UK's richest woman gets over $570m pay from betting empire

Ms Denise Coates' salary of £276.6 million (S$490 million) from the closely held firm makes her one of the world's best-paid bosses. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) - Denise Coates has hit the jackpot again.

The 52-year-old founder and chief executive officer of Bet365 Group pocketed £323 million (S$572 million) in salary and dividends, according to a filing from the British online bookmaker.

Her salary of £276.6 million (S$490 million) from the closely held firm makes her one of the world's best-paid bosses. It also strengthens her status as the United Kingdom's richest woman, adding to a fortune that is already among the world's 500 largest, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Founded two decades ago, Bet365 cashed in on the online sports betting boom. The company posted record revenue of more than £3 billion and increased operating profit by 15 per cent to £758.3 million for the year ended March 31.

Bet365's net income has soared even as British bookmakers face scrutiny over underage wagering. More than a third of children age 11 to 16 in the UK have spent their own money on gambling, the country's gambling regulator said in October.

Ms Coates' net worth is set to increase to more than US$5 billion (S$6.7 billion) through her majority stake in Bet365, according to the Bloomberg index. Along with Bet365, Ms Coates and her family also own Stoke City Football Club.

She is the only woman among the 16 UK-based billionaires in the ranking, which includes Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and Joe Lewis, owner of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

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