Dones and Coates Listed as Top Taxpayers in the UK

The most recent edition of The Sunday Times’ Tax List has once again placed representatives from the gambling industry at the forefront. The owners of Betfred and bet365 have secured two of the top five positions on the 2024 list, surpassing well-known celebrities such as J.K. Rowling and Ed Sheeran.

Fred and Peter Done, the owners of Betfred, claimed the fourth spot on the list, while the Coates family, behind bet365, secured the third position. According to the list, the Done brothers paid a substantial £204.6 million ($259.4 million) in taxes to the UK government. In comparison, the Coates family’s contribution was almost double that, totaling £375.9 million ($476.5 million). Together, the two gambling families contributed a combined total of £580.5 million.

Denise Coates, the co-CEO of bet365, has had a history of topping the list as the highest taxpayer. In 2019, she singlehandedly contributed £276 million to UK taxes, and despite a significant pay cut in 2021, she remained the leading taxpayer. However, in the latest edition of The Sunday Times’ list, Russian-born billionaire Alex Gerko claimed the top spot, followed by Bernie Ecclestone, the former chief executive officer of the Formula One Group.

Although bet365 continues to experience growth in profits, the company has also faced significant operating losses attributed to higher spending. On the other hand, Betfred’s financial status for the fiscal year 2023 has not been disclosed, but its presence on the list suggests positive growth, supported by its expansion into new jurisdictions and the introduction of a new Mohegan Sun sportsbook in Las Vegas.

Despite the significant contributions of the gambling families, Bernie Ecclestone and Alex Gerko took the top two spots on the list by contributing £652.6 million ($827.3 million) and £664.5 million ($842.4 million) in UK taxes, respectively. While the gambling industry continues to make a substantial impact on the UK tax system, individuals from other sectors also play a significant role in contributing to the country’s economy.