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The Top 25 Online Millionaires
News Date: May 4, 2009

The Sunday Times has just released its annual Rich List. This list is a compilation of the richest persons or families in the world. Overall the 2009 Rich List paints a grim picture. The recession has wiped out £155 billion, the largest ever recorded fall. The Sunday Times web site breaks up the list into interesting sections and the section of interest to online players is the list of the top 25 online millionaires.

Unfortunately the top spot is not occupied by online gaming, but by Internet security dealer Peter Cruddas with a fortune of £1,000 million. Though many would say securities trading is no different from online gambling. But later in the list online players will encounter many familiar names. The PartyGaming group features three entries. Second placed on the list are PartyGaming co-owners, the husband and wife team of Russell De Leon and Ruth Parasol with a joint fortune of £700 million. Ruth founded the company in 1997 as a network of gambling sites. De Leon teamed up in 2001 and married Ruth in 2003. Third on the list is another PartyGaming co-owner, Anurag Dikshit, with a fortune of £559 million. Dikshit was recently in the news for his $300 million settlement with the US Department of Justice. Ninth on the list is Vikrant Bhargava another major stake holder in PartyGaming.

There are three co-owners of the gambling portal Betfair on the list. Ed Wray is 11th with a fortune of £190 million; Andrew Black is 12th with a fortune of £185 million and Richard Koch is 17th with a fortune of £129 million. Betfair has just concluded a deal with Cryptologic for the licensing of the latter’s branded online slots on its casino operations. A unique feature of Betfair Casino is that it offers a Zero Lounge that has casino games with no house edge. Betfair was launched in 2000 and has become the world’s largest betting exchange.  

Peter and Denise Coates of Bet365 are 6th on the list. Their joint fortunes add up to £400 million. Peter is also the chairman of the Stokes City Football Club and is 7th on the list of The Premier League owners. Victor Chandler and Mark Shuttleworth are joint 13th on the list. Victor Chandler is the chairman of Victor Chandler International. The company was founded by Victor’s grandfather in 1946 as a land based betting company. Victor took it online in 1998. Victor has been described as “the most famous bookmaker in the world”. Shuttleworth is a stake holder in Thawte Consulting, which certfies the financial security systems of many online casinos. However Shuttleworth is more known for being the second self funded space tourist.

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