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Ladbrokes

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    Players from United Kingdom accepted

    Ladbrokes Review

    Ladbrokes need little introduction having been an established name in the industry for decades, and  the majority of horse racing punters will be familiar with their website by now. While it's not the most dynamic offering out there, few would argue they don't give horse racing – one of their key products - decent coverage and all discerning punters should have an account with them. If not already registered, their opening account opening offer of a £50 free bet – exclusive to EpsomDerby.org – provides plenty of incentive!

    The fact they have a large chain of shops (1,600 latest) and countless walk-in customers to cater for, means they will not go out on a limb to offer headline promotions – they don't need to as their brand is already well established. However, what you will find are competitive odds and the 'Magic Sign', as they are known in the industry, will often 'take a view' on certain horses. It's common knowledge that they have a direct line to the Ballydoyle operation of Aidan O'Brien and Ladbrokes' prices are often the best indicator of the chances of runners from the stable. For example, they were shortest on Camelot for the Derby from a very early stage.

    New Customer Offer
    Be sure to enter the MAXCASH50 promotion code on the sign-up page to claim you maximum bet.

    Wagering Requirement
    None; it's a simple matched bet, although you have to use your free bet within 7 days and free bet stakes are not returned - nothing new there.

    Background
    The company was originally founded in 1886 as a commission agent for horses trained at Ladbroke Hall, hence the name. Having moved its offices to London in the early part of the twentieth century, the company soon became the choice bookmaker for well-to-do gentleman in the capital but it wasn't until the acquisition of the company by Mark Stein in the 1950s that its fortunes really took off. 

    Stein's nephew Cyril became chairman in 1966 and he remained at the helm until his retirement in 1993, by which time it was valued at nearly £10m on the Stock Exchange. History lesson over and these days Ladbrokes are the largest retail bookmaker in the world, with a presence in several European countries including Spain and Belgium. Their online offering is a relatively new phenomenon but has quickly established itself and the fact it is available in over 20 languages speaks volumes for the company's global ambitions.

    Odds and Markets
    Having a large chain of betting shops means Ladbrokes have to offer a quality horse racing product to remain competitive, and online customers reap the benefits too. One area where this is evident is in the strength of their market (they can spread the liabilities) and most customers can get a decent bet on, although there will be always be cases of punters getting restricted. As already mentioned, they will often take a view on the big race and they are not always right, thankfully. More recently, they have become even more aggressive in their pricing policy, especially on a Saturday when bookmakers are competing for the punter pound, and they will hold their prices for a time. Even better, for the last couple of seasons they have been the first bookie to go non-runner-no-bet on the Cheltenham Festival from, meaning ante post punters can stuck in.

    When it comes to markets, they will always fall down in terms of sheer quantity but their core racing product is sound and they are not adverse to offering 'specials' and free bets to entice the punter. A good recent example was their free £10 bet on the Breeders' Cup meeting for those punters placing £10 on each of two designated afternoon races. This was a mobile exclusive offer and the Magic Sign are, like many of their competitors, going all out to capture this lucrative market. Good on them, we say! Just don't expect competitive, enhanced place terms on the big races (they still only offer four places on the Grand National, for example) as this would be far too costly in their shops.

    Website
    The site was not the greatest at the outset – even Ladbrokes would admit that – but it's improved greatly in recent years in both speed and navigability, and placing a bet is far from the stressful experience it used to be. Here at RacingTips, we like the fact that horse racing is still given high prominence on their homepage (a nod to their roots) with a quick access link in the top-left corner. Granted, it may not look as 'clean' as some of their competitors but it's functional and relatively hassle-free.

    Customer Service
    Ladbrokes take this side of the business very seriously and when we've had reason to contact them, our queries were always dealt with promptly and in a professional manner. The usual channels of communication are available – live chat, email and freephone – but this is not always necessary as their 'Help' section is very comprehensive.

    Promotions

    • Ad-hoc free bet promotions at the weekend and on big meetings.
    • Best Odds Guaranteed – from midday.
    • Strong markets meaning you've got more chance of getting on.
    • First to go non-runner-no-bet on the Cheltenham Festival the last two years.
    • All in all, they offer a solid horse racing product and their site is an essential port of call for all punters!
    Live Streaming Details
    Ladbrokes' horse racing live streaming is available on all UK & Ireland races and requires a qualifying bet of £1 (£0.50 each-way). Simply place your bet and click on the live streaming icon next to the race. 

    In order to watch your selected UK or Irish race: 
    1. Your PC must meet the minimum set of system requirements in order to view the video feed. You need an account and need to be logged in. You need to place a single bet of £1 (or currency equivalent) in the race you wish to view. If you are placing a double bet and wish to watch both races, you will have to place a £2 bet, for a treble £3 and so on.

    2. Once you've done this, simply click on the 'Watch' button towards the top right of the race information. The broadcast will begin 30 seconds before the race is scheduled to start and will last for approximately ten minutes.

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