Written By Carla Harris
When Len Ainsworth took over his father’s dental equipment company as a young man, he had little idea that he would ultimately transform the gambling industry and become one of the richest people in Australia. Now in his 90s, Ainsworth devotes a great deal of his AU$1.35 billion fortune to a variety of philanthropic efforts. A cancer survivor, he donates substantial sums to support cutting-edge medical research.
His firm dedication to innovation has served Ainsworth well over the course of his 62-year gambling industry career. He founded the slot machine company Aristocrat Leisure in 1953 and soon grew into a global market leader. Never one to be satisfied with the status quo, he always looked forward to the latest advancements in the industry.
As modern technology expanded beyond the world of traditional spinning-reel slot machines, Ainsworth consistently kept pace with the progress. Over the years, Aristocrat began to produce a wide range of linked jackpot systems, electronic card game simulations, and computerised table games. The company has also created revolutionary digital gaming systems that are able to manage entire networks of slot machines.
Aristocrat is perhaps been known as the manufacturer of the iconic, Egyptian-themed “Queen of the Nile” slot. A great deal of the company’s revenue, however, is generated through its popular linked jackpot brands “Jackpot Carnival” and “Cash Express.” These hyperlink systems are able to synchronize as many as 256 machines, allowing them to do display a common progressive jackpot.
After his cancer scare, Ainsworth handed ownership of Aristocrat over to his sons to begin Ainsworth Game Technology. At an age when most people are thinking about retirement, he continues to push the hi-tech envelope, offering a range of global gaming solutions and progressive linked terminal systems. In 2010, Macau Business Magazine presented Ain