Ladbrokes is to launch a new version of its online sportsbook this week, with plans to live stream over 30,000 sporting events on the site this year.
The bookmaker will hope that the new sportsbook will help to repair some of the damage done to the bottom line by two periods of unfavourable market conditions for sports betting providers, with the UK cold snap causing a wave of racing abandonments in December and January and Ladbrokes third quarter results being hard hit by football bets after the first 66 Premier League matches saw just four draws, compared with a five-year season average of 25% of games drawn.
The British bookmaker has spent over £3 million on internet broadcast rights to a range of sports fixtures including football from 11 countries including Italy, Portugal and Brazil and international, Europa Cup and Asian Champions League matches, as well as Wimbledon, Australian Open and ATP tennis events and the Australian Twenty20 league cricket.
With the exception of horseracing, these will be free to view for registered Ladbrokes customers, with punters obligated to place a minimum £1 bet to access racing coverage.
The site will also feature a dedicated in-play module on the homepage, with in-play betting having accounted for 43% of the firm’s online sports betting turnover excluding racing in 2009, and 38% the year before.
The launch coincides with the launch of Ladbrokes’ Italian poker offering today, Ladbrokes.it. The site, which has 35,000 registered customers, will offer free play Texas Hold 'em tournaments and plans to launch cash games when regulation allows. Ladbrokes was cleared to launch tournament poker in Italy in December.
Ladbrokes managing director of remote betting and gaming John O’Reilly said: “The site further reflects the growing importance of betting in-play and live video streaming content. This initiative, together with further development of our mobile offering and the development of new markets in Europe, will continue the growth.”
The company is the third operator this week to announce plans for a new sports betting product, with Titan Poker having launched the first ever Playtech-designed sportsbook this month and Tell Gaming to launch an Odds Matrix-powered sportsbook in March.