Bet365 paid bosses £600m even as profit plunged

Saleha Riaz
·2-min read
Denise Coates, CEO of Bet365. Photo: Press Association
Denise Coates, CEO of Bet365. Photo: Press Association

Gambling company Bet365, whose CEO’s pay has come under scrutiny before, paid its executives £607.4m ($838.4m) in the year to March 2020, up from £428m.4m in the year prior, even as the company reported a plunge in operating profit.

EGR Intel reported the figures and said the company's operating profit fell by 74% to £194.7m, down from £758.3m in 2019, while revenue was down 8% to £2.8bn "driven by the abrupt halt to key sporting events due to COVID-19 in the latter part of the year."

The fall in operating profit was not just due to the revenue drop but also because of the pay rise of "key management personnel."

The Telegraph's chief city correspondent meanwhile tweeted that the highest paid director at the company, believed to be CEO Denise Coates, alone was paid £421m in the year to March 2020, not including a share of £95m in dividends.

According to the Guardian, she is now on course to have been paid more than £1bn in four years.

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Yahoo Finance has reached out to Bet365 for comment on the figures.

The Guardian also noted that Bet365 "will not publish results covering the majority of the pandemic for at least another nine months, but it is likely to have done extremely well, given the surge in online gambling seen at rival companies."

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Coates is the multibillionaire founder of the firm. She received £323m in compensation in the year to the end of March 2018, making her the UK’s highest paid executive at the time.

The bumper salary meant that Coates effectively earned £1.3m for every working day in the firm’s financial year.

Her huge salary prompted criticism from groups who argued that betting firms like Bet365 are not doing enough to counteract problem gambling and addiction in the sector.

While Coates runs the Denise Coates Foundation, which donates to charities such as Oxfam and the Douglas Macmillan Hospice, her pay package is more than the entire gambling industry donates to initiatives designed to combat the issue, it was reported at the time.

It was also reported that Coates had a tax liability of £276m in 2019, according to the Sunday Times Tax List.

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