Denise Coates is the UK’s highest paid boss. Last year she took home £217m, easily surpassing Taylor Swift, 2016’s highest paid entertainer according to Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list.
In 2016, profits at her company Bet365.com rose 15% to £514m after punters gambled almost £47bn. She bought the domain name on eBay for $25,000 in 2000 and launched the following year.
Denise foresaw - and crucially bet - that the future of the sports gambling business was online. She decided to mortgage the bricks and mortar betting shops whose fortunes she had turned around after taking them over from her father.
Her brother and closest advisor John recollects ‘she just kept saying: 'This is what we're going to do, this is what we're going to do'. In Denise’s words, ‘we gambled everything on it. We were the ultimate gamblers if you like’.
Denise’s prescience and appetite for risk is reflected in her action planet Mars in Sagittarius’ intuitive knowing in trine, or easy angle, to Saturn in Aries’ entrepreneurial mastery.
Mars rules her Arian Saturn and is out of bounds: it is beyond the Sun's supervision. Mars is travelling just beyond the ecliptic, the Sun’s apparent path. Denise’s Mars does its own thing.
Her out of bounds Mars moves with extra fervour in adventurous Sagittarius, and gets its kicks from operating a boundary-expanding global business.
Transiting Mars conjunct, or met, Denise’s Pluto (regenerative power) at 20° Virgo (service) when she received a CBE for her services to the community and business in the 1 January 2012 New Year’s Honours list. She is the 'patron of the Potteries' as Bet365 is the largest private employer in her hometown.
While her Mars operates only marginally outside the standard band of degrees, Denise’s Moon is way out of range at almost +28° of declination (+/- 23°27' is the band). It is not clear whether Denise has a Gemini or Cancer Moon (instinctual responses) in the absence of a birth time for her natal chart.
A Gemini Moon would fit her love of numbers – she has a first-class degree in econometrics, or the application of statistical methods to economic data – and her negotiation and multi-tasking savvy. She also runs the business as co-CEO with her brother John. Gemini rules siblings.
A dignified Cancer Moon would align with Denise’s very strong need for privacy, and for staying close to her family’s Stoke-on-Trent roots, which includes five children, four of whom are adopted. Such a strong Moon would suggest exceptional intuition and a knack for trend-spotting.
Either way, her Moon squares game-changing Uranus. With Uranus in Virgo, her instinctual rule-breaking exudes understatement, as well as restating her out of bounds Moon’s very idiosyncratic tendencies.
This woman possesses enormous self-belief. She was born with Venus (self-love) conjunct Jupiter (in spades) in Leo (heart vibes). Venus boosts her confidence by ruling her Libran Sun. Or as Denise puts it, ‘I’ve been bossy all my life’.
Denise is also blessed by having Venus at 28° Leo conjunct royal star Regulus at 29° Leo. Other Regulus beneficiaries with 29° Leo placements include Prince's Pluto-Midheaven conjunction (mega high impact public profile), Jeremy Corbyn’s Saturn (authority) and Donald Trump’s Ascendant (path through life).
With a Sun-Saturn opposition, Denise has grafted for her achievements. ‘You start a 24/7 business and you work 24/7…I've worked harder than you can possibly imagine.’
The tightest aspect in Denise’s chart (subject to an accurate birth time showing otherwise) is Mercury in Libra sextile Jupiter in Leo. At her best, Denise strategically weighs up the evidence to reach the right decisions drawing on her inner resolution.
Transiting Jupiter, planet of good luck, has showered good fortune on Denise’s Leo, Virgo and Libra planets spanning natal Jupiter to Mercury since her fourth Jupiter return at the end of July 2015.
To remain in Jupiter's favour, Denise would do well to demonstrate genuine compassion for those who have experienced the destructive side of gambling by the time Jupiter reaches her Neptune (addiction) at 22° Scorpio (hidden) in early October 2018.
In response to criticism for not doing enough so far, Bet365’s latest trading statement vows to ‘minimise gambling-related harm and to keep crime out of gambling’. The company also says it intends to collaborate on research into responsible gambling and harm-minimisation interventions.
Jupiter will judge whether Denise does the right thing, morally and financially, and will unabashedly expose anything that does not smell right. Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey are already encountering Jupiter in Scorpio’s judgement.
Questions about the right use of power by big business vis-à-vis the wider societies they inhabit have been in the frame since Pluto (raw power and wealth) entered Capricorn (the Establishment) in 2008.
The Uranus-Pluto squares of 2012-15 heightened the tension between individuals and entrenched political, economic and social interests.
Jupiter’s passage through Scorpio until early November 2018 intensifies this long-running examination of the exercise of serious power from a more overtly moral stance. Denise Coates’ chart is just one (billionaire) window on this bigger picture.
We can all contribute to a better society by reflecting on how we each use (and abuse?) our own power. Jupiter in Scorpio sniffs out what we do not want to see because facing it means we have no option but to change our ways.