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The remarkable rise of bet365 and the impact that it made in a short space of time


12 Aug 2019

There can’t be many global betting companies which started in a small portakabin that went on to become a major force; well, bet365 is of that minority.

Founded in 2000 by Denise Coates, whose father Peter owned (and still does) Stoke City Football Club, there was much debate surrounding the success of the company and just how much backing she had from family ties. 

The answer though is none. True that her name may have opened some bank manager’s doors or piqued the curiosity of investors, though she was staunch in her stance that she didn’t want to take capital from her father and instead secured the backing of RBS.

Perhaps what was so brilliant about the success which, over time followed was that the company grew based on the vision of one very savvy and driven businesswoman; the company model for the betting firm was simple, but also revolutionary.

They would build and grow the world’s first digital betting platform which really embraced innovation and this became evident with the introduction of some groundbreaking markets which went on to be embraced by the rest of the industry.

If you’re not first then you’re last

This is especially the case in this market, where it is so easy to lose track of which firm launched an idea first, though it could not have been any different as far as bet365 were concerned and in quite a big way with a concept which has literally changed the way people bet.

It was this one idea that literally motivated Coates’ dream to launch bet365 and that was to introduce the In-Play betting market and make this a strong unique selling point, especially for acquiring new customers.

However, perhaps the key to the operation was the clue behind the name. One of Coates’ ideas when she launched the company was to differentiate bet365 from the pack which they did in a great many number of ways, which quickly made the rest of the market sit up.

The idea which sparked the brand name was being able to offer customers a sporting event to bet on at any time of the day, which meant covering sporting markets from all corners of the world which no other bookmaker at the time was doing; hence the name. There would be something for everyone to bet on 365 days per year.

Furthermore, the company went a lot more comprehensive than that; it became the first to go much deeper into the different sporting leagues across the world – particularly soccer, offering markets for first, second and third soccer tiers in multiple countries. 

This was also the case with American sports, which attracted a whole new previously untapped market; fans of NBA, MLB, NHL and NFL all flocked in their considerable numbers to bet365.

Also an ingenious masterstroke at the time was being the first bookmaker to offer customers free bets as part of their welcome offer, which perhaps surprisingly no other company was doing. 

This proved to be a stroke of brilliance; the strategy alone helped to create 10s of thousands of new accounts in bet365 database which provided the company with highly effective retargeting and marketing possibilities.

Mobile Live Streaming

Also a Coates’ brainchild, she knew their mobile offering had to be of the highest quality because she planned for the site to offer live streaming on events; which only further enhanced their In-Play service and made it even more popular.

Needless to say, the site’s mobile functionality is one of the best in the market and superbly equipped for both sports betting and also their online casino offering which is comprehensive in itself.

Bright Future

Now considered to be one of the industry’s heavyweights and easily on par with the likes of Coral and William Hill, whether they will be the subject of a buyout from a much bigger group in the future remains to be seen.