Bodog Online Gambling Site closed down by the FBI

BodogThe United States authorities have seized the domain name of Bodog Entertainment Group and an indictment was revealed against Calvin Ayre the founder of the Bodog Group. Three other people were indicted along with Calvin Ayre, all four are Canadians and are believed to now be in Canada. Arrest warrants have been issued for the four men who are accused of illegal gambling by federal prosecutors.The shutting down of the Bodog gambling website and the indictment and issuing of warrants for the gambling website’s operators’ arrests is reminiscent of “Black Friday in April 2011. On that date the FBI closed down three of the largest online poker sites PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker and issued international arrest warrants for the directors of the websites. In that investigation the United States authorities are seeking up to 3 million dollars in fines and have frozen international bank accounts. (See article: Prosecution for Money Laundering Linked to Online Gambling).In 1994 Calvin Ayre launched the Bodog entertainment brand. The main focus of the Bodog brand is on online gambling and BodogBrand.com was created in 2005. After the United States Congress passed anti-online gambling laws in 2006 Bodog, which was based in Antigua at the time decided that it would withdraw from the United States market. In 2009 Bodog set up the Bodog Poker Network. Last year BodogBrand .com was granted gaming licences by the UK Gambling Commission to operate an online gambling website www.bogog.co.uk limited to UK residents only.

The recent indictment by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency against Bodog for illegal gambling and money laundering means that Calvin Ayre and his three co-accused could face up to five years in prison for illegal gambling and up to 20 years prison for money laundering if convicted. The company also faces fines of up to 500 000 dollars for the same offences. The indictment alleges that gamblers in the state of Maryland and elsewhere in the United States were sent winnings from Bodog.com and this contravenes the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. It is claimed that Bodog spent millions on advertisements to attract players to its site. It is alleged that up to 100 million dollars was transferred from Bodog accounts in Europe and Canada to pay out winnings to players.

Calvin Ayre has declared that Bodog Europe, Bodog Asia and Bodog UK have not accepted bets from the United States.

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