A little bit about LadbrokesWednesday, Mar 15, 2017 12:35
When two innovative gents decided to go into partnership as commission agents in 1886 they could hardly have believed that what they were starting would be still going today, under the name Ladbrokes.
Messrs Schwind and Pennington were well ahead of their time with their idea. As reported by Ladbrokes themselves, Schwind and Pennington’s main objective was to back horses trained by Pennington at Ladbroke Hall in Worcestershire.
16 years later, Arthur Bendir joined the Schwind/Pennington group. It was Bendir who gave the group the name Ladbrokes, after being inspired by a signpost he saw on his first visit to Ladbrokes Hall.
Bendir could probably be considered the real founder of Ladbrokes as he changed the emphasis from backing horses to betting against them, choosing to act as both a bookmaker and a punter.
The next big stage in Ladbrokes’ development was in the 50s. Cyril Stein and his uncle, Max Parker, acquired the business. Stein was one of the most impressive entrepreneurs of his generation and he led Ladbrokes in introducing ‘no limit’ and ‘ante post’ betting. He also extended the shop opening hours to facilitate betting on greyhound racing in the evenings.
In 1961 betting shops were legalised in the UK. It was 1962 before Ladbrokes opened its first shop. There was still a lot of stigma around the whole issue of gambling - shops had blacked out windows etc!
Stein continued with his innovative thinking when in 1963 Ladbrokes were the first to offer odds on the outcome of the Conservative Party leadership contest, making them a tidy profit (at the time!) of £1,400.
In the 80s, Ladbrokes took over a 400-strong betting shop chain in Belgium and moved into the US sports marked with the purchase of Detroit Race Course.
It’s hard to believe but it is now 17 years since Ladbrokes took its products and services online with the launch of ladbrokes.com. Just in case you weren’t feeling old already today, that’s almost two decades ago!
In 2013 Ladbrokes partnered up with the game developer, Playtech. They launched a new mobile service via Playtech’s Mobenga platform in December of that year. This collaboration has worked well as Ladbrokes have grown their online casino offering and are now serious contenders in this huge market.
The following year Ladbrokes generated record revenue for World Cup betting for Brazil 2014. Jim Mullen moved up the ladder within the company. He had overseen the company’s digital growth since 2013 and was made Chief Executive in April 2015.
Last year, saw another huge chapter in the Ladbrokes story as they merged with Gala Coral after approval from the Competition and Markets Authority to become the Ladbrokes Coral Group.
With the company seemingly going from strength-to-strength it will be interesting to see what’s in store in the next chapter of Ladbrokes Coral.