A part of the British gambling industry since the Victorian era, Ladbrokes has also long been one of the driving forces in the development of sports betting. However once the UK’s leading bookmaker, Ladbrokes has not enjoyed the same dominance online and is battling to try and get closer to the top of the digital tree.
The vivid red colours are instantly recognisable on the high street and it is of course the same famous old branding you see across its web and mobile properties.
Pros & Cons of Ladbrokes
- Markets on everything available
- Bonuses for existing customers
- Streaming and other content for key sports
- Can be overwhelming with too much to take in
- Difficult to find radio channels and a lack of football audio
- Successful punters closed down to readily for such a big player
It’s pretty much impossible to ignore the vast range of offers available just about as soon as arriving on the website’s homepage. A £50 bonus bet is offered for new customers, but it is also refreshing how many promotions are open to existing punters as well. We’ll take a look at those in more detail in our Additional Rewards section.
The Ladbrokes £50 Bonus Bet for new customers is relatively simple. It means that when signing up, the punter has to use promo code F50 and deposit at least £5 in their account. A bet of at least £10 has to be placed to qualify for the Ladbrokes welcome bonus offer, and the odds on the event the player has bet on have to be 1/2 or greater. Ladbrokes will then give the player a bonus bet worth up to £50 – but the free bet has to be used within a week, otherwise it expires.
One of the more comprehensive online betting experiences available, the website incorporates a myriad of markets, promotions and much more besides into its website
The first thing to note about the Ladbrokes website, and in particular the homepage, is just how much is going on. As well as the in-play markets that take pride of place on many bookmaker sites, there is also a list of the next horse races going off (including the front three in the market) as well as other betting opportunities and all manner of adverts for promotions and online gaming.
Though the in-play and ‘next races’ features are useful, there is plenty on the homepage which we could do without. Betting on the Christmas Number 1 and next year’s Eurovision winner, for example, are probably markets that probably don’t justify their prominence and as a result it can be difficult to find your way around, especially for newer customers.
The navigation bars at the top are more helpful, however, with quick links to some of the more popular betting sports, as well as the casino and extensive selection of online games. Meanwhile, the sidebar shows a full selection of betting opportunities, and is retractable so it doesn’t get in the way while browsing specific markets.
Within most individual sport pages things are also well organised, for example by country in the football section, though the horse racing area is more akin to the homepage. Masses of different meetings are all displayed on one screen, making it almost more difficult to pick out the race you want to bet on than pick the winner when you eventually find it.
In addition to the usual Debit and Credit card options, Ladbrokes are following most of the industry in accepting a wider range of payment options, including online finance services such as Skrill. Paying in and out of an account in Ladbrokes shops is possible through ‘The Grid’, a card scheme which also provides free bets and other loyalty bonuses for customers.
On the opposite end to these newer ways of making a deposit, there are also alternatives for those who prefer more traditional methods, with cheques and even bank wires listed among the possible payment methods on the website.
Transaction times, especially with regards to withdrawals through credit/debit cards, are fairly standard at 3-5 days.
Customer support is readily available, if subtly enough indicated, through icons at the top left hand of screen. The chat function is the primary option for one-on-one support but as a first port of call an archive of questions asked by customers are also available through the ‘Help Centre’, which should be suitable for most non-specific inquiries.
For more successful punters, Ladbrokes have been criticized for closing or restricting some accounts, though the problem doesn’t seem to be as widespread as some of its close rivals. That maximum payout of £500,000 to £1,000,000 for most of the more popular sports is satisfactory (though it’s lower for areas such as politics and lower league European football), but the firm has had questions to answer over its charging of an ‘inactivity fee’ to customers who haven’t used their account in some time.
In addition to the more tradition ‘acca insurance’ and ‘Best Odds Guaranteed’ concessions, there are some newer and more innovative offers available. For example, ‘Bet Boost’ allows customers to (marginally) increase the odds of one selection per day. With stakes limited to £200 it’s clear this isn’t aimed at the most serious gamblers, but it’s still a nice feature for more casual punters.
With #GetAPrice Ladbrokes is also participating in the new trend of online bookmakers pricing up requests from customers on social media, and those who have taken part in similar schemes with other big firms will likely find that this is generally available on a wider range of events than they might be used to.
The wealth of content available on the Ladbrokes website is generally a good thing, but it does sometimes result in overcrowding in terms of the interface, especially on the homepage. Once familiar with this, however, the site does become altogether easier to use, and it is difficult to find fault with the wide range of generous promotions.