South African Casino ShockPublished June 29, 2008
Legendary South African online casino mogul, Warren Cloud dies from a heart attack while cruising in the Mediterranean, leaving the gambling world stunned.
While his business rivals were often unhappy with the way Cloud ran his online gambling operations, there was no doubt that he was also held in great respect. Online gambling competitor Brian Bailey said that even though the two didn't see eye to eye in terms of running a business, he recognized him as a family man and sent his condolences to the family.
Real Time Gaming, Cloud's flagship operation, tried to obtain a public listing on the London Stock Exchange, but the deal fell through and no public explanation for the failure was ever released. In spite of this and other failed enterprises, Cloud's business properties were valued around 150 million USD at the time of his death.
Cloud left behind many unhappy patrons who backed his entrepreneurial spirit with their hard earned cash. A number of his initial attempts at establishing an online gambling presence in the South African market fell flat on their face, and punters who placed their bets were never paid their winnings. Another unsavory practice was his practice of locking clients out of his online casinos. These players were subsequently banned from playing on any other Cloud casino website, the reason never being disclosed.
Cloud's death has left a huge void in the South African online gambling scene, and it's unclear in these early days who will move in to claim his market share. His business will probably continue, but without Cloud at the helm, it's hard to see whether it will succeed without his personality and business flair.
Were you a Cloud fan, or were you one of the punters owed money by this South African gambling magnate?