|Born||26 September 1967|
|Residence||Sandbach, Cheshire, England|
|Education||University of Sheffield|
|Known for||Founder and CEO, Bet365|
|Salary||£265 million (2018)|
|Net worth||US$4.1 billion (October 2018)|
|Children||5, including 4 adopted|
|Relatives||John Coates (brother)|
Denise Coates CBE (born 26 September 1967) is a British billionaire businesswoman, the founder and joint chief executive of online gambling company Bet365. As of May 2018, Forbes magazine estimated her net worth at $4.6 billion.
Denise Coates is the eldest daughter of Peter Coates, chairman of Stoke City F.C. and a director of Bet365, and is married to Richard Smith, a director at Stoke City Football Club. She earned a first class degree in econometrics from the University of Sheffield.
While at school, Coates started work in the cashiers' department within the family bookmaking firm, Provincial Racing, where she would mark up bets. After leaving university she trained as an accountant within the family business, before being given the opportunity to take over the small chain of shops. Having turned around the shops' fortunes, Coates obtained a loan from Barclays to acquire a neighbouring chain. In 1995, she became managing director of the betting shop estate.
In 2017, Coates became the UK's highest paid boss, receiving gross payments of £217m for the 2016–17 financial year. The package consisted of £199,305,000 in wages, along with £18m in dividend payments. Coates’ wages for the year equated to more than double the total wage bill of Stoke City F.C., the Premier League football club owned by Bet365.
In January 2000, Coates purchased the domain name Bet365.com. While working in a temporary building on a car park near one of her shops, she spent a year creating a new online betting site. Bet365.com was launched in 2001. The business borrowed £15 million from RBS against the family's betting shop estate. In 2005 these shops were sold to Coral for £40 million which also paid off the loan to RBS.
Bet365 has grown into one of the world's largest online gambling companies, with $2 billion in revenues and facilitating $45 billion in bets in the year through March 2016. The company also owns a majority stake in Stoke City Football Club. In 2015, Bet365 moved its headquarters to Gibraltar because of its favourable regulations. Coates still runs the company alongside her brother, and co-CEO, John Coates.
Coates is the majority shareholder with 50.01% of Bet365. Her personal fortune is estimated at $5.1 billion, as of February 2018.
In 2017, Coates was criticised for paying herself £217 million, with Mike Dixon, CEO of Addaction, saying "It cannot be right that the CEO of a betting company is paid 22 times more than the whole industry ‘donates’ to treatment." In 2018, it was announced that her salary had increased to £265 million, including dividends. In January 2019, The Sunday Times list of the UK’s top taxpayers estimated that Denise paid £99 million tax in the 2017/18 financial year. Along with her father Peter and brother John, the trio ranked second on the list with a combined estimated tax bill of £156 million.
Denise Coates Foundation
Coates set up the Bet365 Foundation in August 2012, and in February 2016 it was renamed to Denise Coates Foundation. It is a registered charity under English law and it has donated £100 million to twenty UK charities to help support projects home and abroad.
Charities which have received funds include Oxfam, CAFOD, the Douglas Macmillan Hospice for cancer sufferers in Stoke, and relief programmes for victims caught in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. University scholarships and theatre donations have also been offered.
The Foundation pledged £230,000 to St Joseph's College, in Trent Vale, after Coates was impressed by a presentation on the school's work to help support vulnerable youngsters in Sierra Leone's second city Bo.
Honours and awards
In January 2012, Coates was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the community and business. In 2012, she received an honorary doctorate from Staffordshire University.
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