A top British bookie may be close to going “under” … DOWN UNDER!
Ladbrokes says it is looking to win the state wagering and gaming licence for Victoria, home of the Melbourne Cricket Club, The Australian Open Tennins Championships and Neighbours.
The concession comes up for grabs in London Olympic year, 2012.
Ladbrokes says it can provide a bigger, better service than current license holders Tabcorp.
International development chief Kevin Hopgood, on a meet-and-greet tour of the state said: “We’re here for the game.
“We’ve got our shorts and football boots on, we’re not going to sit on the fence.
“Australia has many attractions for us. From a sporting perspective there are a lot of similarities to the UK — horse racing, greyhounds, cricket, rugby, tennis.
“The sports and the culture are very, very similar and the betting interest very similar.”
Ladbrokes already has overseas interests in Italy and Spain and says the Australian market could benefit from better technology and better presentation with more products, particularly in sports betting.
“The British love their sport, their racing, as do Australians, but I think the propensity to bet is higher here.”
Despite Ladbrokes’ confidence, Australian bookies are only making them THIRD favourite to win the licence, with Tattersall’s the current front runner.