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bet365 is a private company. Denise Coates and her brother John have been the CEOs of the company since 2000.

Denise Coates started working as a cashier while still at school, marking up results in a small number of betting shops owned by her father, Peter Coates, and operated for him as a sideline to his main business which was football stadium catering.

After obtaining a first class degree in econometrics at Sheffield University, Denise Coates also trained as an accountant, before taking over the bookmaking shops. She expanded the family’s betting chain to approximately 50 outlets.

Right before the beginning of the millennium, she was sensed that the future of gambling operations was to be online, and so she acquired the company website’s domain, bet365.com, on eBay for the price of $25,000. Coate’s recognised that the internet offered the company the opportunity to become a global player rather than a regional player, which was the opportunity afforded being the owner of a chain of betting shops. Coates chose the domain name because she wanted potential customers to know that, unlike a traditional land based gambling business, they could bet at the web site 24/7, 365 days a year.

In 2000, Denise Coates established a new sports betting platform, bet365. In this year, she:

  • Convinced her brother John Coates, who studied law and started his career as an attorney, to join her in launching bet365.
  • Created an online betting website.
  • Formed a trading team.

bet365.com was officially launched in 2001. As the platform got going, the Coates family borrowed £15 million to expand, pledging the loans against their betting shop estate, the chain of Provincial Racing shops.

bet365 was founded in the UK. It began in a portakabin on a car park near one of the betting shops in Stoke. bet365’s present headquarters are located in Stoke. Bet365’s success has made it the city’s largest private sector employer. However, in 2014 the company relocated its remote gambling operations to Gibraltar. Although some staff relocated to Gibraltar, Bet365 retains a significant presence in Stoke.

The company has grown into one of the biggest online operators in the gambling sector on a global scale. It benefited from millions of new customers around the world who were not prepared to gamble in a betting shop but who were happy to gamble online.

Denise Coate’s success was also recognised outside the betting industry in 2011 when she was awarded a CBE.

bet365 is the official partner, sponsor, and majority stake owner of the English Premier League club Stoke City FC, of which Peter Coates is the chairman.

In 2005, the company sold their 59 betting shops to Coral for £40 million and began to focus exclusively on their internet business. The money was invested in software and marketing for bet365.com. Developing its own software, enabled bet365.com to provide a differentiated offering. Many bookmakers use the same software supplier: Playtech.

bet365 was one of the first companies to offer in-play betting on football matches, where customers can bet, for example, on the number of free kicks or the next scorer. The company was also ahead of the curve with regards to its mobile gaming offering.

bet365 offers casino, poker, sports betting, bingo and other games, and has done for many years: Denise Coates advocated the one-stop-shop offering long before many of her competitors. In addition, the operator provides its customers with the opportunity to take advantage of video streams on sporting events.

In 2014, Denise Coates set up a charitable organisation, named the bet365 Foundation, which is now known as the Denise Coates foundation. The foundation’s purpose is to distribute funds in support of local, national and international charitable activities.