Ladbrokes Sportsbook Review
One of the best-known UK bookmaker services, Ladbrokes is also one of the longest-operating such businesses in the world. Ladbrokes was founded in the late 19th century, a simple commissioning agency for thoroughbreds.
Now, during the second decade of the 21st century, Ladbrokes is an industry leader, a household name, with thousands of betting shops across Europe, and a massive online presence responsible for millions of additional customers.
These days, innovations that begin at (or are quickly embraced by) Ladbrokes become industry standards. For examples, look at how popular it has become for bookmaker sites and apps to stream live games, or the widespread use of in-play betting systems, both of which were early adoptions by the Ladbrokes service.
The release of the official Ladbrokes app for iPhone and Android mobile devices, near the end of 2010, made it easier for customers to access the service that had, at that time, been in the business of bets for 130 years.
Bonuses & Promos at Ladbrokes Sportsbook
All first-time deposits are eligible for Ladbrokes’ bet matching “Welcome Bonus.” Like all bonuses and promos available to bettors online and on mobile apps, this offer carries some pretty rigorous terms and conditions, so interested parties should be sure to research before they invest to chase this bonus. The welcome bonus requires a minimum deposit of $5, and maxes out at $100, with deposits matched by the site at a rate of 100%.
The service offers a ton of other special promotions designed to attract new customers and return business. Most of the service’s promotions reward customers who place bets on specific sports or professional leagues. An example would be a money-back offer for bets against a specific pro golf player, or small rebates for wagers on losing national teams during the FIFA World Cup. These are usually small bonuses paid out in the form of free wagers only, no cash prizes allowed.
Betting Markets Featured at Ladbrokes
At the time of this review, 36 of the 45 available betting markets at Ladbrokes were “in season” in some capacity. That’s a huge amount of bet variety, uncommonly so for online bookmaker services. Ladbrokes is also known as the top service for Olympics betting, with more available wagers than their competitors in the past few Olympiads.
A standout feature at Ladbrokes is sheer accessibility. Combine the convenience of the service’s mobile and Web-based betting interfaces with in-person betting shops in five European countries, and you’ve got a bookmaker that’s extremely easy to get a hold of. Unfortunately, some sports and race bettors (most notably, Americans) from around the world are not allowed to take part in wagers at Ladbrokes at this time, an immediate knock on a service that’s otherwise made itself extremely accessible to bettors.
An impressive list of available betting markets, compared to other online and mobile bookmaker services, is another standout feature. A total of 45 different sports are represented. Because Ladbrokes is primarily a UK bookmaker, there is a strong focus on sports popular in England, Scotland, and Wales (primarily football in various professional and semi-professional leagues).
Pro American sports are available for wagers, as are niche sports, wagers on political futures, and the now-common “entertainment” category, accepting bets on things like the outcome of reality TV series.
A selection of live streaming games – including UK horse racing and major pro sports leagues from around the world – is another big plus. When Ladbrokes offers streaming for a league, they do it with tenacity. For example, every single NBA game of the regular and post-season is streamed on the site. The list of available streaming sports could be a bit longer, but what is available is very thorough.
Design & Navigation
Ladbrokes’ design, whether for its traditional Web-based product or the newer mobile apps, gets a lot of things right. The service was the first to offer features like automatic login (bypassing the need for a password unlock every time the app is opened) and the ability to create a customer-customized landing or home page. The combination of features like auto-login and mobile access serve to make wagering on sports a lot easier – bettors can pretty much swipe their finger and place a wager.
And Ladbrokes is always easy on the eyes. Some of their competitors use a lot of unnecessary animations and color schemes apparently intended to draw the eye toward information, but for many of us it has the opposite effect.
Ladbrokes seems to have taken a page from Apple’s design book with its mobile app, composed of similar blue and gray “calm tones” used as a default by Apple for new software. When necessary, Ladbrokes highlights information with similarly-muted reds and blacks. All in all, the look may be a bit “boring,” but it’s easy to use and doesn’t cause eye strain.
Ladbrokes earns high marks for features like its mobile app, user-friendliness, and variety of betting markets. Giving customers access to popular features like in-play and live sports streams may be run-of-the-mill today, but that’s only because Ladbrokes paved the way. As an innovator, this nearly two centuries-old company is still a leader, the first in the market to create an app for the iPad, specifically.
Ladbrokes should stream more live games to cement their reputation in that segment of the industry, and they should continue working on their “Instant Bet” feature and other plans in place to make placing a wager quicker and easier. Customers hunting for bonuses probably won’t be too happy with Ladbrokes, though their range of available promotions is more than adequate for the needs of a typical bettor.