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Ladbrokes talking to Betdaq?

Curious one this - apparently it's only about technology sharing. Ladbrokes seemingly don't want to go down the same line as numerous other bookies to come up with an identical product bar the colour scheme. There's some logic in it - exchanges need to have an exceptionally quick bet-matching system, so anything that can help speed up a sportsbook's operation will have some value.

Ladbrokes in talks with billionaire Betdaq owner Dermot Desmond over 'technology' deal

Ladbrokes has started talks with Irish billionaire Dermot Desmond, the owner of the Betdaq betting exchange, over a "technology" deal to revamp the bookmaker's faltering online business.

In the latest attempt by Ladbrokes' embattled chief executive Richard Glynn to gee up its internet betting wing, the bookie is seeking to buy in pricing and trading skills of a peer-to-peer betting exchange – long seen as a main rival to traditional bookmakers.

Mr Desmond, who has a stake of about 2pc in Ladbrokes, set up Betdaq in 2000, though it has been dwarfed by larger rival Betfair.

Mr Glynn has already walked away from four online deals since taking over as chief executive in April 2010. He made highly public takeover approaches to 888 and Sportingbet before backing out, pulled out of the auction for Australia's Centrebet and had a flirtation with Playtech.

A Ladbrokes spokesman denied the bookie might also be interested in buying Betdaq, which is valued at more than £100m. "It's only a discussion about technology supply," he said. "Exchanges have good up-to-the-minute pricing technology."

He said any deal would come from £50m already set aside for investment in online gambling.

£100m price tag for Betdaq seems a little generous in the current climate. Pie in the sky stuff for them to link up with one of the big High St bookmakers, but just imagine if they did - access to a marketing budget and client base to die for. Might get Betfair thinking a bit at least....

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