Woman making $2.48 million a day
Denise Coates paid herself a whopping $A617 million last year - meaning her salary was more than 2000 times higher than UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's.
The co-founder of online betting juggernaut Bet365 is officially Britain's best-paid boss for yet another year, according to her company's newly-released annual report.
Ms Coates took home a total of £323 million ($A617 million) in the company's financial year to March, including a base salary of £277 million ($A529 million) and more than £46 million ($A88 million) in shareholder dividends as a result of her 50 per cent ownership of the firm.
The 52-year-old, who helped launch Bet365 in the early noughties, has an estimated net worth of $12.2 billion ($A17.8 billion), according to Forbes.
That makes her richer than the prime minister of England, Richard Branson and even the Queen.
Her most recent annual salary was £57 million ($A109 million) more than the previous year.
The company's overall revenue also increased by 7 per cent to £3.06 billion ($A5.8 billion) and pre-tax profit soared by a fifth to £791 million ($A1,510,386,815).
According to the UK Guardian, Ms Coates made the equivalent of $A2.48 million per working day in 2018 - a sum that is "9500 times the average UK salary".
However, Bet365 also donated $A190 million to a slew of charities including Oxfam.
WHO IS DENISE COATES?
Despite her unbelievable fortune, Ms Coates is relatively unknown in the UK and around the world.
She lives a quiet life with husband Richard in Cheshire in northwest England and the couple's five children, four of which were adopted from the same family in 2014.
They are believed to live in a luxurious farmhouse, and Ms Coates is known to drive an Aston Martin with personalised licence plates.
Ms Coates, a former betting cashier who previously worked for her father's betting company, started Bet365 in 2001 in a temporary building in a carpark after graduating from Sheffield University with a degree in econometrics and buying the Bet365.com domain on eBay for £19,000 ($A33,417).
She suspected online gambling would become the next big thing - and today, along with brother John and father Peter, the family has a multibillion-dollar fortune as a result.
But Ms Coates' massive wealth has attracted its fair share of controversy.
The revelation of Ms Coates' obscene pay has been slammed by members of the public, who have questioned the fairness of fat CEO salaries as everyday workers struggle to get by.
Social media users took to Twitter to attack Ms Coates' pay, describing it as "pathetic" and "sickening".
Sickening.— Stephen Mitchell (@_steve_mitchell) December 18, 2019
Denise Coates paid herself over quarter of a billion pounds, with money obtained in part from addicts in tens of thousands of pounds in debt.
I guarantee that they didn't donate an equal amount to gambling addiction charities.
The fact that Bet365's accounts were only revealed yesterday also caused some to question whether they were intentionally delayed until after the UK election, as failed candidate Jeremy Corbyn had vowed to crack down on the uber-wealthy if he took power.
Luke Hildyard, a prominent critic of excessive CEO pay in the UK, toldThe Guardianthat Ms Coates' salary was unfair.
"This looks like cynical timing, sneaked out straight after a general election campaign where excess wealth, taxes on the rich and the vast gap between those at the top and everybody else have been key issues," he told the publication.
"It's important that wealth and how it's created and shared are properly debated.
"But the publication of these figures seems designed to avoid scrutiny, suggesting that even Bet365 recognises that. While business success should be rewarded, such a colossal payout goes far beyond what is fair or proportionate."
Others also criticised the ethics of making billions from gambling, which causes addicts and their families significant suffering.
In a statement published by The Mirror, UK parents Charles and Liz Ritches, who were inspired to start anti-gambling charity Gambling With Lives following the suicide of their son Jack as a result of his gambling addiction, said Ms Coates' pay was "upsetting".
"These companies know they are peddling addictive, potentially lethal products - as independent research confirms," the statement reads.
"Even (betting company) William Hill's website warns that gambling addicts are four times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than the rest of the population. This is beyond immoral."
how can a company pay anyone that sort of salary? pathetic— J.A.W 🇬🇧 (@ScarletzCaptain) December 18, 2019
Last year, when Bet365 boss Denise Coates paid herself £265 million, the company as a whole paid just £78 million in tax on profits of £682 million.— David Linney (@DavidLinney4) December 18, 2019
She's not making money. She's taking it.