Bodog leaves Spain and restricts certain US states

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Mar 25, 2012 Posted in Online Poker News, Poker Room News | No Comments »

After having their now-defunct Bodog.com domain name seized and seeing their founder indicted in the state of Maryland, Bovada.lv (the brand Bodog switched a few months back) made the not-so-surprising choice to leave the Maryland market a few weeks back. A little more surprising, but still seen as prudent, decision was made this past week when Bodog announced it would also be pulling out of the Spanish market, ahead of the country’s online poker regulations being put in place.

The decision to leave the Maryland market was seen as inevitable once the state indicted Calvin Ayre and two other suspected Bodog bigwigs. Bodog immediately contacted all players from Maryland and told them their account balances would be processed and sent to them immediately.

It later came to light that along with banning all players from Maryland, Bodog (Bovada.lv) also restricted new players in several other states, New York, Utah and Washington State (the latter two having passed legislation banning online poker, and New York is the home of anti-online poker US Attorney Preet Bharara who filed the indictments on Black Friday against Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and PokerStars). Players from these locales who already joined Bovada.lv have not been restricted, but the site has stopped new players from these three states from joining according to an article at pokeraffiliatesolutions.com.

A number of companies have applied for a Spanish license, and as the country grows closer to implementing their online poker regulations Bodog has decided the better decision is to simply leave the market. The decision was likely based on the huge number of online poker providers that have already submitted applications, as well as the fact that the Spain isn’t considered to be a “hotspot” of poker activity –making the licensing and taxation that go along with a Spanish license a bad bet financially.

The site has still yet to explain its recent actions in the US market (barring Maryland residents and restricting players from New York, Washington State, and Utah) but Bodog did release a statement this past week, briefly explaining to their customers that they would no longer be servicing Spanish online poker players:

“We would like to inform you that due to recent regulatory changes, we are no longer able to offer our betting or wagering services to residents of Spain or Spanish territories. Your account will be disabled on the 31st of March 2012 and as of today; you are no longer able to make any further deposits to your account.”

We’ll keep you updated as more information on Bodog’s and Bovada’s restrictions in the US come to light, as well as the indictment filed against Bodog founder Calvin Ayre.

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