Newly launched offshore betting giant Ladbroke International is set
to hand its high profile consumer PR account to The Red Consultancy.
Ladbroke International - sister company to Ladbrokes - faces tough
competition to win UK punters to its new Gibraltar-based telephone
The race to set up in Gibraltar began last month, when Ladbrokes rival
Victor Chandler moved the bulk of its high street betting retailing to a
Gibraltar-based telephone service to exploit a tax loophole enabling it
to offer tax-free tele-betting to UK gamblers. This came in the wake of
a betting tax cut by the Irish government which prompted fears that UK
gamblers might migrate to the Republic.
Ladbroke parent company Hilton Group followed suit by setting up
Ladbroke International as a separate division to compete in this
The company previously ran a small-scale telephone service for overseas
Rivals William Hill and Coral are also exploring the transfer to
telephone and internet-based services.
Following last month’s launch Ladbrokes invited consumer agencies to
pitch at short notice last week and is on the point of finalising a
contract with Red.
Red’s brief is to promote Ladbroke’s new freephone betting service among
UK punters. The brief may also extend to the company’s planned internet
service, which is due to start next year.
Hilton Group corporate affairs head Steve Duvany, who is understood to
have co-ordinated the pitch, declined to comment. Red Consultancy
founder and managing director Lesley Brend was unavailable for
The move offshore by the UK’s main high street betting outfits will
revolutionise the market and could remove pounds 480 million-worth of
taxes from the Government’s coffers.
High street gamblers in the UK are charged nine per cent tax on each
bet, whereas Gibraltar’s tax status means punters placing bets by phone
would be charged as little as a three per cent commission.