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On February 28, 2012, U.S. federal authorities indicted Calvin Ayre and three other Canadians connected to Bodog. Warrants were issued for their arrest. In addition, the domain bodog.com was seized. As an advertiser of Bodog for years, and now Bovada, I have been asked multiple times for comment. In particular, players want to know if their money with Bodog and Bovada is safe.
First, this is all much ado about nothing. The four indictments were for people who live safely outside the United States and who had no plans to come to the United States. For an arrest to be made, they would need to be on U.S. soil. Since the arrest of Jay Cohen, who ran a sports book out of Antigua, owners of Internet casinos have largely stayed away from the U.S. In this case, the Bodog indictments are no additional inconvenience.
Second, the seized domain, bodog.com, was owned by Bodog but had been dormant since they made the switch to bodog.eu. Bodog services players outside of the United States, whom I'm sure will have no difficulty finding them. Bovada services players in United States, and they were unaffected by Tuesday's events.
Third, Bovada is owned and operated by the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group, based in Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada. They use the domain bovada.lv, which is registered in the country of Latvia. U.S. authorities have no authority over Bovada or its domain.
Fourth, player funds are kept out of U.S. banks, are diversified, and are secure. Bodog has never missed a payment in its many years of operation.
Fifth, I'm assured by my contacts at both brands, Bodog and Bovada, that everything there is business as usual.
Not many operators accept U.S. players at this point, and of the few that do, I feel Bovada is the safest and most fun place to bet on sports, poker and traditional casino games. So I continue to stand behind my endorsement of Bodog and Bovada. Some states do prohibit Internet gambling, so individuals may wish to research the law in their own jurisdiction before playing.
- "Bodog" gambling website seized by feds, founder Calvin Ayre indicted. Article at CBSNEWS.com
- CALVIN AYRE INDICTED - BODOG.COM HAS BEEN SEIZED BY THE FBI. Article at latestpokernews.net.
- Dormant BoDog domain seized. Article at examiner.com.
- Calvin Ayre Indicted by Feds; Calvin Ayre Releases Statement. Response from CalvinAyre.com.
Written by: Michael Shackleford