Denise Coates, the billionaire founder and boss of gambling firm Bet365, paid herself £217m last year as her company made a £525m profit from a record £47bn of bets.
The 50-year-old, who started Bet365 in a Portakabin in a Stoke car park 17 years ago, is now the best-paid boss in Britain, dwarfing previous titleholder ad man Sir Martin Sorrell on £48m.
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Coates’s £199,305,000 pay this year is more than 1,300 times that of the prime minister and more than double the wage bill of Stoke City, the Premier League club owned by Bet365. On top of the £199m, Coates collected £18m in dividend payments.
Coates started out as cashier, marking up results in a small number of betting shops owned by her father, Peter, as a sideline to his main business of football stadium catering.
After graduating with a first in econometrics – the application of statistical methods to economic data – from Sheffield University, she expanded the family’s Provincial Racing betting chain to nearly 50 shops.