In 1961, the British Government legalised betting shops under the Betting and Gaming Act - a law that's been discussed lately due to the growth of Internet gambling. This made it possible for Ladbrokes' founders Cyril Stein and Max Parker to open a chain of betting shops.
Fixed Odds and Betting on Elections
Ladbrokes Poker was the first company to introduce fixed-odds for betting on football matches, which was offered alongside the traditional horse racing odds.
In 1963, Ladbrokes became the first bookmaker to offer odds on the outcome of a political election. The conservative Party won and Ladbrokes could rake in £1,400. The next election, the interest grew and £1.6 million was wagered in Ladbrokes' betting shops around Britain.
In 1969, there were over 400 Ladbrokes offices and the company was now one of the world's largest betting institutions.
Ladbrokes and the Online Era
Let's fast forward through the 70s, 80s and 90s - when Ladbrokes continued to grow in regular betting - and push play when we reach the Internet era.
In the early 2000s, Ladbrokes was one of the first "regular" bookmakers that realized online gambling was the future, and especially online poker.
Ladbrokes' online-poker site was the first to offer real high-stake action, $200/$400 No Limit Hold'em etc. The site became the home for the old professional players who transferred their game to the Net and also for the new generation of young talented poker players who learned the game online.
Still to this day, some of the biggest pots in poker have been played at Ladbrokes.com and the site still offers great poker action for all type of players.