UK online betting group has another successful year
The British online gambling giant bet365 is going from strength to strength after banking record profits and employing 300 hundred more staff in the last 12 months, reports The Sentinel newspaper.
Employing a total of 2,686 staff, the group is scheduled to move into a new purpose-built GBP 30 million headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent in 2016
Pre-tax profits last year rose by more than 44 percent to GBP 213.8 million – compared to GBP 148 million in the preceding year – as the firm's 2.9 million active users in 2013/14 wagered more than GBP 26 billion through its websites. On that business, it won GBP 1.3 billion from punters.
Joint chief executive and founder Denise Coates said: "I am pleased to report continued significant growth during the period, with overall revenues from the group's gambling activities increasing by 38 percent."
Coates credits a commitment to research and development for bet365's increase and retention in customers, along with good customer promotions and product developments that have attracted more new players.
On the downside, the group lost just under GBP 5 million from its investment in the Stoke City football club, albeit an improvement on the GBP 31 million lost in 2013.
In related news, The Guardian reports that bet365 has donated GBP 105 million this year to the charitable bet365 Foundation set up in August, 2012, which has so far supported 20 UK charities to carry out work at home and abroad.
Projects have included helping HIV sufferers in Sub-Saharan Africa and supporting victims of a typhoon in the Philippines. The foundation has also supported local charities.
The newspaper reports that Denise Coates receives more than GBP 60 million in pay and dividends from the online business she started from a car park in Stoke 14 years ago.
Coates was awarded a CBE in 2011 and she appeared on the Forbes billionaires list this year, with a fortune estimated at GBP 930 million. Two months later, the Sunday Times Rich List put her family fortune at GBP 1.2 billion (see previous InfoPowa reports).
In the past six years, Bet365 has paid out dividends of GBP 225 million, half of which has gone to Coates. In addition, last year she received a pay package worth GBP 13 million.
The group holds betting licenses in a number of countries, including Spain, Denmark and Australia.
The new UK licensing regime for online bookmakers will not affect Bet365 because the company is based in Britain and is already required to pay 15 percent tax and carry licensing from the UK Gambling Commission.
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa