In the 1970s, Peter Coates established a high-street chain of 50 betting shops. But it was his daughter Denise who came up with the strategy of online betting, which has driven sales growth since 2000. In July the company sold its 50 shops to Coral Eurobet for a reported £40m to focus 100% on its online business. Bet365’s web-based software enables customers to place bets and play casino games and poker online. Sales have leapt 97% a year from £115.4m in 2002 to £446m in 2004, and it says it now has a customer base of 500,000.
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