Ladbrokes Shirks from Sportsbook Acquisitions
By James Mc
Since detaching itself from the Hilton International hotels group in February this year, British bookmaker Ladbrokes has been active in exploring international expansion in the US and Italy in particular, but one thing the company seems unlikely to expand is its current online capability.

Recently there has been a concerted focus by online companies such as PartyGaming and 888 Holdings to acquire internet sportsbooks with non-US facing customer bases, but Ladbrokes believes that there is more value in developing its existing brand.

Ladbrokes chief executive Chris Bell recently ruled out a bid for the Victor Chandler group, which is a prime target for PartyGaming, with John O’Reilly, managing director of Ladbrokes’ e-gaming division, explaining, “Lots and lots of customers have lots of accounts,” he said. “So what we’d be buying would be a list of customers, many of whom already had accounts with us. We’re better off spending £51 a head [its current average] to recruit a new player rather than paying for customer acquisitions.”

In other news, Ladbrokes reported a 12.3 per cent rise in operating profits to £151.3 million in the six months to June, with the company making a total £17.5 million from this year’s football World Cup.

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