Britain’s best-paid woman faces financial crime investigation into gambling empire

The Australian Transaction Reporting and Analysis Center (Austrac) is probing Denise Coast for fraud in the gambling industry.

Public attention is focused on a possible scandal that has engulfed the gambling empire of Britain’s richest woman, Denise Coates, founder of Bet365. According to reports, her business is being investigated by the Australian Transaction Reporting and Analysis Center (Austrac) for alleged breaches of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing legislation. Despite the allegations, Ms. Coates maintains the position that she is not involved in any criminal acts.

Denise Coates: a success story and suspicions of fraud  

Ms. Denise Coates, founder of Bet365, is one of the most powerful and wealthy women in the UK, thanks to the success of the betting company she founded. However, the empire she has created has come under the spotlight due to a financial crime investigation by the Australian Transaction Reporting and Analysis Center (Austrac). This investigation is prompted by allegations of breaches of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing legislation.

Bet365, a bookmaking company founded by Coates in 2000, started from a small suitcase and has grown into one of the largest in the world. Success in the business arena has brought Coates huge financial opportunities, and she still has a controlling stake in the company. Today, it is among the largest along with 1xBet and Megapari, whose mobile app can be downloaded on this site.

In the previous year, Coates earned an additional £270 million in dividends. However, the company made a loss of £72.6 million due to its “significant” investment in the emerging US market. In addition, Ms Coates was paid approximately £50 million in dividends.

Bet365 could be subject to fines if the company’s breaches are confirmed. Regardless of the current situation, this investigation has brought public attention to ethics in business and the need for big business compliance.

In 2022, an analysis by the Australian Gambling Research Center threw light on the problem of gambling in the country. The unpleasant statistics revealed that almost half of Australians aged 18 and above are at risk or have already suffered harm from gambling. What’s more, Australia ranks sadly first in the world in the number of gambling machines per capita, putting the country in a very non-trivial position among the world leaders.

Recognizing the growing problem, the Australian government has taken drastic measures, including new laws to address the negative effects of gambling. These measures include banning online gambling companies from accepting credit cards and digital currencies. These moves are prompting calls for stricter legislation and stricter controls on gambling in general, emphasizing the importance of measures taken to protect society, especially vulnerable groups, from the potential negative effects of gambling.

Corporate betting shops play a key role in various aspects of public life, but due to the potential for their services to be used for money laundering and terrorist financing, they are required to have robust systems and processes in place to control and mitigate these risks. This is an important requirement as a business without adequate risk management processes becomes vulnerable to exploitation by criminals.

Requesting comments from Bet365 suggests that the giant takes security and compliance issues seriously. In the context of an active investigation, the referral will help shed light on the company’s risk management practices and its stance on measures taken to comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing laws.


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