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 http://static.9play.com/. 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 places 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.
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