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Bet365 CEO 2019’s Highest UK Tax Contributor

January 29, 2020

- Grant Whittington

The fact that Bet365 co-founder and CEO Denise Coates last year set a new UK executive remuneration record by having taken home annual pay to the tune of £323 million, naturally caused quite the stir in the media. Not to mention even the fact that according to financial reporting house Forbs, Coates has a net worth of an astounding $12.2 billion. But what the media isn’t all that fond of reporting is the fact that the very same Bet365 executive wasn’t only the top-earning executive in the UK last year, but she also holds the record for having been 2019’s top tax contributor in the country.

Last year’s stunt was a repeat-motion of the year before that. Coates in 2018 paid herself £220 million; at the time the most money paid to a top executive in the history of commercial Britain. The Bet365 big boss and mother of 5 doesn’t shy away from paying her dues and unlike many other leading corporate executives not only in the UK, but also in the world, Coates pays her dues to the tax-man at the highest scale taxed on executive salaries.

Paying Her Way

It’s not as if the Bet354 co-founder could not easily have avoided having to part with a large chunk of her annual income either. She could quite easily have opted to instead of paying taxes at maximum rates, invest in offshore tax havens such as Malta and or Gibraltar. Another alternative would have been to cash in on dividends. This would have resulted in massive tax relief and would have cut her £125 million tax bill by quite a bit. But instead, she chose to keep the money at home and pay her own way.

One needs only consider on going allegations of massive and aggressive tax evasion schemes by big company executives in order to realise that Coates truly does go against the grain in the most honourable of ways. Global business giants Starbucks and Amazon; to name only two; have come under fire lately for their on going attempts to avoid paying up.

Coates Second Only To Musk

As it stands at the moment, according to a study compiled by Yahoo Finance, Coates is topped only by Tesla executive Elon Musk as far as global executive salaries go. Even so, Musk’s salary package of $2.2 billion a year is a complicated affair when trying to separate actual cash income from dividends earned and performance goals. When all is said and done, Coates in all likelihood takes home more in annual actual cash than what is the case for space-entrepreneur Musk.

It must however be mentioned that there remains a great deal of secrecy around the actual take-home salaries of many of the world’s highest-paid junket operator executives, Russian business-men notorious for doing regular business with Russian state institutions and Chinese tech-business big bosses and moguls. Many in these categories do a pretty handsome job of hiding their annual income from the public eye, let alone from tax and regulatory authorities in their countries of residence.

A Controversial Issue

That Coates’ salary remains a massive bone of contention is no lie. The fact that the Coates family are long-term top-dollar donors to the UK’s left-wing Labour Party has only served to infuriate critics even more. Its however interesting to note that Coates seems fully intent on keeping the balance, so to speak. Left-wingers are after all commonly associated with the idea of taxing the wealthy to maximum capacity as well as controlling the gambling industry with a steely and particularly unforgiving fist.

The Coates family continue to decline to comment on any of the averments made about the Bet365 CEO’s extravagant salary package

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