Bet365 founder Denise Coates sent records tumbling when she paid herself £323 million for the 2018/19 fiscal year. It broke the previous record of £265 million, which Coates paid herself in 2017/18, and doubled down on her status as the UK’s highest earning chief executive. Her pay is 9,500 times the average UK salary, 2,000 times the amount paid to the Prime Minister and more than 60 times the mean annual pay package of a FTSE 100 chief executive. Coates founded Bet365 in a portakabin in Stoke-on-Trent nearly 20 years ago and she has turned it into one of the most successful online gambling companies in the world. She is now a multibillionaire. Her pay is often criticised, but she did pay around £125 million in tax, which she could have reduced by taking more in dividends. She also gave £85 million in charitable donations, although some called upon her to give money to funds designed to help problem gamblers.
Bet365 reported a 9.7% increase in year-on-year revenue for the 12 months to March 31, 2019. Sports betting handle reached £64.5 billion during the year, an increase of 22.7% on the 2017/18 fiscal year. The firm said that over the year, mobile sports revenue increased 18%, and in-play accounted for 79% of betting revenue. Coates said the operator is working hard to encourage responsible gambling. “The organization understands that it is not a tactical activity to protect players,” she said. “To that end, the effect of its processes and its positive results are regularly shared across the industry through internal analysis. “In the coming year, the company will continue in this direction and is willing to work with other operators and regulators to boost industry-wide standards in a joint effort to make gambling safe for all.
Paddy Power has launched a racing podcast called From the Horse’s Mouth, which features champion jockey Ruby Walsh and racing broadcaster Tom Nugent. It was produced by Muddy Knees Media, which made the Totally Football Show, and it first aired on Thursday. “Podcasting has been around for years but continues to grow at a rapid rate,” said Jack Wilson, head of content and channels at Paddy Power. “While not forgetting our roots as a bookmaker, our challenge now as a brand is for us to expand into new areas – while continuing to serve up high-quality content on our hugely successful social channels. Given Ruby is one of the hottest properties in racing punditry, there’s no one better served to take our listeners on that journey, to bring them the secrets from within.”
Ladbrokes unveiled a new concept betting shop in Birmingham this week in an effort to demonstrate a viable future for high street bookmaking. It followed the launch of a similar concept store for sister chain Coral earlier this month. The chains have been ravaged by the government’s decision to reduce the maximum stakes on FOBTs from £100 to £2, and management is now trying to modernise the retail wagering experience with self-service betting terminals and a greater focus on digital. The new [Coral]concept shop has pushed the boundaries in terms of design whilst incorporating some of our latest technology, to create an enhanced experience for our existing customers whilst also appealing to a new generation of customers,” said Ladbrokes Coral's strategy and business development director for UK retail, Bejay Patel. “We and look forward to seeing how our Ladbrokes customers react to the new experience we’ve created.”