|Born||1967 (age 52–53)|
|Alma mater||University of San Francisco (B.A.)|
Western State College of Law (JD)
|Home town||Mill Valley, California, U.S.|
|Spouse(s)||Russ DeLeon (m. 2003, div. 2014)|
Ruth Monicka Parasol is an American entrepreneur and attorney who founded PartyGaming in 1997. The company merged with Bwin Interactive in 2010 to form Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment then the world’s largest publicly traded online gaming company. Parasol is the single largest individual stakeholder of Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment.
Parasol was born in 1967 in San Francisco, California. She is the eldest daughter of Guna Parasol, who is Swedish, and Richard Parasol, a Jewish-Polish Holocaust survivor who served in the Israel Defense Forces. Richard eventually emigrated to study mechanical engineering at California Polytechnic State University. Richard worked as an engineer for several years and then went on to become a real estate developer.
After earning her Juris Doctor from Western State College of Law at Argosy University in 1992, Parasol worked for her father's real estate management business. Parasol also amassed a small fortune in the business of online pornography and the operation of phone sex lines.
In 2003, Parasol married Russ DeLeon. They moved with their children to Gibraltar in 2004. They separated in 2010, and were decreed divorced in early 2014. Parasol continues to reside primarily in Gibraltar and to maintain homes in Israel, London, and Spain.
Involvement in the gaming industry
Parasol launched Starluck Casino Online in the Caribbean in 1997. In 1998, she made software engineer Anurag Dikshit a partner in her business, which later became known as PartyGaming Plc. In turn, Dikshit made Parasol a partner in his IT services business based in India. Vikrant Bhargava and Russ DeLeon joined as principals of Party Gaming in 2000 and 2001 respectively. Parasol and her ex-husband served as consultants to PartyGaming Plc until December 2006, and they sold their remaining shares in 2015.
After the launch of PartyPoker.com in 2001, PartyGaming Plc grew to generate more than $500 million in annual profits by 2005. In June 2005, PartyGaming Plc floated its IPO on the London Stock Exchange at a value of £4.64 billion ($8.46 billion), and in September of that year was admitted to the FTSE 100 list of companies. In October 2006, PartyGaming publicly withdrew from the U.S. market after the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, a piece of anti-gambling legislation approved by the United States Congress as part of the SAFE Port Act. As a result, the company’s share price dropped 60% and the company subsequently withdrew from the FTSE 100 Index.
In 2008, Anurag Dikshit pleaded guilty to violation of the Federal Wire Act, agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, and personally paid $300 million to the United States Department of Justice as part of his plea. In 2009, PartyGaming entered a non-prosecution agreement with the Justice Department and paid a fine of $105 million. In 2011, the Justice Department reversed its earlier position, determining that the Federal Wire Act does not apply to online poker and casino games, only to sports betting.
Parasol Foundation Trust
Parasol is the principal benefactor and a founding member of the International Advisory Board of The Parasol Foundation Trust (formerly known as the Bonita Trust), a Gibraltar-based independent philanthropic organization that was founded 2004. As of 2013, the Trust has given over GBP £20million in donations. The Parasol Trust's grant making focuses on non-profit organizations in the areas of health, the environment and cultural heritage. The Parasol Trust works with organizations such as The Red Cross, The University of Cambridge, Tel Aviv University, Technion University, The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Prince’s Trust and MacMillan Cancer Support. The trust also has a special interest in using new technologies and Internet solutions to aid charitable programs.
- "PartyGaming to Take Control of Bwin in $1.76 Billion Deal" Bloomberg. Retrieved 2014-5-12.
- "Bwin.party shareholders to sell stakes" The Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-5-12.
- "The great wealth of China" The Economist
- Pratley, Nils (2005-06-03). "The porn princess, the Indian computer whizz and the poker bet that made $10bn". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-12-28.
- "Party Gaming Counts the Cost of US Withdrawal" Poker News.
- "PartyGaming’s Dikshit Pleads Guilty to Web Gambling" Bloomberg. Retrieved 2014-5-12.
- "PartyGaming reaches $105m settlement with US authorities" The Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-5-12.
- "Department of Justice Flip-Flops on Internet Gambling" Forbes. Retrieved 2014-5-12.