The Coates family fortune is now estimated to be 925 million GBP and is the culmination of a great British success story
The Coates family\’s good fortune, now worth an entirely enviable 925 million GBP, is one of the great British success stories of the past couple of decades. As much of the economy has floundered in the turbulent waters of austerity Britain Bet365, the successful online bookmaker, has made healthy growth figures despite the tide, and has grown in just 13 years from a bank loan to a worth of some 800 million GBP. This is in no small part due to the firm guidance of Denise Coates who runs Bet365 with her father and brother as directors. She has a track record of performance enhancement that reaches back into the nineties and it was she who saw the potential ahead.
There is of course a certain degree of sneering from the right-wing tabloid press that smacks just a little of jealousy, but then the Coates family pays its taxes in the UK – unlike some we could mention – and Peter Coates has long been a Labour supporter and donor. The right-wing tabloid press in the UK need no more reason that this to sneer at the success of others. A former member of the Parachute Regiment and one time amateur footballer Peter Coates at 75 can probably take the barbs of a petulant press, and given he\’s the owner of Stoke City he needs a relatively tough hide.
As a brand Bet365 has risen in both stature and presence as their sponsorship portfolio and global footprint has been expanded and consolidated. Long term deals with high profile events including the Gold Cup and kit sponsorship deals with various teams including their own Stoke City FC, ensure that the public awareness of Bet365 that typically stems from their up-market TV advertising campaigns evolves into real business numbers on the bottom line, with a widening user base and growing number of markets around the world.
With a profit of some 213.8 million GBP coming from a turnover of some 1.37 billion GBP in 2013-14, the 2,400 staff in Stoke have seen the Bet365 brand come to dominate the world\’s online gambling industry not merely leading the way forward but making the decisions that shape the way the industry as a whole views the path ahead. Bet365 now span the world providing the best service to the greatest number of people, now some 14 million of them in over 200 countries. There are very few other corporate entities of ANY persuasion that can rival this sort of brand ubiquity, and very few of them started off quite as Bet365 did.
Like all the good tales of success the Bet365 story begins in earnest in the somewhat inauspicious venue of what has been generously referred to as a \’temporary structure\’, and rather more accurately described as a portakabin, in a car park. Humble beginnings are always good if one wishes to be a huge success, even if you were already a huge success to begin with. Certainly the Coates family were already quite wealthy and successful. Peter Coates had begun with a catering business that….er….catered to football grounds, buying up some betting shops almost as a sideline.
It was Denise Coates who eventually ran that small chain and used it to springboard into the up and coming internet market by transposing the experience of running physical bookmakers into the creation of an online sportsbook in the UK, Bet365, that would set a new standard in facility provision. In 2000 she bought the domain name Bet365.com and then spent a clear year developing and tuning the site so that when it launched in 2001 it instantly changed the dynamic of the market itself, as it made sports betting more accessible to greater numbers of people.
More people with easier access to sports gambling has sent shock waves through the world of the more traditional forms of placing bets, and indeed the manner of those bets themselves. The Pools and Tote are under pressure from the more detailed betting available online, where online gambling sites in the UK like Bet365 provide an ability to place far more specific bets with ease. These long standing forms of betting have been squeezed by a shift in sports betting and a shift in attitudes that have allowed it to occur. The once desired disconnect between the supposed world of gambling and the Pools, say, no longer exists to stifle the industry.
This development of online gambling sites in the UK and elsewhere, of which Bet365 is a prime example, has taken sports gambling to new levels of engagement and have produced an increase in the numbers of occasional gamblers that now do so more often. The great “once a year” bets on the Grand National and FA Cup Final still provide for the biggest draws, of course, but these now are placed alongside more exotic leagues and sports, a range of opportunities backed up with the latest in technology giving a more engaging experience.
The development of the internet itself as a delivery platform has been hailed as having changed gambling and the way people gamble, but it has also had a pronounced effect on sports and the manner in which they\’re covered in the media. The creation of the English Premier League provided a global market for football, and by dint of that a global market for betting on it, something Bet365 was quick to take advantage of. The shifting demands of the online gambling community, a far more techno-savvy audience, continues to press for ever greater facilities from mobile betting to live streaming and even beyond that into live odds.
The successful adverts for Bet365 that have given up to the second odds on television for the games people were actually in the process of watching brought together two forms of technology into a single function whilst at the same time allowed sports gambling to follow in the footsteps of the lottery and be seen as more acceptable, to be viewed as more part and parcel of the sport with instant access nearby for anyone who wishes to participate. It is this level of participation however that might have the greatest effects on the future.
Whilst there might be a touch of the alarmist about those who picture our future as part of some vast techno-dependent network there are certainly valid reasons to believe the rise of internet gambling and sites like Bet365 are a clear and present threat to the more established physical casinos and betting shops. With static levels of participation already squeezing localized casinos in the US are we likely to see the same reduction in physical gambling trade? Certainly the estimates say so, but what will this do to the gambling industry?
Will there be a future where gambling in a casino would only be for the hyper wealthy with the rest of us consigned to the online sphere? Will casino resorts be the last bastions to stand before the all but inevitable rise and supremacy of the new technological solution to the age old question of where one can place a wager, with whom and upon what. With a finite market and growth in one sector of it some of the others are bound to suffer, as the recent US casino closures indicate, and with Bet365 growing year on year it will be physical casinos and betting shops that feel the effect in the years to come.
Of course there will always be those that don\’t appreciate the leading nature of those riding the crest of the innovation wave and just sometimes it can seem that credit isn\’t always given where it\’s due. The recent publication of a list in the trade magazine “Management Today” that claimed to accurately rank the top 100 entrepreneurs in the UK put Denise Coates at a mere sixth, a placing in the table we feel perhaps underrates both her performance in management terms and that of her company in all other respects.
The 44% year on year increase in profits, the massive influx of gamblers from around the world, the taking on of new markets and provision of new products and services to those, the consistent improvements in both mobile and live “in play” betting services and indeed the increase in staff taken on in Stoke didn\’t seem to be adequately reflected by a list that placed Victoria Beckham at number one, and it seemed to wholly ignore the 100 million GBP charitable foundation that was set up by Bet365\’s owners.
The internet has many pitfalls and many of these center around the pre-occupation we all have with security online. Our reticence to turn over our financial details (credit card numbers, paypall account details, etc.) to a page on the world wide web is entirely based on common sense, practical considerations, but given the dominant role of Bet365 in the industry, and specifically the online/mobile sectors, their vested interest in retaining their superb reputation for customer service and safety remains key.
Alongside this reputation for customer security Bet365 boasts a globally local attitude that provides locality specific service provision, running the best software available, in the clearest most intuitively simple manner, covering an almost impossible variety of opportunities, from casinos table games to financial markets, from sports betting to bingo. Bet365 is the biggest brand in the business and the reasons why are the reasons you should be using their facilities to satisfy all your gambling needs. No one else comes even close.