Bodog ceasing operations in 20 countries

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Aug 08, 2012 Posted in Online Poker News, Poker Room News | No Comments »

Reports of Bodog pulling out of 20 Eastern European and Asian markets hit the Internet this week, and while some saw the move as a harbinger of trouble for the prominent online sportsbook and poker room, Bodog itself is calling these rumors “funny” according to an article that appeared on CalvinAyre.com (which is akin to an article appearing on Bodog itself in terms of the friendly relationship between the two sites).

Bodog offered several reasons for the pullout, including the relative small markets these countries presented, not wanting to spread their advertising dollars too thin, and most importantly according to Bodog, to keep players funds secure:

“We feel it is better to concentrate on our strengths & where we can offer the best product. The Bodog brand is known for its high level of customer service & spreading ourselves too thinly to try and cover a huge amount of smaller markets was proving logistically difficult. Bodog.co.uk will concentrate on growing existing markets.”

Bodog is advising all players from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Israel, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan to withdraw their funds by August 30, 2012, at which time they will cease offering games, AND processing withdrawals.

Here is a look at the E-Mail sent to Bodog players from the 20 countries mentioned above that was posted on the 2+2 poker forums:

Starting 30 August 2012, Bodog.co.uk will no longer process transactions in your jurisdiction.

We recommend that you withdraw any balance you may have in your account by 30 August 2012. Minimum withdrawal amount is $/€/£10. After 30 August, we will adjust your balance to 0 to protect your funds. To withdraw your balance after 30 August, you will need to contact customer service at service@bodog.co.uk.

Thank you for your understanding and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

While Bodog is putting a happy spin on the pullout fromthe20 markets, others in the poker world do not see it as a “positive” and feel the move is a signal that regulations are tightening on operators like Bodog and some of the US facing sites. Bodog has already rebranded its US-facing operations to Bovada.lv; has ceased operating in several US states; and has pulled out of Spain after that country put in place new online poker regulations.

The most logical explanation of the move comes from well-respected 2+2 poster *TT* who posted the following:

Basically… BodogUK was trying to get approved by the U Gaming Commission, but that did not occur. Since they don’t have a license anywhere in the EU they decided to stop servicing the European market. Bodog UK was “sold” to Bodog88 which is based in Asia (Philippines IIRC – where there is virtually zero regulation).

I am not 100% positive, but I suspect that Bodog will only operate out of Asia and anywhere that Kahnawake supports going forward.

 

 

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