Ladbrokes Claimed £102million in Furlough Despite Online Profits Soaring During 2020/2021
London Based company Ladbrokes claimed £102m in furlough during the pandemic of 2020 to 2021. Many bookmakers throughout the industry benefitted from land-based customers switching to online sites as sporting fixtures were cancelled and retail shops closed for extended periods.
A report from The Guardian claimed Companies House showed the business claimed £57.5m in 2020 and £44m in 2022. The subsidiaries of Entain, Ladbrokes, and Coral saw all of its retail shops up and down the country closed for extended periods due to lockdowns.
Global Growth Online
However, during a 23-month period, the company revealed a global growth in its online betting and gaming sites with revenues rising after bored householders switched to online gambling amid lockdowns.
UK MPs are urging operators who saw huge profits during this period to pay back the furlough but so far Ladbrokes have declined to do so.
A Ladbrokes spokesperson said, “The furlough scheme was sensible and highly welcome policy intervention that helped us, as one of the country’s largest retailers, to maintain the livelihoods of more than 14,000 retail colleagues on full pay. Whilst the virus is still with us and the outlook, although is improving, is still far from certain, the board will continue to keep the situation under review.”
Considering Pay Back
Entain’s new CEO Jette Nygaard-Anderson spoke in her first interview hinting the company was considering paying back the furlough money to taxpayers but defended the decision to keep the money in respect of its staff remaining on full pay.
Ladbrokes’ rival William Hill repaid £24.5m in furlough money, while Flutter brand Paddy Power did not put forward a claim for furlough, despite both businesses having far fewer retail outlets than Ladbrokes and Coral.