The Pioneers of Online Gaming

he Pioneers of Online GamingSeveral people have made millions and even billions from the online gaming industry. These are the pioneers of online gambling. Some are facing criminal charges in the US but for most it is business as usual. Some made their fortunes from a decade long online gaming boom and moved on to other things or retired comfortably. Most are located in the UK but as the British gaming market reaches the saturation point many of these pioneers are looking for more opportunities offshore. Despite a gloomy economic for the European Union they have very high expectations for 2013. Here are a few of the major players in the British online gaming industry.

Victor Chandler, also known as the “gentleman bookmaker” pioneered online bookmaking and gambling. Chandler’s operations specialized in poker and online casinos. Chandler took over his father’s bookmaking business in 1975. Chandler’s company BetVictor, moved to Gibraltar in 1999 and now Chandler has a net wealth of £160 million. ($247,658,000 USD) In the early 90’s Chandler began accepting wagers from clients in far-eastern clients. Recognizing the potential Chandler opened an office in Antigua to enable punters to avoid UK taxes. Chandler has 400 employees and is the largest private employer in Antigua.

Aaron Shaked is said to have come up with the concept of online casinos after the idea came to him during a dentist’s convention in a Monte Carlo casino. Aaron teamed up with his brother Avi and brothers Shay and Ron Ben-Yitzhak established Virtual Holdings Limited in 1997. The firm later became 888 holdings. The company has several gaming operations including online bingo. The Shaked brothers sold £95 million ($147,047,000 USD) of their stock in the Gibraltar based company when it floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2005. Avi Shaked has political ambitions and has run unsuccessfully for the Israeli Parliament using the slogan “a socialist and a millionaire.”

Peter Coates, his son John and daughter Denise turned Bet365 into one of Britain’s most successful gaming companies. The company was founded in a Stoke Portakabin in 2000. Denise developed a sports betting platform and trading team and launched the online business in 2001. Peter, a miner’s son and the youngest of 14 children, generated controversy when he donated a large sum to the Labour party when the Labour government was in the process of revising gambling legislation. Last year Bet365’s profits were an impressive £646 million. ($999,918,000 USD) Peter Coates that the UK’s gambling regulations should be duplicated abroad and stated “We have the best regulation in the world in the UK, and the more people who copy it, the better we shall be. If we see anything suspicious we have to report it. If we didn’t report it, not only is it not in our interest, we could lose our licence. We have to abide by strict rules, quite rightly.” Bet365 owns a popular online bingo site targeting players in the UK.

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