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Last year saw several figures from the UK betting industry paying huge amounts of tax. The bosses of major bookies like Bet365 and Betfred had to pay millions and showed just how much money there is floating around the online gambling industry.

Top of the list was the Bet365 head, Denise Coates, whose family paid over £481 million in taxes. This marked the third-successive year in which Coates has topped the Sunday Times Tax List. Coates reportedly paid herself $421 million in 2021 which made her the 17th richest person in the country with a personal fortune of over $8 billion.  

Coates is one of the major entrepreneurial success stories in the UK over the past two decades. She worked for her family’s chain of betting shops but quickly realised that betting was shifting online at the start of the millennium and bought the brand name. From here, Bet365 has become a true powerhouse of the UK betting industry.

Although the amount of taxes paid was down over $90 million compared to 2020, it showed how Bet365 still managed to thrive amid the backdrop of a pandemic and an uncertain economic outlook. After all, the year saw major sporting competitions like Premier League football postponed and the financial repercussions will have hit the balance sheet of the betting industry. 

Coates wasn’t the only boss of a betting site to earn some staggering revenues. The bosses of Betfred, Peter, and Fred Done were reported to have paid $170 million in taxes in 2021. This tax bill was split up into amounts payable for betting duty, machine gaming duty, and a statutory betting levy. 

Both Betfred and Bet365 managed to report impressive earnings at a time when the brands are spending significant outlay to enter the fledgling US gambling market. Legal sports betting and casino gaming has arrived at a number of US states over the past four years, and should Betfred or Bet365 gain a foothold, it could reap significant financial rewards. 

The power of the UK betting industry

While the Sunday Times Tax List was made up with the usual blend of entrepreneurs and entertainers, the fact that it contained representatives from UK betting sites will have raised a few eyebrows. 

The betting industry in the UK has been booming ever since the 2005 Gambling Act, and while there have been a few glitches, it looks like things are on course to get even more profitable. This is despite many efforts being made to limit the promotional power of betting sites through TV advertising. 

May 2021 saw the UK Gambling Commission releasing figures that showed the British gambling industry bringing in a total gross gambling yield of $5.9 billion. The bulk of this was carried out via online gambling which accounted for 52% of the overall market. This marks a clear shift away from the traditional betting shops and the same period saw a 12% decrease in retail bookmakers on the UK high street

Given the sheer convenience of these online betting technologies, it means that the industry will continue to rake in record revenues in 2022. With major sporting events like the World Cup due to take place this winter, it could be another good year for the bosses of UK betting sites.