The founder of Bet365, Denise Coates, has 422 million reasons to rejoice. That is the amount in dollars, she paid to herself as the head of the global gaming company this year, and it represents a record for CEOs out of the U.K., perhaps in the world. It’s also much above the $287 million which set a new CEO salary record last year, which by the way, was established by Coates too. The causes for the success depend on who you talk to.
Bet365 announced just a few days ago, that its revenue increased 10% in its most recent fiscal year, which ended March 31. Owing to a handle which increased by 23% year-on-year, the company’s revenue was nearly $3.92 billion and its operating profit was just over $1 billion.
If we were to suppose an average week punching the clock of 40 hours, Coates supposedly earned around $212,000 an hour. The salary is a mix of usual salary pay, $361 million, together with $59 million in dividends from the company and other incentives. She is now worth upwards of $12 billion according to Forbes magazine.
There has been some controversy concerning how the company earns its money. In spite of China having a strict anti-gambling rule, the company has supposedly targeted Chinese gamblers and in 2016, has acknowledged as much, stating that “Chinese law does not extend to the provision of services into China by gambling operators and service providers who themselves have no nexus with the territory.”
As reported by calvinayre.com, Bet365 is charged with using the general elections in the U.K. as a cover-up for the release of its accounting data. According to Luke Hildyard of the anti-corporate High Pay Centre organization, the information was submitted a month later than usual and just after the elections determined that Boris Johnson should remain as the country’s Prime Minister, giving the political fight in the U.K. an opportunity to overshadow Bet365’s financial status.
Hildyard informed the BBC that the timing of the release was deliberate and a way for the company to not receive negative reaction over the figures, adding, “Business success should be incentivized and rewarded, but a payment a fraction of this size would still afford a lifestyle beyond the wildest dreams of most people.” That may be true, but it’s a debatable point. Capitalism thrives off the capacity to make vast amounts of money, and this is what drives innovation too.
Innovation doesn’t mean deceiving the consumers or coercing the system, however. This could be what is driving Bet365’s success according to a report out of Australia’s ABC news outlet. The company is supposedly pushing out those individuals who have a strong winning track record in favor of those who constantly lose, allowing folks in the latter group to bet larger amounts of money. However, those in the first group, have restrictions placed on how much they can wager in order to cut Bet365’s risks.
Given the U.K.’s stricter approach to gambling which has been seen recently, this revelation will almost surely lead to an investigation. It is said that the bigger you are, the harder you fall, and Bet365 could be in for a lot of trouble if the allegations are proved.