Ladbrokes to take on extra 1,000 betting staff

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The Independent Online

Ladbrokes, Britain's biggest bookmaker, is planning to take on an extra 1,000 staff to handle what industry experts predict will be an explosion in betting activity when tax-free betting is introduced this autumn.

Ladbrokes, Britain's biggest bookmaker, is planning to take on an extra 1,000 staff to handle what industry experts predict will be an explosion in betting activity when tax-free betting is introduced this autumn.

Analysts expect the change in legislation in early October to create several thousand jobs across the gaming industry and increase bookies' turnover by at least 30 per cent from its current annual level of £7.3bn.

From 6 October, the Government will scrap the 9 per cent tax that punters pay on each bet and introduce a 15 per cent gross profits tax on Britain's bookies.

"High rollers who moved off shore to take advantage of lower taxes will move back," said a spokesman for Ladbrokes. "We want to be prepared."

Ladbrokes' move follows the publication last week of the Gaming Review Body's report, which emphasised the need to provide customers with a better level of service.

The Hilton-owned betting chain earlier announced plans to invest £40m over the next two years in modernising its high street shops. It plans to create 40 "betting super stores", located in city centres, and will open the first one near Trafalgar Square, London, in the autumn.

Ladbrokes also said it had completed the rollout of so-called electronic point of sale (EPOS) technology across its 1,900-strong estate. EPOS provides lottery-style betting slips.

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