The Sunday Times has announced the 2011 edition of its Rich List, the 23rd annual ‘definitive guide to wealth in Britain and Ireland. The list is based on “identifiable wealth (land, property, other assets such as art and racehorses, or significant shares in publicly quoted companies), and excludes bank accounts.” Fortunately for us, the Sunday Times folks have broken out a separate list of those that made their millions from online gambling, saving us the tedium of having to sift through the hereditary 12th Earl of Shropshire types who didn’t actually do anything to earn their lucre except win the womb lottery.
Sitting in top position is privately-held Bet365’s father/daughter team of Peter and Denise Coates, who saw their wealth increase by an impressive 50% over the past year. The rest of gambling’s millionaires weren’t so fortunate, as most of them (and all of the publicly-traded ones) either held their ground or lost money in the past year. However, Phil Cronin of privately-held bingo boffins Tombola.com saw his wealth increase by 50% as well, so ‘under the B’ means beers are on Phil. The top nine below…
Amsterdam-based Fortuna Entertainment Group says Q1 earnings will hit €8.4m, a rise of 44% year on year. Strong demand for its products in the Czech Republic and Slovakia helped drive the boost, as turnover rose 16.5% to €114.1m. With no World Cup to drive sports betting this year, Fortuna is counting on growth via its plans to expand scratch card and lottery operations in the Czech Republic, especially now that state lottery operator Sazka is under insolvency administration. In this area, Fortuna will have competition from Synot Typ, which just received state permission to launch 1,200 lottery terminals, eventually expanding to 4,000.
The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has effectively banned the unemployed from betting on sports. The move follows a Cologne tribunal’s decision to ban operator Westlotto from knowingly accepting ‘heavy bets’ from punters receiving social assistance benefits. Typically, the court failed to define what made a bet ‘heavy’ nor provided guidelines on how Westlotto staff were expected to figure out who was on the dole and who wasn’t. Westlotto spokesman Axel Webber said the Cologne court “is and remains out of touch with reality.” We’re glad he said it.