Calvin Ayre and Denise Coates: Two Gambling Billionaires.
It is impossible to deny the global market for gambling is gargantuan. The market is worth an estimated $440 billion and expected to grow to $650 billion over the next six years. While punters dream of winning big and beating the bookmaker, it is those who own these companies that are the biggest winners.
Companies ranked highly on online sports betting review sites make astronomical sums of money. Canadian entrepreneur Calvin Ayre is no longer involved on the gambling world but it is here where he racked up a large percentage of his $1.2 billion personal fortune.
Ayre launched online gambling company Bodog in 2000, which is one of the first sites of its kind. In what was a stroke of genius, Ayre took it upon himself to become the face of Bodog. Ayre hosted lavish parties in exotic locations, surrounded by scantily-clad models known as “Bodog Girls” to market his company.
The tactic worked because Bodog’s turnover hit $7.3 billion by 2005 and revenue of $210 million. Ayre featured on episodes of MTV Cribs and appeared on the cover of Forbes magazine’s 2006 annual Billionaires edition.
Ayre licensed the Bodog brand to Morris Mohawk Gaming Group in 2006 and made another small fortune before retiring from online gaming. Bodog still exists in Europe but is rebranded as Bovada.lv in the United States. He is now heavily involved in cryptocurrency, Bitcoin SV in particular.
Turning a $30,000 Domain Purchase Into a $9.8 Billion Fortune
British entrepreneur Denise Coates has an incredible story. Coates turned a $30,000 domain name purchase into the largest privately-owned online betting company in the world.
Coates, the founder of Bet365, is the highest paid executive in the United Kingdom, and one of the wealthiest women on the planet. In 2018, Coates was paid an incredible £323 million ($441.6 million) which caused a minor outrage in the UK from problem gambling charity groups, but Coates will argue she deserves such benefits having started Bet365 from scratch.
The year 2000 is when Coates purchased the Bet365 domain on eBay. She spent £19,000 (US$30,000) for the domain and set about developing an online sports-betting platform and building a trading team. Bet365 launched from a portable building in a car park 12-months later.