The polluter should pay for cleanup.. but do they?

Denise Coates Bet365

Between them, Bet365 and GVC bring in around 6 Billion of the total 14 Billion UK gambling revenue. But do these companies pay their way in the cleanup operation?

According to the Gambling Commission, there are somewhere between 450,000 and 2 million problem gamblers in the UK.

 

Bet365 Group

Bet365’s rise from a single Portakabin in a Stoke carpark to one of the largest gambling firms in the world is quite something, and from a strictly business point of view something to be respected.

With a turnover of around £2.6billion a year, Bet365 is nothing short of a cash cow (or rather a cash ‘machine’). But this income comes at the cost of misery experienced by many of its customers who gamble more than they can afford to lose, many being unable to stop.

The UK Gambling Commission estimates that there are something like 500,000  2 million problem gamblers in Britain today. And many of them bet with Bet365, the leading online gambling firm.

Denise Coates and her family are responsible for at least 25% of the problem gamblers in the UK today – an est. 500,000 gamblers).

In addition to the massive turnover, her firm makes in excess of £500m pounds profit a year. Last year Billionaire Denise paid herself a bonus of £218 millon, and this year a further £265 million, making her the highest paid female executive in the United Kingdom. Nearly half a billion pounds.. as a bonus.

Greedy? Immoral? You decide.

Much of this income is now coming from China, where gambling is largely illegal but billions are wagered via the internet (often using Bet365).

Denise drives her Aston Martin back to her country estate, oblivious to the pain she causes ordinary families whose lives she helps to ruin on a daily basis. The cost to the NHS treating problem gamblers alone comes to £1Billion a year, but this fact is something that Denise and her family evidently thinks is not their problem.

Perhaps if her son Austin or one of his Denstone College friends developed a gambling addiction, only then will she take notice.

Bet365 established a Charity Foundation, which specifically does NOT make donations to those harmed by gambling. This got her a CBE from the Queen, and helps gives an air of respectability & decency to her operations.. even if behind the facade she lacks any true moral fibre.

But Bet365 does make a few token donations to organisations that help problem gamblers get their lives back; organisations like YGAM, Gordon Moody and BeGambleAware. However total Bet365 donations per annum most likely do not exceed one million, which in the context of their turnover – Two Thousand Six Hundred Million – is disproportionate and shockingly low.

Greedy? Immoral? You decide.

 

Declined to Donate

To give this some further perspective, we recently wrote to Denise Coates personally and asked her to donate to our sister project – GamHelp, a new online community for problem gamblers. She politely declined.

We say ‘she’ declined, but she couldn’t even be bothered to decline in person so had her MD Steve Ibberson decline on her behalf? Bet365 annual accounts show that they have nearly 1,000 million pounds in the bank, yet Steve told us very nicely “I’m afraid that we are not in a position to assist you at this moment“.

Greedy? Immoral? You decide.

Greed v Decency.

Why? We find it unacceptable that in Britain 2018 there is this level of open greed and abuse at work, ruining people’s lives.

Yet every day, Denise Coates C.B.E. and her brother John (25% owner and also a Bet365 Billionaire) rinse customers of cash they simply don’t have. And do it with a respectable smile.

 

But have they done anything wrong?

Well, we would guess YES for the following reasons:

  1. Every UK Company Director (including Denise Coates, John Coates and Steve Ibberson) has a Fiduciary Duty to ensure that they are not harming their customers (intentionally or unintentionally). That’s the law and you can actually be imprisoned for ignoring it. Gambling is known to be harmful by everyone (including High Court Judges) and Bet365 is responsible for directly harming at least 125,000 people. Many Bet365 gamblers have lost their health, their home, and their relationship over Bet365’s relentless and unsympathetic rinsing for their own gain. Yet have they offered these people an apology? Or offered to pay for their treatment & rehabilitation? NO.
  2. Behind the scenes all is not quite what it appears to be. In 2017 Bet365’s CEO of Gaming and Group Director of Gaming Strategy, Gil Rotem, decided to jump ship. Considering that in the last 24 months Bet365 added a further Billion to its turnover, at first glance one could say his timing was a little off. But considering he had been with the firm for 10+ years there is more to it than that, especially as the firm was reaping the benefits of his strategy. Perhaps it was the idea that Bet365 might be facilitating illegal gambling in China and there was a case to be answered? Or that just too many people were being harmed for him to be comfortable with? Who knows.

 

 

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About Editor 17 Articles
Mike is a semi-retired Technology Consultant who neither loves nor hates gambling. He does however find gambling HARM unacceptable, *COMPLETELY* unacceptable & inexcusable, as it something that can & should be avoided. "Any Company Director whose CSR Policy permits gambling-related harm and/or the loss of life due to consumption of its products should be held fully accountable."