Ladbrokes is quite the storied name in the gambling world. First founded in 1886, the company specialised in horse racing for many decades before the 1961 Betting and Gaming Act paved the way for them to open the first of their distinctive orange-signed shops in the UK.
Ladbrokes broke into the online casino world in the mid-2000s, and a 2017 refresh of the site (adding an all-new roster of Playtech games) has got players buzzing about the old stalwart once again. But with such a wealth of online options available to UK players, has Ladbrokes been able to keep pace? Let's take a closer look.
Available Games and Software
Ladbrokes covers all the standard online casino categories - slots, table games, video poker, a live casino and scratchers. The bulk of the gaming roster here is provided by Playtech, but some of the slots are courtesy of Blueprint Gaming. The total collection comes out to over 250 games, which is toward the smaller end of the UK market but is respectable. The mix of titles is nice, and we really appreciated the ability to sort games by only those that have television and movie licenses - you would think this would be a standard option, but we can't recall seeing it at any other online casinos before!
Among those high-profile licensed games in the slot collection are Suicide Squad and the various DC comics properties, Terminator, Rocky, John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe. The 180+ slot titles include a couple dozen progressive jackpot options. Most of the aforementioned DC Comics games, like Batman and Superman, are progressives that are usually hovering around half a million quid for the major jackpot.
Video poker fan? 15 titles are available, a pretty standard number for UK online casinos. How about video versions of table games? There are about 50 options covering all the usual favourites, and a few unique titles like Tequila Poker and Wild Viking. If you prefer live dealers, Ladbrokes has a Playtech-backed section with roulette, blackjack, baccarat, Hi-Lo and Hold 'em. One nice touch about the live dealer section here is that you can "pin" your favourite dealers.
Finally, you can scratch the itch for scratchers with about a dozen varieties at 50p minimum bets.
Deposit and Withdrawal Options
Ladbrokes offers the standard range of deposit and withdrawal options with no surprise fees. Major credit cards, the big-name e-wallet services (including PayPal), prepaid cards and direct bank transfers are all on the menu here. Processing times are very acceptable, with the casino's internal processing generally done same-day for all methods.
Safety and Security
Ladbrokes is about as secure and stable a gaming company as you're going to find in the UK, with roots stretching back nearly 150 years. In addition to the expected UK Gambling Commission oversight, Ladbrokes' online operations are based in Gibraltar which has its own strong gaming commission. Telephone service, email and live chat are always available for any issues that crop up, and phone calls are toll-free from within the UK.
Bonuses and Player's Club
New players get a £50 welcome bonus when they stake their first £10 at qualifying games outside of the live casino (just about any slot works, but video poker and some table games do not). Do note that the £50 can only be used at about 18 specific games and is subject to a 40x wagering requirement, however. You can get current lists of both the qualifying games and the games eligible for bonus fund use at the "FAQ" page at the Ladbrokes Games website.
The welcome offer terms are a bit restrictive and limited, but fortunately there are better ongoing bonus offers once you get an account going. These include daily tournaments with cash prizes at select games, evening bonuses for all seated players at the live casino, and the "super jackpot" guaranteed to pop at least once every 24 hours.
Of course, you'll also collect the standard points on your wagers that can be converted to free play once enough are collected. There is no tiered loyalty program as of this writing; there are programs specifically for poker players and sports bettors, but not for casino games at the moment. There is also no indication that online plays ties into "The Grid" rewards system as well, at least for the casino games. There is an invitation-only casino VIP program for the big players out there, however.
Is Ladbrokes Games Worth It?
This isn't one of those online casinos you'll want to sign up with just for the welcome bonus, but Ladbrokes actually has a fair amount to offer once you get going. The gaming lineup is solid PlayTech stuff, the casino is well-designed and some of the ongoing offers are worth pursuing. It would be nice to see more integration with the brick-and-mortar shops, but that's always something that could happen in the future.