How Denise Coates has Shaken up the British iGaming Industry


While the heads of many iGaming companies can be fairly anonymous characters, this isn’t an accusation you can level at Bet365’s Denise Coates. The British businesswoman has become a billionaire through her joint-founding of the Bet365 casino gaming and sports betting site. Such is her influence that she even became Britain’s highest paid CEO, and she provides a good lesson in how we can all make a success out of our chosen careers.

How Bet365 Became a World-beater

Bet365 is a hugely popular British online gambling site that is visited by more than 35 million global visitors. While the company now employs well over 4,000 people, it had much more humble origins.

Denise Coates bought the domain name at the turn of the century, and within a year she had launched a betting site for the fledgeling online gambling brand. Since then, Bet365 has grown from a small website that was run from a portakabin to become a multi-billion dollar company that has become a market leader in terms of sports betting odds and casino games. Such is Bet365’s success that the site’s special offers featured in the list of top UK casino deals currently available to the nation’s gamers.

Above all, it’s Coates’ ability to foresee where the market was heading that has spearheaded the success of the Bet365 brand. This can be seen in the fact that Bet365 sold off all of its betting shops for £40 million to the Coral brand. Such a move anticipated the shift from betting at physical betting shops to the online gambling revolution.

Denise Coates’ Fierce Ambition

While Denise Coates is a joint chief executive of Bet365 alongside her brother John Coates, it’s important to remember that she has been in total control of the company’s development. This can be seen in the fact that she is still the majority shareholder of the brand with 50.1% of the shares and she still takes an active role in all of the online gambling brand’s operations.

Denise Coates started her bookmaking career in the family firm, Provincial Racing, but bolstered up this experience by gaining a first-class degree in econometrics from the University of Sheffield.

While other students in Sheffield are seeking accommodation advice, Coates always managed to keep her eye on the big picture in advancing her career. This can be seen in the fact that she went on to train as an accountant and eventually took over the family bookmaker’s chain of betting shops. From here Denise Coates has never looked back and still provides a fantastic example of what one particularly determined businesswoman can accomplish.

Maintaining Bet365’s Public Profile

While running an online gambling brand can sometimes be a controversial career move, Denise Coates has always aimed to improve the profile of Bet365 through some well chosen promotional decisions. From the ongoing naming rights deal for the Bet365 Stadium for the local football team Stoke City to a range of sponsoring ship deals including one for the Bulgarian club Slavia Sofia, it seems that Bet365 have managed to raise their brand profile in all of the right areas.

Such is the success of Bet365 that it has helped to ensure that Denise Coates has become one of the UK’s most famous businesswomen. This can be seen in the fact that she regularly features in BBC Woman’s Hour’s list of the 100 most powerful women in the UK, and she even picked up a CBE from the Queen in 2012. All of which shows that Denise Coates has managed to create one of the UK’s leading brands from some very humble origins.


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