Denise Coates Age, Relationships, Biography on Wikipedia, and Family

Figure 1 Denise has succeeded in a traditionally male workplace

Even though there have been great strides forward made in recent years, when it comes to the world of sports, it is still men who attract the most headlines. Whether it is athletes, presenters, or just people in the business of sports, it is generally males that are first thought of.

But things are changing. Women’s sports – especially soccer – are getting more and more media coverage and women’s leagues are getting the type of support and visibility on betting websites that their male counterparts have had for decades.

Part of that newfound respect and support might be down to the involvement of women at the highest levels of sports. Female coaches are not as rare as they used to be and women have made inroads into companies surrounding sports as well. Denise Coates is a perfect example of a woman who has climbed the ladder of one of the most traditionally male workplaces of all – and succeeded.

Who is Denise Coates?

Thought to be one of the UK’s richest women and among the best-paid executives in the world, Denise Coates started her business in a temporary office structure in a car park in her hometown of Stoke-on-Trent. It is now regarded as one of the biggest sports betting firms in the world and the biggest employer in the city.

After realising the potential for online betting, she turned her family-run gambling business into a world leader. bet365 is one of the biggest names in the European sports betting industry and has recently made inroads into the American market after the US Supreme Court eased restrictions for sports betting there.

Early Life

Denise Coates was born in Stoke-on-Trent, England on 26th September 1967. She is the son of Peter Coates, who owned a number of betting companies, and is one of four children. While still at school, Coates worked as a cashier in a betting shop, before graduating from university and training as an accountant.

Denise Coates Family

Denise is the eldest daughter of Peter and Deidre Coates and has three brothers and sisters. One of her brothers is John Coates, who is the joint CEO of bet365 and joint chairman of Stoke City Football Club along with Denise. Denise met her future husband, Richard Smith, at Sheffield University and the couple now has five children together.

Denise Coates Career

After graduating from university, Denise Coates trained as an accountant and then became managing director of a number of the betting businesses in the family portfolio. She noticed early on how big the online betting industry could be and borrowed £15 million to start the operator we know today and the domain name,

bet365 was launched in 2001 and the boom in online and live sports betting built an unprecedented fortune for Denise and the rest of the Coates family. Unlike most billionaires around the world, Denise Coates is paid by way of a salary. That has resulted in her frequently being named the UK’s highest-paid CEO, with a salary of around £421 million in 2020. That figure was 50% higher than it had been just a year earlier and reportedly higher than the salaries of all the other CEOs on the FTSE Index combined.

Denise Coates’ connection to Stoke-on-Trent is a strong one. Her company continues to be based in the city (although the official headquarters is in Gibraltar) and the family also owns the local soccer team. Denise is co-owner of the Stoke City Football Club, while her father is the chairman and her husband serves as a director. It is not thought that Denise takes an incredibly active interest in the fortunes of the team but she has definitely put her money where her mouth is when it comes to local pride. That is even though the club has incurred not insignificant losses in recent years.

Denise set up a foundation in 2012 that donates to around 20 charities on a local and national basis and also donated £10 million to the University Hospitals of North Midlands in 2020 to help combat the COVID pandemic.

Denise Coates Net Worth

Although Denise Coates is notoriously private about her personal life, her financial dealings are on the record. So we can estimate what her fortune is actually worth. In 2023, Forbes stated that Denise Coates’ net worth is $6.8 billion. That had risen by around $1.5 billion from the year before.

Future Plans and Projects

bet365 continues to be the biggest sports betting firm in the UK and has recently looked to expand its business. Although it is now coming up against some experienced heavyweights in the US and Canadian betting market, Denise Coates is sure to use her foresight and talent to keep it at the top of the game.

It seems unlikely that she will ever walk away from the family business and it is more likely that we see her – and bet365 – looking for the next opportunities in the sports betting and gambling industry.

Figure 2 Coates’ business sense has thrived in the sports betting industry


Denise Coates may be one of the richest women on the planet – and definitely one of the most successful female business people – but you would hardly know it if you met her. She stays out of the limelight and prefers to concentrate on the business, rather than splash the cash on lavish extravagances.

In this time of austerity and cost of living crisis, some will criticise her immense wealth on principle. But, for others, she is seen as a role model for everyone – especially women.

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