Despite being a relatively newfound industry, online casino gaming is a huge money spinner, making a number of entrepreneurs some rather hefty heaps of cash over the past few years. Here are some of the big dogs of the business – ravenous businessmen who know the secrets behind turning a healthy profit, year on year.
Founder of the Bodog entertainment brand in the mid s, Calvin Ayre is perhaps the father of online casino gaming, with a net worth of a staggering $1.2 billion in total. The entrepreneur was one of the first to realise the possibilities that online betting and gaming held, turning what was a software support firm into the early noughties’ prime casino gaming company. Ayre has consistently set himself apart from his business peers by presenting himself as the face of the company; a lavish, party-oriented lifestyle, garnished with liberal helpings of both supermodels and yachts, made Ayre quite the name for himself during the early 2000s when Bodog was in its prime.
As the managing director of online gaming company Gamesys, Noel Hayden is currently one of the tycoons of the gaming world, 440th on the Sunday Times Rich List thanks to a net worth of £213 million. The entrepreneur found early success during the dot com boom of the late 90s in Internet Digital Media, a company sold to Gameplay for £7 million back in 1999. Gamesys was born out of this capital, and performs well to this day; in 2009-10 the company made a £21 million profit on £75 million of sales, and today the company’s leading website, Jackpotjoy, has users numbering over 4 million, making it the UK’s leading bingo and instant win website. Hayden’s work on Jackpotjoy has certainly paid off; the company announced recently it could be selling Jackpotjoy and a number of other assets to the Intertain Group for the princely sum of £425.8 million in return for a 10-year service agreement. Hayden will also soon be joining Intertain’s board of directors, another feather in the hat of the respected businessman.
Fred & Peter Done
Based in the UK, bookmakers Betfred are one of the largest betting and gaming providers in the world, the combined high street and online arms of the business taking in around £4 billion every year. Behind this staggering success are the Done brothers, a plucky pair who established their first betting shop in Salford, Manchester in 1967; the shop itself was funded by a large bet placed on England winning the 1966 World Cup! Since those halcyon days, the pair are now worth more than £660 million combined, owning more than 1,300 shops in total across the UK.