Denise Coates, the CEO of online gambling company Bet365, was paid a more than half a billion dollars in salary and dividends last year, taking her incoming to billions of dollars since she joined the company. Latest company filings show the gambling giant handed the hefty sum to Coates in 2019-20.
The staggering amount is believed to be the UK's largest ever annual pay packet. The figure does not include dividend payouts on her stake of roughly 50 per cent of the company. The report comes as Bet365 posted a 7.5 percent decline in revenue from its core sports and gaming business to $3.8 billion.
Largest Ever Payout
After an unusual delay in filing its accounts at Companies House, Bet365 revealed that its highest-paid director, believed to be Coates, was paid a total of $647 million in the year ending March 29, 2020. Coates, who is the CEO of Bet365 along with her brother John Coates, earned a salary of $580 million and in addition earned $66 million in dividends. Her salary in the year 2020 to March 2021 was over 40 percent more than the $382 million she received in 2019.
This means Coates took home more than $1.6 million every day last year. To further simplify $66,180 every hour of every day throughout the 12-month period. The company said in its accounts that the pay arrangements were "appropriate and fair".
The pay package is the latest bumper package for Coates, who along with her brother John ranked 16th in last year's Sunday Times rich list with a fortune of $9.65 billion. The new enhanced deal takes her pay and dividends since 2016 to nearly $1.8 billion.
Moreover, the deal is also likely to make the Coates family as the UK's largest taxpayers, contributing more than $690 million a year taking into account Bet365's corporation tax.
Big Money Despite Company's Loss
The high pay packet taken home by Coates comes despite Bet365 reporting a 7.5 percent decline in revenue to $3.7 billion for the year ending 29 March 2020. The decline came due to the cancellation of sporting events during the coronavirus pandemic, on top of the lack of a major football tournament during the period.
Euro 2020, scheduled to take place throughout Europe and the UK in June-July, also had to be postponed along with the South American Football Confederation's Copa America, which was also due to take place across June and July.
That said, Coates' rise has been meteoric. Coates, the daughter of English Championship League Club Stoke City Chair Peter Coates, launched Bet365 in March 2001. Soon it turned out to be one of the world's top online gambling businesses, with its headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent, UK.
Coates then expanded the company's presence with offices in Manchester, UK, Gibraltar, Malta, Bulgaria and Australia and as of 2020 employed over 4,000 heads.
In fact, the recent filings also make Coates a more expensive employee than many of her contemporaries like Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who received $595 million in 2019, according to the Bloomberg Pay Index. Apple's CEO Tim Cook took home $134 million in stock and bonuses, while Tom Rutledge, of Charter Communications, was the third highest paid US CEO in that year, taking home $117 million with bonuses, stock and stock option awards.
Coates is also a major philanthropist, donating millions through the Denise Coates Foundation. The new deal also makes Coates the UK's highest paid director ever. Earlier this month, hedge fund tycoon Chris Hohn staked a claim to that title after paying himself $473 million last year.