Bet365 founder Denise Coats paid herself an ‘obscene’ £265m in 2017, despite increasing criticism of the online gambling sector. The firm’s accounts show Coates was paid a base salary of £220m in the year to March 2018 and collected dividend payments of £45m from her more than 50% shareholding in the company. The largest private sector employer in Stoke, Bet365’s customers wagered almost £52.3bn last year. Coates’ pay is more than 9,500 times the average UK salary, making her Britain’s fourth wealthiest woman.

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