Bet365 Group Ltd (Trading as “bet365”) is a British online gambling company based in the United Kingdom. Bet365 has circa 23 million customers globally. The Group employs approximately 3500 people and is the largest private employer in the city of Stoke-on-Trent.
The company is registered offshore in Gibraltar as with other online gaming websites.
- 1 Overview
- 2 History
- 3 Live betting
- 4 Esports
- 5 Bet365 affiliates
- 6 Awards and achievements
- 7 Controversies
- 8 References
Bet365 is an online gambling company offering sports betting, poker, casino, games, and bingo, as well as video streams on sporting events. 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. In addition to the company headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent, Bet365 have further offices in Gibraltar and Australia. The Australian business is regulated and licensed by the Northern Territory Government, with one hundred staff employed in Darwin. Samuel L. Jackson represents the company in their Australian TV advertising.
Bet365’s site supports multiple payment methods, including bank transfer and Neovia, in 25 currencies.
Bet365 is a trading name of Hillside (New Media) Ltd. and operations including payments through the affiliate programme 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 2012 showing amounts wagered on sports at £12.2 billion, revenues of £646 million and an operating profit of £116.5 million, whilst paying £130 million in tax to the UK Government.
Commenting on the published accounts, former Stoke-on-Trent Central MP Tristram Hunt said: “This is a great British business success story and we should be hugely proud to have it in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent. This is a company that provides high quality, well-paid jobs for the city, and unlike some other gambling businesses it pays its taxes in the UK.” In 2018 the company announced it will add 100 new tech jobs in Manchester, England with hopes of tapping into Manchester’s education infrastructure.
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.
Bet365’s In Play product allows customers to bet on events as they are taking place, with a large range of live markets available. Bet365 are continually improving their in Play product, with the most recent update being the implementation of its vFabric private cloud. By using this technology, Bet365 is able to handle thousands of changes per second, and the data latency has decreased to less than two seconds. This development has enabled Bet365 to deliver a continuous stream of real-time information whilst simultaneously receiving and processing large amounts of incoming customer data.
Bet365’s live-betting system supports a ‘cash out’ feature, which permits users to take a price for a specific bet before it completes. The result is that a profit can be guaranteed, or a loss minimized prior to the completion of that in-play event. This was enhanced in March 2017 with the ability to apply specific rules to allow the cash out feature to work automatically.
Bet365 currently provides a live-streaming service for their customers, broadcasting over 140,000 live sporting events each year. Bet365 managed to secure the rights to stream the first ever England football match which was exclusively shown on the Internet, in October 2009. The match, England v Ukraine, was a World Cup qualifier, and was available for Bet365 customers with a funded account to view for free.
Bet365 was one of the first bookmaker to start offering esports to bet on.
Bet365 offers an online affiliate programme where webmasters and marketing persons have the ability to earn commissions on the players they refer to Bet365. The online affiliate program allows affiliates to earn commissions as a set percent which is in line with other affiliate programs on online bingo, sports betting, online poker and online casinos. The terms and conditions in the Bet365 affiliate programme stipulate a negative carry over policy for referral commissions for each channel and a clause regarding brand bidding terms. However, Bet365 were recognised for offering the Best Overall Affiliate Programme, Best Sportsbook Affiliate Programme, Best Overall Affiliate Manager and Best Sportsbook Affiliate Manager at the fifth annual iGaming Affiliate Awards, on 26 January 2012 during the London Affiliates Conference.
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. She was criticized for this as Bet365 preys on the most vulnerable members of the population, often raising betting limits for the worst losing customers, but quickly halting winning bettors’ play after only a few bets. 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 £1m 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.
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