The famous British Sunday Times has released its 20th Annual “rich list,” a summary of the 150 wealthiest people in Britain, Europe and the world. A look at Britain’s wealthiest reveals a lot about the state of the gaming industry.
The ever-riveting list shows the names, occupations and estimated net worth of the 150 wealthiest British citizens or residents, along with their position in that same list last year. At the very top is the famously self-made steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal with £27,700m (over $50 billion,) while the poor relatives in the list are Sir Evelyn and lady de Rotschild with a mere £527m (over $1 billion) made from financial deals. In between these extremes of wealth there are several gaming impresarios and owners whose combined fortunes are upwards of £5 billion (about $10 billion.)
The richest gaming entrepreneur is found at position 62 – low-profile Michael Spencer climbed 26 positions in the list thanks to investments in betting firms City Index and Icap, which have increased his fortune from £803 million to £1.15 billion.
Party Poker founder-owners have come down in the mega-wealthy world: Anurag Dikshit, who held position 72 last year, has fallen down to number 94 as his personal fortune tied to Party Gaming stock was reduced to£812 million (from last year’s £920 million.) Party Gaming co-founders Ruth Parasol and Russell Deleon also came down on the list, with personal fortunes of only £763 million (compared to last year’s £856 million.)
But while Party Gaming has seen better days, BetFred is enjoying days of wine and roses:the Done brothers’ fortune has more than doubled since last year, as BetFred has established itself as one of the largest high street retailers and sportsbooks, as well as flourishing in the telephone betting and internet betting sectors. Fred and Peter Done’s combined fortunes increased from £290 million to £640 million, which raised their status in the list from position 253 to their current 126 standing.
Other gaming business people in this year’s “rich list” are:
244 – Victor Chandler with £365 million (down from 195 at £400 million)
270 – Bet365 founders Peter and Denise Coates with £300 million (up from 351 at £200 million)
289 – PartyGaming’s Vikrant Bhargava with £286 million (down from 257 with the same £286 million)
438 – Betfair’s co-founders Andrew Black and Ed Wray with £190 million each (down from 375 with the same £190 million)
717 – Boylesports owners John and Kathleen Boyle, a new entry with with £112 million