The co-founder and joint-CEO of Bet365, Denise Coates, has cemented her place as the highest-paid executive in the United Kingdom.
While the online betting behemoth takes over £40 billion in bets each year, it has humble beginnings, having been started in a temporary car park building.
Nevertheless, riding the success of online gambling and its continued rise in popularity among Brits, Bet365 posted a before-tax profit of £791m for the year, some £130m greater (with a growth of 19.66%) than the previous year.
Coates has remained as one of the leading executives for many years, and the company’s success can be attributed to her continued commitment to understanding the industry as an expert, and the lone risk she made some 19 years ago.
With her progressive mindset and a masterful acumen for econometrics, Coates acknowledged the potential harmony that sports betting, casino gambling, and the internet could have, registering the Bet365 domain and taking a new brand towards a future which would be heavily reliant upon online gambling.
All that success aside, the family-owned Bet365 has experienced explosive growth over the past three years, which has personally benefited Coates financially. However, the company remains in hot water because of their exceptional profits and mounting criticism which the industry continues to face, including the increased activity of underage gambling.
Alarm bells continue to sound for regulators as the online casino industry appears to be growing amongst children.
In October, a study out of Cardiff University had suggested that two-fifths of children between the ages of 11 to 16 had participated in gambling within the past twelve months.
This trend is worrying among communities, as a recent Gambling Commission study suggested that 11% of all surveyed youth had gambled within a week of being surveyed.
While gambling has clearly become a social norm with youth, it is particularly concerning considering the majority of commercial gambling activities are illegal for anyone under the age of 18 in the UK.
The research indicated that most underage gamblers were playing fruit machines, along with placing bets over games of cards and scratchies.
Dr Graham Moore from the Centre for Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement said:
“Evidence shows that people who gamble earlier in life are more likely to become problem gamblers in adulthood.”
While research underpins the problem in society for youth being linked with negative gambling habits in their adult years, a strong commitment from the industry is the best foot forward, one which Bet365 have assured it has been making with “unwavering commitment to deliver industry-leading approaches to player protection”.
Remember, always gamble responsibly and know how to identify the signs that your gambling might be getting out of hand. Gamble safely and reach out for help with the many services available in the UK if you find yourself in trouble.