Ladbrokes first to run U.K. TV spot

The door was opened in September for gambling companies to begin advertising on television in the United Kingdom. Now Ladbrokes Plc. has taken the first step through that door into the new legalized and regulated online gambling environment in the nation.

Ladbrokes, which operates online betting and casino sites as well as Ladbrokes Poker, aired its first TV commercial Tuesday during the half-time break in the Manchester United versus Roma Champions League match on ITV1, according to the Guardian Unlimited.

The ad focuses on the sports betting side of their online gambling business, featuring TV presenting legend Jimmy Hill and ex-footballers Ally McCoist, Ian Wright, Lee Dixon and Chris Kamara.

The ad opens with McCoist enter a diner and greeting Wright, Dixon and Kamara. They're all discussing who will win the Premiership, and Dixon orders a cup of tea from the waitress, who happens to be TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher.

At the end, according to the Guardian Unlimited, the camera cuts to the kitchen where Hill, the cook at the diner, says, "They know nothing these days."

The £5 million campaign, running with the tag line "Everyone's got an opinion, what's yours worth?" is geared towards the younger punters who are more into betting on sports rather than racing.

Chris Bell, Ladbrokes chief executive, said in the Guardian Unlimited, "These ads capture the fun of having a flutter on football and testing your opinion - something millions of people already enjoy every week. We're pleased to be the first to air with betting advertising."

Ladbrokes also made moves this week to improve its poker site by announcing the appointment of Edward Ihre as the first managing director for its poker division.

Ihre previously worked at PokerStars and PokerRoom. According to, he will now head up Ladbrokes Poker's marketing and product development teams in London.

" is a strong brand in the online poker world and also operates some of the best offline events," Ihre said in the article. "My focus will be on continuing the innovation and growth has demonstrated in recent years and establishing a market-leading affiliate network."

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