In a week where the TAB introduced what could be their biggest revenue game changer with the ‘early quaddie’, somehow, it will have been overshadowed by what I see as the biggest move in Australian Betting in the past 5 years.
Ladbrokes entered the Australian market last year by buying out Bookermaker.com.au. Since then, they have ran some fairly successful and aggressive advertising campaigns offering double fixed odds on all feature races throughout the Spring Carnival and constant online, tv and radio advertising campaigns. It is safe to say that Ladbrokes has firmly secured their position in the Australian gambling landscape, but their latest move will push them into being a top-level player.
Ladbrokes today launched the new ‘Ladbrokes Eftpos Card’. Putting it simply, the Ladbrokes Eftpos Card is linked to your betting account. You can transfer your funds between your betting account and the eftpos card at the touch of a button, allowing you to use your card at any ATM or Eftpos machine.
So why is the Ladbrokes Eftpos Card a game changer?
The average punter doesn’t have a bank roll. They bet with the money from within their bank accounts. Sometimes, most the time, almost every weekend, some, many, all? end up with winnings sitting in their betting account that can’t be accessed until Monday night at 10pm (Yes, when I was a Uni student, this was the position I was faced with so I know the timeline), once the money has cleared through the slow banking system. This isn’t ideal, especially if you had a massive win on Saturday at the races and want to shout your mates a round at the pub or to go ‘dancing’, but lack the funds in your bank account to do so. Ladbrokes Eftpos Card gives that punter the financial access they require. I would just note that while banking institutions overseas have faster processing of payments and withdrawals, Australia is still at least 5 years away from having the technology in-place at all major banking institutions to allow for ‘instant’ transfers.
So why will this strategy work for Ladbrokes? Let’s take a look at why the TAB are so successful to find out what works for them. The TAB don’t offer the best prices, infact, they are generally equal or worst going around when you consider the ‘best of three tote’ products available (they do go up first on fixed odds and are generally competitive with these). The key advantage they have is that the money won is handed back, in cold hard cash to their customers. You can bet, anytime, anywhere and understand that if you have to buy your misses dinner, that you will have access to the money from the punt that day. This is an important factor for those who put on their bets over several races throughout the day, all put on in the morning before the cricket starts on a Saturday afternoon. After smashing the opponent for 120 runs Davie Warner style, to be greeted with a $500 win that is useable that night with the boys is a very appealing quality for many ‘casual’ or ‘recreational’ gamblers.
One of our followers on twitter commented on this topic with “strange they are making it easier to withdraw your cash rather than keeping it in and turning it over”. I disagree on this point. Why would the punter ever have to withdraw the money from within Ladbrokes accounts? They have access to the money from their Ladbrokes Eftpos Card, so they actually have more of an incentive to keep it in there for longer.
Aaron on Twitter commented “good news I reckon, sick of waiting 2-3 days for a withdrawal”. This is the common complaint amongst all the online bookies and will be a significant reason for many to make the move between books. The process can be even longer with one book who claims to bet every day of the year *cough*.
Alex (@pezza555) on Twitter said ‘it is fantastic news. Now we sit back and watch every other bookie follow them. Great news for punters”. I feel that this is a watch and see job from the other corporates. As Josh on Twitter said, “the cost to introduce this is significant”, so it would be impossible for any of the large bookies to make the move immediately.
Steve on Twitter asked “It’s a superb idea. I wonder if we get stung for the ATM fees? Maybe if they align with a bank some ATM’s may be free?”. Having read through the T&Cs, they currently aren’t aligned with any bank, so there will be the normal $2 etc withdrawel fee.. but it would make sense going forward for them to align with a bank with ATM outlets at most major stadiums and race courses.
It’s rare that any ‘change’ or ‘innovation’ in the gambling industry is met with so much positive feedback. Sportingbet launched their new website last week to very mixed reactions. It certainly takes a while to get used to, but is signficiantly better than a few others who re-launched in the past 2 years.
As stated at the end of the latest advertising campaign for Ladbrokes, ‘The Bookmakers Ball’, “Well… the party is over”.
What do you think? Will you be opening an account with new Ladbrokes Eftpos Card?