Ladbrokes, the betting shop and Internet gaming group, has appointed operations director Richard Carter as its commercial director following a company restructure.
Carter takes over as commercial director following the departure of Andy Walder, board level director of marketing and development, who left in September (MW September 7) without a job to go to.
Carter’s role as operations director is being split between northern and southern England.
Some of Walder’s marketing responsibilities were taken over by Andy May, who became head of marketing. He will report to Carter.
The shake-up comes over a year after the betting shop chain placed its long-standing commercial director John O’Reilly in charge of Ladbrokes International, its fledgling off-shore gaming operation in Gibraltar.
O’Reilly has now come back to Ladbrokes’ UK head office as managing director of e-gaming. His position in Gibraltar has been filled by Ed Ware. Online strategies are now seen as central to UK bookmakers’ future development. Many bookmakers operate their online businesses off-shore, making them currently exempt from UK betting duty. But a spokesman for Customs & Excise, which is conducting a review of UK betting duty, says there is little evidence that online betting has taken off yet.
“Internet betting is not that appealing – companies require minimum bets. To most people, [betting] is a social thing to do at the bookie’s, but the Internet lacks a social dimension. Everyone was saying Internet betting was going to take off. It may do, but nobody knows what changes it is going to bring,” he says.