by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
Calvin Ayre, founder and former CEO of internet gambling website Bodoglife.com, recently agreed to an exclusive interview with Josh Dean of Fast Company magazine. Ayre has received quite a bit of media attention since he founded Bodog in 1994, and was sometimes viewed as the Hugh Hefner of the online casino industry. He became most well known for his internet blogs in which he spoke openly his opinion of the issues that online casinos have faced.
Ayre has certainly made no secret about his lavish lifestyle. In his daily blog he would insert footage of films he has made when “jetting around the world to exotic places.” The online casino industry will remember him for his bullish outspokenness, but also for his contributions to the gaming world. Bodog Entertainment is one of the most well known in the industry, offering just about every venue of gambling possible to its members and creating a copious amount of jobs. As Ayre grew up in Canada on a farm, and since his acquired fame has donated countless hours and finances to the Calvin Ayre Foundation. The Calvin Ayre Foundation has dedicated its resources to improving health and educational conditions for under-priveleged children and “fighting the good fight against bear bile farming.”
Ayre announced his retirement in April of this year. He commented, “I was really more of a brand ambassador for Bodog the past while anyway – but it was fun while it lasted.” Founding Bodog in 1994 with just $10,000, Ayre managed to turn Bodog into what it is today; a leading establishment and top online casino, sportsbook and poker room in the gambling world.
So where is Calvin Ayre today? In his blog he mentions that he flew out to Antigua after his retirement, as though fans would expect any less of him. With Antigua being a large asset to the gambling community, Ayre adds, “I am not sure I will stay retired forever… I am a classic entrepreneur and already feel myself looking around for other projects to get involved in.”
Dean’s article covered the latest news on Ayre, who has now stationed himself in Macau. Ayre spoke of Bodog and its future in online casino gambling and his thoughts on the more pressing issues in internet gaming. “The Ayre I met in Macau was feeling bullish. ‘I sell to people like me, who like what I like,’ he told me. ‘If I like it, there’s a whole bunch of other people out there who like it too,’” Dean reports. The article touched on Bodog’s annual revenue and the amount of business Bodog is pulling in from the U.S. market. While many gambling facilities close their doors to the U.S. since the implementation of the UIGEA, Bodog is one of the few that still offers its services. Bodog is taking a large portion of the profits of the U.S. gambling market with there being so much less competition.
Needless to say, we are far from seeing the last of Calvin Ayre. Those who wish to keep updated with his current dealings in Macau, may visit his blog at calvinayrelife.com