Several land-based gambling tycoons rank high on the Forbes billionaire list, but the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement act has driven Bodog founder Calvin Ayre and PartyGaming founders Ruth Parasol and Russell DeLeon off the list.
Online Gambling hit hard
Calvin Ayre, playboy founder of the powerful Bodog brand, dropped off the list one year after making the cover. The Canadian-born Ayre cracked the list in 2006 when his net worth hit $1 billion, but with the UIGEA making it difficult for American players to move money into online accounts, his stock has fallen.
PartyGaming founders Ruth Parasol and Russell DeLeon were also hit hard when they decided the U.S. legislation meant they had to stop taking American play. Both founders graced the cover of last year's list with Ayre, but were unable to remain after PartyGaming stock took a large hit. Parasol and DeLeon were in the middle of the billionaire list in 2006, worth $1.8 billion each.
One online gambling entrepreneur managed to stay on the Forbes list. India's Anurag Dikshit finished 618th with a net worth of $1.6 billion. Dikshit developed the software that powered PartyGaming and helped Parasol and DeLeon in launching the brand. PartyGaming was the undisputed online gaming leader before the UIGEA passed last year.
Land-based tycoons doing well
Sheldon Anderson, the 75-year old owner of multiple casinos including the profitable Venetian in Las Vegas, tops the gambling world, according to Forbes. He finished sixth with a net worth of $26.5 billion.
Steve Wynn finished 264th on the list with a net worth of $3.4 million. The 65-year old Wynn recently expanded his gambling empire into Asia, opening the $1.2 billion Wynn Macau, and seems to be closing the gap with his rival.
Wynn also made the Forbes "Billionaire Blunders" segment for his gaff involving a Pablo Picasso painting. The art collector, who has an eye disease that limits his vision, recently put his elbow through Picasso's "La Reve" during a sale, reducing the paintings value from $139 million to an estimated $85 million.
William Boyd also made the list, finishing 664th. The 75-year old casino owner recently demolished the old Sands Casino, making way for the $4 billion Echelon Palace Hotel Casino and Condo complex. Boyd also has properties in Atlantic City including the Borgata and the MGM Mirage.