Ladbrokes confirms closures of 40-50 betting shops

18 February 2014

Ladbrokes has confirmed that it will be closing 40-50 betting outlets in the near future as it looks to optimise its retail estate in “secondary locations”.

The move is likely to be replicated by other high street bookmakers in the UK, the company said, as the industry looks to reduce the number of retail outlets it has opened in the past few years.

“Having expanded in the last two years and opened shops in higher footfall locations we are now looking to optimise the estate by closing 40- 50 loss making shops in secondary locations,” the UK operator told iGaming Business

The industry has been under attack recently over the impact of fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) but Ladbrokes said the closures were not related to recent “FOBT headlines but does illustrate a likely trend in coming years for shop numbers to stabilise and see declines in areas of over representation”.

UK politicians are currently reviewing the role of FOBTs and the betting industry is due to propose player protection measures as a way of addressing the issue.

According to the retail information provider The Local Data Company and PricewaterhouseCoopers, the number of betting shops in the UK rose by 2.18% in the first half of 2013, while other types of retail outlets have all declined. Further closures of betting outlets in secondary locations and not close to football stadiums also puts more pressure on lower profile high streets already badly affected by the recession of the last few years.