The highest-paid boss in the whole of the United Kingdom earned an enormous £217 million last year alone.
Denise Coates, who is the co-founder and joint-CEO of gambling firm Bet365, paid herself a record £199 million in 2016, according to The Telegraph, who said she also collected £18m in dividend payments.
Her wage is reflective of the £525 million profit the company made in the 2016/2017 financial year, with a record £47 billion worth of bets.
Ms Coates, 50, is much more well-off than the previous titleholder, Sir Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of WPP, who earned £48.1 million last year.
Billionaire Ms Coates started out as a cashier in her father’s betting shops becoming the managing director of the family’s small chain when she was just 22-years-old.
Noticing the increasing popular trend in online betting and gambling websites, Ms Coates borrowed £15 million against the family’s betting shop estate and launched her own site.
— bet365 (@bet365) November 12, 2017
Bet365 was famously set up in a Portakabin in a Stoke-on-Trent car park in 2000, with Coates, a mother-of-five setting it up with her brother John. They bought the Bet365.com domain on eBay for $25,000.
According to Forbes, Ms Coates now has an estimated personal fortune of $4 billion (£3.06 billion).
Bet365 has a majority stake in Stoke City football club, of which Ms Coates’ father Peter is chairman.
Coates’ £199,305,000 pay is more than 1,300 times that of the prime minister and more than double the wage bill of Stoke City, writes the Guardian.
Ms Coates, who still lives in Stoke-on-Trent, was given a CBE for her services to the community and business in 2012.
The big jump in the betting company’s profits comes as the government and charities grow more and more concerned about the number of problem gamblers – those battling gambling addiction.
The Gambling Commission, the industry regulator, said two million people in the UK are either ‘problem gamblers or at risk of addiction’.
Mike Dixon, the chief executive of the charity Addaction, said:
It cannot be right that the CEO of a betting company is paid 22 times more than the whole industry ‘donates’ to treatment.
The gambling industry is paying nowhere near enough for the treatment of gambling addicts. It means that there are a lot of people are not getting any help at all.
It seems indefensible for the industry to be giving so little, when it is making so much money.
In her statement to shareholders, Ms Coates said:
[Bet365] recognises its responsibility to minimise gambling-related harm and to keep crime out of gambling.
The group is committed to developing an evidence-based approach to responsible gambling. To this end, the group continues to work with research partners on a number of projects to improve its methods of identifying harmful play and deliver more effective harm-minimisation interventions.
The group is assured that its efforts over the past year will continue to evolve over the coming months, and will make further progress in the prevention and minimisation of gambling-related harm.
However, the Guardian reports Bet365 made a £50 million donation to the Denise Coates Foundation, which mostly funds medical and education charities and ‘according to its latest accounts, has not made any donations to gambling or addiction charities’.