Calvin Ayre Arrested?


RIP Brian
Feb 22, 2001
I can't decide yet whether this is another *Cole Turner* style Bodog publicity stunt or a genuine arrest, but the message boards are humming with as yet unconfirmed reports from Costa Rica that Bodog's Calvin Ayre has been picked up by police.

911 is carrying the following, but as Chris C is closely associated with Ayre (as he was in the Cole Turner deception) that could mean zilch.

If it is a publicity stunt it is well-timed following Ayre's "catch me if you can" jibe at US authorities in his recent Forbes Magazine interview. It would also suit his most recent initiatives like the reality show production getting into gear.

Here's the 911 take on the story:

Ayre-ested! Calvin Ayre arrested in Costa Rica?

Local news stations in San Jose, Costa Rica reported Friday night that the home of Founder and CEO was surrounded by law enforcement and Ayre taken into custody. It was announced yesterday that Ayre is appearing on the cover of Forbes Magazine's "Billionaire" issue. Read More Here
It is not known the reasons for this reported arrest. reported yesterday that shooting for a Fox Sports reality series had neighbors up in arms. It is not known if this is what prompted law enforcement to descend upon the Ayre home.

However, reports are coming in that Ayre had been hosting a poker game at his home and local authorities may have been tipped off to this effect.

The Fox Sports crew is believed to have been on location at Ayre's home at the time of the raid, which has now been confirmed by and media enterprises within the United States.

Ayre's sprawling home is fortified with extensive armed security, which required a much larger police response.

Ayre was expected to be released shortly.

PS: I think 911 was in CR covering this party to launch the reality show shoot, so that would suggest that 911 was on-site when this happened?
jetset said:
I can't decide yet whether this is another *Cole Turner* style Bodog publicity stunt or a genuine arrest,

This was my first thought, as well. Particulary after reading the last line of the story, over at 911:

"It is believed that Ayre will be able to come up with enough money to make bond."

Whether true or a prank, it's just another moment of Calvin pushing the envelope. No matter what, you can bet Calvin will find a way to profit off this. :lolup:
It appears that this is probably not a prank. The story is front page news at Al Dia, Costa Rica's largest daily newspaper. According to the story in Al Dia, the raid on the house was due to the poker game. What makes little sense is why the commotion over the game?...unless the whole thing was orchestrated for publicity's sake by Ayre???
Latest on Ayre incident - from

New York - The San Jose mansion of billionaire Calvin Ayre, the Internet gaming mogul, was raided by authorities in Costa Rica Friday night.

Ayre, 44, is prominently featured in Forbes newly published annual ranking of the worlds billionaires, with an estimated net worth of at least $1 billion (see: Catch Me If You Can). It is the first time he has made the list.

Being on the cover of Forbes stirred up a major storm down here, Ayre told Forbes Saturday. The local newspapers sensationalized the story (after it was published Thursday night), and apparently within a few hours the local bureaucrats decided to come after me.

The raid occurred during a wrap party for a forthcoming poker reality show on Fox Sports television that was shot at the house.

Ayre says about 100 police officers arrived in buses to descend on the $3.5 million 10,000 square foot property looking for an illegal poker game. There was no poker being played at the house last night, Ayre says.

Ayre also says that a call placed to police suggested he was hosting an illegal prostitution ring there. That, he says, is false.

The authorities had a search warrant. They removed computer equipment and files related to the television show from the property. The operation lasted four hours.

The police did not arrest Ayre, but did detain several members of his security detail on immigration-related charges. Ayre has a team of at least three full-time bodyguards, led by a Canadian who is trained as a sniper and has served in Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia.

One guard has been released. Ayre's lawyers are working with the Canadian Embassy to get the other guards released. It is illegal for foreign nationals to provide security in Costa Rica.

Ayre's fortune comes from his privately held web gaming company, Bodog Entertainment Group. It takes bets from 16 million customers, most of them in the U.S. where Internet gambling is illegal.

Calls to the U.S. Department of Justice were not immediately returned. There is no suggestion at this point that the U.S. authorities prompted the raid, though they hold his fortune to have been amassed illegally.

Canadian-born Ayre is not a U.S. citizen and has no known U.S. assets. Last year Bodog handled $7.3 billion in online wagers, triple the volume of 2004. Ayre says all this betting gave him sales of $210 million, and that he took 26% of the revenue to the bottom line.

According to local reports, Ayre's neighbors had been complaining about the loud noise coming from the house over the past week. Fox and Bodog had been filming the show since Monday morning.
Definitely a stunt

Calvin Ayres is too much of a showman not to have engineered this story to
a. promote his tv poker tourney b. to boost traffic in the run up to March Madness.

You can imagine the scene, guys hanging by the pool, police and guests given scripts in advance, journalists invited on the promise of scoop, pr girls check watches, Calvin says go, screeching cars, flashing bulbs of cameras, then, and this reveals it was a PR stunt, they had to party on somewhere else.

He is good. Hats off to him.


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