrokes has exactly what you need. They purchased the Betdaq exchange product and now offer the same experience over at Ladbrokes.com but with increased liquidity thanks to Ladrokes’ large user base.
Exchange betting works sort of like traditional sports betting except you don’t bet against the house: you instead bet against other customers who want to take the opposite side of the wager. So if you want to back Chelsea to win, for example, you’ll be matched with someone laying Chelsea (to lose). The odds are determined by the customers and not by some oddsmaker.
The greatest advantage of exchange betting is that you do not compete with the house and are not subject to the whims of the oddsmaker. Ladbrokes only takes a commission on winning bets and therefore has no stake in the outcome of any match. The lack of juice makes exchange betting significantly cheaper than traditional betting.
The downside to exchange betting is that each wager must have someone willing to bet on each side of the bet. If you want to back Chelsea but nobody is willing to lay them, your bet will go unfulfilled. Ladbrokes has a large enough user base that bets on major sports matches always have action on both sides, but you will have some liquidity issues for smaller events.
- That the Exchange Even Exists at All: It’s nice to see an alternative to Betfair as competition always benefits the customer. Additionally, you can now compare the odds between the exchange and the sportsbook before placing each wager. If the odds are better on the exchange, you can take that bet immediately using your existing account balance.
- Collect Your Winnings in Person: Brick and mortar Ladbrokes betting shops are equipped to honor payouts to customers in person. If you want your money quickly, just head to the nearest shop and get paid the same day.
- 5% Commission: You only pay the commission when you win, and even then it is just 5%. This is significantly less than the juice you pay with traditional fixed-odds sports betting and will save you good money over the long run.
- Low Liquidity: Ladbrokes is still a growing exchange. The liquidity here pales in comparison to Betfair and you will have a hard time getting large wagers matched or even finding wagers at all on certain niche sports.
It seems that whenever a big name bookmaker attempts to enter the online bingo space, it either comes out with an awesome product or a miserable failure. After playing around with Ladbrokes Bingo for several weeks now, I’m happy to report that Ladbrokes got this one right. The bingo games at Ladbrokes are enjoyable, well-run and potentially quite lucrative.
The majority of the daily bingo games at Ladbrokes.com run on the smaller side with prizes in the range of £10 to £100. However, they also have a collection of “Big Games” with prizes ranging from £500 to £10,000 for a mere 50p. Budget players and high rollers alike will find a regular supply of games that fit their needs.
A large game variety goes a long ways in keeping things fresh for even the most seasoned of bingo vets. The Lucky Numbers room hosts games in which you choose a number between 1-90 and earn a quick £300 if the 1-line, 2-line or full house prize is called on your number. The Lucky Numbers room also hosts daily BOGOF (buy one, get one free) and 1TG/2TG games.
The Deal or No Deal room hosts normal 90-ball games with regular prizes and a special DOND contest feature that strikes when you hit a full house. If the banker comes calling, you get to play for the £10,000 progressive jackpot. Even better is the Who Wants to be a Millionaire room which awards up to £1,000,000.
Ladbrokes Bingo also hosts a whole variety of inexpensive 75-ball and 90-ball games plus progressive jackpot slot machines and a slew of other promotions. There’s a lot going on here and the promotions change regularly, but they always have something worth checking out.
Customer support is a strong point for Ladbrokes with people available 24 hours day. You can reach them by live chat, e-mail, post and phone. Phone support is extensive with multiple numbers for each type of gaming (sports, casino, exchange, etc.). They have local phone numbers for the UK and Ireland plus international numbers and multi-lingual agents for the rest of the world.
Ladbrokes is capable of accept deposits in any currency. No exchanges are necessary for USD, EUR or GBP deposits, and they perform currency conversions for customers depositing in other currencies.
|Cash at a Ladbrokes Shop||£1||£0|
|Wire Transfer||Varies||£0 but your bank may charge a fee|
|Cheque (UK and Ireland only)||Varies||£0|
Restricted Countries and Territories
As a licensed entity under the UK Gambling Commission, Ladbrokes is required to block signups from customers in the following countries.
|Czech Republic||Estonia||Faroe Islands||Finland||France|
|French Guiana||French Polynesia||French Southern Territories||Georgia||Greece|
|Northern Mariana Islands||Norway||Pakistan||Peru||Philippines|
|Romania||Russia||Saint Pierre et Miquelon||Saudi Arabia||Serbia|
|Singapore||Slovakia||Slovenia||South Africa||South Korea|
|USA||US Virgin Islands||United States Minor Outlying Islands|