Ladbrokes Coral announced this week that they are saying goodbye to a practice that’s survived the internet era much longer than anyone would have suspected. On Monday, company officials stated that the UK operator will no longer honor horse racing odds that appeared in the newspaper.
While the practice seems desperately antiquated, it’s been a mainstay of UK horse race wagering since the dawn of online gambling. In short, sharp punters could lay bets on odds that may have changed drastically over the course of the day. After all, the horse racing odds appeared as early as 8:30 a.m. for races that were run much later in the day.
In a statement to the media, as reported on in The Racing Post, Ladbrokes Coral spokesman Simon Clare explained the company’s rationale for abandoning the practice saying:
These days more feature races than ever before are being priced up several days before the race, and prices are constantly moving from the time they are first published until the race going off. Given this context, to then guarantee to lay an advert price, that was finalised some 16 hours earlier due to newspaper print deadlines, often means the bookmaker ends up with precisely the opposite position in the market to the one intended.
In the end, it simply didn’t make sense for Ladbrokes Coral to offer wagers using desperately out-of-date odds.
As a form of compensation to sharp bettors who took advantage of this sweet situation, Ladbrokes Coral will continue accepting wagers of up to £5,000 on any horse to win. These wagers must be placed at a shop and before 9 a.m.
To gauge the overall mood of punters impacted by the new policy, one need only read the headline of a commentary on the subject in The Racing Post, All Good Things Must Come to an End.
The new policy will take effect at the end of the month.
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