The CEO of a gambling site has taken home Britain’s biggest ever pay packet after a 52 per cent pay rise but one critic says it’s “ludicrous”.
The CEO of a gambling site has taken home Britain’s biggest ever pay packet after a 52 per cent pay rise but one critic says it’s “ludicrous”.

The female boss who earns $2 million a day

Bet365 boss Denise Coates took home Britain's biggest ever pay packet of £469 million ($A851 million) last year - equivalent to around £1.3 million ($A2.3 million) each day.

The gambling chief turbo boosted her salary last year, giving herself a whopping 52 per cent pay rise.

Mrs Coates, 53, earned a director's salary of £421 million ($A764 million) for her role as chief executive of Bet365, plus another £48 million ($A87 million) dividend for her 50 per cent stake in the business.

The mega financial package means she took home 3,126 times more than the UK Prime Minister, who earns around £150,000 ($272,000).

Her pay packet works out at almost £54,000 ($A98,000) an hour and was also more than all of the salaries of the chief executives of Britain's 100 largest listed companies put together.

In total Bet365 handed out £607 million ($A110 million) to senior managers, including Mrs Coates's brother John, who is co-chief executive.

The Coates family are estimated to be worth around £6.8 billion ($A12.3 billion), making Mrs Coates the UK's fifth richest woman behind Marit and Kirsten Rausing, Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Kirsty Bertarelli.

But campaign group the High Pay Centre's director Luke Hildyard said: "It's appallingly inefficient for single individuals to hoard wealth in this way."

The revelations of Mrs Coates' whopping pay packet come as she is developing a luxurious, modernist glass house designed by celebrity architect Norman Foster in swanky Cheshire, on northwest England.

Plans for the £90 million ($A163 million) home, which is set in 52 acres of Cheshire parkland, included an artificial lake, sunken tennis courts, stables, ornamental gardens, workers' cottages and a boathouse.

In December 2018 it emerged that Mrs Coates spent an eye-watering £5.5 million ($A10 million) buying up hundreds of acres of farmland which surround her new futuristic home, snapping up 12 separate plots of land since 2014.

She also planted 200 trees, erected a two metre security fence around the property, while employing around-the-clock security.

The incredible home is not the extent of Mrs Coates' show of wealth as she drives an Aston Martin DB9 sports car with customised licence plates.

Her background is far more humble though, as Mrs Coates started working in bookmaking as a teenager.

She worked in shops owned by her father, the son of a miner who made his fortune in the sports stadium catering business.

Canny Mrs Coates - who was awarded a CBE in 2012 - saw the future of the gambling industry was online, and launched the Bet365 website in 2001 after buying the domain name on eBay.

The Coates family, which own Stoke City football club, are also Britain's biggest taxpayers.

Plans for Mrs Coates' £90 million ($A163 million) home included an artificial lake, sunken tennis courts, stables, ornamental gardens, workers' cottages and a boathouse.

RELATED: Claims CEO used 'mind control' on staff

Denise Coates isn't short on cash and has a home worth $163 million. Picture: iStock
Denise Coates isn't short on cash and has a home worth $163 million. Picture: iStock

 

The business paid £615 million to the Exchequer in 2019/20, on top of an estimated £220 million ($A399 million) tax bill on Mrs Coates's personal income.

In 2019/20 Bet365 also donated £85 million ($A154 million) to Mrs Coates's charity foundation, which has previously donated to Oxfam and the Douglas Macmillan Hospice.

But the Coates have been criticised for not giving more financial support to fund gambling addiction treatment.

In 2019/20 Bet365 pledged just £868,000 ($A1.5 million) to GambleAware, which collects donations for treatment and research, although this is expected to rise to close to around £14 million ($A25 million) this year.

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith told the Mail: "It's gross that anyone should pay themselves that amount of money in a single year.

"This company is successful when people lose money and lives are changed and damaged. We see this is a dangerous problem, but she flaunts it in everyone's faces by paying herself this ludicrous amount of money."

Mrs Coates' huge salary came as sales at Bet365 fell eight per cent to £2.8bn ($A5bn) as international sporting events were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Profits slumped 74 per cent to £194.7 million ($A353.6 million), but the company said it had not cut staff pay or laid off employees as a result of the crisis.

It also did not make use of the furlough scheme.

 

This story originally appeared on The Sun and is reproduced here with permission

 

 

Originally published as Boss who earns $2 million a day


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