Stanleybet was initially formed as the international arm of Stanley Leisure Plc, which originated as a bookmaker in Northern Ireland in the 1950s before operating as a licensed bookmaker in England in 1963 under the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963, holding a Bookmaker's Permit and a number of Betting Office Licenses.
After becoming a market leader in England with its casinos and horse race betting shops, Stanley Leisure began to establish itself as a leader in sports betting across Europe.
First established in 1997, the Stanleybet group has its corporate headquarters in Liverpool, England and is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. All its key managers hold Personal Management Licences issued by the UK Gambling Commission. Other group companies hold betting licences issued in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Malta, Poland and Romania.
Stanleybet grew its business in Europe firstly in Italy, via a ground-breaking cross-border business model which is compatible with EU law having been endorsed by the European Court of Justice in both the Gambelli (2003) and Placanica (2007) rulings.
From its Liverpool headquarters, Stanleybet is managed by the executive team who developed and ran Stanley Leisure's successful Stanleybet UK betting operation, which was sold in 2005 for over £500 million in what was then a record breaking deal for a betting business in the UK.
Stanleybet is now the leading cross-border retail sports betting company in Europe with the majority of its intermediaries being in Cyprus, Germany and Italy. In addition, Stanleybet has established subsidiaries and affiliates in Belgium, Croatia, Poland and Romania. These businesses operate locally licensed outlets which, together with the intermediaries in Cyprus, Germany, Greece and Italy operate a total of over 2,000 outlets which employ over 3,000 people in Europe.
EU LawStanleybet is regarded as one of the companies best placed to take advantage of changes taking place in the regulations governing much of the European betting industry, changes which will open many new markets to competition.
EU Law and ECJ jurisprudence grants Stanleybet the right to fair access to sports betting markets across the EU. However this right is denied by a number of Member States that inconsistently, disproportionately and erroneously prevent such access, claiming the need for consumer protection although existing evidence and research do not substantiate such claims (Report: problem gambling in Europe).
Responsible GamingStanleybet UK was a founder-member of the Independent Betting Arbitration Service which operates in the UK to ensure fair and open treatment of customers.
Stanleybet was also one of the first bookmakers in the UK to gain accreditation under the industry's new Code of Social Responsibility and Good Practice for Licensed Betting Offices working with Gamcare, a registered charity that is the leading authority on the provision of information, advice and practical help in addressing the social impact of gambling. Stanleybet is a member of the European Sports Security Association which ensures the integrity of online and offline sports betting and is a contributor to The GREaT Foundation which is the UK fundraiser for gambling research, education and treatment of problem gambling.