Joint Chief Executive of online gambling company Bet365, Denise Coates was paid a total of £300 million last year, newly-released annual accounts for the gambling firm reveal.
The 53-year-old founder and chief executive officer of Bet365 Group Ltd. pocketed 300 million pounds ($400million) in pay and dividends, almost 50% more than a year earlier, according to a filing from the online bookmaker.
Coates’ mega pay package means she took home 3,126 times more than the UK Prime Minister, who earns around £150,000.
She founded the online gambling company in the early 2000s in Stoke-on-Trent after spotting the potential of internet betting to revolutionise the industry.
Coates’s annual salary of £249 million alone makes her one of the world’s best-compensated bosses, even though it’s down about 40% from the previous period. It also strengthens her status as the U.K.’s richest woman, putting her on track to rejoin the world’s 500 biggest fortunes.
The privately held Bet365 is jointly owned by Denise Coates and members of her family, including Brother John, the joint CEO, and father Peter, who chairs the firm.
Bet365 also owns soccer club Stoke City, which made a loss of 8.7 million pounds following its relegation to the second-tier Championship in the 2017-18 season.
Bet365 is very much a family firm, owned by Ms Coates and members of her immediate family.
Her brother, John, is joint chief executive while her father, Peter is the firm’s chairman.
But Ms Coates’ huge success hasn’t come without criticism as many blame online betting firms for a rise in addiction, even amongst children.
She grew up in Stoke-on-Trent, where the headquarters of the firm are still based, mainly employing as many as 3,000 local people.
Ms Coates father was the son of a miner who bought a string of betting shops, Provincial Racing, in his home town of Stoke.
And it was here that she learned her trade, first working as a cashier and then studying econometrics at the University of Sheffield.
Ms Coates then trained as an accountant with the family firm, something she admits she found “dry” and “hated”.
So, she jumped at the chance to take over her father’s small chain of shops.
Ms Coates turned the struggling firm’s fortune round and with her first huge bank loan bought up a neighbouring chain and by 1995 was managing director of her first empire.
But she could see the benefits in launching online and in 2000 bought the website name Bet365.com.
Working from a portable cabin in a car park close to one of her betting shops, Ms Coates spent a year developing the new online gambling site.
Risking everything with a £15million loan from RBS, secured against her chain of betting shops, the website was launched in 2001.
Just four years later Ms Coates’ new venture was so successful she sold her chain of betting shops to Coral for £40million.
The company now also owns a major share in Stoke City Football Club.
And Bet365 has donated a massive £100million to charities, including Oxfam, CAFOD, the Douglas Macmillan Hospice, as well relief programmes to people affected by the Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
Famously shunning publicity, Ms Coates lives with her husband, Richard, a director at Stoke City, in a farmhouse in Cheshire.