Aristocrat Founder Len Ainsworth Celebrates 100th Birthday
Len Ainsworth, the founder of worldwide casino game developer Aristocrat Leisure Industries, recently celebrated his 100th birthday, according to an in-depth press release from his second gaming company, Ainsworth Gaming Technology.
Ainsworth, a native of Kempsey in New South Wales, Australia, has left an indelible mark on the gaming industry since the 1950s. He pioneered the development of casino gaming equipment, especially slots, over his 70-year career.
His companies have since provided him much wealth over his life. He had an estimated net worth of $3.1 billion in 2021, according to the Australian Financial Review.
Aristocrat, which Ainsworth headed from 1953 to 1984, has also been regularly featured among lists of the world’s biggest companies as a popular supplier of slot games in casinos across the globe.
“I feel privileged to have reached this milestone and to have seen how the gaming industry has evolved and flourished over the years,” Ainsworth told his company’s interviewer this week.
From Dental Equipment to Gaming Machines
Ainsworth’s journey into the gaming industry was not a conventional one. Originally, he was involved in the manufacturing and supply of dental equipment.
However, his entrepreneurial spirit led him to envision the potential of casino gaming, and thus, his legacy in the gaming industry began.
In 1953, he founded Aristocrat Leisure Industries, which grew to become one of the world’s largest gaming companies.
After a prostate cancer diagnosis in 1984, Ainsworth transferred his ownership in Aristocrat to his family.
Following the all-clear from his bout of illness, he founded his second gaming company, Ainsworth Game Technology, or AGT, in 1995.
On his 100th birthday, Ainsworth expressed his gratitude for the success he has enjoyed and the support he received from his family, friends, and colleagues.
“I have been fortunate in establishing a worldwide reputation for quality equipment that continues to lead the field, and that pleases me to no end. I have worked with many great people along the way. Without them, none of it would be possible,” he said.
Beyond his professional achievements, Ainsworth has made significant contributions to society through his philanthropic efforts.
He established the Ainsworth Foundation, which generously supports communities across his native Australia in areas such as medical research, education, health care, and various other social causes.
“Personally, I’m most proud that my good fortune enables me to support so many worthwhile causes,” he said.
Danny Gladstone, chairman of AGT, started his career in the gaming industry 50 years ago working under Ainsworth.
“He is a true icon globally and our industry would not be what it is without him. I wish him all the very best on his 100th birthday,” Gladstone said.
The current CEO of AGT, Harald Neumann, who joined the company in 2021, was also full of praise for his centenarian boss.
“On behalf of the entire Ainsworth Game Technology family and the gaming industry, we extend our warmest wishes to Len on this momentous occasion,” he said.
“His unwavering dedication, innovative spirit, and outstanding leadership have been instrumental in shaping our company and the industry as a whole. We are grateful for his profound contributions and are inspired to continue his legacy of excellence.”
Len’s family-owned company, Aristocrat, is still building on its position as one of the world’s biggest developers. Recently, in May 2023, it finalized a deal to buy out North American lottery operator NeoGames at a cost of $1.2 billion.