Ladbrokes’ Mullen slams rivals for “race-to-the bottom offers” at Cheltenham 2016.


Updating investors and media on Ladbrokes Q1 2016 performance, CEO Jim Mullen fired shots at rivals for offering costly customer incentives at Cheltenham 2016.

This year’s festival was deemed ‘the worst Cheltenham in living memory” as UK and Irish bookmakers lost millions to punters who made easy cash-ins on multiple winning favourites.

Industry analysts have calculated the cost of Cheltenham 2016 to be around the + £60 million mark.

The conclusion of Cheltenham 2016, saw FTSE-listed operator William Hill issue a profit warning to its investors, with operator declaring that it had suffered from ‘dire horse racing results’.   

Mullen who yesterday presented positive results for Ladbrokes’ operations, praising the bookmaker’s turnaround strategy, detailed to investors that his enterprise wanted no part in the “race-to-the-bottom offers” seen at Cheltenham 2016.

Having reviewed his rivals’ festival promotions, Mullen stated that Ladbrokes rivals had “abandoned bookmaking principles in pursuit of punters”.

Ladbrokes CEO further detailed that his operations expected to be hit by negative Cheltenham results, which it was prepared to absorb.

“We managed to absorb Cheltenham Festival losses, so we didn’t have to go back to analysts and investors.”

“The difference in offers between Cheltenham and Aintree highlighted the fact that some of the sector lost their mind during that festival. There were some real race-to-the bottom offers which was a race we were not going to get involved with,” Mullen commented



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