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 reviews 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.

Bet365 borrowed £15 million against the family’s betting shop estate which Coates’ father, Peter, started in 1974. Rival firm Coral purchased these shops for £40 million in 2005, allowing the loan to be repaid in full.

The company has gone from strength-to-strength and continues to publish some remarkable figures. Bet365 recorded £2.981 billion revenue ($4.078 billion) in 2019 and made £767 million profit ($1.05 billion). Coates is the main beneficiary of this figures because she holds 50.1% of the company’s privately held shares, allowing her to reward herself with massive dividend payments.

It isn’t all take, take, take by Coates, however. She is a very charitable person, one who set up the Denise Coates Foundation. Coates and Bet365 has donated more than £100 million to the more than 20 UK charities since 2014. The foundation has also pledged large donations to projects in Sierra Leone and for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Forbes estimates Coates’ personal wealth to top the scales at an almost unbelievable $9.8 billion.

One Of The World’s Biggest Sports Bettors

One Of The World’s Biggest Sports Bettors

He may not have the wealth of Aye or Coates, but Tony Bloom has turned betting on sports into a very profitable vocation. Bloom worked as an accountant for Ernst & Young when he decided to take sports betting seriously. He poured countless hours into devising a strategy that helped him analyse every possible permutation of a soccer game.

Bloom has since gone on to found betting consultancy company Starlizard, which averages £100 million profit every year. Starlizard aims for 1-3% returns on is bets, meaning it turns over £3.3 billion worth of sports bets each year! No wonder Bloom can afford to own his own soccer team, Premier League outfit Brighton & Hove Albion.

No Comments Yet

Comments are closed