Ladbrokes extend betting shop lay-to-lose guarantee
Ladbrokes have extended their guarantee to lay bets to lose a minimum amount on horseracing in all their UK betting shops, bringing them into line with stablemates Coral.
The brand have already guaranteed to lay bets to lose at least £5,000 per customer on all races shown on ITV, but since Monday Ladbrokes have also brought in a daily guarantee to lay all bets placed on Class 4 and above handicaps, Listed, Group and Graded races to lose at least £2,000 – and on any other UK or Irish race to lose at least £500 – from 11am.
However, the two brands, which are now part of the GVC Holdings group, will not be bringing in similar guarantees online, while the guarantees only apply to the win part of bets, although each-way bets will be laid at Ladbrokes' discretion.
The company have been able to monitor the impact of Coral's guarantees – which were first introduced on Channel 4 races in 2013 – compared to Ladbrokes since their merger in 2016.
Speaking on behalf of Ladbrokes Coral, spokesman Simon Clare said: "In practice the overwhelming majority of bets offered up in our shops by our customers have always been laid in full at the prices on offer, but by offering and actively promoting these lay-to-lose guarantees we are making it clear we are happy to commit to laying bets to lose larger amounts."
Clare added that the decision was made to extend the guarantees following a meeting with MP Philip Davies, who had organised a meeting in parliament in January to discuss bookmaker restrictions and account closures.
"We recently met with Philip Davies and had a very constructive chat about the topic of bet restrictions, and this was a catalyst in our decision to launch this extension to our Ladbrokes shop lay-to-lose guarantee," Clare said.
However, Clare said the nature of online betting meant the guarantees would only apply to retail betting.
"From a trading perspective, we are able to offer this lay-to-lose guarantee in retail as we can manage our book on a bet-by-bet basis," he said.
"We are happy to extend it to Ladbrokes shops as we have proved through the Coral experience that we can manage our liabilities effectively whilst offering this guarantee.
"Trading our digital channels is a very different environment with the potential for high volumes of bets in a very short space of time, the added complication of automated line-tracking accounts and the potential for co-ordinated syndicate betting. We don't think it would be feasible to offer the lay-to-lose guarantee in digital without significantly compromising the offering for our regular customers."
The other major retail chains said they had no plans to follow suit.
William Hill said they believed the vast majority of their customers received the same guarantees as a matter of course but continued to keep their policy under review.
Betfred did offer to lay any single bet at the Cheltenham Festival to lose £5,000 but said their trading policy outside that was to treat any bets referred on an individual basis.
Ladbrokes’ 'lay-to-lose' guarantees
- To lose at least £5,000 guarantee per customer (from 9am) – to include all races broadcast on ITV Racing
- To lose at least £2,000 per customer (from 11am) – to include all non-televised Class 4 and above handicaps, Listed and Group/Graded races in the UK
- To lose at least £500 on any other UK and Irish race from 11am
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