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Bet365 revenue steady in 2020-21 despite in-play betting decline

| By Marese O'Hagan
Bet365 has reported revenue of £2.81bn (€3.39bn/$3.76bn) in the full year ended March 2021, largely even with its 2020 revenue, as growth in gaming helped offset a pandemic-related drop in in-play betting volume.

This was a slight rise of 0.2% from Bet365’s full year 2019-20 results, due to the pandemic effectively ceasing live sports for at least half of the year.

Sports and gaming accounted for a grand majority of the revenue, totaling at £2.77bn.

While the operator did not mention how much revenue came from each aspect of that vertical, it said that gaming rose 8%, offsetting lower sports revenue. In-play share made up 68% of the sports revenue, falling from 75% in 2020.

Total wagers on sports were down by 13%, the second consecutive year of declining stakes.

Football club and facilities revenue, from Bet365 Group-owned Stoke City FC, came to £29.3m.

Sports and gaming also incurred all direct costs, at £489.8m. This left the total gross profit at £2.32bn, down 3% year-on-year.

Administrative expenses came to £2.04bn in total, £170.5m less than in 2020. Again, sports and gaming costs made up most of this, at £1.95bn, while football club and facilities accounted for the remaining £85.1m.

After considering this, the operating profit for the year totalled £285.5m, up by 46.6% from 2020. The company attributed this to a decrease in remuneration.

Following gains on investments at £177.2m and interest income at £6.4m, along with interest paid at £1,000, the total profit before tax was £469.2m. This was a rise of 242.3%.

Taxation was £66.2m, £49.4m more than in 2020, bringing the total profit for the financial year to £403m, up 234.8%.

The business paid a dividend of £97.5m to shareholders for the year.

The number of active customers rose by 13%, against a 4% rise in 2020. However, amounts staked on sports fell by 13%, as opposed to an 8% decrease in 2020.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the business throughout the period,” said Denise Coates (pictured), director of Bet365. “The global suspension of sports across all levels resulted in dramatically reduced revenues.

“However, sport resumed in the second half of the period and revenues increased to above pre-pandemic levels.”

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