Where is Calvin Ayre?

wangpoker

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I am shocked to know this. I've been guessing who is the owner of 9group. spearmaster, is it true?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Is Calvin Ayres, the Canadian online gambling tycoon, founder of a six billion dollar a year online casino business hiding out? In today's world there aren't very many places where a person like Calvin Ayres can do that. A Forbes magazine story about Ayre in 2006 entitled "Catch Me If You Can." listed Mr. Ayres in the billionaires of the world category.

It is rumoured about in insider circles that Calvin Ayres is now living in Phuket, Thailand where he has bought a house apparently for $8 million USD. With another $5 million USD, he was going to blow on a jet, he is said to be venture funding a sports betting operation based in Malaysia and The Philippines.

Mr. Ayre's other online gambling operations are now based in the Antigua and Barbuda jurisdiction safer now after the U.S. ban on online wagering destroyed his earning power in the U.S.A.

The new company is called 9 Group and is run by Alan Randall, formerly of 888 and Victor Chandler. Targeting the huge Chinese market has been the main focus of 9 Group so far. The software is powered by Australia's BetOptions and the live dealer casino by Entertasia of Macau.

Malaysian billionaire Vincent Tan sold his sports betting company Ascot Sports to 9 Group so that 9 Group could utilize its sports betting license in The Philippines under the name First Cagayan. The plan looks set to promote games for fun websites in China in order to build a customer database which will then be converted into sports wagering online casino players.

A task fit for any tycoon, breaking into the rich Chinese market hasn't been easy so far. The Chinese Government has already closed down the website once and on top of that hackers trashed the site when it first launched.
 

spearmaster

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I don't have firm information on this but to the best of my knowledge, it is probably true.

However, the information on the sports betting license is not correct, as Ascot was licensed in the Isle of Man for sportsbetting, and in Cagayan for an online casino. But it does look like the software packages originally used have been changed... so it is entirely possible they have also acquired a license in Cagayan for sports betting.
 

vinylweatherman

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He sure likes to live dangerously:D

Online Gambling is even MORE illegal in China than in the USA. In the US, he would at least have his "human rights" to fall back on, and to tie any legal moves up in knots (as he has shown).

I also believe it is illegal in Thailand, or certainly this is what a few online casinos would have us believe.

That bit about using a Chinese "fun" site as a lure to effectively "steal" personal information to be passed, or sold on, for the purposes of illiciting what is an illegal activity as far as China is concerned from these "fun" players, describes what we know is true, and what is always denied, that our details DO sometimes get sold on for "marketing purposes", or to use the technical term "spamming".

Calvin will have to take care not to set foot on Chinese soil, nor that of any country with an extradition treaty with China, nor one that China can bully. Given that Calvin has humiliated the US authorities, there is considerable kudos available to China if they could nab him, and put a stop to his entire online empire.

He will surely run out of boltholes!
 

spearmaster

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I also believe it is illegal in Thailand, or certainly this is what a few online casinos would have us believe.

Irrelevant - the company is located in Malaysia. He just apparently owns a house in Phuket.

And besides the fact that online gambling is not illegal in the US, technically it's not illegal in China either, except that they choose to prosecute under general laws against gambling.

And do also mind that game sites for fun are not illegal at all - so assuming Calvin is the owner, he can still freely set foot in China.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, ok?
 

RobWin

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Irrelevant - the company is located in Malaysia. He just apparently owns a house in Phuket.

And besides the fact that online gambling is not illegal in the US, technically it's not illegal in China either, except that they choose to prosecute under general laws against gambling.

And do also mind that game sites for fun are not illegal at all - so assuming Calvin is the owner, he can still freely set foot in China.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, ok?

Yes, but would it be wise for him to? ;)
 

wangpoker

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vinylweatherman, I am laughing when I read your post. Calvin Ayres is very safe if he operates outside China Mainland and isn't a Chinese Citizen. He can go inside China boarder freely. Years ago one player committed frauds at Macau-Slots, Stanley Ho directly went to the China police and asked for help.

Do you know which companies process funds for these gambling operators such as bet365, Victor Chandler, Ladbrokes, all licensees in Philippine? Most of them use ISP (
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), some of them also use YeePay (
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) and UDPAY (
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). These processors work together with national financial institute CHINA UNIONPAY or CHINA POST. THESE COMPANIES ARE IN CHINA. Neteller(1-pay) is in Macau, does it worry about crackdown some day? Absolutely no!

DO you still think Online Gambling is even MORE illegal in China than in the USA?

Chinese players play online poker, casino and sports at home or Cyberbars. They don't worry much. Even they are caught by Cyber Police (a special filter deployed on China internet.). The penalty is a very small fine. This rarely happens. Personal play is very safe. Organize/gang gambling in China is crime by law. It's another story.

In every campaign the government first cracks down political websites, then porn websites, then fraud websites, then underground gambling gangs. Online gambling isn't one of top priorities.

The "fun" affiliate of 9group is called 9direct. It advertises on all kinds of media: sports magazine, newspaper, TV, radio...It's even a sponsor of one League A football club. Its cheap laborers spam all websites 24/7 (it's one of the most effective marketing methods in China). They pay out a lot of small prized, gifts. People like these. IT'S LEGAL. NOBODY CARES ABOUT THAT. Conscious people has no voice in government. Government has other big issues to look after. The law is ambiguous in many ways.
 

RobWin

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DO you still think Online Gambling is even MORE illegal in China than in the USA?

Chinese players play online poker, casino and sports at home or Cyberbars. They don't worry much.

We still do the same here in the states too, all the UIGEA did was to hinder a few deposit and withdrawal methods, that's all...it's still a joke. They will never be able to Totally stop online gambling from the states as long as there are ways to deposit and withdraw and also the use of proxy servers.
 

wangpoker

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We still do the same here in the states too, all the UIGEA did was to hinder a few deposit and withdrawal methods, that's all...it's still a joke. They will never be able to Totally stop online gambling from the states as long as there are ways to deposit and withdraw and also the use of proxy servers.

Big difference.
(1) Most players in China use Debit Card or Credit Card for gambling banking. They don't need any proxy.
(2) Operators freely go to China. They are not afraid of prosecution.
 
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vinylweatherman

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Irrelevant - the company is located in Malaysia. He just apparently owns a house in Phuket.

And besides the fact that online gambling is not illegal in the US, technically it's not illegal in China either, except that they choose to prosecute under general laws against gambling.

And do also mind that game sites for fun are not illegal at all - so assuming Calvin is the owner, he can still freely set foot in China.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, ok?


Can he take the chance though. The US, bastion of Human Rights (so they say), certainly stretched things by holding the Neteller execs, even though they were in charge when assisting transactions was NOT illegal, and had left the company. They have already indicated they will get Calvin, by any means necessary, because of how he publicaly baited the authorities, and boasted of the billions of untaxed gambling revenue he had made from US players.
There is nothing to say that China will continue to put online gambling at such a low priority for enforcement. He is probably safe in Thailand provided he does not antagonise the Thai authorities, and it may be enough simply to exclude Thais from using his gambling sites.

Apart from all this, I thought the word was that he had retired and sold off what remained of his empire to go and enjoy the considerable fortune he still had.
 

RobWin

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Big difference.
(1) Most players use Debit Card or Credit Card for gambling banking. They don't need any proxy.
(2) Operators freely go to China. They are not afraid of prosecution.

That all depends on where you want to play at online if you are located in the states.;)
 

spearmaster

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There is nothing to say that China will continue to put online gambling at such a low priority for enforcement.
Past precedent. It is highly unlikely that online gambling will suddenly become a priority for the Chinese government. wangpoker knows this from experience - this is something that happens once every year or two, and lasts a couple of days then fades into the woodwork.

Trust me - Calvin knows what he can and can't do.

He is probably safe in Thailand provided he does not antagonise the Thai authorities, and it may be enough simply to exclude Thais from using his gambling sites.

He won't antagonize the Thai authorities - he just apparently lives here.
 

jetset

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For interest, this story originated in a post on Forbes Magazine around February 23rd after that publication carried a story on the DoJ confiscation from e-cash processing companies of Bodog millions.

Commenting on the story, a poster using the handle "Ronin" (I think I've seen that nick here at CM btw) made the allegations.

I've checked out the UK-Chinese language site in question before releasing the following story:

INTRIGUING POST ON CALVIN AYRE

"Insider" information suggests that former Bodog billionaire is still involved in the industry

Intriguing post of the week was spotted at the business magazine Forbes.com, where a poster using the nickname "Ronin" posted additional information to an article carried earlier by the publication on US Department of Justice confiscations of Bodog funds held by e-cash processors (see previous InfoPowa reports)

The insider's nick "Ronin" may be revealing - A ronin was "a samurai with no lord or master" during the feudal period of Japan.

In his post, the self-proclaimed insider alleged that Calvin Ayres (sic) is now funding a sports betting operation based in Asia targeting the Chinese market. The new company, 9 Group, is based in Malaysia and The Philippines and is headed up by an Englishman by the name of Alan Randall, formerly of 888 and Victor Chandler, "Ronin" claims.

"9 Group's website in Asia is
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. Software is powered by BetOptions of Australia and the live dealer casino by Entertasia of Macau," Ronin wrote. InfoPowa has confirmed this English and Chinese website url as being correct, although no mention on the site of either Ayre or Randall is made, other than a comment that the operators have "100 years of online gambling experience."

The site identifies a British Virgin Isles company, Haydock Sports BVI, as the operator, and carries a First Cagayan licence tag. Interestingly, the enterprise seems to have set up its own cash processing companies, branded 9postcash, 9fastpay and 9smartcash. It also claims some ambitious promotional activity as a sponsor for the Guangzhou football club and the Mahjong Supercup, and in typically Ayre style placed emphasis on attractive female promoters.

Ronin goes on to claim that 9 Group purchased a Malaysian sports betting company called Ascot Sports from Malaysian billionaire Vincent Tan because it owned a sports betting license in The Philippines under First Cagayan.

"Ayres purchased a house in Phuket, Thailand for US $8 million last year and now spends most of his time in Asia," Ronin reveals. "Last year he put a US $5 million deposit on a Boeing jet but decided to forgo the purchase and invested the funds into his new venture.

"His plan is to promote games-for-fun websites and free tipping websites such as 9 Predict in China in order to build a substantial database of customers which he then hopes to convert into cash paying sports wagering and online casino customers," Ronin adds.

"It will be interesting to see the Chinese Government's reaction to Ayre's illegal foray into the lucrative Chinese gaming markets. They have already closed down the website once and hackers targeted the website when it first went live."

If true, the allegations would appear to indicate a change of heart on Ayre's part, as only last year he announced his "retirement" from online gambling and claimed he would be concentrating on the operations of his charitable foundation.
 

wangpoker

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The fun website of 9 Group is
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It's like sports tournament at SBR.

And babies website
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And sports experts blog:
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These websites is to attract more eyes or build player database. They have created a lot of buzz.

Last night one insider in Malaysia confirmed me that the head of 9 Group is a former executive of Victor Chandler.
 

wangpoker

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Bodog Takes on Asia

MANILA, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Bodog announced today that it has signed an exclusive brand license agreement with Asian online gaming operator Haydock Sports Limited.

Headquartered in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, Haydock Sports is led by Managing Director Ian Dunning. Prior to assuming the helm at Haydock, Mr. Dunning was Managing Director Asia at Victor Chandler, and he brings a world-class team and vast regional experience and expertise to the table. "We know that Bodog was considering a number of potential licensees, but we were confident that Haydock would emerge from the exhaustive diligence process as the premier choice of partners in the region," says Dunning. "Obviously, we were pleased to be right."
......

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jetset

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There's a report on this deal in Casinomeister News - looks like old Chandler buddies getting together in Haydock Sports - Dunning and Randall apparently both worked there.
 
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