Moneycontrol

Budget 2023Budget 2023

PARTNERS

  • Tata AIA Life Insurance
  • Hafele
  • Motilal Oswal
  • SMC Global Securities Limited
  • SBI Life
  • DSP Mutual Fund
Upcoming Event : LeapToUnicorn - mentoring, networking and fundraising for startups. Register now
you are here: HomeNewsBusiness

The Gambling Company That Had the Best Pandemic Ever

Gaming giant Flutter Entertainment announced in November that sports betting revenue rose more than 30% last summer from the previous summer. The average daily number of gamblers at all of the company’s chains rose 40%.

March 27, 2021 / 11:03 PM IST
James Grimes, the founder of an antigambling group, and an ad for the gambling app Paddy Power in Manchester, England, on Feb. 7, 2021. Grimes lost $140,000, two jobs and all of his friends before he quit gambling and founded the Big Step, an antigambling group. (PC-Andy Haslam/The New York Times)

James Grimes, the founder of an antigambling group, and an ad for the gambling app Paddy Power in Manchester, England, on Feb. 7, 2021. Grimes lost $140,000, two jobs and all of his friends before he quit gambling and founded the Big Step, an antigambling group. (PC-Andy Haslam/The New York Times)

At no point during the soccer game between Stoke City and visiting Watford did anyone say, “Tonight’s match is brought to you by bet365,” one of the world’s largest online gambling companies. No one needed to. It was pretty obvious.

The game took place at bet365 Stadium, where “bet365” was stenciled across a huge swath of red seats, which were empty because of the pandemic. LED banner ads with the green-and-yellow bet365 logo blinked and rolled around the perimeter of the field throughout play. And every Stoke player had bet365’s insignia emblazoned on the front of his shirt. The company doesn’t just sponsor the team. The company owns it.

“We’ve been stuttering a bit,” Peter Coates, who is chairman of both bet365 and Stoke City, said in a phone interview a few hours before the January game. “We need a win tonight.”

He didn’t get one. Watford prevailed 2-1 after more than 90 minutes of sporadically exciting play.