Bet365 boss Denise Coates sees pay jump to £221m

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The boss of Bet365 was paid around £221m during its last financial year, despite the gambling giant reporting a significant loss.

Denise Coates’s salary was £7m higher than the previous year, according to new company accounts.

As founder and joint chief executive of the online gambling firm, Ms Coates will also have received at least £50m worth of dividends.

Bet365 did not respond to the BBC’s request for comment.

Ms Coates’s pay bump means that her total salary over the past four years surpassed £1bn.

Campaign groups such as the High Pay Centre described the pay package as “neither fair nor proportionate”.

“Ultimately, Britain’s prosperity depends on how the wealth our economy generates is shared, ” said Luke Hildyard, executive director of the High Pay Centre which focuses on pay and responsible business.

“Pouring hundreds of millions of pounds more on top of billionaire fortunes every year isn’t a good way to maximise living standards and it over-values the contribution that the super-rich have made.”

Bet365 also paid a total £100m in dividends for the last financial year – a chunk of which would have gone to Ms Coates who owns around 57% of the firm.

Ms Coates founded the Bet365 website in a portable building in a Stoke-on-Trent car park more than 20 years ago. It is now the biggest private sector employer in the city.

She is thought to be one of Britain’s richest women and among the best-paid executives in the world.

After training as an accountant, Ms Coates helped build the group into one of the biggest online gambling companies from her father’s bookmaking business. Her brother is a co-chief executive.

Earning an annual salary that peaked at £421m in 2020, Ms Coates has earnt roughly £1.1bn in just four years.

Many top executives often see the bulk of their earnings made up of share pay-outs. It means that Ms Coates, her brother and father are liable for more tax.

According to the Sunday Times Tax List, the three were said to have paid £460.2m to HM Revenue and Customs off the back of their earnings.

Ms Coates, whose father and brother are also the joint chairmen of Stoke City Football Club, has seen the family bookmakers become a huge empire.

She is often credited as the driving force behind the business, and became managing director of her family’s chain of betting shops at the age of 22.

The latest accounts filed on Monday showed that the Bet265 group’s revenues topped £3.4bn, up from £2.8bn the year before, helped by a boost in activity from the Fifa World Cup in Qatar.

However, it reported a pre-tax loss of £72.6m loss compared to a £49.8m profit in the previous 12 months.

The group launched operations in the US and Canada which it said led to a “significant increase in costs”.

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