Ladbrokes plc is a British based gambling company. It is based in Rayners Lane in Harrow, London. From 14 May 1999 to 23 February 2006, when it owned the Hilton hotel brand outside the United States, it was known as Hilton Group plc. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 250 Index, having been relegated from the FTSE 100 Index in June 2006.
In 1961 the Government legalised betting shops under the Betting and Gaming Act. Stein used profits from the traditional areas of the business to establish a chain of betting shops: he was the first to introduce fixed odds football betting. On the last Saturday of 1963 football results cost the Company over £1 million.
In 1967 Cyril Stein became chairman of Ladbrokes and floated the company on the London Stock Exchange.
In 1999 the Company acquired the Stakis Hotel chain and rebranded itself as Hilton Group plc. On 29 December 2005 the Company announced the sale of its the hotel operations to Hilton Hotels Corporation for £3.3bn and once more rebanded itself Ladbrokes plc.
Following the introduction of the Gambling Act 2005 in the United Kingdom and the subsequent relaxation of advertising laws for gambling companies in 2007, a TV campaign by Ladbrokes, that included a host of ex-professional footballers, was the first to result in complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA): however the ASA cleared the campaign.
Ladbrokes formerly owned Vernons. Founded in 1925, until the intervention of the National Lottery, Vernons concentrated on Football pools. The company also owns and operates two greyhound stadia at Crayford and Monmore.
Ladbrokes has recently gone into partnership with the Chinese government to offer the first betting shops in China betting on the state lottery.