Internet wagering has now been around for almost three decades. It began as a small sphere in the 1990s that dominantly functioned from tiny nations looking to rake in tax revenues from allowing foreign investors to set up shop within their borders and offergambling business to the world. Now, this landscape generates $95 billion in annual revenues and is expanding at 8.5% yearly. Below, we shall concisely profile three individuals who came into this sector at the right time with the right vision.
In the online betting arena, there are only a few legendary brands. And one of these is undoubtedly Bodog. For those who have never heard of this gambling business, it was an exclusively online one launched in 2000, which made its founder, Canadian Calvin Edward Ayer, a billionaire fairly quickly.
Born in 1961 in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, Calvin Ayer graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor’s Degree in science before getting an MBA from the University of Seattle. In 1992, Ayer accidentally came upon an article that discussed companies offering sports wagering services over the telephone from the Caribbean. After learning this, he decided to explore the betting industry, which officially began operating on the Web in 1994 from Antigua and Barbuda. Two years after this occurrence, Calvin set up his Internet gambling business in Costa Rica, which four years later became Bodog.com.
In the mid-2000s, Bodog was hitting a massive stride, with Ayre notching success after success despite ignoring conventional startup tips when he established his gaming and betting entity. However, in 2006, the United States started to crack down on offshore wagering platforms, forcing Ayer to sell the US section of his brand. That move led to the creation of Bovada, a new US arm based on Bodog owned and operated by the Morris Mohawk Group from Canada, or the Kahnawake territory in Quebec.
Born in 1967, Denise Coates is a joint chief executive and a majority shareholder in Bet365, one of the world’s most famous PayPal betting sites. Coates is an Alma mater of the University of Sheffield, and going by Forbes’ latest estimates, she is worth around $7.7 billion.
As a young adult, Denis joined Provincial Racing, her family business, in the cashier department. She moved up to Managing Director in 1995, and sensing the potential rapid expansion of the online gambling business, in 2000, she decided to launch Bet365 along with her brother John. The platform has evolved into somewhat of a global phenomenon and has made Coates one of the highest-paid directors on the planet. Nevertheless, despite her stunning professional success, she prefers to keep a low profile and chiefly focus on philanthropy.
Playtech is a gambling software development company that pretty much any online slot fanatic likely has heard of and maybe even played loads of its games. It got established in 1999 by Israeli entrepreneur Teddy Sagi, who built this gaming business up from Tartu, Estonia, releasing its initial product in 2001 and then moving it to Douglas, the Isle of Man.
Playtech now generates annual revenues of over €1.6 billion, and aside from software reel-spinning and table games, it also has multiple live dealer studios, a few even operating from the US. That is right. This is one of the few international online game suppliers that has managed to break through in the US.
Sagi is a Tel Aviv native, born in 1971, who grew up in the city’s Shikun Lamed neighborhood. In 2006, he took Playtech public, and in 2016, he sold off a 12% piece of his creation for $400 million, selling off the rest of his shares two years later for a price tag of $88 million. Sagi has also taken three more companies on the stock market. These are a cybersecurity one named Kape, a payment processer – SafeCharge, and MarketTech, now Labtech London.