Ladbrokes Coral brand which is the number one British high-street bookmaker is a leading multi-channel international gaming company for betting, bingo, casino and poker.
With the recent merger with GVC Holdings, Ladbrokes Coral combined 230 years of heritage are of now one of the largest sports betting and gaming Groups in the world!
The company originated in 1886 by Messrs. Schwind and Pennington, commission agents for horses trained at Ladbroke Hall in Warwickshire.
The brand name Ladbrokes was formed in 1902 when Arthur Bendir joined the partnership, and the company moved to London with the first office situated in the Strand and later moving to Hanover Square in 1906 - 1913 and graduating to Six Old Burlington Street, Mayfair.
From 1913 to 1956, Ladbrokes' clientele consisted of the upper classes, many of which were members of the elite gentlemen's clubs which was situated on in the St James's area of Central London.
Unusually for the era, a woman named Helen Vernet who was a representative on British racecourses joined the company, and she was made a partner in 1928 and remained with Ladbrokes until her death in 1956 at the age of 80.
In 1956, Ladbroke was acquired by Mark Stein and his nephew, Cyril Stein for a reported £100,000. In 1961, the Betting and Gaming Act was introduced, and the government legalised betting shops. Stein then establishes a chain of betting shops and was the first to introduce fixed odds football betting.
From 1967 to 1973, Ladbroke's bookmakers business grew from less than 50 betting shops to 1,135, and the company expanded to include bingo clubs, hotels, London casinos and holiday centres.
In October 1987 the Ladbrokes brand was acquired by Hilton International, and in 1989, they acquired Vernons Football Pools. But in 1993 the company was hit by losses and was sold off in pieces, and by March 1997, was down to £70 million.
In September 1998, Ladbroke purchased Coral, a chain of betting shops with 891 locations, from Bass plc for £363 million. The UK Government, however, ordered the company to sell Coral after the Monopolies and Mergers Commission found as the acquisition was anti-competitive.
In March 1999, the company acquired Stakis Hotels gaining 53 hotels and 22 casinos. Ladbroke renamed to the Hilton Group plc later that year but in August 1999, Hilton Group decided to sell all of its gambling operations, including racetracks and casinos in the United States and bingo and betting businesses in South America. In addition, the company sold 27 casinos in the UK to the Gala Group in December 2000.
In 2006, the company rebranded back to Ladbrokes plc, and in March 2007, the Vernons brand was sold to Sportech.
In 2015 Ladbrokes began a merger with the Gala Coral Group which would lead to the combination of the two companies creating Britain's biggest bookmaker. However, the Competition and Markets Authority identified areas where the merger would harm local high street competition in the UK and said 350 - 400 betting shops would have to be sold off for the merger to be approved.
The merger completed on the 2nd November 2016 and to that effect Ladbrokes acquired the Gala Coral Group and then changed its own name from Ladbrokes plc to Ladbrokes Coral Group plc.
In March 2018, GVC Holdings purchased Ladbrokes Coral and sister division Gala Coral forming one of the worlds largest betting and gaming companies.