Bovada Now Exits Nevada And DelawareJune 23, 2014 2:36 pm
Having already withdrawn its product from Washington, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey, US-facing online poker site Bovada has now added Nevada And Delaware to its list of excluded US states. Those players attempting to open new accounts in those jurisdictions will now be greeted with a message stating:
“We are sorry. We do not accept registrations from your state. For more information please contact us.”
Although existing Bovada customers are still able to continue playing in those states for the time being, their time, too, is limited and once their funds have been gambled away or withdrawn, no fresh deposits will be permitted.
Bovada’s gradual retreat from the USA’s regulated online poker markets, as well as those which have brought litigation against it in the past such as New York, follows a similar path as to the ones taken by other notable operators, including Equity, Winning, and Merge networks. State authorities have tried to clamp down on unlicensed websites in order to protect their nascent igaming industries, with the most recent pressure being applied after the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) issued cease-and-desist notifications to US affiliates promoting unregulated poker rooms in state.
In the past, Bovada/Bodog has stubbornly resisted all calls to respect the country’s Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006, but now seems to have revised its usually defiant stance on the issue. As Kevin Horridge from casino.org, explains:
“It’s certainly an about-face from a company that has always dug in its heels in the face of anti-gambling legislation, stubbornly persisting in offering bets to Americans, despite federal legal threats and domain seizures.”
According to PokerScout, Bovada is currently the largest US-facing poker site with around 1,350 cash game players over a seven-day period, followed by Merge (425 players), Winning (260), Chico (260), and Equity (160). Bovada’s exit from Nevada therefore means its ex-customers will therefore have to seek their poker action on the state’s most popular regulated online poker site, WSOP.com. However, they are likely to find the experience a lot less satisfying for now as WSOP.com has just 140 players at any one time, while Nevada’s second site, Ultimate Poker, has just 60 players.
It is believed Bovada’s exit from six US states represents an attempt by the company to head off potential litigation from authorities further on down the line. It has been suggested Bovada may also be trying to limit the kind of damage done to its reputation as that experienced by such companies as PokerStars and Full Tilt. As a casino.org article explains:
“With Bovada falling under that category, the major Internet operator may feel it’s best to protect its reputation, and not fall prey to the fate of companies like PokerStars which, though chomping at the bit to enter the legal and regulated US online market now, have so far been prevented from doing so in the three legal states due to its “bad actor” designation for post-Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) behavior.”