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Ladbrokes pushes its online operations as land-based revenue falls

May 17, 2010
Ladbrokes Online Sportsbook

Due in part to the recent economic downturn, but also to bad weather across the UK this winter, Ladbrokes has seen first quarter profits at its high street betting shops down several percent. Online, however, things are looking promising, especially after the group cut costs by moving its online operations to Gibraltar.

Telegraph: Ladbrokes revenue dips as cautious punters stake less cash

Ladbrokes last week revealed that revenue has slipped 6% year on year, with a 10% drop in the amount of money staked by customers.

The sportsbook said that over-the-counter revenue at its land-based betting shops saw a huge drop in January due to bad weather, falling a full 17%. In the months following, trends slowly improved with April revenue down only 7%.

Sports betting is often considered to be a recession-proof businesses, but many struggled during the recent economic downturn. The latest updates from other high street bookmakers like Paddy Power and William Hill have fortunately been more promising.

Ladbrokes’ new chief executive Richard Glynn said the current economic climate is still “challenging” and UK consumers are not as confident in their spending as they were a few years ago.

Despite this recent drop in revenues, Ladbrokes saw operating profits rice 3pc in the first quarter of 2010, thanks in large part to the group’s move to the tax haven of Gibraltar last year.

Ladbrokes finance director Brian Wallace said he has plans to save the company around £8m a year.

Guardian: Ladbrokes shares slip as punters stay away

UK bookmakers have been struggling more than expected during the recent economic slump recession, but the latest reports from William Hill and Paddy Power are showing signs of picking up. Ladbrokes, however, said last week that numbers are dropping in their books, with the amount of bets placed in its high street shops continuing to decline.

First quarter net revenue at Ladbrokes has fallen 6%, with UK retail revenue down 11%. Over the counter revenue dropped by 10%. Its online sports betting business is also seeing a slump, mostly due to unexpectedly poor performance from their poker and casino offerings.

Newly appointed Ladbrokes chief executive Richard Glyn said, “The economic environment remains challenging and the strength of UK consumer confidence post the election is difficult to gauge. However group profitability year to date has been broadly in line with expectations.”

Irish Times: Operating profit rises at Ladbrokes

UK bookmaker Ladbrokes reported a 3% rise in four-month operating profits, thanks to its recent strategy of moving its online sports betting headquarters to the gambling tax haven of Gibraltar.

The move introduced several expense reductions which have helped to offset a recent drop in revenue at Ladbrokes’ UK betting shops, which is down 6% over the last four months.

The company also revealed that their net debt had fallen by £179 million, thanks to a £515 million settlement it recently received from a tax dispute.

Ladbrokes’ latest strategy is to bring more attention to its online sportsbook, to make up for the drop in sales at its land-based betting shops. After moving their online betting unit to Gibraltar last year, the company expects to save about £8 million annually.

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The Story of Rafael Nadal “Rafa”s Success

Apr 14, 2010
rafael-nadal

Spanish tennis superstar Rafael Nadal, nicknamed “Rafa”, will step out onto the clay today at the 2010 Monte-Carlo Masters, making his debut in the 103rd iteration of this annual event. For the past five years, Nadal has played in this ATP Masters Series tournament, and each of those years, he won first place in the single title. Now he’s at it again, battling against last year’s finalist Novak Djokovic and wild card entry Andy Murray, hoping to break a world tennis record by grabbing his sixth straight Masters title.

Nadal, 23, is entering this year’s Monte-Carlo Masters with a 29-1 career record, and is walking proud with 27 straight wins since he lost to Guillermo Coria in 2003. Today he will be playing his 201st ATP World Tour Masters 1000 match – an astonishing number for a player his age. Nadal stands tall at 6’1”, and is a very imposing figure on the court. His aggressive play style and massive forehand make him a formidable player.

He began playing tennis when he was three years old. Right away his uncle Toni, a former tennis pro, recognized the youngster’s talent for the game; Toni has been coaching him ever since. Nadal won his first championship when he was eight, which made him work even harder at training and practicing. Around this time, Toni began encouraging him to play left-handed (Nadal is naturally right-handed), a move which would give him an advantage on the court. He still uses this strategy today.

As a teen, Nadal was also an adept football player, and was heavily involved in both sports. His father, concerned about the boy’s academic future, forced him to choose just one. Obviously, Nadal chose tennis. The choice paid off, and by the age of 17, Nadal was already ranked among the 50 best tennis players in the world.

His entrance into the pro circuit was met with some criticism – not because of how Nadal played, but because of how he looked. His propensity to wear sleeveless shirts, below-the-knee trousers and a bandana drew endless mocking from the press. One television commenter even joked that he showed up to a game wearing his sister’s clothes. Nadal shrugged the jokes off, and went on to play like a champ.

Nadal’s career exploded in 2005 when he dominated the spring clay court season, winning 25 consecutive matches and establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with. This year earned him the ATP Most Improved Player of the Year award. By now Nadal was ranked number 5 in the world, making him the youngest player to make it into the Top 10 since Andrei Medvedev in 1993.

The years since have been a battle against injuries forcing off-court time here and there, but overall his path of progress has been a steep climb towards the top. Now, Nadal is confident that he will claim his 6th straight Monte-Carlo Masters title this year. His primary adversary Roger Federer is not playing this year, giving Nadal a good chance of fulfilling his goal. “I’ve always been a winner”, Nadal says in an official press release. “And will soon be one again!”

Whether players favor Nadal or his competition for this year’s title, now is the time to put money down. Bettors in France across Europe are advised to use Bet365 Sports, while those in the US should check out Bodog, Brobury Sports or BetUS Sportsbook. Each of these trusted online sportsbooks offers their own odds and lines, players may want to shop around to find a system that most benefits them.

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