Bet365 Chief Denise Coates Paid Herself £217m in ‘16 as Firm Continues Rapid Growth

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Nov/12/2017

It’s one of the biggest, most successful privately held bookmaking operations, and its Denise Coates is reaping the awards.

Stoke-based Bet365 was among the first web gambling businesses to go online 17 years ago and Coates has become a billionaire as a result.

From the Guardian:

Coates’s £199,305,000 pay this year is more than 1,300 times that of the prime minister and more than double the wage bill of Stoke City, the Premier League club owned by Bet365. On top of the £199m, Coates collected £18m in dividend payments.

Bet365 has long been a family operation with her dad Peter acting as chairman and brother John Joint-Chief Executive Officer.  Prior to 2006, the company maintained the largest foothold of any UK-based firm in the United States under the name Bet365US.  It would later exit that market in the wake of federal prohibition that scared off most foreign operators.

Coates started out as cashier, marking up results in a small number of betting shops owned by her father as a sideline to his main business of football stadium catering, the Guardian reports.  Eventually, she went on to buy the Bet365.com domain on eBay for $25,000 and the rest is history.

Ms. Coates isn’t like to get poorer over the next year. The company continues to grow at a rapid rate.  Bet365 customers wagered almost £47bn last year, up more than £10bn on the previous year.

Obstacles do stand in the way of the company’s growth in the next year, however, most notably the United Kingdom’s aggressive stance against fixed odds terminals, often deemed the “crack cocaine of gambling”.  The terminals allow for gamblers to place bets as much as £100 every 20 seconds.

Bookmakers made £1.8bn from the machines last year, accounting for more than half of their revenues.  Bet365 and others are expected to lobby against a proposed cut to £2 by some political foes of gambling.

In her statement to shareholders, Coates said: “[Bet365] recognises its responsibility to minimise gambling-related harm and to keep crime out of gambling.

“The group is committed to developing an evidence-based approach to responsible gambling. To this end, the group continues to work with research partners on a number of projects to improve its methods of identifying harmful play and deliver more effective harm-minimisation interventions.

“The group is assured that its efforts over the past year will continue to evolve over the coming months, and will make further progress in the prevention and minimisation of gambling-related harm.”

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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