Bet365 Will Never Float Says Founder

Founder and majority shareholder of the globe’s premier online gambling operator, Denise Coates said that Bet365 will remain private and “never float”.  She categorically stated that unlike competitor Betfair that recently went public–she has “no plans to float” or exit the business at any point.

“We are not concerned about the city’s opinion about us,” she said. “To be honest we don’t want to saddle ourselves up with additional pressure; we just want to conduct our business on a daily basis.

Bet365 has been rated the premier internet gambling operator at this year’s seventh annual eGaming Review, Power 50 ranks the globe’s 50 most commanding and significant gambling sites.  In Stoke alone Bet365 employs 1,400 people, is live in 17 languages all over the world and it’s said to permit in sports wagers alone for 2010 more than $5.4bn.  Revenues generated for the year ended March were £358m, while operating profit was approximately £104m, four times larger than Betfair- it has no unpaid debt.

She studied for a degree in mathematics at Cambridge University, when she turned 22 Denise Coates felt that her father’s booking making business, would not be able to compete on a national scale and that the internet was the future.

“The thing about the internet is one could contend with the main chains and actually compete outside the United Kingdom. Luckily sports betting came au natural to me and I had my business endeavours set on that,” she said.

On eBay she purchased Bet365 domain for the amount of £10,000 from eBay and founded the business from a portacabin in 2000, contracted a sportsbook and a trading team in 15 months, and officially introduced it at the time what would become the globe’s biggest egaming internet casino in March 2001.

She always knew she would go global, the first couple of years had been “very tough” she had her ups and downs especially during the dot com crash.  She persuaded RBS to borrow her and her family £15m, “successfully mortgaging off the shop estate”, she admits her father, Peter loaned her £3m from the sale of his catering business to make Bet365 financially more capable and competitive.

Today Peter Coates is an 8% shareholder in Bet365 and owner and chairman of Premier League football club Stoke City. He made his cash with Stadia Catering supplying catering to virtually every football club in the UK and sold it for £17m. He then purchased three betting shops which he built up into a chain of 49 and then sold it for an impressive £40m in 2005.  It is predicted that father and daughter will reach the Sunday Times top 100 richest list later this year. Peter and Denise together are worth approximately £400m in 2009.

“We like to reinvest in our products and to ensure that we have the necessary resources at our disposal to deal effectively with any legislative issues that might occur and to be bigger and more sustainable.  One can’t afford to stand still and hopefully I’ll still be around in another 10 years or so,” she concluded.



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