Online Gaming's Top 3 Billionaires

We all know that octagenarian Sheldon Adleson is the richest casino owner in the world with a staggering $30 billion fortune - but today we're going to take a look at the three richest entrepreneurs who have made the vast majority of their fortunes in the online gambling arena.

1) Mark Scheinberg, co-founder and former CEO of PokerStars - $4,500,000,000

At the top of the list is co-founder and former CEO of PokerStars, Mark Scheinberg. 43 year old Scheinberg started PokerStars with his computer programmer father Isai in 2001. PokerStars were instrumental in orchestrating the poker boom of the mid-2000's after Chris Moneymaker won a $40 satellite at PokerStars into 2003's WSOP Main Event. Moneymaker went on to win the tournament, prompting a huge uptake in customers for online poker the world over. PokerStars used this momentum (sponsoring Moneymaker and several subsequent Main Event champions) to grow their presence worldwide.

After the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act ) in 2006 PokerStars were able to rapidly increase their customer base as Party Poker, the former world no.1 left the market.

PokerStars continued to thrive up to Black Friday in 2011 when the US Department of (in)Justice forcibly closed their site in the USA. Stars carried on as usual outside of the US, however, unlike Full Tilt and Ultimate Bet who had mismanaged their player funds and were crippled by the seizure of their operating funds.

PokerStars increased their stock still further when they agreed to pay back some $184m to Full Tilt's out of pocket players and to pay hundreds of millions to the US govermnet  in exchange for the Full Tilt name and assets. Rational Group (PokerStars parent company) now owned what had been the world's two biggest online poker sites.

Scheinberg's immense wealth came from the eventual sale of Rational Group in 2014 to Amaya Gaming for $4.9 billion. As 75% shareholder Mark Scheinberg became a multi-billionaire overnight.

2. Denise Coates, founder and CEO of Bet365 - $3,600,000,000

49 year old Denise Coates learned about the gambling industry from the inside, working in her father's betting shops crunching numbers as a school girl. Although her father Peter was already a successful businessman, starting a successful catering company which serviced football grounds, as well as buying a few provincial bookmaking shops - it was Denise who was the real gambling industry expert. After training as an accountant she took over the running of her father's failing shops, turning them around and building the estate to 50 shops.

Denise then took what she called in a 2015 interview "ultimate gamble", borrowing £15m from RBS against the betting shop estate, and started Bet635 from a portakabin in Stoke, England, in 2001, reasoning that online was the future of the gambling industry. She was not wrong. As the company is still privately held (with Denise owning more than half of the company) there are little in the way of published figures, but the $2 billion in revenues in 2016 and Bet365's huge annual profits leave no doubt that the company is incredibly successful, with Denise's stake worth $3.6bn

3. Teddy Sagi, founder of Playtech - $3,100,000,000

45 year old Teddy Sagi is an Israeli entrepreneur who started gambling software developer, Playtech, in 1999.Playtech are at the forefront of many of the innovations in online gaming and offer solutions across multiple platforms including bingo, lottery, slots, sportsbook, social gaming, and of course, poker. The Playtech software is used for all sites on the popular poker network, iPoker. iPoker includes sites such as Bet365, Betfair, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, Paddy Power, and many more.

With Playtech covering all bases they reap the rewards of being able to supply multiple products to multiple clients from sportsbook  to poker to online casinos. If you're interested in online casinos is a good source to find the best new virtual casinos on the market.