Gaming mogul says the country is poised to gain from global Bitcoin convergence

Calvin Ayre (centre left) with Minister of Information Melford Nicholas (left), Minister of Economic Investment Asot Micheal (centre right) and acting Prime Minister and Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin (right) (Photo by Kieron Murdoch)

Antigua-based online gaming mogul, Calvin Ayre has urged investors at home and abroad to follow his lead in making Antigua & Barbuda a hub for business process outsourcing (BPO), an industry, he argues, which will benefit heavily from increased use of crypto currencies, such as Bitcoin, in gaming.

Ayre made the pitch during Thursday’s ground- breaking and sod turning ceremony for his new US $25 million call centre in Upper Gambles, to be operated under Call Centre Services Antigua.

“I’m a major enthusiast and advocate of Bitcoin and Blockchain technology. I see a growing convergence to bitcoin online gaming…and progressive countries like Antigua are poised to take advantage of this convergence by developing a truly global service industry,” he declared.

His argument was that there was “[a] vast untapped potential in the Antiguan market” for BPO firms as the ease of use of a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin causes an increase in online gambling and an increase in the need for outsourcing.

“A similar phenomenon happened in Manila [Philippines] where I was one of the first people to open a BPO offering service to the online gaming industry, and today, just about all the major online gaming companies … have established their BPO operations there,” the mogul added.

Ayre, who founded the Bodog brand and turned it into a highly successful gambling and sports betting empire, promised that once his new project is complete within a “hopeful” two- year target, residents can expect “800 well-paying high-tech white-collar jobs”.

“This latest venture is particularly close to me. It will create 150 construction jobs and once completed will [offer]…service to a variety of global industries,” he said.

The cost of the building is due, in part, to Ayre’s intention to have it solely powered by solar energy. According to his publicist Ed Pownall, the project “was conceived about three or four years ago” and was envisioned as being an “environmentally friendly building”.

(More in today’s Daily Observer)