Bet365 has released figures revealing that total revenue fell 8 per cent to £2.81bn (€3.30bn/$3.87bn) during its 2019-20 fiscal year, closing 29 March 2020.
The Stoke-on-Trent based gambling operator’s revenue from its core business of sports betting and gaming was down 7.5 per cent to £2.76bn.
Mobile gaming also fell 7 per cent over the year but remained Bet365 customers’ go-to channel. In-play betting was responsible for 75 per cent of sports betting revenue across the 2019/20 year.
It reported that sports handle was down 8 per cent, while the number of active customers rose by 4 per cent across the year.
While the firm’s accounting year means that the full force of the past year’s pandemic will not be shown until it’s 2020/21 accounts are posted, it did note that sports and gaming revenue would have been up 2 per cent had it not been for the pandemic and the lack of a major football tournament.
The report said that due to the mass cancellation of sporting events between March and May 2020, the business switched its focus to alternative offerings, such as virtual sports and esports betting. It said it also saw significant migration of customers from sports betting to gaming. This will not, however, be seen in the results until next year’s filing.
Meanwhile, operating profit fell by nearly 75 per cent to £194.1m from £758.3m the previous year, including an £87.2m loss from Stoke City football club, in which the company owns a majority stake.
Commenting on the results, chief executive Denise Coates said: “We continued to operate the business successfully throughout the lockdowns with business continuity plans enacted resulting in staff being able to work from home whilst significant investment was also made to ensure the office environments were Covid secure.”
Coates, who is the UK’s highest-paid director, took a salary of £421m in 2019/20. The Coates family, several of whom are employed within the business, is estimated to have contributed £573m in taxes in the latest financial year.
Despite the considerable drop in profits, the firm reported the creation of 469 new jobs across the year, taking its total workforce from 4,708 to 5,177.
The Denise Coates Foundation received £85m from Bet365 in 2019/20. The charity is known to have contributed £10m to the NHS to help fight the pandemic.