The mission and purpose of the new restricted .ladbrokes gTLD is to benefit internet users by ensuring increased trust and confidence through the elimination of user confusion and assurance of brand authenticity. The new .ladbrokes gTLD will operate as a restricted registry, in which Ladbrokes... Read more
The mission and purpose of the new restricted .ladbrokes gTLD is to benefit internet users by ensuring increased trust and confidence through the elimination of user confusion and assurance of brand authenticity.
The new .ladbrokes gTLD will operate as a restricted registry, in which Ladbrokes International plc ("Applicant") can create and control domain spaces that promote its brand identity and authenticity. The .ladbrokes gTLD will be used by Ladbrokes plc (Ladbrokes), being the ultimate holding company of the Applicant, its group companies, affiliates and partners to provide authoritative information and services to consumers regarding the group's betting and online gaming products in a way that promotes trust, confidence and simplicity. Second and third level domains can be used for specific betting and gaming products, as well as for marketing, with internet users assured of brand authenticity.
Ladbrokesis a leading international betting and gaming company. Ladbrokes, officially founded in 1902, is the market leader in retail bookmaking in the UK, Ireland, Belgium and Spain with over 2,700 betting shops. Ladbrokes, listed on the London Stock Exchange, has a market capitalisation of approximately GBP 1.4B, 2011 group revenue of GBP 980M and 16,000 employees worldwide. Ladbrokes offers thousands of innovative betting markets on a daily basis through internet, mobile and telephone betting. The group's principal online betting and gaming service, ladbrokes.com, has nearly 800,000 active customers. Ladbrokes offers betting and gaming products to customers internationally via 13 tailored websites in nine different languages, supporting 17 currencies. The site incorporates the highest levels of security, which underpin an integrated array of uninterrupted sports betting and gaming services available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. In this regard, consumer trust and continuous innovation are paramount considerations in all Ladbrokes' group's activities. The new .ladbrokes gTLD will offer customers an authentic and unparalleled betting and gaming experience online, strengthen Ladbrokes' online presence and reputation and help to realise its vision of becoming a fully e-enabled international betting and gaming business.
Since the inception of the current domain name system, business activities conducted on the internet are constantly changing and evolving with increased complexity. The volume of commercial transactions over the internet is constantly growing and bringing benefits of simplicity and lowered transaction costs to businesses and consumers. The .ladbrokes gTLD will facilitate greater trust and assurance from internet users connecting with Ladbrokes online, whilst still allowing convenient and efficient interaction.
The Applicant's mission and purpose of the proposed new gTLD share ICANN's initiatives to promote public interest. The Applicant is committed to contribute towards achieving such initiatives in line with ICANN's Affirmation of Commitments, which include:
-consumer trust: the .ladbrokes gTLD will be operated in a centralised manner with a restrictive registration policy. Registration of domain names will only be available to Ladbrokes and its group entities, at this stage, which will provide added consumer trust that .ladbrokes domain names are trustworthy. As .ladbrokes domain names are subject to registration standards, policies and procedures under the Applicant's control, this eliminates the possibility of malicious conduct within the .ladbrokes domain space;
-competition: the proposed new gTLD is not intended to instigate competition and consumer choice at the level of registration of domain names among prospective registrants. Instead it is anticipated to contribute to ICANN's initiatives to promote public interest through its operation focused on promoting consumer trust. Increased trust in the .ladbrokes gTLD will drive existing and new TLD registry operators to make improvements in mechanisms to improve consumer trust of their TLDs; and
-consumer choice: theproposed new gTLD will enable user-driven improvements and innovations assisting the Applicant's marketing efforts through its ability to create new second and third level domain names on demand. These names will provide the consumers with more choices for interacting with Ladbrokes. As the Applicant has effective control over the registration and use of domain names under .ladbrokes domain space, this will also contribute towards general service innovations on the internet.
Given the restricted nature of the .ladbrokes gTLD, the projected number of registrations is likely to be limited. It is anticipated that about 100 domain names will be registered in the first year. However, over the next few years, the number of registrations is likely to increase to about 200 domain names as Ladbrokes implements new betting products, services and marketing campaigns.
As the new .ladbrokes gTLD expands and evolves, the Applicant will continue to comply with all operational, technical and policy requirements, as well as maintaining consumer trust and the stability of the internet. The Applicant will keep ICANN reasonably informed of any material developments relating to .ladbrokes gTLD including compliance with the continued operations instrument obligations as set out in Specification 8 of the Registry Agreement.
The Applicant intends to create relevant domain names including betting and gaming products, services or geographic names at the second or third level domain names. In accordance with registration policy and the proposed measures for protection of geographic names as outlined in response to Question 22, the Applicant will use geographic names to localise its websites in countries in which it operates. The use of geographic names is intended to:
-connect internet users with relevant information as applicable to the territory; and
-comply with required rules and regulations in the national territory.
The Applicant will also utilise Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) at the second level, initially including languages using the Latin Script, Chinese and Russian. IDNs will allow internet users to engage with .ladbrokes in their native language, creating a more positive user experience and encouraging diversity. As the use of the .ladbrokes gTLD evolves, it is anticipated that the use of IDNs, including additional languages, will increase within .ladbrokes domain space.
Ladbrokes is a well-recognised international brand with its "Ladbrokes" trademarks registered in 16 countries and territories, including UK, European Community, China and India, for classes including: Entertainment including internet betting, gaming and gambling services (41); Computer Software for betting, gambling and gaming machines (9); Printed matter including lottery tickets and game cards (16).
Ladbrokes has an extensive domain portfolio including existing domain names with an exact match to the "Ladbrokes" trademark and the applied-for .ladbrokes string in the following spaces.
-gTLDs: ladbrokes.asia, ladbrokes.biz, ladbrokes.com, ladbrokes.info, ladbrokes.mobi, ladbrokes.net and ladbrokes.xxx
-ccTLDs: ladbrokes.cn, ladbrokes.co.uk, ladbrokes.com.br, ladbrokes.eu, ladbrokes.fr, ladbrokes.hk, ladbrokes.ie, ladbrokes.it and ladbrokes.jp
Ladbrokes also has 440 domain names containing the "Ladbrokes" trademark.
The Applicant believes that the .ladbrokes gTLD is unlikely to cause confusion with either a generic term or any existing TLDs. Ladbrokes trademarks are a leading international brand with significant reputation around the world. Ladbrokes has used the term Ladbrokes in conjunction with its betting and gaming businesses for almost 110 years. As such, the Ladbrokes brand is synonymous with premium betting and online gaming.×