In hopes of countering cuts in wagers proposed for the UK and Irish racing industries, Ladbrokes and Coral believe they have the solution. They have announced that they will extend their best-odds guarantee on racing starting today for all over-the-counter bets. The guarantee only applies to the first £100 ($128) of a particular wager.
Beginning April 1, bookmakers are expected to see a drop in revenue as the government implements a new policy that will reduce all fixed-odds betting terminal (FOBT) stakes from £100 to £2 ($2.56). GVC Holdings, which operates both Ladbrokes and Coral, has said that the move will result in around 1,000 of their shops to be forced to close.
All customers of the two companies, provided they have a respective Ladbrokes Grid or Coral Connect card, will be able to take advantage of the new guarantee. Both brands will invest heavily into their marketing programs to ensure that word gets out quickly, and will launch campaigns in the press and on social media, as well as in the betting shops.
According to the PR director for Ladbrokes Coral, Simon Clare, “This is the biggest racing offer ever to hit the high street, and is a clear signal of our intent as we face up to a new era for betting shops from April 1. There is no question that a seismic change in our betting shop business is going to occur when the FOBT stake restrictions come into force, but we are now taking pre-emptive action with the launch of this significant betting shop offer, which will boost our horseracing business and also our betting shop footfall as we prepare for the challenge ahead.”
Clare further states, “Whilst betting shops will inevitably close as a result of the changes to FOBT stakes, there is a huge opportunity to re-energise and refocus all those that remain to become ever more vibrant, social, sports betting hubs where people come to watch live sport and enjoy a flutter, and horseracing will be the most important sport of them all within this vision of the future.
“By matching the universally popular best-odds guaranteed horseracing concession that exists online, we have removed a major disincentive to bet on horseracing in our betting shops versus online, and we hope this will lead to a significant upturn in racing business levels over the coming weeks and months.”