Britain’s highest paid CEO built fortune on online gambling


Britain’s highest paid CEO built fortune on online gambling

Jean Shaoul

5 December 2018

Years of preying on the despair of millions of workers have enabled Denise Coates, the CEO of the online gambling site Bet365, to not only become Britain’s most well-paid boss, but also the highest paid businesswoman in the world.

Last year, Coates raked in an obscene £265 million, up from £199 million the year before, based on salary and perks, nearly 10,000 times more than the average UK salary.

The company, a privately-owned business based on sports betting, poker, casino games, and bingo, also paid out £90 million in dividends to its shareholders, of which fully £80.7 million went to Coates and her family. Coates’ brother John and father Peter are also directors at the company.

Even before she received the £265 million, Coates and her family were one of Britain’s richest with an estimated “worth” of £5.8 billion, according to the Sunday Times’ rich list, which ranks them at 21st. Coates has a personal fortune estimated at around £4.6 billion.

Those gambling on the site wagered £47 billion in the year ending March 2018, generating revenues of £2.9 billion for the company, up 28 percent on the previous year, and a massive £661 million profit—an eye-watering 20 percent profit margin.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat government of David Cameron appointed Coates a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the community and business in 2012. There could be no more fitting indictment of the parasitism of British capitalism than to commend someone who has grown rich by impoverishing millions for services to “the community.”

Coates’ parents and grandparents were bookmakers. Her innovation in 2000 was to spot the…

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