Ladbrokes bets on web growth in Playtech deal

LADBROKES has launched a tie-up with gambling software firm Playtech that will boost the bookie’s struggling online service.

The deal, which comes just weeks after Playtech sold its 29 per cent stake in William Hill Online, will mean a host of new casino games launching on Ladbrokes’ website as well as improved online marketing and customer retention operations.

The UK’s second-largest bookie has struggled to take advantage of the growing base of punters placing bets on the web and via smartphones, while rivals such as William Hill and Paddy Power have excelled online. The company’s online profits fell sharply last year.

However, Ladbrokes has now launched a much-delayed revamp to its sports betting website, and Playtech’s 200 casino games will also be offered by the end of the year.

Ladbrokes shares rose more than seven per cent on yesterday’s news, as investors gained confidence that its digital investments would finally start to bear fruit.

The betting firm will take on 40 staff from Playtech to form a new digital marketing team, the companies said yesterday.

“The combination of Ladbrokes’ brand strength, its newly invested core technology and Playtech's proven track record in growing digital revenues through advanced ecommerce and digital marketing has significant potential,” Playtech boss Mor Weizer said yesterday.

Playtech is licensing its software on a no-win, no-fee basis, meaning its benefits from the deal depend on the success of Ladbrokes’ new services.