British bookmaker Ladbrokes is extending its lay-to-lose horse racing bets guarantee in step with partner Coral.
While Ladbrokes previously had a policy that bets could only lay-to-lose no less than £5000 ($7,152.5) per person on all ITV races, it has recently added Class 4 and above handicaps to the offer. These races will now offer a lay-to-lose option of no less than £2,000 ($2,861).
What are the changes?
Ladbrokes existing guarantee
- To lose at least £5,000 guaranteed per customer (from 9 am) – to include all races broadcast on ITV Racing
Ladbrokes new guarantees
- To lose at least £2,000 per customer (from 11 am) – this offer will include all non-televised Class 4 and above handicaps, Listed and Group/Graded races in the UK
Retail outlets only
The two brands, part of the GVC Holdings group, have implemented the daily guarantee in shops only. Stating that the online world is faster-paced, Ladbrokes spokesman Simon Clare outlined to the Racing Post that online betting on horse racing “provides a completely different environment”. This is mainly due to the ability of punters to “place high volume bets in a very short space of time”.
It was, therefore, announced that this would be a high-street only guarantee. Clare 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.”
The company has been able to monitor the impact of Coral’s guarantees – first introduced on Channel 4 races in 2013 – since the two merged in 2016. Clare explained why the guarantee had been announced. He 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.”
Why the new guarantee?
Clare explained that the decision was made to extend the guarantees following a meeting with MP Philip Davies, who had organized a meeting in parliament in January to discuss bookmaker restrictions and account closures.
Clare said: “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.”
Although Clare repeated that this would continue to be a shop only offer: “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.”
High street changes?
Changes on the high street look unlikely as other major retail chains say they have no plans to follow suit. Although no catalyst, Betfred did offer to lay any single bet at the Cheltenham Festival to lose £5,000, saying its normal trading policy was to treat any bets referred on an individual basis.