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Betting Shop Manager of the Year

24 November 2015

Ladbrokes yesterday celebrated back-to-back victories in the Racing Post/SIS Betting Shop Manager of the Year competition as Matt Howe was crowned champion.Howe, the regional winner for the Midlands and Wales, saw off seven rival managers including two fellow Ladbrokes employees to win the award, which he received from former England rugby union international Matt Dawson at a ceremony at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower hotel in London.

The 29-year-old, marketplace manager of the Walsall Road branch in Birmingham, has worked for Ladbrokes for more than ten years,having started out at their Villa Park shop. He is now responsible for five betting shops.

After receiving his award, Howe said: “I'm speechless, I can’t believe it. I'm actually gutted because I had my yearly review last week so we might have to redo that!”

Howe said he worked in a challenging area but that it was a“dream job” if you had a love of sports and of talking to people.

He went on: “It’s a very challenging marketplace where we are in Birmingham and we all rally round and help each other out. We have tough times and we have good times and this is definitely one of the latter.

“They are not the prettiest of areas,they are challenging shops, but it’s the staff interaction, getting to know the customers and knowing when someone is acting differently to then interact.“

All the Senet Group work happens day in, day out. The bad press we get in betting shops isn't right. They are community hubs, they are social places.

“You see the same people every day except Christmas Day. If one of our older customers doesn't show we will start asking for them. For a lot of our customers, apart from buying a pint of milk in the morning and a bit of shopping, we are maybe some of the only people they speak to.

”Working at Cheltenham is a highlight for Howe, who added: “I have worked there now for the last four seasons and absolutely love it. I always sit on that same till but I think I may have to miss a few meetings now for contractual obligations!”

Last year’s winner Adam Hurley works for Ladbrokes in Cheltenham and Howe paid tribute to him and his fellow finalists.

He said: “I would like to thank Adam for all his tips along the way as well –they were really helpful.”

Of the other finalists, he added: “We really have been good friends all along this year. Meeting them for breakfast,having a drink – it really has been top notch. The stuff I will take away is seven new friends.”

The victory was Ladbrokes’ fifth in the competition and afterwards chief executive Jim Mullen was full of praise for Howe.

He said: “When I met Matt I knew we had a star in the team. His passion for sport coupled with his first-rate customer service marks him out as the best in the business.

“Matt deserves all the credit for his outstanding achievement and on behalf of everyone at Ladbrokes I congratulate him and look forward to seeing him fulfil an ambassadorial role for this industry, of which we are proud to be a part.”

As the winner Howe, who has a partner Synita and a baby girl Ayva,wins a VIP trip to the Emirates Singapore Derby in July, courtesy of the Singapore Turf Club. 


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