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Bet365 Founder Denise Coates cuts salary by £170m; remains UK’s highest taxpayer

Denise Coates remains the UK’s highest taxpayer in her role as Founder and joint-Chief Executive of bet365, despite having her salary cut by £170m ($227m) over the course of 12 months. 

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Financial accounts filed with Companies House reveal the betting operator turned over revenue of £2.8bn for the year ending March 2021, which was broadly flat year-on-year.  

This translated to profit of £470m, of which Coates was due a share worth approximately £250m as a base salary. On top of this, due to owning in excess of 50% of bet365, Coates pocketed a little under £50m in dividends. 

While her salary alone was a full £170m lower than the previous year’s estimate, it means Coates banked close to £300m when considering a combination of base pay and a share of the dividends made available to directors.  

In total, Coates has individually earned approximately £1.3bn over the past five years.  

The company commented: “At the start of the period we experienced the almost complete cessation of sporting events; however, by the end of the first half of the year, we saw the resumption of sports with the vast majority of European football leagues managing to conclude their domestic seasons.” 

Indeed, during the period in question, the amount wagered on sports at bet365 fell by 13%. The company also took into consideration losses at Stoke City, the football club at which the Coates family owns 93% of the shares. 

Despite this, operating profit at bet365 grew by 47%, to £286m, which was said to be as a result of paying its directors less. 

The company, which launched in 2001, is owned by Coates, her brother, John and their father, Peter.  

Together, the Coates family paid an estimated £482m in tax for the year in question, a full £180m more than the next-highest UK taxpayer, Chris Rokos.

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