In the high-stakes game of international business expansion, Bet365, a titan of the gambling world, recently placed a substantial wager on North American growth. However, the dice didn’t roll in its favor this time, as the company reported a pre-tax loss of £72.6 million ($93 million). It was a rare stumble documented in the firm’s latest fiscal reports, showcasing the cost of ambition in a fiercely competitive arena.
At the helm of Bet365 is Denise Coates, a figure shrouded in the allure of privacy, who has forged her path to become Britain’s wealthiest woman, a title she holds with an iron grip despite the loss her company has suffered. The Bet365 CEO didn’t seem to flinch at the numbers; she drew a salary of £270.7 million ($345 million) this past year, climbing from the already breathtaking £213 million ($272 million) she pocketed the previous year, as per Yahoo Finance’s documentation.
One might imagine such earnings are a flaw in the system or an executive indulging in the coffers of corporate wealth, but for Coates, this year’s paycheck represents a retreat from her prior earnings. In the financial annals of 2020, she had taken home £421 million ($537 million) with an added sweetener of £48 million ($61 million) in dividends, setting a financial bar well above the cumulative earnings of all CEOs in the esteemed FTSE 100 Index.
Breaking it down to the granular level, based on the UK’s average 38-hour workweek, Coates was raking in about £237,348 ($303k) for every working hour in 2020, amounting to a staggering £3,955 per minute. Such numbers are a stark contrast from her origins, which saw her shape the nascent Bet365 from the unlikely incubator of a portable building tucked away in a parking lot in Stoke-on-Trent.
Despite the astronomical figures, Coates’ compensation this year is merely tenfold that of any FTSE 100 chief executive and outstrips the $253 million salary of Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman, Wall Street’s leading earner. As a guiding hand in Bet365, which remains firmly under the Coates family dominion, her salary forms the backbone of her fortune, in contrast to the dividend-driven wealth accumulation typical of her peers.
Coates’ financial success story is not just her own; it weaves into the fabric of the British economy, with her standing as a potential contender for the country’s top individual taxpayer, a contribution that peaked at £460 million last year. Nonetheless, her remunerative presence has drawn the ire of organizations like the High Pay Centre, which contend her pay is “neither fair nor proportionate,” while advocating for a more equitable distribution of wealth for the betterment of the nation’s living standards.
Even as profit margins faced adversity, Bet365 still clinched a 19% surge in revenue year-over-year, hitting £3.39 billion ($4.32 billion), buoyed particularly by the sports betting fervor surrounding the 2023 World Cup held in Qatar. Sports wagering remains the lion’s share of the company’s income, followed by a 31% growth in online casino gaming.
Bet365’s global reach is extensive, though it keeps revenue details close to the chest, especially regarding the lucrative but shadowy market of China. Embarking on the American dream throughout the 2022-2023 financial year, it laid down roots in several regulated US states like Colorado, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Kentucky, and Louisiana.
The company stands firm, justifying its hefty initial outlays with a forward-looking vision. “Entering into new markets requires high initial investment, however, the directors remain confident that these markets will deliver a significant contribution to the group in future periods,” affirmed Bet365 in an official statement. In the realm of big money and global domination, it’s clear that Bet365 is playing the long game.