Boss of Bet365 Denise Coates, 52, took £323million from the firm last year, cementing her position as the UK's best paid company executive in Britain.

That's the equivalent of £885,000 a day or £37,000 an hour.

Coates, one of the company's two founders, received a £277million salary plus dividends on top. Total staff costs were £711.2million.

That comfortably beats last year's £265million - working out as a £58million pay rise - to set a new record for executive pay in the UK.

The online betting firm is owned privately by her and members of her direct family -  including her brother John, who is Bet365s joint chief executive, and her father Peter who acts as the firm's chairman.

Denise Coates
Denise Coates spotted the potential of online gambling back in 2000

Coates has a first-class degree in econometrics from Sheffield University, and saw identified the potential of online gambling in the UK back in 2000.

She owns around half of the shares in Bet365, according to Forbes, which places her 244th in the list of the world's billionaires, with a net worth of $12.2 billion (£9.3 billion).

The company itself made a profit before tax of £791million in the year, up £130million on the year before.  The group also owns Stoke City Football Club, which lost £8.7million last year.

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The firm also donated £85million to charity.

"The size of the donation, and therefore the difference the foundation will be able to make to people's lives over the coming years, are of great importance to the group," Coates said.

Gamblers placed £64.5billion in bets with the company over the financial year, nearly a quarter up on the year before, Bet365's accounts show.

Turnover hit almost £3billion, while the company took £800million in pre-tax profits.

The business said it spent more in marketing as it tried to entice betters with offers linked to the 2018 World Cup, which was part of this period.

The company also went on a hiring spree over the period, adding more than 600 new staff, to give a total of 4,646, it said.