Bet365 is currently the world’s largest online gambling company. Based in Stoke-on-Trent, in the United Kingdom, Bet365 employs 3000 people, and provides online gambling options in 17 languages and 29 currencies.
Now generating billions, Bet365 has its roots in very humble beginnings. Let’s explore where this gambling giant started, and the steps that led to its present day success.
The origins of Bet365 can be traced back to 1974 when Peter Coates, an avid investor, bought a few betting shops. These became the start of his betting chain, Provincial Racing, which gradually expanded up to 59 locations.
While she was in her teenage years Peter’s daughter, Denise, worked as a cashier in one of her dad’s shops. After leaving high school she studied at a local university, and when she received her degree returned to work at Provincial Racing. In 1995 she became Operations Manager of the entire franchise.
Denise’s main goal was always to improve and expand the business. She made it her top priority to take every available opportunity to create a bigger market.
Creating an Internet Gambling Sensation
In 2000, Denise made the move to go online by buying the Bet365 domain from Ebay, for £10,000. The company then received a loan of £15 million from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), in order to help fund the project.
She hired a team to create an online sports betting platform, customising the site to not only cover major sports but include less popular leagues and tournaments. The concept behind this was to ensure that customers had something to bet on around the clock.
This worked well and Bet365 started expanding. They added Bingo, poker and casino games. Their UK based physical presence also had a positive effect because other online gambling sites at the time were all operating offshore.
In 2004 Bet365 started including the option of other languages and currencies to create a greater presence.
In 2005, the Coates family sold their Provincial racing shops to Coral, and reinvested the money into Bet365 to keep the platform up-to-date and increase their popularity. There were many television advertisements for the site, especially during sporting events and football matches.
The Company Today
Denise Coates holds the position as Managing Director and majority shareholder (50.2%) of Bet365. Her father, Peter Coates, is the chairman and her brother, John Coates, the chief executive. Together they own approximately 43.6% of the company’s shares, with the rest divided among other investors.
Denise and John work side-by-side to ensure that the business is always at the top of its game. Believing that giving back to the community is essential, they have formed the Bet365 Charity which the company provides with regular contributions.
Bet365’s start and unbelievably successful growth has shown that one idea, dedication and reinvestment can transform a relatively small company into a billion-dollar business. With the growth of the internet and online market, anything is possible.