Bet365: The Historical Bookie
Bet365 is one of the world’s principal gambling groups, and had eye-watering revenue last year of £1.5 billion. A true internet sensation, it has almost 20 million customers, and operates in practically every country in the world. It all started 16 years ago, with very humble beginnings.
Denise Coates, now worth an estimated US$3.9 billion, came up with the idea for bet365 in a Stoke-on-Trent portakabin 16 years ago, and launched it in 2001. It initially started as an online platform, which took significant investment to develop, and a chain of shops. The shops did not last too long, and were sold to Coral in 2005. The £40 million made from this sale was used to pay off the business’ debts and established bet365 as a truly online experience with specific offers.
This online focus has allowed bet365 to invest in providing a great product for their customers, with a wide variety of ways to play. It has its roots in sports betting, but has seen the opportunities in diversifying, now also offering traditional casino games and poker, as well as other online games and bingo. On the sports betting side, bet365 has used its focus on gambling on the web to create its In Play feature, which is a state of the art online system which launched in 2011 and uses a private cloud to allow punters to put bets on matches or games that are currently going on. This requires, at its core, a huge amount of data transfer, being both sent and received, and the new system has reduced data latency to less than two seconds. This technology was designed in-house, showing how the bookie is spearheading innovation in the industry.
It is this innovation which has been the core of bet365’s success. Launching at the start of the noughties meant the company entered the market at a time when more and more people were quickly gaining access to the internet. Dumping its line of shops may have seemed like a questionable move in 2005, but it slimmed down the core focus of the company, allowing it to concentrate on the web, which is where substantial growth has been possible. Not having the cost of physical upkeep of a chain of shops frees up money that it has ploughed into its online services to ensure that it always stays at the top of its game, being ready to give the customers what they want. Its fast worldwide growth pays testament to these achievements.
The bookmaker has forged its own path in the competitive gambling industry. By focussing on high growth potential markets, namely their web services, has allowed the company to reach a staggering number of customers around the world, which has cemented the future of this Great British success story.