Ladbrokes bets on online rally in Betdaq deal

LADBROKES made its first acquisition under chief executive Richard Glynn yesterday, with the €30m (£25m) purchase of Irish exchange-betting website Betdaq.

The move will expand the bookie’s online offering, which has struggled to gain a foothold in the internet betting market, a weakness rivals such as William Hill have exploited.

The deal follows abandoned attempts to buy online operators Sportingbet – which William Hill recently agreed a £485m deal to buy – and 888.com.

Betdaq operates an exchange system, in which customers can both back and “lay” – bet against – an outcome, with the odds adjusting according to what bets are placed.

The exchange system is also employed by Betfair, which is many times bigger than Betdaq, although analysts highlighted the opportunity for the smaller firm to compete if Ladbrokes gives it the right investment.

Betdaq is currently owned by Irish billionaire Dermot Desmond.

The deal, which Ladbrokes expects to complete next month, is half in cash with the remainder in company shares.