Ladbrokes continues its sponsorship campaign ahead of the start of the football season in the UK by resigning its agreement with the Scottish Premier League's Glasglow Rangers. The company will remain as the club's main betting retailer for both the 2017/2018 and the 2018/2019 seasons. Both the club and the bookmaker are already on good terms, with Ladbrokes long having being Rangers preferred partner!
Stewart Robertson, Ranger's Managing Director, had nothing but positive comments regarding the renewed sponsorship:
"We are delighted to confirm Ladbrokes will continue as the Rangers’ retail betting partner. The club has enjoyed a great relationship with Ladbrokes over the years and is delighted that they will be with us for the next two years."
Ladbrokes Regional Director, Christopher Hector said:
"It’s fantastic news that we’ll be providing the betting services again for Rangers at such an iconic location in Ibrox Stadium."
The move means that Ladbrokes will continue to enjoy all the marketing benefits Ibrox Stadium itself offers, as well as being present on Ranger's digital marketing channels.
The new deal with Rangers is just another step Ladbrokes' online bookmaker has taken to make sure it's in a great position when the football season starts. The agreement comes hot on the heels of three deals it struck recently with UK clubs from the both the EPL and the Championship: Burnley, Leicester and Sheffield.
Combined with the Rangers deal and the additional moves by Ladbrokes Coral to secure official ties with Sunderland and Middlebrough football clubs (with Coral's sportsbook the official betting partner of both), the company has a solid footing in both the English and Scottish Premier leagues for the upcoming football season.
While this new partnership with Rangers and slew of additional new deals certainly puts Ladbrokes Coral in good stead, there are some potential issues for the company, and the industry as a whole, on the horizon. Securing as many new avenues as possible now could be one of the motivations for this approach and makes good sense.
One reason for an increased presence in stadiums and clubs is very likely related to the fact that Ladbrokes reported a loss in business at traditional betting shops earlier this year. This was, however, offset by an increase in online gaming and betting. Making it as easy as possible for fans and punters to bet on games, especially when they're at the event itself, is something that Ladbrokes isn't alone in pursing.
Although it might seem like business as usual, Ladbrokes, Coral and other top online bookmakers are heavily invested in the outcome of the fast approaching government review on fixed odds betting terminals that's grabbed the attention of the entire brick-and-mortar gambling market in the United Kingdom.
These are the bread and butter of betting shop income streams, but there has been some controversy recently suggesting that the machines are seriously addictive, with stakes that are far too high. Most machines currently allow a maximum stake of £100. There have been proposals by MPs to reduce this to £2.
Given that betting shop profits seem to be slowing down, any further slashes to Ladbrokes Coral's profits could be serious. It's been estimated that FOBTs are responsible for around £1000 profit a week for operators like Ladbrokes, which runs over 8000 machines.
Given this precarious position, Ladbrokes has taken steps to keep its options open if FOBTs are hit by regulation. The company fought off a merger attempt last year by GVC Governance, but might not be able to defend itself again should the ruling on FOBTs not go in their favour.
Still, the fact remains that the company is performing well and the recent partnership with Rangers is just another sign of this. Even though Ladbrokes is moving forward, though, there are concerns as to whether it will be enough to fend off the potential damage of the FOBT review.
The company's share price has remained fairly static even in spite of the strong recent moves in football betting – just one problematic result of the coming review. Investors are understandably cautious given the delicacy of the overall situation.
Until the details are published, it's hard to say just how beneficial Ladbrokes' strong presence in the Scottish and English football leagues will be in the long term. Head to Ladbrokes's online bookmaker today to checkout the latest odds on not only the Glasglow Rangers but all the top football clubs!
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