High Rollers boost Ladbrokes profits…again

The profits of the UK’s largest bookmaker, Ladbrokes, were once again boosted by the losses from their ‘High Roller’ telephone gamblers.

Ladbrokes reported profits have nearly doubled over the last four months, with telephone betters responsible for £918 million. However, their successful telephone betting market had not done enough to mask over disappointing results from Ladbroke’s high street betting shops.

Ladbrokes’ over-the-counter win fell by 5 per cent. Ladbrokes put this down to cancellations in the horse-racing calendar due to bad weather in the summer and “unfavourable results” in the football market.

Particularly, one week in late August was a disaster for Ladbrokes; favourites Arsenal, Chelsea, Rangers and Celtic all won their domestic and European games, costing the bookie £15 million in payouts.

As a result of Ladbroke’s perceived reliance on the uncertain high-stakes telephone market, shares fell by 9p this morning.

Ladbrokes admitted that the high-street market was difficult but reiterated their desire to develop the business and expand into Europe.

"That means expanding into Europe, which we are doing in Italy and Spain. We are also focusing efforts on our online poker platform, with the launch of a 3D poker interface available to players on our 2D network in the near future,” said John O’Reilly, head of Ladbrokes eGaming.

However, if England and Scotland fail to qualify for next summer’s European Championship, Ladbrokes fear their absence from the tournament could cost them millions.

Editor, Jackpot.co.uk - 2007-11-15 13:13:27

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