Seized & Calvin Ayre Indicted

February 29, 2012

The recent chapter in the ongoing US online poker saga targeted, one of the only more well-known online poker sites still accepting US players. The US Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice seized the domain on Monday just before four individuals including Bodog founder Calvin Ayre and three other of Ayre’s executives, James Philip, Derrick Maloney, and David Ferguson, were indicted on charges of money laundering and running an illegal sports gambling operation between June of 2005 and January 2012, according to the Baltimore, Maryland US Attorney’s Office.

Maryland US District attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commented, “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 indictments allege that Bodog Entertainment Group, aka, facilitated payments by processors, namely ZipPayments and JBL Services, to transfer more than $100 million to US gamblers and Bodog business promoters.

The four Canadian defendants are facing up to 25 years in prison. As for the company, Bodog is still in operation, as the company was no longer using the domain and had moved operations over to for US players. The Bodog brand and domain are run by the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group located in Quebec, Canada in the Mohak Territory of Kahnawake.

Ayre, a philanthropist billionaire, said of the allegations, “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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