Bet365 companies gave founder’s charity another £85m last year 

07 Apr 2021 News

A foundation set up by the founder of the gambling firm Bet365 received £85m in donations from two companies that are part of the Bet365 group last year.

The Denise Coates Foundation spent just over £9m making grants to other charities, according to its annual report and accounts for the year ending 29 March 2020, which were recently filed with the Charity Commission. 

Its total income for the year was £88.7m. Of this, £50m was donations from Hillside (Media Services) Limited. It also received £35m from Hillside (Technology) Limited. This £85m has been allocated to expendable endowment funds.

During the year it also received interest and investment returns of £3.7m.

Investment losses 

The foundation has been building up its endowment over the past few years and its total assets now stand at £385m. This includes just over £300m in its investment portfolio. Last year the investment portfolio delivered an investment loss of £28.5m, 8.7%. 

The accounts explain: “The short-term volatility of the stock market, caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, led to a significant loss in the investment portfolio as at 29 March 2020. The trustees are confident in the investment managers' ability to react to the situation and protect against the negative market reaction.” 

Some £82.5m was transferred to the endowment fund part of the portfolio, and £8m was withdrawn to fund grants. 

The foundation’s reserves policy states that the aim is to “maintain the real value of the endowment but otherwise to distribute all the foundation's realised income and gains within a reasonable period”. This means the charity will be able “to operate on an enduring basis without being dependent upon donations from any particular source”. 

The accounts add that: “The trustees, at their discretion, decided to transfer a total of £9.2m to unrestricted funds to further the foundation's ability to provide donations that meet its charitable objectives.”  

Grant giving  

During the year, the foundation allocated grants worth £9m across a wide range of areas including education, arts and medical research.   

The largest grant was just over £2m to Sandbach Gymnastics Foundation. This was to pay for the renovation and conversion a building into a gymnastics facility, as well as purchasing gymnastics apparatus and equipment.

It also provided £1.3m to Chronic Disease Research Foundation for a three-year project researching the microbiome inflammatory pathways that cause cardiovascular disease and a four-year fellowship researching the microbial factors that improve cardiovascular outcomes, along with long-term funding towards pilot projects, fellowships and PHD students.

Other recipients included CAFOD, Tate and Douglas Macmillan Hospice. 

For more news, interviews, opinion and analysis about charities and the voluntary sector, sign up to receive the Civil Society News daily bulletin here.



More on