The Bet365 boss, Denise Coates, is on course to have been paid more than £1bn in four years, after the online gambling firm reported a sizeable increase in pay for directors.
The betting firm has delayed filing accounts with Companies House this year but appears to have shared details of its performance with gambling industry media.
The website EGR Intel reported that “total compensation of key management personnel for the period was £607.4m, up from £428.4m in 2019.”
Coates, Bet365’s co-chief executive, paid herself £323m in 2019, including salary and dividends on her stake of more than 50% in the Stoke-on-Trent based company. The record pay packet took her income over three years to £817m.
If her share of executive pay at the company is similar to the level seen in previous years, last year’s pay deal will take her income since 2016 to significantly more than £1bn.
Bet365 reported an 8% fall in revenue to £2.81bn for the 52-week period ended 29 March 2020, according to EGR Intel, partly due to the cancellation of sports events in mid-March and the lack of a major football tournament during the period.
Operating profit fell by 74% to £194.7m, down from £758.3m in 2019, owing to the reduction in revenue but also as a result of the bumper pay rise for directors.
The company 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.
Coates has become Britain’s best-paid woman while building the Bet365 empire after recognising the power of internet gambling early on and latching on to rapid growth of in-play bets on football.
She gives much of her cash to good causes such as the Douglas Macmillan Hospice and Alzheimer’s Research UK. Her foundation’s page on the Charity Commission website offers no indication of whether any of it goes to problem gambling treatment.
Bet365 is yet to give a breakdown of the geographical spread of its business, despite allegations of offering bets in China, where it is illegal to do so. EGR Intel said it understood that 25% of the sports and gaming revenue, or £700m, was generated from the UK market.
Coates said: “On behalf of the board I am pleased to report that the group continued to make considerable progress during the period, particularly in the priority area of safer gambling, where significant investment and developments have been made.
“The period also saw the initial impact of Covid-19, with sport at all levels halted across the world. I am delighted with how the group responded and adapted to these challenging circumstances.”