Denise, John and Peter Coates, the family behind online betting and gaming operator bet365, have secured their position on the Sunday Times Rich List, standing at 17th out of 250.
The trio recorded a total net worth of £4.4 billion in 2021, up by £1.3 billion when compared to their 2020 net worth.
Collectively, the Coates family own 93.3% of bet365, and also reported dividends of more than £88.6 million.
Denise Coates, who was awarded with a CBE in 2012, also reportedly paid herself a salary of £421 million earlier this year, which is thought to be the biggest pay cheque in British corporate history.
The Sunday Times further estimates that when Denise’s pay and the dividends are added to bet365’s operating profits, the company is worth roughly £7.1 billion, adding a further £1.3 billion to the figure in recognition of a vast run of dividends and salaries over the years.
Denise founded bet365 in 2000 after inheriting and mortgaging her father’s local chain of betting shops in Stoke-on-Trent, using the earnings to finance the initial launch of the operator’s online-based enterprise.
Now one of the largest and most recognisable gambling firms in the world, bet365 is active in the UK, Australia and the US, whilst also maintaining offices in Gibraltar and Malta and employing 5,000 staff.
However, despite its commercial success, bet365 was adversely affected by the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group announced in April that its year-on-year revenue growth had come to an end, declaring that its 2019/2020 group revenues were down 8% to £2.6 billion (2018/2019: $3 billion).
As a result, the company’s operating profits decreased by over 75% to £194 million (2018/2019: £758 million) with the cancellation of sporting fixtures – and subsequent decline in interest in sports betting among consumers – the most likely factor.