On Monday, the news broke that domain name Bodog.com had been seized by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DoJ).
Following that story, 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. All the men are Canadian and now stand accused of running an illegal sports gambling business and of money laundering conspiracy between June 2005 and January 2012.
In a statement read Tuesday by 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.”
In the indictments, it is alleged that the Bodog Entertainment Group, operating as Bodog.com, worked with payment processors to direct over $100 million of payments to US gamblers, as well as Bodog’s business promoters. The processors so far named include JBL Services and ZipPayments.
If found guilty the four defendants, currently believed to be in Canada, could face up to 25 years in prison. However, in the meantime it is likely to be business as usual for Bodog, as the Bodog.com domain name had been dormant sometime, after switching names to Bovada.lv in the US. Furthermore, that brand is operated by the online gambling company Morris Mohawk Gaming Group (MMGG), which is located on the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake in Quebec, Canada.
Responding to the allegations made against him, billionaire Bodog founder Calvin Ayre, commented:
“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.”