Rumors have been running amok that Bodog Founder Calvin Ayre has decided to retire from the Bodog family for good. Although online gambling industry observers have expressed both surprise and skepticism at the move, Calvin Ayre’s personal blog explains his decision to move on and focus on more charitable work.

In a blog post that was released April 21st, Ayre reveals that Bodog ownership in North America was taken over by former Olympic spokesman Alwyn Morris and the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group in 2007. He goes on to explain that in 2006, Bodog hired a mostly European team to run their non-US operations (although now their operations are exclusively outside of the US due to the UIGEA legislation).

Ayre relays in his recent blog posting that in the last year he has essentially became more of a representative for the company as opposed to having a strong influence on the company’s operations.

“You’ve likely heard the rumblings and rumors….and for once…’s true…I’m packing it in! Well who am I kidding, if you’re reading this now you know that for the past few years I’ve been pretty focused on jetting around the world to exotic places and filming crazy sh** for this blog. I was really more of a brand ambassador for Bodog the past while anyway – but it was fun while it lasted.”

Ayre continued to say that he wanted to take time for himself and focus on more meaningful causes, “I’m going to focus my time on a balanced private life and The Calvin Ayre Foundation which I am truly passionate about.”

Although Ayre may finally be trying to change his life around, nobody is fooled. Throughout his career with Bodog and even before the creation of the online gambling behemoth, Ayre has been a controversial character who has not shied away from shady business.

The Vancouver Sun reminded Canadians about some of Ayre’s previous business dealings upon Ayre’s departure. The first incident they reported was about his implication in a marijuana trafficking ring in 1987. Although Ayre was not convicted, his father and brother-in-law received lengthy jail sentences. Continuing with their dissection of Ayre, the Sun also reported about his alleged involvement in a seedy Vancouver company called Bicer Medical Systems. Furthermore, in 1996 he admitted to serious stock offences and submitted to a 20-year suspension from the British Columbia securities market.

Ayre has also had his share of difficulties with the US Department of Justice officials in recent years. They have made it more than clear that Ayre is on their “most wanted” list and that if he steps foot into US territory he will be immediately taken into custody.

Throughout recent years Ayre has created quite a reputation for himself. In 2006 his company was pulling more than $7 billion in turnover, making it the seventh largest online gaming company in the world. During that same year Forbes magazine featured Ayre as one of the world’s 794 billionaires. Apparently Ayres also has goals of becoming a prize fighter.

Last October Calvin Ayre issued a challenge to 1st Tech owner Scott Lewis to a 3-round Bodog MMA fight. Ayre challenged Lewis in order to settle a patent dispute. The world is still holding its breath hoping to see the face of Bodog duke it out with another gambling executive. Either way, who knows what kind of trouble Calvin Ayre will get himself into next.

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