Rise in online gambling in pandemic offset temporary closure of firm’s 1,470 high street bookmakers

The billionaire Conservative party donors behind the gambling firm Betfred paid themselves and their family a £50m dividend, as an increase in online gambling in the coronavirus pandemic offset the temporary closure of its 1,470 high street bookmakers.

Betfred’s customers wagered £6.9bn in the year to the end of September 2021, up from £6.4bn, providing winnings of £526m for the Manchester-based company, a marginal increase on the previous year.

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