The Ladbrokes Crystal Ball Clears

15 December 1999
The Net betting biz is adding a new--and old--name to its rolls. Ladbrokes International, one of the premier sports betting firms in the U.K., will soon go live with its Gibraltar-based online betting operation. The company just announced that it will do so via technology from Orbis, a provider of online betting casino and lottery solutions.

"The global Internet betting industry is moving very fast and has no respect for national boundaries," says Peter Nolan, new business controller for Ladbrokes International, part of Hilton Group plc.

"As one of the best known brands and successful betting and gambling businesses, Ladbrokes is committed to be at the forefront of new technologies," Nolan added. "With its advanced and well-proven technology, Orbis is enabling us to accelerate these plans and deliver exciting new opportunities for the company and our customers anywhere in the world."

The new site,, is expected to begin taking bets by the first quarter of 2000 with additional plans to add casino games during the year. By using Orbis' OpenBet System, Ladbrokes will have a secure user identification, registration and account management system that will support a range of payment options, including credit/debit cards by Internet, phone or mail, wire transfer and ecash. Payment details and transactions will be password-protected and encrypted for security.

Additionally, the OpenBet system provides a stable, scaleable and robust multi-lingual and multi-currency platform capable of handling millions of plays each day and many hundreds of thousand account holders.

"Internet betting is exploding as companies rush to go online and tax-free and we're delighted to be working with Ladbrokes, the biggest name in the industry," says Charles Malir, marketing director at Orbis. "OpenBet is the only viable end-to-end solution for online betting and gaming and our customers include established bookmakers, sports web site operators and new start-up ventures that recognise the opportunity presented by the Internet. "

Ladbrokes International launched a tax-free telephone betting service from Gibraltar in October 1999. The new operation, the result of a GBP 5 million investment by Hilton Group, has signed up over 4,000 customers since its launch.

Ladbrokes International charges customers a 3 percent handling charge compared to the 9 percent deduction payable in the UK to cover general betting duty and levy. The call center currently offers service in seven languages and in eight currencies. Customers benefit from flexible account management systems that allow invoicing by fax and e-mail and payment arrangements tailored to the requirements of the individual. Seventy-five percent of turnover comes from the Far East with European football being the most popular betting medium.

Orbis is a world leader in the provision of online gaming and betting technology to major gambling operators and dot coms. Orbis' OpenBet Online Gambling System is a full-scale e-gambling engine for sports betting, lottery and casino sites. Among the company's current clients are Blue Square and the U.K. Tote.

Founded in 1995, Orbis has more than doubled in revenues and employees each successive year. It is privately held and currently employs 30 people.