Football Trade Directory

Ladbrokes threaten to drop sports sponsorship

The UK's biggest bookmaker, Ladbrokes Coral, says it will have to cut the £8m it spends each year on sponsoring sports events if new rules reduce the maximum stake on gaming machines.

The government is currently deciding whether to cut maximum stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals from £100 to as little as £2 to fight problem gambling.

More than half of Ladbrokes' betting shop revenue comes via the machines. Ladbrokes says such a dramatic drop in income means cuts are made elsewhere.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said gambling was one of many ways in which sports obtain fundraising.

"We are clear that FOBT stakes will be cut to ensure we have a safe and sustainable industry where vulnerable people are protected," it said in a statement.

The department said a final decision on maximum bets will be made "in due course'

The Group sponsor horse racing, rugby and football including the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival (a two day meeting at Newbury), the Coral Scottish and Welsh Grand Nationals, the Coral Cup (Wednesday at Cheltenham), the Coral Eclipse (one of the biggest flat races of the year) and the Coral Sprint at York.

It also sponsors the Rugby Football League Challenge Cup and the Scottish Professional Football League as well as snooker and darts.