March 26, 2021 – People like Lewis, a 25-year-old from Hampshire who requested anonymity because few people know about a compulsion he is still struggling to control. He won about $77,000 at age 16 with an online betting account and chased the high of that original hit for years. Since 2016, he said, he has toggled between total abstinence and flat-out mania.

To him, bet365 is the most insidious of the many online gambling sites, because it outpaces the rest at catering to the always-on impulse of people who want to wager, day and night, on games happening anywhere in the world.

“A gambler is desperate to distract himself, and during lockdown there was nothing to distract me,” he said. “Can’t meet your mates at a pub, can’t go out for a meal. You’re at home every waking second. You end up in a vicious cycle.” The online gambling industry has long operated under exceptionally lenient rules in Britain, many of them codified in 2005, with a set of regulations that was largely designed for retail betting shops. It has been described as an analog law for a digital age, and it’s overseen by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, also known as “the Ministry of Fun.”

By all accounts, no company has profited more under this light-handed regime than bet365. Which is why it is spectacularly profitable.


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