One of the wealthiest women in the U.K. is also the highest-paid executive and highest-earning female CEO in the world. Denise Coates is the founder and co-CEO of betting firm Bet365.com. She's been on an incredible run these last years, bringing home $277 million in salary plus an additional $57 million in dividends in 2017, $347 million in 2018, and an incredible $422 million in 2019. That means that in just the last three years, Coates has made more than a billion dollars from her position as Bet365 CEO.
Coates started out crunching numbers for her father's betting shops while still in school. She got her degree in Econometrics from the University of Sheffield. After college, she continued working for the family betting shop, Provincial Racing. She was made Managing Director in 1995. She turned the business around and acquired another betting business, being one of few women at the top of the gambling industry.
In the late 1990s, Coates had a hunch that the recently launched internet was a great place to establish a gaming business. She bought the Bet365.com domain in 2000, spent a year building the website, obtained a loan using the family business as collateral, and launched in 2001. Today, it is one of the world's biggest online gambling sites and has netted the 52-year-old a net worth of $3.6 billion. She is co-CEO of Bet365.com alongside her brother John (who is also a billionaire).
Coates is on the Top 100 Richest in Tech list. The gaming industry in the UK is much different than it is in the U.S. The UK gambling market makes up 32% of the global gambling industry. The UK is the largest gambling market in the world – you can literally bet on just about anything there. Coates's salary is incredible but controversial. Gambling addicts cost the UK up to $1.5 billion per year. Authorities believe the UK's gambling industry needs more regulation. That could result in restricting Bet365's ability to do business and as a result, diminish Coates' earnings.
She formed her charity, The Denise Coates Foundation, in August 2012. Through the foundation, she has donated more than $128 million to 20 causes in the UK and abroad. Coates has also created 3,000 new jobs in an area of the UK that had shed jobs dramatically in recent decades. She was awarded a "Commander of the Order of the British Empire" (CBE) in 2012 for her services to the community and to business.
In 2018, Coates spent $6.9 million buying up hundreds of acres of farmland surrounding her home. In all, she bought 12 separate plots of land between 2014 and 2018. She is reportedly building a $113.4 million home on a 75,000-square-foot lake, a boathouse, tennis court, stables, and garden.
Coates is married with five children, four of whom were adopted from the same family.