Ladbrokes Withdraws from Russia, Romania, Finland and Portugal

Ladbrokes

Ladbrokes, one of the leading UK bookmakers, has revealed that it has ceased its operations in Russia, Romania, Finland and Portugal due to changes in legislation. Although the decision already came into effect on Wednesday, 31st December, 2014, the bookmaker is giving customers from these countries until Monday, 12th January, 2015 to withdraw their funds and has promised to facilitate their requests.

Ladbrokes withdrew operations in several countries during last year and in October, 2014 pulled out of Canada, Switzerland, Hungary and Norway.

The bookmaker’s withdrawals made from the various countries have been due to the hardships related to regulation in the countries that they withdrew from. Ladbrokes withdrawal from Russia could, however, be tied to the state of the Russian ruble and the backlash on the economy in that country. Economists have predicted a recession in Russia for this year and further with the last two weeks seeing the Russian currency taking extended losses.

Ladbroke’s withdrawal from Romania is probably due to the Romanian government’s new online gaming laws which was passed recently which has raised the licensing fee for online casinos from RON 400,000 TO 448,000 (€100,000) per year.

The bookmaker’s withdrawal from Finland is due to the long and problematic history that it has with the Finnish government regarding their operation in the country. Several strong monopolies control the domestic gambling activity in the country, despite the European Commission decrees about Finland’s Lottery Act not conforming to EU guidelines.

Portugal’s new online gambling laws also threaten to impose high operating costs when it comes into effect this year.

UK Gambling Groups See Share Prices Drop

Ladbrokes

UK high street bookmakers such as Ladbrokes and William Hill saw their share prices continue to drop on the London Stock Exchange after the government revealed its 2014 budget, announcing that Machine Games Duty on fixed odds betting terminals would rise from 20% to 25%. The sharp rise in duty on machines offering the highest stakes has been described as a “painful loss” for bookmakers.

The news comes as a blow for UK bookmakers as they struggle to organize their companies ahead of the new Point of Consumption tax that will come into affect at the end of the year. The government ruled that tax will need to be paid based on the physical location of the player (point of consumption) and not where the online gambling operator is located. A number of bookmakers left the UK to relocate their online operations in tax-friendly havens such as Gibraltar several years ago, mainly to escape Britain’s high taxation rates. Now, however, they will need to reconsider the economic viability of remaining in Gibraltar since they will be taxed based on where their players are located. The new POC tax comes hand in hand with new laws that require all operators who have UK customers to carry a license by the UK Gambling Commission.

Experts predict that these changes to the Gambling Act will negatively impact the economies of places like Gibraltar, and will also see more players heading to unregulated online gambling sites.

Ladbrokes CEO Betting on UK Gambling Market

Ladbrokes

Ladbrokes, the online betting and gaming company recently announced that the full year operating profit for its digital division is expected to be below market expectations.

Richard Glynn, the Chief Executive Officer of the UK gambling group, revealed that the company’s biggest growth opportunities will come from the UK’s digital market. These comments were made by him soon after Ladbroke’s interim statement was released.

According to Glynn, Ladbrokes remains committed to bringing its brand to new markets and that the next six months will see it being all about delivery which will allow them to take advantage of the many opportunities that are still there.

Meanwhile, Ladbrokes is continuing to integrate with Playtech, one of the leading software and games suppliers, as it anticipates improving its digital division operating profits although Glynn admitted that operational progress had not translated into satisfactory results.

Ladbrokes is, however, relying on Ladbrokes Israel, its new digital marketing subsidiary, to drive revenue growth and marketing improvements over the medium term. The company is hoping that improved marketing efforts will offset the negative effects that they are expecting from the United Kingdom’s new 15% consumption tax.

Richard Glynn also revealed that Ladbrokes intends expanding in the Nordic markets and in Spain where they intend developing its joint venture with locally based Cirsa in order to launch a sports betting and gaming site to complement their existing retail offering.

Ladbroke also wishes to launch its Spanish facing Sportium brand into the Mexican gambling market and endeavor to move into other Latin American markets before the Brazilian World Cup.

Ladbrokes Acquires Aussie Sports Betting Operator

Ladbrokes

Ladbrokes, the leading UK online and land betting group, has announced that it has entered into an agreement in terms of which it will acquire Australian sports betting operator Gaming Investments Pty Ltd under its newly formed Australian arm “Ladbrokes Australia” for an initial payment of A$22.5 million (approximately £13 million) as well as an “earnout” which is payable by the group at the end of 3 years which will be based on the EBITDA for Ladbrokes Australia for the year ending 30 June, 2016.

Gaming Investments is a popular online sports betting business that includes Panda Gaming Pty Ltd, operator of a huge racing and sports focused affiliate network in Australia and Bookmaker.com.au Pty Ltd, operator of the online bookmaker Bookmaker.com.au.

Ladbroke’s global reach will be expanded due to this new acquisition, which will also provide the group with a low cost entry into the regulated and growing Australian sports betting market.

Bookmaker.com.au is led by founder and Chief Executive Officer Dean Shannon and reached circa A4400 million in amounts staked for the year ending 30th June, 2013.

Chief Executive Officer for Ladbrokes, Richard Glynn, revealed that acquiring this rapidly growing business represents a wonderful opportunity for Ladbrokes to establish a strong presence in Australia which is in line with their aim to extend geographic reach to key regulated markets.

Damian Cope, Ladbrokes International and Group Strategy Director, will oversee Ladbrokes Australia and report to Chief Executive Richard Glynn.

Gaming Investments Pty Ltd’s operations will remain based in Brisbane under the leadership of Dean Shannon, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer who is a highly experienced online gaming entrepreneur.

New Marketing Campaign Launched by Ladbrokes

Ladbrokes

Ladbrokes, the UK gambling giant, is attempting to improve its brand by launching a mafia-inspired marketing campaign which it hopes will boost awareness of its products and services.

Ladbroke’s Oddsfather campaign will run for a year on Channel 4, ITV as well as BSkyB and will feaure Tiziiano Crudeli and Chris Kamara in activity that is inspired by “The Godfather”.

There will be five ads in all, the first one featuring Crudelia aka The Oddsfather sitting in an armchair wearing a very prominent Ladbrokes pinky Ring. He is seen stroking his pet hedgehog while granting two punters odds and offers for sporting events. Chris Kamara plays Credelia’s henchman.

The first two ads feature the tagline “excitement you can’t refuse” and will promote Ladbroke’s new offer of double live odds on football. These will be aired during the Goodwood Racing Festival and the Ashes Test cricket matches.

Future ads will focus on Ladbrokes’ online, mobile and casino offers.

According to Adam Collet, the Marketing Communications Director of Ladbrokes, their advertising over the last two years has helped drive strong improvements in their awareness and brand consideration. Collet added that they are looking to showcase the exciting range of bets and offers that Ladbrokes has to offer their customers for the new football season.

The Chief Executive Director of marketing firm SapienNitro, is delighted that the catch phrase “game on” has already captured the excitement that Ladbrokes shares with punters. He added that they have created “The Don” of betting in the Oddsfather in order to reflect Ladbrokes’ authority on betting and making punters an offer that is hard to refuse.

The first ad has already been broadcast while the others will be rolled out at regular intervals.
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