Bet365’s boss’ charity cuts donations by £3m

Bet365’s boss’ charity cuts donations by £3m

Published: January 7, 2022

A charity organization established by Denise Coates, the billionaire boss of Bet365, has significantly reduced its donations. They have gone from £9m to £6m, even though its reserves have swelled by nearly 50% to a whopping £568m.

Coates is the best-paid woman in Britain, whose pay-and-dividend package worth £421m in 2020 helped her reach over £1bn in four years.

Various divisions of her online gambling empire donated £100m to the foundation during the year to 28 March 2021. Moreover, the charity’s investments have grown in value by 86.5%.

The reserves of the foundation established in 2014 soared from £385.3m to £568.4m, while the donations declined significantly. The accounts show the donations have been smaller due to the restriction of charity funds. The foundation expects they will bounce back in future years.

As said, the accounts demonstrate the reserves have grown by 48%. However, the charities regulator does not abide by strict rules on the amount reserved for donations.

The guidance says that organizations with more substantial reserves than necessary could re-estimate their spending. Additionally, the foundation mentions the funds it holds in the comments related to its accounts.

It addresses the foundation’s policy to utilize the donations coming from the Coates empire to improve its reserves of investments and cash. Any gain and income it receives are distributed over one to five years.

Throughout the year, the number of funds free for donations grew by £15.5m to £20.2m. The 2021 donations included the amount of £1.9m reserved for the University Hospital of North Midlands. The Coates family, worth over £8bn, also owns the Stoke City Football Club.

A series of donations is related to COVID-19 research, including £10m to the trust mentioned above and £500,000 to the Chronic Disease Research Foundation.

It is significant to remember Douglas McMillan, a hospice that received £300,000, and Cafod, a Catholic overseas development organization that got £200,000.

However, the charity did not provide any amount to tackle gaming-related harm, even though Bet365 donates to them via a voluntary levy.

Campaigners feel it should be compulsory due to the lack of treatment for gaming addicts across the UK. Bet365 recorded an 8% fall in revenue, and 74% in operating profit, due to sports events cancellation.

About Bet365

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