Bet365 Group posted £2.81bn in revenue for the fiscal year, an 8.2% drop on its 18/19 results. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the tail end of the period, an increase in costs, and the lack of a major football tournament in summer 2019 were all listed as mitigating factors.
Amount wagered on sports was down by 8% - as one would expect following the successful World Cup betting market the year prior – whilst active customer numbers increased by 4%.
Despite the drop in revenue, chief executive Denise Coates commented that she was “delighted” with the company’s performance.
“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.”
Bet365’s in-play vertical continued to be key asset, and accounted for 75% of sports betting revenue in the year – far and away the group’s most popular vertical. Despite strong overall sportsbook performance mobile revenue dropped by 7% with the loss of a major summer tournament.
Away from gaming verticals revenue at the Bet365-owned Stoke City football club fell 33.9% to £54.2m. Such was to be expected, however, following its relegation from the English Premier League to The Championship.
Regarding profits, the group incurred £403.6m in direct costs for its sports and gaming businesses in the 12 month period, an increase of 12.2%. This level of outgoing, coupled with the drop in overall group revenue, meant that gross profit for the 2019/20 financial year stood at £2.41bn, a year-on-year decline of 11%.
Operating profit was down 74.3% to £194.7m following growing administrative expenses. £2.07bn was recorded for the group’s sports and gaming businesses, whilst £141.5m was incurred due to the ongoing operation of Stock City football club.
However, throughout 2019/20 the company remained committed to championing positive social practices, both within the business and in the wider community. An £85m contribution to the Denise Coates Foundation was made during the period, and the group made a commitment to retain all staff at full pay throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, without taking any additional Government support.
The operator additionally made good progress on its long-term responsible gambling strategy, notably in the continued development of its Early Risk Detection System. The introduction of new harm markers and a bolstered quantitative analysis team helped to improve the system’s efficiency both in the UK and in global markets.
“The group recognises that its efforts in relation to safer gambling cannot be confined to just one jurisdiction. The group adopts a global approach to safer gambling and will always look to implement the highest standards across its worldwide customer base,” the group commented.
Bet365 further implemented a new code of conduct for its VIP customers and socially responsible advertisements; launched a new consumer research initiative with the Behavioural Insights Team; enhanced its ‘time out’ tool; and launched a new ‘my activity’ tracker for its customers.
Furthermore, as the world went into various states of lockdowns in March the group committed – as with all BGC members – to limit its advertising campaigns as to protect at-risk players. This included a total ending of TV, radio and paid social media advertising.