Denise Coates, co-founder of online gambling firm Bet365 and head of the Stoke-on-Trent based Bet365 branch, has been announced as the UK’s highest paid boss.
Her earning has risen to £265 million, including dividends, which is £48 million higher than she received last year.
It’s been found that 31% of us gamble in the UK at least once a week.
When it comes to the success of Denise Coates, former Stoke City media manager Ian Bayley said: “Her success is in making a major contribution to the local economy. Bet 365 employs over 4,000 people globally and is the largest single private employer in this area.
“She is a successful entrepreneur who has worked hard to build up the company she founded and helped to develop into one of the market leaders in its sector.”
Coates purchased the domain name Bet365.com in January 2000 and since, the website has grown into one of the world’s largest online gambling companies, receiving $45 billion in bets through March 2016.
The company also has a majority stake in Stoke City Football Club and Coates herself is married to Richard Smith, director of Stoke City Football Club.
Bayley added: “Bet 365 had difficult beginnings and those who worked closely on collaborative online betting projects with the company at the turn of the century would recall how difficult it was for it to gain a foothold and establish itself as a profitable concern.”
In August of 2012 Coates produced the Denise Coates foundation which has since donated £100 million to twenty UK charities, including Oxfam, CAFOD and the Douglas Macmillan Hospice.
In 2012, she received an honorary doctorate from Staffordshire University and was named as one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK, in 2013.
Denise Coates has recently come under criticism, Bayley said: “I think it’s wrong to say she’ makes money from gambling’. She runs a company – a very successful one – which provides a service which people, for whatever reasons, wish to use.
“Clearly with online gambling there are a number of ethical and related issues to consider.
“I think rather than scrutinise the salary of Denise Coates these are the issues which should be in the spotlight.”