Andrew Heathcote Rich Lists editor

Andrew is BRW's Rich lists editor and is responsible for the Rich 200 and Young Rich flagship issues. He also reports on matters relating to wealth and investment for BRW and The Australian Financial Review.

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Poker machine king Len Ainsworth gives back to children’s hospital

Published 27 February 2013 12:17, Updated 01 March 2013 13:25

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Poker machine king Len Ainsworth gives back to children’s hospital

Payout: Pokie king Len Ainsworth is donating $5 million to Sydney Children’s Hospital. Photo: Sarah Woolley

After being widely criticised for failing to donate large sums to charity, the rich have seemingly gone on a philanthropic spending spree.

The latest Rich 200 member to make a multimillion-dollar pledge is the founder of the $2 billion poker machine company Aristocrat Leisure, Len Ainsworth.

Ainsworth has agreed to give $5 million to the Sydney Children’s Hospital, according to Fundraising & Philanthropy magazine.

The funds will be on top of an earlier $1.5 million pledge and will go towards the construction of a new $28 million wing, due to open in May. It will be called the Ainsworth Building.

The donation comes after a hugely successful year for Ainsworth. His family has big shareholdings in Aristocrat and the company he started after retiring from Aristocrat following a health scare, Ainsworth Game Technology.

Ainsworth Game Technology stock has risen in value by 186 per cent over the past 12 months, lifting its market capitalisation to $1 billion. Aristocrat is up 47 per cent.

Ainsworth was named as one of the Rich 200’s five biggest winners for 2012.

His big donation follows the recent effort of fellow billionaire Andrew Forrest. Having signed up to Warren Buffett’s giving pledge, the Fortescue Metals Group founder has agreed to give away at least half his $5 billion personal fortune.

Also this month, another Rich 200 member, Graham Tuckwell, gave $50 million to the Australian National University to help fund undergraduate scholarships.