Activity picking up on Ladbrokes on what appears to be a launch, ahead of schedule, of the exchange that was touted at their results as I documented a little while ago.
A quick browse of the Ladbrokes website shows that the tab has already been added to the site ahead of the launch. So what do we expect to see?
Well, you may or not know, that Betdaq is actually intertwined with the ‘Global betting exchange’. The concept being a bit different from what you see at Betfair. Betfair want to be everything and establish themselves in other countries by establishing offices and rights in that territory. GBE is more of a broking model providing the back end and technology for people who want to front end the business. This is actually quite smart because you can then aggregate the volume from various sources into one place.
That is how I would imagine the Ladbrokes relationship will work. So people will be able to back and lay at will on the Ladbrokes exchange and that will most likely feed straight back into Betdaq.
In the Blue corner
In the blue corner we have Betfair who for years championed the exchange concept, only to turn around and start looking for recreational sports book customers. This isn’t an easy move, but especially when your mantra for years was ‘don’t use bookmakers’. As I have mentioned before, I’m not convinced it’s the right strategy TBH and eight months after launch we are still waiting for the sportsbook to be linked with the exchange.
In reality, Betfair should have already totally swept all before them with the exchange, but the volta face with the sportsbook would seemingly be heading to be either a stroke of genius or a disaster. As they have squeezed customers harder and harder on the exchange, you can see the negative impact. Not only in the turnover figures, but also in customer goodwill. There was a time when they couldn’t do anything wrong, but if you speak to customers now they don’t seem to be able to do anything right.
In the Red corner
In the red corner we have Ladbrokes. They are currently under pressure to get the digital side of their business trucking. Looking at some archives services on the internet, the domain www.ladbrokesexchange.com appears to actually have been first registered just over 11 years ago. So the thought has been on their mind for some time. Or at least in the head of a marketing or techie bod there!
They already have a very well established and extensive recreational business and an enormous reach. I wasn’t sure whether the exchange side of the business would be prominent or niche, but the fact it appears on the main landing page indicates they are prepared to go for it. If they bring their pricing and trading teams into the mix then it will be interesting to see what sort of impact that has.
Of course a fair bit of this is conjecture, we will have to wait and see exactly how it plays out. But one thing for sure is that it will bring the industry to a really interesting juncture.
2014 could turn out to be a really interesting year.