Bodog move to Antigua - InterviewDecember 8, 2006, 2:56 pm (10 years ago)
Bodog boss and founder Calvin Ayre was in bullish mood this week when he was interviewed by the Antigua Sun on his company's move to the Caribbean island.
Ayre told journalist Patricia Campbell that he and other Internet gaming operators are gambling on a turnaround in the prospects of the online industry following recent American laws which make online gambling transactions more difficult and led to the departure from the US market of many companies.
The writer commented that along with other private operators, Ayre's company has taken advantage of the withdrawal of publicly traded gaming operators from the US, "...gobbling up ready made client lists and infrastructure at relatively cheap prices and expanding their own stakes in what is still a tenuously placed industry."
Bodog announced the relocation of its headquarters to Antigua this week (see previous InfoPowa report) following its acquisition of Betcorp's operations.
"I think that there's been some things that have happened in the US that has some people in the industry a little bit depressed about where this is going," Ayre said. "My own personal opinion is that the pendulum has sort of hit the bottom and that we're going to see it swinging in the other direction. Where it can go, nobody knows for sure, but I think things are going to improve from here forward.
"The US is a large market, but it's not the only market. We plan on using the facilities here to offer services from Antigua to the English-speaking market in Europe as well."
Nevertheless, Ayre acknowledged that private Internet gaming operators share some of the same concerns and pressures that have driven the publicly traded companies out of the US market.
He said the difference was that the public companies have a duty to answer to and protect their shareholders, while the private ones are answerable to themselves.
Bodog's founder said his company was monitoring the developments in the US carefully with the hope that things are about to change for the better. At least some of those hopes are based on the results of the recent US mid-term elections, when the Democratic Party took control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
"I personally believe that the change in government with the Democrats is actually swinging the pendulum back in the direction (we want). there's a lot of things that are happening right now in the US that are pushing the pendulum back in the other direction.
"I think the turmoil is probably still going to be with us for a while, but I believe we have actually gone through the worst of it," he said.
Ayre said it might be true that this was not the time to invest in gaming as a start-up company, but that this period of turmoil may be beneficial for a large, well-established company like Bodog.
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