Ladbrokes was founded in 1886, making it one of the oldest continuing gambling businesses in the world. Their online service opened in 2000. In 2016, Ladbrokes merged with their competitor Coral to create the Ladbrokes Coral Group Plc. They are now the United Kingdom’s largest bookmaker, with over 30,000 employees and online revenues of over €650 million. They are also the official sponsor of the Scottish Football League.
As an interesting side note, Ladbrokes once tried to buy out Coral back in 1998. However, they were prevented from doing so by the UK government, who cited anti-monopoly legislation. They also briefly owned the famous Dragonara Casino in Malta.
License and Legal Status
Ladbrokes is licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) under the license number 1611. They also hold a license from the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner. These two licensers are well-regarded as the strictest and most forthright in the European market, along with the Maltese Gambling Authority. They conduct regular audits of their licensees and will thoroughly investigate any allegations of untoward or problematic behavior.
Ladbrokes Casino online is exclusively powered by Playtech, the Estonian-founded developer now based in the Isle of Man. Playtech also supplies casino software to many of the top companies in the UK, including Bet365 and William Hill, so you may see a lot of overlap in game selection between these casinos. Altogether, Ladbrokes has 239 games, consisting of:
- 185 slots
- 20 roulette games
- 19 blackjack tables
- 15 video poker titles
There are also eight other tables games, including pai-gow, hi-lo, stravaganza and pontoon. Although the slots collection is not as big as some of their main rivals, Ladbrokes does have more table games and video poker titles than many UK-based online casinos. The slots collection also includes a good range of pop-culture and uniquely themed games, such as Justice League and King Kong, as well as an extensive selection of games licensed by the famous jockey Frankie Dettori.
For maximizing potential returns, the best game by return-to-player (or RTP) in Ladbrokes’ collection is Playtech’s Blackjack Surrender. With a house edge of just 0.35%, it has a predicted RTP of 99.65% (assuming perfect play). This is mostly down to the ‘surrender’ option, which allows you to take half your stake back and cancel the hand if you aren’t feeling lucky after the first draw.
Where some Playtech casinos will opt for another developer, such as Evolution, when it comes to their live casinos, Ladbrokes has opted to stick with Playtech. The collection here consists of 68 tables across the following games:
- Dragon Tiger
Ladbrokes has also adopted Playtech’s private table initiative with some enthusiasm. They currently host six Ladbrokes-branded tables across roulette and blackjack. Not only do these private tables thematically fit with the rest of the site’s color scheme and branding, but they also open up the field for exclusive offers and other interactive possibilities.
One unique idea Ladbrokes’ live casino has to offer is their live-dealer favorites option. Users can pin a particular live dealer they like the look, sound, or professionalism of and be notified when they start working.
Currently, Ladbrokes offers a €50 bonus for new users who deposit and stake €10 or more on any qualifying casino game. This bonus cash comes with a 40x wagering requirement that must be completed within 30 days. This means €2000 must be staked overall, giving a €66 per day minimum to complete this clause in time.
Any wagers on a large part of Ladbrokes’ casino selection are excluded when using this bonus money. This includes the live casino, all video poker titles, and most blackjack titles- including Blackjack Switch and Surrender. In fact, the bonus €50 can only be used on the following games:
Big Banker, Well Well Well, Money Multiplier, Legends of Racing Flat Season Champion, Balls Fun Drops, Rainbow Rewards, Super Gold Sevens, Multropolis, Magpie Mayhem, Rainbow Repeater, Premium European Roulette, Premium Blackjack, Penny Roulette, Frankie Dettori’s Roulette, European Roulette, and Hi-Lo Premium.
Lastly, any bets covering 70% or more of the roulette wheel, such as odd-even or red-black, will not count towards the wagering requirement.
Ladbrokes Casino offers a points-based VIP program with four tiers– bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. You can earn VIP points via the following methods:
- 2 points for every €10 stake on slots, scratch cards, and bingo
- 1 point for every €10 stake for all other casino games
To attain each VIP level, you must deposit a certain amount of cash on top of earning the requisite number of points each month. Failure to meet the requirements in a given month will result in demotion on the first day of the following month. The structure is as follows:
- Bronze: €1,000 – 1,500 points
- Silver: €2,000 – 2,500
- Gold: €4,000 – 12,500
To attain the highest rank of platinum, you must be invited by Ladbrokes. Consider contacting customer service if you feel you have already been a significant enough customer to warrant platinum status, and they have not yet contacted you.
Each tier gives increasing rewards such as exclusive bonuses, priority customer service, and increased transaction limits. Gold level and above customers unlock their own dedicated VIP customer service agent.
Markets and Odds
Ladbrokes covers substantially fewer sports markets than most of its major competitors, offering just 19 major markets. Some UK sportsbooks will have 50-plus individual sports on their books. All the major sports are present (football, tennis, rugby, golf, e-sports, boxing, horse racing, etc.), as well as some more niche options, such as handball and virtual sports.
Where Ladbrokes does excel, however, is in its special markets. They have separate categories for TV, politics, music, and other specials. In each one, you can bet on 10 or so separate markets. Although, strangely for any literature fan, they list the Man Booker Prize under television bets.
When it comes to odds, they can be displayed in fractional, decimal, or American styles. Ladbrokes also offers a daily odds boost on bets up to €50, which is available once a day for all Ladbrokes sportsbook customers. They also run the #getaprice campaign, whereby interested bettors can contact Ladbrokes’ official twitter account with a bet they can’t find online, and they will do their best to offer odds on it.
Lastly, they also offer ‘best odds guaranteed’ on UK and Irish horse races and greyhound races. This means if you place a bet and then the odds afterwards change in your favor, they will credit your account with the extra in the case of a winning wager.
Ladbrokes currently offers four lots of €5 free bets when you first sign up and wager €5 on their sportsbook. All free bets have a four-day expiration period and cannot be cashed out early. The stake is also not returned in the case of winning wagers made using free bets.
Lastly, this offer is not available if you deposited using Moneybookers, PayPal, PaySafe, Neteller or Skrill.
Ladbrokes’ sportsbook VIP program is part of the same system as their casino VIP offering. It has the same tier structure, similar rewards (but sportsbook-promotion based), and also works using VIP points. Points in the sportsbook can be gained as such:
- 2.5 points for every €10 stake for sports single bets
- 3 points for every €10 stake for sports multiple bets
Like a few other UK-based online casinos, Ladbrokes uses Playtech’s proprietary iPoker Network from which to run its poker room. The iPoker Network is the third biggest option for UK players, based upon total player account. Other well-known iPoker Network sites include William Hill Poker and Bet365 Poker, so you will be sharing tables with players from these sites. Player numbers average around 1000 in off-peak weekday hours and can reach up to three or four thousand players at peak times on weekend evenings.
Ladbrokes Poker comes in instant play and downloadable client formats. Both versions allow you to access casino games, promotions, and the cashier all from within the client. The lobby system is functional and well designed and did not glitch or crash in our experience during this review.
Players here tend towards the looser end of the spectrum, with a relatively high proportion of fish at tables with lower-end buy-ins. Most of the iPoker Network sites are primarily casinos and sportsbooks, so they attract a lot of casual players who head over from those sections.
Ladbrokes Poker only currently offers no-limit hold’ em, six-plus hold ‘em, and twister tables, so fans of Omaha, hi-lo, or stud poker will be disappointed here. The iPoker Network sites tend not to have enough traffic to sustainably host full tables of these more niche poker variants, so we can see at least one reason why Ladbrokes has chosen to drop them.
When it comes to tournaments, like the other iPoker Network sites, Ladbrokes gives a very strong showing. Even on a weekday, you should find upwards of a hundred tournaments on offer. Although, one day we checked and over 1000 players were in one free-roll tournament, while about a dozen or so concurrent tourneys remained nearly empty. Buy-ins range from freerolls all the way up to €300 or more.
Weekend tournaments can have prize funds reaching five to ten thousand or more. These include special tournaments which can only be entered using VIP points, or exclusive events for mobile players only.
Ladbrokes’ poker VIP program is a points-based system. You can accumulate points at a rate of 14 points per €1 spent on rake or tournament fees. Gather a certain amount of points in a month to move up to the next VIP level. You must continue to accrue that level of points each month, or you will be denoted a rank. The levels here are named using poker terminology and are set out as follows:
- Poker VIP Level 1 (Short Stack) = 0 points
- Poker VIP Level 2 (Grinder) = 100
- Poker VIP Level 3 (Deep Stack) = 500
- Poker VIP Level 4 (Chip Leader) = 1,600
- Poker VIP Level 5 (Rounder) = 4,000
- Poker VIP Level 6 (Legend) = 9,000
There is a reward shop, although unlike many poker rooms, the only reward on offer is the option to exchange your points for cashback. The rate at which you can claim cashback is variable depending on your VIP level, which is as follows:
- Poker VIP Level 2 = 90 Poker Points per €
- Poker VIP Level 3 = 70 Poker Points per €
- Poker VIP Level 4 = 60 Poker Points per €
- Poker VIP Level 5 = 50 Poker Points per €
- Poker VIP Level 6 = 42 Poker Points per €
This offers you an extremely good rake-back rate at the higher ranks– up to 33% at level 6. This is the highest we’ve seen at an online poker room, although it does take a lot of monthly investment to maintain legend status.
In general, the Ladbrokes software looked top-tier and was easy to use. Users can choose to access via desktop or mobile, on a downloadable client or in-browser. On desktop, the downloadable software is available for Mac OS and Windows. The Ladbrokes sports betting and casino platforms each have their own separate app for Android and iOS. The poker room does not have its own dedicated app in the Android store, however.
Mobile browsing at Ladbrokes worked fairly well, although not as optimized as at some sites. Certain menus were a little fiddly to use and access properly, and some visuals were stretched or blurred. The mobile apps fix these problems and offer more features, but obviously require downloading software, which may not always be possible.
Ladbrokes Deposits and Withdrawals
Ladbrokes offers seven deposit methods across all sections of their site. These are all also available for withdrawals, as well as being completely free, which makes for a nice and simple banking system. The seven methods offered here are:
- Bank transfer
- Ladbrokes store
The minimum deposit for paysafecards and Visa debit cards is €5, and the rest have a €10 minimum. The minimum withdrawal on all methods at Ladbrokes is €0.01 or currency equivalent– which is the first time we’ve seen that at an online casino.
Visa and Mastercard take one to three days for your withdrawal to be processed. All e-wallets and paysafecards take a minimum of six hours, and bank transfer can take three to five days. Withdrawing at a Ladbrokes store is probably the quickest way for UK customers, since there are over 2,700 of them across the nation.