bet365’s commitment to its local community in the English city of Stoke-on-Trent extended to buying its football club, Stoke City, in 2006. While this wasn’t a purely altruistic move, bet365 has invested more than £60m in the club and taken it into English football’s highest division and kept it there.
In a way, bet365’s ownership of the football club is more of a symbol of its commitment to the community. The team’s shirt bears the operator’s logo and the company’s joint chief executive John Coates, who assists father Peter with the running of the club, is a passionate supporter.
bet365 is Stoke’s largest private sector employer and remains so despite the tax advantages to be had by relocating offshore with other UK bookmakers. All this is laudable, but bet365 wins this award because of the £100m it has ploughed into the launch of the bet365 Foundation.
The bet365 Foundation has extended the company’s charitable contributions from Stoke-based charities such as the Douglas Macmillan Hospice for cancer sufferers to the rest of the world via donations to Oxfam, CAFOD and a relief programme for victims of the Philippines typhoon.
Gambling is always a controversial industry, but bet365’s actions have made it a local champion. In extending that role overseas it provides a model for operators struggling for goodwill in a tricky political climate.
The Gaming Intelligence Awards 2015
Casino Operator of the Year
Sports Betting Operator of the Year
Poker Operator of the Year
Bingo Operator of the Year
Social Gaming Operator of the Year
Lottery Operator of the Year
Sportsbook Supplier of the Year
Poker Supplier of the Year
Casino Supplier of the Year
Bingo Supplier of the Year
Lottery Supplier of the Year
Marketing Service Provider of the Year
One to Watch Award
Socially Responsible Company of the Year
The Gaming Intelligence Hot 50 2015