Denise Coates



Denise Coates is founder, majority shareholder and joint-CEO of online gambling company, bet365. Coates expanded the chain from 12 shops to 49 through organic growth and acquisition, transforming her family’s chain of betting shops, before deciding to launch the gambling website in 2000. In 12 years, it became the largest private-sector employer in Stoke-on-Trent and a multi-billion pound global betting website. Bet365 is the only major online bookmaker whose operations are still based in the UK, still based in Stoke. It focuses on sports betting with a specialty feature offering players a wider selection of in-game bets. In 2012, Coates set up the Bet365 Foundation, renamed the Denise Coates Foundation in 2016. It donates to over 20 charities – none of which are related to preventing gambling harms. However, bet365 has promised to donate up to 1% of its total revenue to gambling charities. In 2019, she opened the Denise Coates Foundation Building at The Donna Louise Hospice, a charity supporting children with life-limiting conditions. She has also heavily donated to the city of Stoke-on-Trent, both as a major employer and as the major investor in Stoke’s Premier League Football Club. She runs the company jointly with her brother, John Coates. He describes her as “very driven, always likes to be better than anyone else, very organized and good with people. She turned out to be a bit of a star”. In 2019, Coates was inducted to the Sports Betting Hall of Fame run by Sports Betting Community for her leadership in the gambling industry. She is the highest-paid woman in the world and the highest-paying taxpayer in the UK.