Infamous gambler Calvin Ayre is to launch a five-star Antiguan resort, entirely funded by digital currency profits.
The Canadian Ayre, who had recently been appointed as Antigua and Barbuda’s social economic envoy, announced the $100m tourist resort in the wake of pleading guilty to a single federal misdemeanour last year after a decade on the run from the US investigators.
As reported by The Guardian, the controversial figure said that the Ayre Resort is to be built from profits made by the rise in value of bitcoin, in which he was an early investor.
The 56 year-old Ayre (who holds the official title of “his excellency” on the island) said that the resort will ‘attract a totally new market segment of tourism on the island’. "The property will not be an all-inclusive destination. Instead, its amenities will be available to residents of Antigua and Barbuda and visitors alike.”
Gaston Browne, the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, said: “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.”
In keeping with its foundations, the resort will accept bitcoin cash – an offshoot which forked from bitcoin in 2017. The cryptocurrency will be accepted at point of sale terminals on the property and through its online booking engine.
Ayre, suffice to say, has had an interesting life. His father was a pig-farmer who was arrested and convicted of smuggling marijuana. Ayre himself was barred from acting as a director of a public company in British Columbia after a share-trading scandal in the 1990s.
However, Ayre recovered from that to setup Bodog, which has become one of the world’s largest online gambling brands. Bodog’s success saw him thrust into the limelight, with a six-page profile in Playboy (Ayre bought 3,000 copies himself) and becoming a judge of televised lingerie contests during the Super Bowl.
But Bodog wasn’t without controversy either. The US authorities started snooping around Ayre on grounds that the bets it was taking were illegal. The charges against Ayre, Bodog and three others were dropped last year.
As for the resort, there are no other details yet. We’d like to see the ‘Crypto crash’ slide as a particular highlight.