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Bodog Founder Ayre talks about gambling and hair with Casino City

18 Oct 2006

Outspoken online gambling mogul Calvin Ayre took time away from his busy schedule filming reality television program Bodog Fight to answer questions about the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and its effects on his company's gambling business.

Where were you when you learned that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act had passed? What were you doing?

At the time, I was actually in Asia working on some of my foundation's charitable initiatives and on my latest reality television show, BodogFight.com.

Was it a surprise? What do think about the way in which it was passed?

Although we've been expecting legislation of this type, the timing and the way it was pushed through Congress came as somewhat of a surprise.

What is your reaction to the legislation?

My reaction was probably similar to a lot of people in the gaming industry. There was a bit of a surprise by the way the legislation was tacked on to an unrelated piece of legislation at such short notice.

I have, however, come to accept that there is a certain amount of volatility that surrounds our industry, and if there's one thing I think that our customers should take away from this it is that Bodog.com, being private and having withstood many changes to the online gaming environment in the past, is well-situated to adapt to the many external pressures that the industry is faced with today.

Have you been in communication with other online gambling companies about the legislation? Will you attempt to fight it, either alone or with industry help? If so, how?

I think that the existing issues relating to the recent online gaming legislation ought to be left in the hands of the electorate and policymakers. Bodog.com is not and never has been in the business of directing public policy. We're in the business of offering, as one of our many services, a form of entertainment that is enjoyed and accepted by millions of people around the world. We will continue to grow our gaming products, expand into more markets and broaden our digital entertainment offerings. This will ultimately have a much more powerful effect.

What legal advice are you receiving about how Bodog should react to the legislation?

You'll have to ask my lawyers, and they don't come cheap:-)

What do you think of the reaction some of your competitors have had, such as pulling away from the American market?

It goes to show you how fortunate we are to have positioned our business model in such a way that we're easily able to adapt to any external pressures or changes in the online gaming environment. All the public companies are undergoing a rapid process of what we refer to as Bodogification - a restructuring to look like Bodog.com. We also expect that there will be a big push by most of the bigger gaming entities to try to follow us into other areas of digital entertainment. The future couldn't be brighter for Bodog.com.

What gaming services can Americans expect from Bodog?

Nothing has changed in terms of our offerings. It's business as usual and our customers can be assured that they will continue to be provided with a safe, reliable and secure entertainment and gaming experience regardless of any changes in the online gaming environment.

How do you anticipate this situation will effect your gaming business?

Though it will likely take a few months to understand what, if any, ramifications there are from this piece of legislation, we're confident that we've structured our business in such a way that we'll have no problems adapting. If anything, the pending legislation has validated our broad-based digital entertainment model and our decision to stay private. We see the future as very positive for Bodog.com.

What percentage of your gaming business comes from the U.S.?

We're actually not confined to any particular market, as we have presence in a number of markets around the world. Our greatest competitive advantage is and always has been our ability to combine a number of different forms of entertainment into one all-encompassing digital entertainment offering and by modeling our business around this concept, we have traditionally been less dependent on any one revenue channel or single market. This is paying great dividends at this particular time, as all of our entertainment channels are experiencing extraordinary growth.

What are Bodog's plans to increase its non-American presence?

Bodog always has looked at expanding into new markets. At this point, we couldn't be better positioned to grow out our gaming products, expand into more markets and broaden the Bodog brand into other areas of digital entertainment. We see the future as very positive for Bodog.com.

Do you plan on visiting the U.S. anytime soon? Is there a risk involved?

No.

Do you spar with any of the fighters from the TV show?

No. You think I'm nuts? :-)

How do you keep your hair looking so nice all the time?

It's actually a very complicated process, which takes around 3 or 4 hours a day to do ;-)

 
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