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A little bit about Ladbrokes

2017-03-15 12:35:00

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.