A local man has spoken of his relief that losing the housekeeping money gambling online hasn’t stopped the boss of Bet365 making £320m last year.
“It’s been a tough couple of days, obviously,” said 37-year-old Simon Williams.
“One minute I have all the money for the month’s bills sitting in my account, the next I’m watching brightly colour slot machines whizz past on the screen in front of me – and then, seemingly in the blink of an eye, I didn’t have that money any more.
“It was horrific realising I didn’t know how I’d feed my kids next week, but, thankfully, I was able to take some solace knowing that Denise Coates made over £5m a week last year.
“I mean, she deserves it, right? She made a website with some really good flashing lights and people like me are drawn to them, so that money was well-earned.
“I’m a big believer in luck, as you can probably imagine, but there is no luck in her earnings, she deserves it. Every single penny.
Simon’s wife told us, “He’s a fucking idiot, but he also has a problem, clearly.
“Still, it’s nice to know that there are successful businesses out there that are this effective at exploiting addiction for financial gain.
“You would think news of pay awards like the one given to Mrs Coates would make people think twice about gambling their hard-earned money online. But that’s not how addiction works, obviously.
“If she were a drug dealer she’d be ostracised, but because the addiction-related misery she creates is perfectly legal, it’s all good.”
A government spokesperson told us, “That’s unfair. The gambling industry is absolutely nothing like drug dealing.
“We don’t make a single penny out of the drug dealers.”