U.S. Homeland Security Seizes Bodog.com[ return to main articles page ]

By: Dan Cypra    [See all articles by Dan Cypra]
Published on Feb 28th, 2012
In breaking news on Monday night in the United States, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has seized the Bodog.com domain name. Trying to access Bodog.com now yields the all-too-familiar Department of Justice and U.S. Homeland Security emblems. As an update, on Tuesday, Federal investigators indicted Bodog founder Calvin Ayre.

Below the two images is the text, "The domain name has been seized by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations, Office of the Special Agent in Charge, Baltimore, Maryland in accordance with a warrant obtained with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland... It is unlawful to conduct an illegal gambling business... and any property used in violation of that section is subject to seizure and forfeiture."

The Morris Mohawk Gaming Group now operates Bovada.lv in the United States, while BodogBrand.com and sites like Bodog.eu field traffic from non-U.S. markets. The Bodog brand exited the U.S. market in mid-December.

Ayre (pictured) commented on the Bodog.com seizure on Monday in an article on CalvinAyre.com: "Not sure what to say. BodogBrand.com is a brand-licensing organization based outside the U.S. 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 U.S., so this domain had no place in any of our current plans."

Why would Homeland Security seize Bodog.com, then? The same CalvinAyre.com article speculates, "The seizure could be some sort of revenge action against the Bodog Brand as a punishment for its past licensing of the domain name to a company with U.S.-facing business." CalvinAyre.com caught wind of the seizure through a VeriSign notice.

Reacting to the news was Poker Players Alliance Vice President of Player Relations Rich TheEngineer Muny, who told PocketFives late Monday night, "This latest Justice Department action further shows that the U.S. Government will not tolerate the status quo. It is up to us - the poker community - to keep the pressure on on Congress to pass affirmative legislation licensing online poker like HR 2366, Rep. Joe Barton's Online Poker Act."

On TwoPlusTwo, posters debated whether sites on the Merge Gaming Network and Cake Poker Network could be the DOJ's next targets. Remember, Everleaf recently exited the U.S. market following a cease-and-desist letter issued from Homeland Security. One TwoPlusTwo member wrote, "Those of you who think that Merge or Bovada is going to be seized next are a bit paranoid. They all have moved to dot-eu addresses, and it's very hard for the U.S. Government to seize those addresses. But yes, they can threaten them and seize the processor monies."

Another poster argued that it's not matter of if U.S.-facing rake-based sites will be driven from the market; it's a matter of when: "It could happen tomorrow night, next week, or maybe in a couple of months. But it is inevitable - sites not licensed in the U.S. are not welcome in the U.S." Bovada can be found on a dot-lv domain extension, while sites like Lock Poker and Cake Poker use dot-eu.

PocketFives does not recommend playing online poker on sites offering rake-based games in the United States. Your money may be at risk. We feel more comfortable at this time recommending no-rake sites such as HogWild Poker.

Stay tuned to PocketFives for more on this developing story.


  1. great, merge is prob next, good thing I requested a cashout today and hopefully I get it.
    Edited By: drgnarn Feb 28th, 2012 at 04:34 AM
    Originally Posted by drgnarn View Post

    great, merge is prob next, good thing I requested a cashout today and hopefully I get it.

    You should probably read the article before reacting.
  4. No my lock pokers working fine
  6. So this pretty much means nothing?
  7. Of course theyre coming for the rest of the sites...americans keeping money on any site almost deserve it when being so dumb
  8. even though stars shouldnt get the cut, every time I read one of these fkn articles it just gets scarier and scarier!
  9. If they really want to get rid of offshore companies they should call them a "green" company and send them half a billion dollars....That will have them bankrupt in no time. Worked everytime its been tried so far...
    Originally Posted by allynlong View Post

    If they really want to get rid of offshore companies they should call them a "green" company and send them half a billion dollars....That will have them bankrupt in no time. Worked everytime its been tried so far...

    Good spin. I def like where this discussion is going now
  11. I thought this was a bad sign at first but now it appears to be a good sign. Looks like they can only get to the .com sites and cannot touches the ones in other countries.
  12. Calvin Ayre just got indicted. Of course he's been hated by the US government for at least 7 years, so no shocker there. But it's still pretty big news. Means the DOJ isn't finished with overseas online gaming...
  13. I would not be surprised if the rest of the US facing sites get shut down prior to legislation allowing poker in America. The government has long been a willing agent in creating monopolies. Just research US Fruit, and how we got "banana republic" as a term. MGM CEO really hinted at these events to come in his interview, and he said that US based poker would come, and that "illegal" sites would be shut down. I guess if you make enough millions in campaign donations and bribes you get what you ask for. I don't think withdrawing all your money at this point is paranoia, but simple prudence.
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