Digital expansion boosts Ladbrokes’ shares

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Shares in Ladbrokes jumped more than 7 per cent this morning after the bookmaker struck a deal to roll out another 200 casino-style games for its online and mobile customers.

The partnership with Playtech, which has already played a big role in the digital growth of rival William Hill, will see the launch of a new “Vegas” tab on Ladbrokes.com later this year.

Ladbrokes said the tie-up with the gaming software firm represented the next phase in the re-invigoration of its digital business.

As part of the deal, Ladbrokes is creating a new ecommerce and digital marketing services operation, to be based in Israel.

Chief executive Richard Glynn said: “This relationship will accelerate our progress in a sustainable way over the next five years and beyond.”

Isle of Man-based Playtech was founded in 1999 and has more than 2,500 staff working on gaming applications in casino, bingo, poker and sports betting. It recently raised £424 million by selling the 29 per cent stake it held in William Hill’s digital operation.

Investec analyst James Hollins said: “A strong digital marketing and customer relationship management function was, in our view, the key factor missing from the Ladbrokes online channel and we welcome the deal.”

Ladbrokes’ shares were up 7.8 per cent at 242.7p in mid-afternoon trading.