Bodog Founder Accused of Illegal Gambling and Money Laundering


03/26/2012
By Debra SaundersGoogle

On Monday, news broke that the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice seized the Bodog domain. Following this development, the U.S. Attorneys Office in Baltimore, Maryland, has now announced the indictments of Bodog founder Calvin Ayre, along with three of his company executives, James Philip, David Ferguson, and Derrick Maloney. The three are accused of operating an illegal sports gambling business and money laundering.

The U.S. District attorney for Maryland, Rod J. Rosenstein stated, “Sports betting is illegal in Maryland, and federal law prohibits bookmakers from flouting that law simply because they are located outside the country. Many of the harms that underlie gambling prohibitions are exacerbated when the enterprises operate over the Internet without regulation.”

The indictment alleges that Bodog Entertainment Group, operating as Bodog.com, collaborated with payment processors to direct over $100 million of payments to US gamblers, as well as Bodog’s business promoters.

If the four defendants are found guilty, they could be charged with up to twenty-five years in prison. The Bodog.com domain name has been inoperable for a few months as it was switched to Bovada.lv in the United States. Morris Mohawk Gaming Group, located on the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake in Quebec, Canada, currently operates the brand.

In response to the seizure, Calvin Ayre replied with this statement on his website, “Not sure what to say. BodogBrand.com is a brand-licensing organization based outside the US. The brand left the market last year and the domain in question has been dormant globally for longer than that. We are only currently doing brand licensing deals outside the US so this domain had no place in any of our current plans.”

In response to the allegations against him, Ayre went on to say, “I see this as abuse of the US criminal justice system for the commercial gain of large US corporations. It is clear that the online gaming industry is legal under international law…it will not stop my many business interests globally that are unrelated to anything in the US and it will not stop my many charity projects through my foundation.”

 


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