Bet365 Posts Loss Due to US Markets, CEO Coates Gets £270M

Posted on: January 8, 2024, 04:11h. 

Last updated on: January 8, 2024, 04:27h.

Big money spent on North American expansion saw Bet365 slip to a pre-tax loss of £72.6 million (US$93 million), according to the company’s latest filings.

Denise Coates, Bet365
Denise Coates, above, is now Britain’s richest woman, despite her company posting a pre-tax loss last year. (Image: Bet365)

But it’s not clear whether the company’s publicity-shy CEO Denise Coates got the memo. She paid herself £270.7 million (US$345 million) in the year to March 2023, up from £213 million (US$272 million) a year earlier. She is now the UK’s richest woman, according to Yahoo Finance. 

On second thought, it looks like she did get the memo. Coates’ pay packet might be among the biggest paid to any executive anywhere this year, but it’s relatively restrained for Coates. In 2020, she received £421 million (US$537 million) in salary, plus an extra £48 million (US$61 million) in dividends as the company’s controlling shareholder. That was higher than all the FTSE 100 Index CEOs combined.

Based on an average working week (in the UK) of 38 hours, Coates earned around £237,348 (US$303k) per hour that year. That’s £3,955 per minute.

Not bad for a woman who started her company from a portable building in a parking lot in Stoke-on-Trent, an unglamorous city in England’s industrial Midlands.

‘Not Proportionate’

This year, Coates’ truncated salary is merely 10 times the amount of that of any FTSE 100 boss. It also beats the $253 million earned by Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman, the top-paid boss on Wall Street.

Most business owners accrue wealth through dividends or share payouts. But because Bet365 is a private company that’s almost wholly owned by her family, much of Coates’ wealth comes from her salary.

That also makes her a monster taxpayer. She may even be the largest individual taxpayer in Britain, contributing £460 million last year. But this has failed to pacify campaign groups like High Pay Centre, which described Coates’ remuneration package as “neither fair nor proportionate”.

Ultimately, Britain’s prosperity depends on how the wealth our economy generates is shared,” said Luke Hildyard, executive director of the group, a thinktank that focuses on reducing economic equality.

“Pouring hundreds of millions of pounds more on top of billionaire fortunes every year isn’t a good way to maximize living standards, and it over-values the contribution that the super-rich have made,” Hildyard added.

World Cup Boost

Despite a hit to profits, Bet365 reported a 19% increase in revenue from last year, up to £3.39 billion (US$4.32 billion), fueled by betting on the 2023 World Cup in Qatar. Sports betting still generated the lion’s share, at £2.65 billion (US$ 3.38 billion). Online casino gaming also grew 31% to £715 million ($912 million).

As ever, Bet365 declined to break revenue down by region, largely because it is believed to generate significant revenues from China, a black market. The company launched in several regulated markets in the US during the 2022-2023 financial year, including Colorado, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Kentucky, and Louisiana.

“Entering into new markets requires high initial investment, however, the directors remain confident that these markets will deliver a significant contribution to the group in future periods,” the company said in a statement.

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