THE majority shareholder and CEO of family-owned gambling firm Bet365 has just been paid a staggering £469 million (€516 million) salary for the last financial year.
Denise Coates CBE and her brother John took over a betting shop business from their father some 20-years ago and since then she has shown herself to be an astute and successful business woman whose company has benefitted from the boom in online gambling.
Bet365 was actually set up in 2000 with a loan from RBS secured by the betting shop business which was later sold to Corals and the company which has offices in the UK operates internationally with services in Spain and a small office in Gibraltar as well as opening in Malta due to Brexit.
According to the BBC, sales for the year ending March 2021 were £2.8 billion (€3.1 billion) but profits slumped to £194.7 million (€214 million) as international sporting events were cancelled due to the pandemic.
Despite this, she was able to take the £469 million which is a combination of salary (up 50 per cent from the previous year) and dividends plus a further £85 million (€94 million) was paid to her charitable foundation.
There has been considerable criticism of the amount that Ms Coates has collected which amounts to £1.2 million (€1.32 million) per day but the company argues that it was a reasonable remuneration and it had not cut staff salaries, laid off any employees or used the furlough scheme.
She is now considered to be the highest paid UK boss although others such as Matt Moulding owner of the Hut Group have earned more in share bonuses and dividends.