Ladbrokes Sports sign up offer:
Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply.
Ladbrokes is where it all begins. Not just for traditional bookmaking – that was Harry Ogden taking the first legal horse racing bets way back in 1800 – but pretty much the entire online betting era, too. Although it was beaten to the punch by a couple of others (notably William Hill in 1998), it was Ladbrokes’ decision to enter the market in 2000 that really paved the way to the punters’ paradise we live in today.
This is a company whose name is synonymous with quality and reliability, but does it still possess that pioneering spirit? And, more importantly, does it still stand out in the multi-billion online sports betting industry that has grown up around it?
Safety and Trustworthiness
Listed on the FTSE-250, and now part of the larger Ladbrokes Coral Group following a £2bn merger in 2016, this is a bookmaker that’s very much part of the establishment.
While that may not guarantee 100% satisfaction at all times, it does mean that you can expect to be treated fairly, receive help when you need it, and receive your winnings in a timely manner. Betting with Ladbrokes should come with no nasty surprises, and there’s no record of any major complaints to be found online. The physical presence of more than 3,500 Ladbrokes betting shops across the UK also brings some reassurance. It gives the company an approachable face.
On the regulatory side of things, Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Ltd has licenses issued by both the UK Gambling Commission and by the Government of Gibraltar. It is also a member of the European Sports Security Association (ESSA), which monitors suspicious betting patterns and betting manipulation in top-level sport.
Deposits & Withdrawals
Withdrawal times are generally more than acceptable with Ladbrokes, although they depend on the payment method you use, so you may have to wait anywhere between a couple of minutes (for e-wallets like Skrill or PayPal) to a few days (in the case of bank transfers). With a 1 pound minimum deposit (available also for cash betting), Ladbrokes earned its title as one of UK’s top minimum deposit betting sites.
When it comes to betting on the go, Ladbrokes really does up the ante. Through consistent upgrades and changes, the mobile app really pushes the boundaries of what to expect from betting on a handheld device.
You can grab the iOS app directly from the App Store, while Android users will have to visit the mobile site in order to download the app for their operating system. Unusually, Ladbrokes also offers a Windows Mobile version of the app, which can be snagged from the Windows Store.
Once up and running, the markets come thick and fast, with more than 25 sports available. We honestly think that there are only a few other mobile betting sites out there that can actually compete with Ladbrokes when it comes to mobile markets.
The Ladbrokes mobile betting app also places a huge amount of focus on functionality, as it can be navigated in just a few screen taps. The always-welcoming red and white returns as the colour scheme here, while finding the hottest bets and markets is effortlessly uncomplicated. The app itself also performs admirably, as we had no issues when it came to jumping between markets, so you needn’t worry about experiencing lag here.
When it comes to features, the live streaming action makes the jump to the mobile stage really well. On top of that, the likes of “My Acca” and “Daily Bet Bundles” also represent nice touches that only improve the experience of gambling on the go, whether you choose to use the app or the accompanying mobile site.
Free Bet Offers
Ladbrokes offers a £50 free bet for new customers, matched against the size of your first bet, which must be at odds of 1/2 (1.50) or greater. Because this is a 100% matched free bet, you need to bet £50 to get your hands on £50 of free bets, and no stake is returned on the free bet.
You also need to make sure you enter the relevant code, F50, when you sign up, or you won’t be receiving anything.It may not demand your attention like some other bookmakers’ welcome offers, but we think this is a decent promo. The £50 free bets are easy to work with, and don’t come with stringent terms like some other offers. The 1/2 (1.50) odds threshold for free bets is fair to both player and sportsbook, and gives you a fighting chance to turn over your bonus profitably. If there’s a downside, it’s that you need to put up a reasonably large first bet to maximize your return, meaning it may not be ideal for first-timer, or more conservative bettors.
Ladbrokes’ array of ongoing promotions, price boosts offers and best odds guaranteed are proudly displayed on a slider at the very top of the main navigation column on the site. While nothing stands out as exceptionally innovative, the range is strong and constantly updated. We’ll go into a little more detail when discussing odds quality below.
Finally, there’s The Grid – a kind of loyalty/payment card which brings your online and high street betting activity together, allowing you to use your online account balance in any Ladbrokes branch. It also comes with a whole flurry of promos, exclusives and benefits.
Betting Markets And Odds Quality
You don’t have to spend long on Ladbrokes’ site to clock that this is an offering aimed squarely at the average British punter.
Football, horse racing, tennis, cricket and rugby take pride of place in the main betting menu running across the top of the page, and predominate across the various highlighted markets, promotions and in-play selections presented on the homepage.
There are 32 different sports on offer (at the time of our review), which can be accessed via a drop-down A-Z menu, and they cover the usual array of global sports, ranging from the popular to the obscure. As with the other major bookies we’ve reviewed, for most sports you’ll find all the territories and professional leagues covered, especially for the big sports. The Exchange, while not in the same league as Betfair’s, does have the liquidity to offer an additional layer to what’s on offer.
Ladbrokes has a strong association with horse race punting, and we really liked how easy it is to build your own custom racecard. It’s easy to see the day’s races at a glance, and to explore the form of each race’s horses and riders. It’s all represented in a clean and attractive style, giving you everything at your fingertips without overloading you with extraneous information.
The odds you’ll find aren’t exceptional but they’re always in the right neighbourhood. What lifts the value proposition is the barrage of price boosts on offer. Champions League betting will often see half-a-dozen such offers, from goalscorer bets to half-time/full-times. At the time of writing there were also boosts on the snooker, and ‘best odds’ and ‘non-runner, no bet’ guarantees on Cheltenham races.
These offers are updated constantly and fit well to Ladbrokes’ target market of casual punters looking for extra value from the most popular events and bets. This is a site engineered for mass appeal.
You can also bet on a range of casino games, video slots, poker, bingo, live casino, and even on virtual games, all from one Ladbrokes account. You can jump across to the sister sites straight from the header menu.
Ladbrokes has not shied away from industry shifts at any point. When in-play betting first gathered momentum, Ladbrokes didn’t miss a trick, as it jumped aboard the trend from the outset.
Ladbrokes offers members huge access to a whole range of in-play markets, including football, tennis, basketball, volleyball, cricket, golf, darts, rugby union, and so much more. It isn’t just the major markets that are offered up either, as a fair few niche offerings also make the cut. Ladbrokes really deserve credit for the lengths it has gone to deliver an all-encompassing live betting experience.
The in-play betting UI at Ladbrokes is also worthy of praise, as it’s kept things refreshingly simple. No over the top graphics, no silly mascots, and nothing that is likely to distract you from the action.
Speaking of the action served up, Ladbrokes is only beaten by Sky Bet and Bet365 when it comes to live streaming, as the site is able to broadcast thousands of live games and matches every year. You just need to make sure that your account balance is in positive so the door isn’t slammed in your face.
You’ll also find that the live betting platform lends itself well to the mobile stage, but more on that below.