While statistics tell us that 20% of companies fail in the first year and up to 60% will not be around after three years, entrepreneurs continue to launch their new ideas. A tiny minority of those bright ideas go on to become globally recognised, fully-fledged organisations. An even smaller minority see their founders amongst the wealthiest people in the country, with their name heralded on the Times Rich List.

This year, four such entries to the list are from entrepreneurs whose fortunes have been founded in the gambling industry. In particular, in igaming, the online gambling world exploded with the adoption of the internet and safe gambling regulation across the globe. We expect to see hedge fund managers, oil and steel tycoons, property developers and retail behemoths topping the lists of the country's wealthiest people. When we buy our lottery tickets or place a bet on red or black, we have a wish to propel ourselves to untold prosperity. These individuals have made our interest in gambling their route to success.

The Coates family of Denise, John, and Peter is highest ranked at number 17. Their combined fortune of £8.637 billion is up £189 million from the previous year. While initially a chain of bricks-and-mortar bookmakers in Stoke-on-Trent, Denise saw the future was online. Fresh from University with a degree in economics, she bought the name Bet365. The business mortgaged their shops and started to invest in their own proprietary software and operating systems. Denise Coates started up with just twelve employees in a portacabin in a car park. They stayed loyal to their roots and now employ over three thousand people from their corporate headquarters in the town. They started out as a sports betting platform but have branched out into all areas, including online lotteries and have won many industry awards.

At number 31 are Ian and Richard Livingstone, whose wealth derives from property and gambling in the form of Evolution. Their net wealth actually fell by £400 million, but they are still worth an impressive £5.7 billion. The Evolution Gaming Group doubled its profitability in 2021 mainly due to the acquisition of NetEnt. They specialise in live dealer online casinos and very recently acquired Ezugi to expand their offering. Live dealer allows players to be transported from their laptops into a virtual casino alongside real people, thanks to streaming and cloud services.

Mark Scheinberg of PokerStars is worth £3.926 billion and saw his wealth increase by £407 million.  He moved up one place to be the 48th richest man in the UK. He started a business that was created by poker fans and ran worldwide tournaments for poker fans. However, they have incorporated sports wagering and online casinos into their portfolio in recent years.

Fred and Peter Done of BetFred increased their wealth by £241 million to £1.476 billion and moved up the list from 137 to 120. The business was founded from a single betting shop in Salford in 1967. The brothers had bet on England winning the World Cup in 1966 and used their winnings to establish the business. They now have more than 1,600 land-based betting outlets in the UK and offer a complete online gambling suite including sports, casinos, bingo and lotto.

Ruth Parasol and her family are online casino software pioneers. She was one of the four founders of PartyGaming. The company merged with its Austrian rival BWins which features on the best casino bonuses listings and many other independent igaming review sites. Her net wealth remained static at £780 million. However, she fell back three places on the list to 211. She also has an extensive property portfolio in London, America and other global locations. Her latest business venture is a new bank called Recognise, aimed at servicing the needs of small and medium-sized businesses.