Canadian mogul to build resort in Antigua
Calvin Ayre, once fleeing authorities, is now developing a $100m five star resort on Antigua, funded purely by cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) profits. Appointed Antigua and Barbuda’s economic representative, Calvin Ayre has added that he has already started to work on this luxurious resort, located on Antigua’s valley beach.
Ayre, who has obtained the reputation of “his excellency” from Antigua and Barbuda, said: “This resort will attract a totally new market segment of tourism on the island — successful wellness-seekers who also want to have fun. The property will not be an all-inclusive destination. Instead, its amenities will be available to residents of Antigua and Barbuda and visitors alike.”
The gambling tycoon only last year pleaded guilty to a single federal misdemeanour, after ten years on the run from US authorities. Coming a long way since then, he has said that the project will be funded solely by profits obtained from the rising value of Bitcoin. Ayre was an early investor in the digital currency. As a result, Ayre has said that Bitcoin will be accepted as a form of payment for the resort.
The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, added: “We expect the resort’s novel and exciting concept to broaden Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism product and bring a new category of tourists to our islands. We look forward to working with Mr Ayre on this resort and the many other investments he has made in Antigua.”
Ayre, whose father was also convicted for trafficking marijuana, was barred from acting as the director of a public company in British Colombia. This came after the news of a share-trading scandal that emerged in the 1990s. After that setback he created Bodog – which grew to be one of the leading gambling brands worldwide, catapulting him into the spotlight.
Bodog’s successful launch caught the eye of US investigators following Forbes magazine’s feature of Calvin Ayre, titled: “Catch Me If You Can: Calvin Ayre has gotten very rich by taking illegal bets over the internet.”
Ayre insisted that he had not done anything illegal due to a complex web of financial transactions occurring in three separate continents. For this reason, felony charges against Ayre and his brand, Bodog, were dropped last year.