Another bet365 annual report is published and it is another good year for the world’s leading sports betting operator. So far, so prosaic. But behind the figures, bet365 is preparing for its most significant moves since launching from a portacabin in Stoke some 18 years ago.

The numbers coming out of Stoke-on-Trent continue to be little short of amazing, while the fanfare announcing them or even greeting them suggests bet365 has managed to make the remarkable seem commonplace.

Sports and gaming revenue was up 26 per cent from £2,153.6m to £2,718.6m by the end of the 2017-18 financial year that ended in March. Operating profit was up 33 per cent to £682.2m from £514.1m in the previous year.

The statement mentioned its new partnership with New York’s Empire Resorts and joint chief executive officer Denise Coates was no doubt happy to announce a £75m donation to her charity, the Denise Coates Foundation. Beyond this, there were no big splashy announcements or bold pronouncements.

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