Bet365 – From Humble Origins to Betting Mega Firm

By in Sports & Betting on
6 Minute Read
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Few gambling companies anywhere in the world can match the unbelievable success story of Bet365. Since it launched in 2000, this market-leading bookmaker has wiped the floor with competitors like Ladbrokes (est. 1886) and William Hill (est. 1934) and has become the dominant online betting company by a mile.

How could an upstart, which began in a portacabin, take on betting giants with shops in every town and city in the country? I can only conclude that they didn’t see Bet365 coming and did not adequately anticipate just how powerful a force the Stoke-based startup would be.

However, as you’ll see when I highlight some of Bet365’s story below, this firm has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to innovation and product development.

This is the story of Bet365. When I’m done telling it, I’ll do a quick run-through of Bet365’s best features to illustrate why it’s the betting site of choice for punters around the world.

Bet365 – From Then to Now

The humble portacabin has been ground zero for many successful startups, and it is in one of these basic units that this company began. In 2000, Bet365 CEO Denise Coates saw the future — online gambling would take over, and she needed to be in on the action.

However, Coates wasn’t a complete newbie to the business, and she didn’t walk into it without capital to fuel rapid growth. Instead, she entered her Stoke-based portacabin with £15 million borrowed against the family’s betting shops (Provincial Racing). Her father had taken over that struggling business back in 1974 and turned it around.

  1. Bet365 took off like a rocket, and by 2005, Peter Coates sold off his betting shops and cleared the remaining balance in the loan. It was clear by now that online gambling was the future and the £40 million which the shops sold for fueled further growth. Clearly, Denise and her brother John had backed the right horse in starting the online gambling site.
  2. In 2010, Bet365 won “Operator of the Year” at the annual eGaming awards. It was also named the top internet gaming company by eGaming Review in 2010, 2011, and 2012. That’s quite an achievement when you consider that it only launched a decade before.
  3. Bet365 has had a few bumps in the road along the way, of course. In 2010, an investigation alleged that it was taking bets from Chinese citizens, working its way around the Great Firewall of China for a profit. It’s been slapped with a few fines by regulators around the world, too, but nothing that would make a dent in the company’s obscene profit margins.
  4. Just how much does Bet365 make? By 2018, Bet365 was reporting revenues of £52.56 billion. The profits weren’t bad, either, a tidy £2.86 billion. I’m willing to wager that Peter Coates is happy today that he backed his children’s vision and took that loan against his betting shops!

As for Denise, the days of sitting in a portacabin as the CEO of a scrappy startup are long gone. Today, she’s the 50.1% shareholder of one of the largest betting firms on the planet, and she paid herself £323 million in the last financial year.

Why Is Bet365 So Dominant?

By now, you understand that Bet365 has been a success story which is virtually unrivalled as far as gambling firms go. You also know that its founder has become ridiculously wealthy in the process.

So, what caused Bet365’s meteoric success? If you believe in the idea that every pound is a vote, then a heck of a lot of people are voting for Bet365. Why so? It’s largely down to these features.

Bet365 Free Bets

Free bets are no big deal these days. Every online bookie under the sun offers them. But back in 2001, when Bet365 first offered them, they were a new idea. Players rushed to Bet365 to score their “free bets”, and many other bookmakers soon started offering them to try to stop the exodus of players from their sites.

To this day, Bet365 still offers free bets and a competitive welcome bonus for new players. For UK players, that consists of £100 in free bet credits. Of course, terms and conditions apply.

The free bets idea shows how Denise Coates was ahead of the game even in the early days.

Bet365 Range of Sports

Today, you can bet on most popular sports at Bet365. It goes way beyond football, tennis, cricket, and rugby. You can even bet on things like trotting, water polo, and floorball.

Bet365 introduced action on these markets long before most other UK bookmakers had even thought of them. It was one of the first to introduce betting on American sports which were growing massively in popularity across the UK at the time.

Even today, Bet365 goes deeper than most other betting sites. You’ll find action on the most obscure football leagues and matches, and there’s rarely a fight, race, or event of any kind that isn’t open to betting.

Bet365 Live Betting

There’s isn’t another online bookmaker in the world which can match Bet365 when it comes to live betting markets. Sure, most betting websites offer in-play action, but Bet365 is the undisputed king of this type of gambling. If it’s possible to bet on it, Bet365 offers action on it.

I brought up the live bets on a football match between Liverpool and Spurs to get a full list for you.

You can bet on:

  • Full time result
  • Half time result
  • Double chance
  • First goal scored
  • Total match goals
  • First half goals
  • Match corners
  • Corners in each half
  • Asian handicap bets
  • Corners
  • Draw no bet
  • Last team to score
  • BTTS
  • BTTS by half
  • Goals by goalscorer
  • Over/under bets
  • Time of first goal by player
  • And more

Most other bookmakers struggle to keep up, and the live betting at Bet365 keeps players entertained throughout the matches and games. Odds change in real-time, and Bet365 also offers early cashouts whether you are winning or losing.

Bet365 Technology

Perhaps it’s obvious by the fact that Denise Coates saw how to build an online betting platform that would outdo rivals which had much greater firepower, but this firm is always ahead of the curve when it comes to technology.

  1. First, it was one of the first to design user-friendly apps for both iOS and Android mobile devices. This took betting action from the site onto the actual devices of Bet365 customers. This was a smart move. Who doesn’t love convenience?
  2. Second, Bet365 broadened its product range. Today, it offers much more than just sports betting. Casino games, poker, and bingo are available, and it goes without saying that this includes live casino games.

Bet365 also offers innovative features like live streaming. If you have a wager on a game, you can watch it. You can also make use of things like the live score feature to stay up to date on how your bets are performing. Along with the Bet365 bet builder, the ability to edit bets, and early cashouts, I emphasize again that very few competitors come close to Bet365 in the technology area.


When you consider all of the above, it’s really no surprise that Bet365 experienced such rapid growth and success. The key to this success story is innovation. So far, Denise Coates appears to be several steps ahead of the competition at every turn. As long as this is the case, Bet365 will continue to dominate and grow.

Will there be another innovative startup which dethrones Bet365?

It’s possible, but it doesn’t look too likely right now.

Why don’t you check out Bet365 for yourself and see what all the fuss is about? You might not become as rich as Denise Coates, but you could definitely win a few quid.

Oliver Hughes

Based out of London, I began freelance writing for the UK section of in October of 2019. Having worked in the gambling industry for over 10 years, I now have the pleasure of adding this site to my list of accomplishments as a casino writer. ...

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