Bet365 Group Ltd is a British online gambling company based in the United Kingdom. Bet365 has more than 35 million customers globally. The Group employs around 4300 people.
Bet365 is an online gambling company
offering sports betting and casino type games. Bet365 also offers an
on-course bookmaking service.
For sports betting, Bet365 is licensed by the Government of Gibraltar (licence number: RGL 075) and regulated by the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner. Bet365’s casino, games and poker operations are licensed and regulated by the Government of Gibraltar too. The Australian business is regulated and licensed by the Northern Territory Government. In addition to the company headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent, Bet365 have further offices in Manchester, Gibraltar, Malta, Bulgaria and Australia.
Bet365 is a trading name of Hillside (New Media) Ltd. and operations including payments through the affiliate programmer are carried out under that name.
Chairman Peter Coates also has the same position at Stoke City and in May 2012 Bet365 signed a three-year contract with the club to become shirt sponsors. In April 2016, the company became the new title sponsors for the club’s stadium for the next six seasons, replacing fellow local enterprise the Britannia Building Society. In the summer of 2016, Bet365 also signed shirt sponsorship deals with Bulgarian clubs Ludogorets Razgrad and Slavia Sofia for the upcoming two seasons.
Bet365 was founded in 2000 in a portakabin in Stoke-on-Trent by Denise Coates. Denise developed a sports betting platform and trading team to launch the business online in March 2001. The business borrowed £15 million from RBS against the family’s betting shop estate which had been started by Peter Coates in 1974 and had been run by Denise Coates as managing director from 1995. bet365 sold its betting shop chain in 2005 for £40 million to Coral and paid off its loan to RBS. Bet365 has grown into one of the world’s largest online gambling companies with its reported figures to March 2018 showing amounts wagered on sports at £52.56 billion, revenues of £2.86 billion and an operating profit of £660.3 million.
Denise Coates, joint chief executive, continues to run Bet365 and is the majority shareholder with 50.1% of the shares. Her brother John, joint chief executive, runs the business alongside her, with her father Peter holding the position of chairman.
Awards and achievements
At the eGaming Review Operator Awards 2010 organised by eGaming Review magazine, Bet365 won the “Operator of the Year” award. Bet365 ranked third in The Sunday Times Profit Track 100 league table, which ranks private companies in the UK based on profit growth rate. Bet365 was also ranked as one of the fastest growing privately owned technology, media and telecoms companies in The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 league table.
eGaming Review magazine has ranked Bet365 the number one Internet gaming company in 2010, 2011 and 2012 as part of its annual Power 50 list of the top 50 most influential Internet gaming companies. Denise Coates, founder and joint CEO of Bet365, received a CBE in the 2012 Queen’s new year honours list for services to the community and business. In February 2013 Denise Coates was named as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Woman’s Hour at BBC Radio 4.
Peter Coates, director of Bet365 and a lifelong supporter of the British Labour Party, has donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the party. One particularly large donation coincided with the relaxation of gambling legislation and the lifting of a ban on television advertising by the Labour government.
In October 2014, The Guardian newspaper reported that the company had been taking bets from Chinese citizens by using obscure domain names in order to avoid government web censorship.
In 2016, Bet365 were fined $2.75 million AUD for misleading advertisements which falsely promised “free bets” to customers.
Denise Coates became the highest paid executive in the UK in 2017, awarding herself a salary of £217m. In 2018, her pay packet rose to £265m as the company reported profits up 31% to £660m, prompting criticism from problem gambling charity groups. In January 2019, Bet365 ranked second on The Sunday Times list of the UK’s top taxpayers, with the Coates family – Denise, John and Peter – paying an estimated total tax of £156 million, of which £99 million was paid by Denise alone.
Further criticism highlights repeated cases of Bet365 delaying or outright denying payment to winning players. For example, Bet365 was taken to court for refusing to pay over £1 million in winnings to a horse bettor in Northern Ireland in 2017. The company refused a payout of £54,000 to a punter in England in 2016, a case which is still ongoing as of 2017. In Australia, Bet365 froze the account and refused to pay a punter who had won around $200,000 AUD in 2016. These are just some of the most noteworthy instances; several more cases of Bet365 refusing to pay winnings have been reported by gamblers on Internet gambling forums.