Calvin Ayre and his Bodog Empire have received plenty of mainstream media coverage (BC Business, Vancouver Sun, Forbes, etc.) over the past couple years however their recent round of layoffs have remained under the radar. Gambling news sites and Vancouver forums have been buzzing since Bodog-related marketing support arm Fiver Media (formerly Riptown Media) announced cuts to operations locally and gave 174 employees three months working notice in August.
Luckily the Vancouver Sun’s David Baines has been on Ayre like a dog on a bone and dropped by Fiver’s offices to poke around:
It’s also difficult to determine what’s happening at Fiver Media. On Tuesday, I dropped into its office at 333 Seymour St., but nobody would talk to me. Fiver Media is run by Jim Phillips, a Vancouver chartered accountant and former senior partner with the Vancouver accounting firm Morgan & Company. Although he was in his office when I dropped by, he did not show his face.
It sounds like they weren’t interested in talking to Baines because they’re all busy collecting a paycheque while working on their resumes and job hunting.
In an oddly considerate gesture, Fiver Media hosted an ‘Open House’ for local tech companies to network with employees and present current opportunities. Smart move by Fiver management as any poached staff will only shorten the working notice payouts they’re on the hook for. According to an insider, Blast Radius, AirG, Action Pants, Relic, Kodak, and Telligence all dropped in to shop for staff.
So, where does Calvin Ayre fit in this continuing saga?? Ayre transferred licensing/ownership of Bodog’s North America Operations to Morris Mohawk Gaming in 2007 in hopes of buffering himself from US Department of Justice laws. Ayre claims to have since ‘retired’ and remains in exile in Costa Rica.