Bodog CEO and Founder Calvin Ayre - Self-made Billionaire
Bodog CEO and founder, Calvin Ayre
Bodog Founder and CEO Calvin Ayre is recognized as the true pioneer of online gambling and a world influence on branding in the digital entertainment industry. In only ten years, Mr. Ayre has turned a one-person software start-up operation into a billion-dollar digital entertainment and media empire. The Bodog Entertainment Group is considered the most respected brand in the online gaming space, and is well on its way to bolster itself as a 21st century digital entertainment and media conglomerate. Bodog.com is a world leader in online sports betting, casino and poker, and its highly extensive brand includes an international music label, an online magazine, and a television production unit.
Raised in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, Calvin Ayre is the son of grain and pig farmers. During his teens, he would play blackjack for pennies with his mates on long hockey trips across the Canadian tundra. While attending the University of Waterloo, Ayre would bet on sports. He also developed a taste for business. Over the summer he bought a five-ton truck, loaded it with cherries and peaches he'd picked and sold the fruit to motorists on the side of the road. He also planned trips to Florida and Cuba for his party-going classmates.
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After a few failed web-based business ventures, Mr. Ayre read a newspaper story about Ronald (the Cigar) Sacco, a U.S. bookie who had set up an offshore phone-in betting operation in the Dominican Republic to avoid felony charges in the States. "There was a loud bang in my head and the whole universe came together," Ayre recalls. He soon invested $10,000 to build a Web-based system for betting online, providing software to offshore bookmakers.
In March 2006, Calvin Ayre became the first online gaming executive ever to grace the front cover of Forbes. As an entrepreneur, jetsetter, industry leader, producer and philanthropist, Mr. Ayre has single-handedly managed to institute new standards in excellence and originality, and has been the principle driving power behind modernizing online gambling into a mainstream industry. Mr. Ayre has come a long way since growing up on the farms of rural Canada.
"I have had the pleasure in meeting Calvin Ayre and the Bodog Girls on several occasions. He is extremely intelligent and a very down-to-earth individual. Unlike what you would expect when meeting a billionaire, Calvin is easy to relate to and he is truly living the American Dream!" - Bones McCoy
by Bones McCoy at 1800-sports.com on April 12, 2006
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