The UK gambling group Ladbrokes has a bold addition to its marketing plan for the Grand National horse race taking place this weekend – it is taking over the busy home page of the Planet 3 mobile portal for 24 hours.

The bookmaking giant is reportedly keen to extend its cross-platform presence for the UK’s largest single sports betting event.

The campaign, booked by the mobile agency Inside, comes hot on the heels of Ladbrokes’ first bout of mobile display advertising, which took place last week in the run-up to the Cheltenham Festival.

Launched in 2005, Planet 3 is owned by Hutchison Whampoa of Hong Kong, and claims it is “not a telco, not a media company, not a technology company, but all three,” according to CEO Bob Fuller.

Fuller claimed that 3 was the embodiment of convergence, the long-anticipated coming together of the entertainment and telecom industries. As Britain’s first “third generation” or 3G mobile company, 3 had more experience, and more understanding of what customers want, than its larger rivals, he said. ITV and Sky believe that mobile is the future of media, and the BBC is moving in that direction, he opined.

The device that will put all this entertainment into the hands of consumers “…won’t be the iPod, it won’t be a portable games console . . . in time it will be the mobile phone”.