This company started life in the 1970s as a chain of high-street betting shops, but moved online early this decade and since then its business has exploded, in line with the rise of internet gambling nationwide. Customers visit the website to bet on sporting events, play poker or gamble on casino-style games. Owned and run by the Coates family, Bet365 is based in Stoke-on-Trent and employs more than 600 people. Sales were £986m in 2007, compared with only £115m in 2002, with profits growing to £16m.
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