Ladbrokes Coral PLC is a leading international bookmaking and gaming company, formed as a result of the £2.3 billion merger of Ladbrokes and Gala Coral in November 2016 – which brought together the biggest brands in the sector.
So far this year, the company’s digital net revenue is 20% ahead of last year’s and according to statistics released by stock markets analyst Hargreaves Lansdown, sports staking has increased by 20% in Europe. Describing these as “robust results”, the analyst says the company’s focus on recreational gamblers who “enjoy a flutter” on a casual basis has boosted margins and revenues. In addition, introducing self-service terminals in Ladbrokes Coral’s high street bookmakers has helped keep costs to a minimum. Staking growth in key markets such as UK online has also been described as “good”.
Despite competition from all quarters, the Ladbrokes success story just rolls on and with the growth of online gaming and betting, the company’s high street shops continue to flourish. This is a testament to the way the brand has been managed since its formation in 1886.
The company was started by Messrs Schwind and Pennington without an official name. The name “Ladbrokes” was derived from the village of Ladbroke near Southam, Warwickshire. Schwind’s former residence had been Ladbroke House – now part of the University of North London – and he had trained horses at Ladbroke Hall. A third partner, Arthur Bendir, joined the company in 1902.
Initially the majority of Ladbrokes’ clients were members of elite clubs, such as the Carlton. In 1913, after moving their offices to Old Burlington Street, Mayfair, they put the emphasis on attracting punters from the tracks. Ladbrokes recruited Helen Vernet as their on-track representative, who was the first lady bookmaker in history. She became a partner in 1918 and remained with the company until her death in 1956.
After Vernet’s death, the business was sold to Cyril Stein and his uncle, Max Parker, for £100,000 – this is when Ladbrokes began evolving into the company we know today. Extended opening hours were introduced to enable greyhound betting and the business began to expand.
In 1963, Ladbrokes became the first bookmaker to offer odds on the outcome of the Tory party leadership contest, making a profit of £1,400. The company was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1967.
In 1984, Ladbrokes acquired the Belgian betting shop chain, Le Tiercé SA, operators of 400 bookmakers. The following year, they moved into American sports, buying Detroit Race Course. In 1987, they acquired Hilton International for £645 million.
In 2000, online gaming was launched with ladbrokes.com. By 2003, the company had close to 2,000 shops, spending £50 million annually on new outlets and technology.
After selling the Hilton International division in 2005 and reverting to Ladbrokes PLC, Ladbrokes expanded into the Spanish market in a joint venture, the Sportium brand, with Cirsa Slot Corporation.
Ladbrokes further established itself as an online gaming leader after launching a partnership with Playtech to drive growth in the digital market, with the mobile platform launched in December 2013. The 2014 World Cup saw Ladbrokes generate record betting revenue.
In 2016, the merger between Ladbrokes and Gala Coral created the new Ladbrokes Coral Group.
Sound Planning and Ladbrokes
To assess whether a proposed air conditioning system would impact on neighbouring properties, Sound Planning was asked to carry out a Noise Impact Assessment at Ladbrokes’ betting shop at 23 High Street, Westbury, in the jurisdiction area of Wiltshire Council.
The system, featuring two external condenser units mounted on the first-floor parapet wall, would automatically switch off at 9pm. The nearest residential properties were first-floor maisonettes with windows overlooking the rear of 23 High Street.
A microphone was located near the noise-sensitive windows and background noise levels were monitored between 8.45pm and 9.15pm. Sound Planning also evaluated the screening attenuation of the parapet wall. The noise impact of both condenser units was assessed individually, at the first and second-floor maisonette windows.
The calculated noise levels at both floors were less than 10dB below the existing background noise, in accordance with BS 4142: 1997 – leading to a “positive indication that complaints are unlikely”. No mitigation was required on condition the external condenser units were positioned no further than 0.5m off the parapet wall, with the mounts no higher than 0.1m and the operational hours not exceeding 9.15pm.
As experienced acoustic consultants, Sound Planning has more than 35 years’ experience in the design and supply of sound enclosures and noise control products. We carry out noise assessments throughout the UK, assisting clients to adhere to legal noise regulations and helping them to secure the necessary planning permission for future developments. Please contact us for further details of our full range of services.