Online betting giant bet365 has announced £2.8 billion ($3.4 billion) in 2022 revenue, corresponding to the financial year ended March 27, a figure that implies a 2.9% increase from the prior-year period. However, increased customer acquisition costs in new markets led to an almost 90% drop in profit, which totaled £49.8 million ($60 million) – down significantly from the £469 million ($565.8 million) profit reported in the prior-year period.
While sports betting revenue declined by 2% year-on-year, gaming revenue climbed by 25%. The decline in sports gaming revenue was margin-based, as the total amount wagered increased during the period, and the number of active customers rose by 48%.
As for the sharp drop in profit, the gambling giant primarily attributes it to £320 million ($386 million) in extra administration expenses, which include advertising in new markets and investment in IT infrastructure and technology. Recent launches for the brand include Buenos Aires, Argentina; Colorado, US; Ontario, Canada; and the Netherlands.
Elsewhere in its report, the company noted staff numbers for the period rose to almost 6,100, up from 5,400 in the prior financial year, meaning staff costs were also up. However, some of this was offset by lower pay for directors, including chief executive Denise Coates — the company’s highest-paid director —, who received £213.4 million ($257.6 million), down by 16.5%.
Denise Coates, bet365 CEO
The company also discussed safer gambling in its report, stating: “The group is committed to delivering a safe environment for its customers and we continued to invest significantly in this area.” Improvements are being made to bet365’s Early Risk Detection System (ERDS), models that allow the group to identify and interact with customers at risk of, or experiencing, harm.
“Evaluation of ERDS continues to demonstrate a highly positive impact on player behaviour and an increased use of gambling management tools,” said the operator, which added it continues to look forward to the publication of the UK Government’s long-delayed White Paper as part of the ongoing review of the Gambling Act.
As for product development, investment in technology led to development with a specific focus placed on trading platform capability. Specific novelties include website enhancements; the introduction of a new Golf product and updated visuals within the Virtual Sports offering; the development of “Bet Builder” to introduce Rugby League, American Football and Australian Rules; the extension of the Match Live product by adding two esports games, and more.
While the latest financial results may be somewhat disappointing given bet365’s major scale, the company still has much to look forward to in its next financial year report — especially given it will be impacted by the recent 2022 World Cup, expected to boost operations.