“Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming”- Richard Branson.
Online casinos are everywhere -from the first-ever online casino in 1995 to companies today, it has become an institution. People have been flocking to the many online casinos as trust in the e-commerce space improves. While there are multiple websites where one can enjoy a nice round of roulette all around the world, many a gambling website in rupees has been generating a lot of buzz from the Asian subcontinent. The trend has happened after stories of people who won big money through online gambling were publicized. This has happened after a long line of generations of these websites.
We shall look at some of the pioneers of the game.
Isai Scheinberg: Pokerstars
The 73-year-old Canadian entrepreneur owns most of the world’s biggest online casino at one point in time. The company was initially a small one but since 2006, they have seen tremendous growth and Scheinberg and family have never looked back. Interestingly, Scheinberg made a decision to move his company’s operations out of America around that time. Valuation of his possessions is not known to any degree as he keeps his private life private.
There were a lot of legal issues in 2011 at the company that involved a $765 million fine imposed on them. However, the company had gotten big enough to weather a storm like that. He sold his shares to Amaya gaming in 2014 to make more than a fortune. He is an IBM alumnus and he still consults the company on technical matters.
Gustaf Hagman and Robin Ramm-Ericson: LeoVegas
2011 founded LeoVegas is one of the major online casinos of the world. The story of this company’s growth is a rather smooth one. They went live in 2012 with just a couple of upstarts. They collided with the smartphone boom and made the app compliant to the same. Because of this understanding of the market, today they have over 900 employees working for them.
In 2017, LeoVegas acquired Royal Panda for a fee of 60 million euros and in 2018 they became the first-ever organization to get a gambling license in Sweden. There is no exact estimation of how much money they have raised so far. After a challenging financial year from 2018-19, Hagman was quoted as saying: “We have learned a lot, and our position for achieving our long-term vision – to be the global market leader in the mobile casino – is good.” The confidence comes from an enormous amount of sponsorship deals of very high quality.
Anthony Werkman: Betway
Betway is one of the biggest betting sites in the world. They are one of the prime places for betting on football- especially the English Premier League. The Betway casino is one of the many services they provide in the online gambling space. In 2016, they recorded the largest ever jackpot payout of $17,879,645.
Anthony Werkman is the CEO of this multi-million dollar empire- one that is ever-growing. With media’s interventions in football becoming more and more common, the betting industry has taken a hit. The Betway casino, however, keeps pushing the company onwards and upwards. They also own Dream Bingo- which is a means to tap into more businesses.
Calvin Ayre: Bodog
Calvin Ayre launched Bodog in the year 2000. The rest is history in this niche. The company flourished during the surge in online gaming as a whole- and Ayre became a billionaire- yes, you read that right. He is a supremely talented techie with a great networking history. Combining his superstar status with that, he became one of the most powerful men in the online entertainment space as a whole in the 2000s.
He is also known for his exploits with cryptocurrency- which also contributed to his illustrious journey. He built a five-star resort in Antigua with the money he made there. He is currently known to have a net worth of $1.2 billion.
India’s online gaming space is heating up. You can read up about the surge in online gaming in India now. Online casinos and gambling are probably one of the most lucrative investment opportunities in the world. There could be another Calvin Ayre waiting out there amongst India’s huge market of entrepreneurs post the startup boom.