BET365 A FAST RISER Times reports on the rapid rise of Internet gambling company The revenues achieved by the online operations of Bet365 have pushed the company into the ranks of the fastest UK corporate rising stars according to a piece in The Times this week. Bet365 started life in the 'seventies as a chain of high-street betting shops, but moved online early this decade. The company sold its betting shops to Gala Coral in 2005 to concentrate on Internet gambling and now offers betting on sporting events, poker and casino games, to online gamblers across 140 countries. Based in Stoke-on-Trent, where it owns Stoke City football club, the firm has reported revenues reaching an annualised GBP 1.815 billion in 2008 under chief executive John Coates. The Times reports that Bet365 is the biggest riser on this year’s top 100 ranking of Britain’s biggest private companies, compiled by research and networking events company Fast Track. The online gambling group has climbed 16 places to 16th on the list, and a sense of perspective on its success can be gained by comparing its revenues to those of Gala Coral, which appears at No 26 on Fast Track, with sales of GBP 1.3 billion.