Following the lifting of the coronavirus ban, Betfred saw a spike in earnings even as customers’ losses piled up.
According to recently released financial documents at Companies House, the gaming company’s after-tax earnings increased to almost £20 million in the fiscal year ended 25 September 2022, from little more than £5 million the previous year.
Even though gambling establishments were among the last to reopen in the UK after the pandemic, their business has subsequently taken off. In the fiscal year ending 25 September 2022, Betfred’s revenue increased by approximately £200 million, reaching £723.
Customers at Betfred placed wagers totalling £8.8 billion that year, up significantly from the roughly £7 billion placed the year before. Nonetheless, it fell short of the £10.1bn wager in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.
The Done Family
The Done family, Betfred’s billionaire owners, gave themselves a payout of £50.8m in November 2021, when the company stated that it was still profitable because of the growth of its online gambling business. However, the company declared that it would not be giving out any more dividends in 2022.
Fred and Peter Done first helped out with their father’s underground bookmaking operation. After launching their first betting shop in Salford in 1967, they expanded their gambling empire with the money they made betting on England winning the World Cup in football the previous year.
In May, the brothers’ wealth was estimated at £1.87 billion, placing them at number 93 on the Sunday Times’ list of Britain’s wealthiest individuals.
Preventing the Harms of Gambling
Many casino apps (from this UK list) were able to keep operating during the coronavirus ban by shifting their focus to online gaming. However, new affordability checks and other steps to prevent the harms of gambling, including gambling addiction, are now being discussed in a consultation process by the British government. This has increased its surveillance of online gaming. The measures, which have faced fierce opposition from the business community, are anticipated to take effect by the summer of 2024.
In September, Betfred was fined over $2.9 million by the British Gambling Commission for failing to implement adequate safety checks and money-laundering safeguards. These violations included letting a client lose £70,000 in only 10 hours, a day after opening an account. The corporation has pledged to reevaluate its procedures and is dedicated to ensuring responsible gaming.