Profits Leap in the Online Casino Industry

23 June 2013 – By Jane Spiegel

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According to newspaper reports, tier one British online gambling company bet365 has reported profits up a third to £ 148 million. The firm handled substantially more wagers than its biggest competitors on the market in UK, Ladbrokes and William Hill. The newspaper notes that these impressive figures were reported despite a loss of £ 31 million incurred as a result of the firm’s controlling interest in the loss-making Stoke City football club. Founded 13 years ago by the Coates family, bet365 is the biggest private employer in Stoke, and its workforce rose by almost 19 percent to more than 2,500 during the year.

Bet365 is an online casino giant and has millions of customers all around the world. Offering gamblers their favorite games 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the British firm is one of the most popular brands in the market. The company saw nearly £ 20 billion wagered on its website in the year to March 2013. The numbers are bigger than sites operated by Ladbrokes and William Hill combined. In contrast to competitors who moved offshore to more friendly tax climes years ago, bet365 paid more than £ 31 million to the government as corporation tax. Britain’s tax-hungry government has already changed the laws in that matter and offshore companies may have to move back to the UK or pay secondary taxes to access the UK market when new point-of-consumption laws are implemented next year.

Shareholders are pleased with the financial results of the online gambling company. Bet365 has paid out dividends totaling £ 130 million, over the past five years. CEO Denise Coates and her fellow shareholders received dividends of £ 15 million last year, half of which went to her. In addition Denise received pay and bonuses last year of £ 5.4 million, totaling more than £ 70 million in the last five years. These results cemented her reputation as one of Europe’s most successful dotcom entrepreneurs. The online casino company has obtained new licenses to offer betting services in other countries including Spain, Denmark and Austria and hopes for similar deals in Germany and Greece.

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