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Phone betting boosts Ladbrokes

Ladbrokes has raised its profit expectations after experiencing a flood of telephone betting over the last half-year.The bookmaker said that in the six months ending June 30th 2007 it received "significantly increased" levels of betting through its high rollers' telephone service.A statement from Ladbrokes, which has more than 2,500 betting outlets in the UK, Ireland and Belgium, said: "Telephone betting operating profit for the six months ended June 30th 2007 is expected to be approximately £45 million higher than during the same period last year."The news will come as welcome relief for the firm after the past year saw its over the counter (OTC) businesses suffer."Otherwise, despite challenging conditions for UK retail (OTC) business, Ladbrokes continues to trade in line with management's expectations," a statement added.Ladbrokes attributed the rise in telephone betting to key dates in the horse racing calendar, Ascot and the Grand National.

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