Calvin Ayre, Bodog.com founder and CEO, talked to media about the gambling market in the United States this past week during a press conference in Antigua and Barbuda. Ayre was in the two-island nation to announce the company's move to Antigua.
Ayre commented on the prospects for privately-owned online gambling companies such as his which have the advantage in the U.S. market now that the country is cracking down on Internet gambling.
Since the United States passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), many publicly-traded online gambling companies have pulled out of the U.S. market.
According to Ayre, this has allowed privately-owned companies such as Bodog.com to take advantage of the withdrawal and scoop up the U.S. poker players and other gamblers looking for a place to play online.
Despite taking advantage of the situation, the private companies still have some of the same concerns about the atmosphere in the United States that the public companies do. However, Ayre said he thinks that atmosphere will soon change.
"My own personal opinion is that the pendulum has sort of hit the bottom and that we're going to see it swinging in the other direction," he said at the press conference. "Where it can go, nobody knows for sure, but I think things are going to improve from here forward."
Part of that optimism is a result of the last election in the United States which left both the House and the Senate with Democrats in power rather than the Republicans.
Ayre said he thought the change was swinging the pendulum back in the direction that online gambling companies want along with other factors happening in the United States.
"I think the turmoil is probably still going to be with us for a while, but I believe we have actually gone through the worst of it," he said, adding that Bodog.com had been preparing for the problems in the U.S. and had been ready to take advantage of them.
Bodog.com is also continuing its growth into other online gambling markets as well as its ventures into other industries such as film and music. The company's new base in Antigua will offer services to the English-speaking market in Europe, and some of its movie productions will film there.
Ayre told the Antigua Sun that a number of Bodog.com's activities are likely to benefit the country by creating employment and highlighting Antigua and Barbuda's offerings to potential tourists through their productions.
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