Contrasting Fortunes for Online Gambling
Gambling has grown hugely as an online activity in recent years, but the fortunes of two of the main players in the online market look very different right now.
Ladbrokes has confirmed the departure of its head of product, Richard Ames, who was overseeing its trading and IT offer. The move is in part a response to the bookmaker suffering problems with its online trading platform which saw a drop in operating profits of 50% from £29.7m to £15m in the first six months of its financial year. (£50m had been invested in its digital strategy).
In late June, the company was forced to issue a profit warning on its digital division after failing to launch its revamped website in time for the Euro 2012 football championships.
Ladbrokes had been hoping to transfer all customers over to the new website in time for the football tournament but was forced to postpone after unsatisfactory feedback about some functions.
The online market for gambling is growing hugely and William Hill must be adding to Ladbroke’s pressure with a reported 23% jump in online operating profits to £68.9m in its first half results.
William Hill Online, its joint venture with Playtech, increased revenues 30% to £198.4m despite concerns that predictable results from Euro 2012 would take a bite out of the bookie’s profits during the period. Mobile accounted for 22% of all online sports bets taken during the period. Some £55.5m was spent on marketing to drive more customers to mobile betting in particular.