Ladbrokes Australia prepares to offer a debit card service to its clients facilitating instant cash withdrawals.
Ladbrokes Australia, the Down Under wing of the renowned British sportsbook, will offer its clients debit cards. The newly launched service will allow customers to immediately withdraw their winnings collected at online sportsbooks in Australia from ATMs and EFTPOS terminals.
Although the service increases the level of comfort Ladbrokes customers will enjoy, some industry experts say it’s devised against competitors operating under Australian gambling laws. Land-based sports betting companies Tabcorp and Tatts Group could be hurt by Ladbrokes’ move.
The reasons behind the launch
James Burnett, Ladbrokes Australia General Manager of Marketing and Communications, says that sports betting enthusiasts are reluctant to move to online betting not wishing to wait for their winnings. They prefer land-based betting shops operated by Tatts and Tabcorp as they provide instant cash outs.
Ladbrokes Australia to launch a debit card
• The debit card will be in compliance with Australian gambling laws
• The card will allow instant withdrawals at ATMs and EFTPOS terminals
• Ladbrokes will gain advantage over online and land-based competitors
As for the online betting in Australia, customers now need to transfer their winnings and wait a minimum of one or two business day before the cash reaches their bank accounts. The brand new Ladbrokes card will provide punters with the possibility to cash in their winnings in the spot.
Australian gambling news quoted Burnett: “Somewhere between 20 and 40 seconds later [after a result] people can withdraw money from an ATM. It will take customers who… have so far been resistant to betting with corporate bookmakers because they can’t get cash back straight away.”
Further expectations about the card
Ladbrokes ventured onto the Australian $13 billion sports betting market about a year ago. The British giant purchased a Brisbane company running an online bookies for an estimated sum of $22.5 million.
James Burnett is also confident Ladbrokes card would attract bettors from their online rivals including Sportsbet, Sportingbet, and Tom Waterhouse. Currently they don’t offer anything similar and Ladbrokes will definitely be looking to cash in on the competitive advantage.
The card can be requested by any verified Ladbrokes customer, who have already proven their identity to the operator. There will be a $1,000 daily limit on the ATM withdrawals, whereas EFTPOS cashings will allow up to $2,500 to be withdrawn each day.
In an effort to prevent money laundering and other fraud, Ladbrokes will only allow their clients to withdraw the winnings via the card. This measure will not allow punters to transfer money into their betting accounts with the operator and then withdraw it right away. Burnett commented: “We don’t want to be a vehicle for fraudsters.”
More Ladbrokes plans for Australia
Ladbrokes has already entered an agreement with Emerchants payments provider to help with the operation of the card and other financial ventures. On the other hand, the sports betting giant is preparing to launch mobile betting apps on the Australian market, compatible with both iOS and Android systems.
The sports betting operator is also planning to host a huge advertising campaign worth millions for its debit card. First up is the Fat Tony & Co crime drama sponsorship, then comes the Autumn Racing Carnival broadcasts on Channel Seven. Digital, radio, and outdoor advertisements are also expected. The increased advertising expenditure is expected to raise the brand awareness not only for the debit card service, but for the Ladbrokes sports betting operations as a whole.
However, not everything is bright and shiny for Ladbrokes in Australia. The company has recently revealed its annual results, showing a GBP 2.9 million operating loss for the Australian wing, whereas the revenue was on GBP 4 million level. James Burnett was confident the Australian venture will break even and enter profitability by the end of 2014, and newly launched debit card will surely help with that.