Calvin Ayre & Bodog, US Legislation & Bogus Passports

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SBR analyst Natalie reports another iGaming news update. In today's video, Natalie discusses Bodog (SBR rating A) founder Calvin Ayre's recent legal team assembly to represent him on charges filed in Maryland, an update on US gaming leglislation, and the recent prosecution of a sportsbook bonus scam artist. | iGaming video transcript




Bodog founder Calvin Ayre has chosen a legal team to represent him in his indictment with charges brought by Maryland, US of alleged money laundering and running an online gambling organization.

The Canadian born billionaire has assembled a team of high-profile legal experts, including defense attorney Barry Slotnick, Stuart Slotnick, Barry's Son and four others from the prominent New York law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.

On February 27th, 2012, the US Department of Homeland Security seized the domain . When SBR reported this story, Bodog management told us that this had NO effect to their operations, as the domain itself was not in use.

Less than 24 hours later, the US Attorney in Maryland unsealed an indictment naming Calvin Ayre, Jim Philip and two junior employees. The indictment alleged violations following the licensing of the Bodog brand name to gaming operators in 2006, on the heels of the enactment of the UIGEA. The Morris Mohawk Gaming Group's brand licensing agreement with Bodog expired on December 31st, 2011; though Morris Mohawk it was re-branded as Bovada two weeks prior. I'll keep you posted as this story continues to unfold.

If you are a Delaware gambler, then there could be some good news for you around the corner. A plan recently unveiled by Governor Jack Markells administration seeks to expand into online gaming, this will mean, that gamblers could soon be playing legal poker and blackjack in the comfort of their own home. The move is also set to give Delaware's three casinos a multi-million dollar break on their annual licensing fees, a plan designed to help the casinos stay competitive in a harsh regional market, without decreasing the states revenues from gambling. The issue was addressed by the Secretary of Finance, during their weekly lunch meeting with legislative leaders, where he proposed the administration stating "The state and the tracks, whether people like it or not, are partners. If they flourish, we flourish; if the revenues start to go down, we don't get as much revenue either," he said. "It's important as business partners we make sure we are competitive."

Moving now to a quick up-date on New Jerseys fight for legalizing online gaming. Last Tuesday the Internet Gaming bill was approved by a state senate committee which would let Atlantic City casinos take bets from gamblers in other states and even other countries as long as federal and state authorities agree it's legal! Senator Raymond quoted, ‘this is another step forward toward my goal of New Jersey becoming the Silicon Valley of Internet gaming, generating hundreds of millions in revenues for our casino industry, thousands of jobs for Atlantic City, and tens of millions of revenues for our Casino Revenue Fund to help seniors and the disabled.' The Bill still however faces a few hurdles and possible legal challenges including lingering concerns from Governor Chris Christie. If all goes to plan, New Jersey could be the first to claim their stake in a potential multi million pound industry!

And finally, bettors are not used to seeing players who try to abuse sportsbook bonus programs sent to jail, but that is exactly what happened recently to a native Belarusian man, known as Andrei Ospiau, who has just been sentenced to 3 years hard time at UK's Southward crown court after pleading guilty to fraud, possession of articles for use in fraud, and transferring criminal property. Ospiau, 35, had made nearly 80,000 pounds from online gambling via bonus abuse, using multiple identities, also referred to as "gnomes", to re-register at the same sportsbook to claim the sign-up bonuses. He was finally caught out when an online betting company received two passports featuring an identical picture within 12 minutes of each other. .not the smartest move! The sentence imposed by Judge Nicolas Loraine Smith is to set an example and deter anyone else thinking of committing crime involving stolen or compromised identity. The Judge also expects Andrei Ospiau to be deported at the end of his sentence.

This is all from me for now. Enjoy your weekend and see you on Tuesday for my SBR Industry News Report. Thanks for tuning in; I'm Natalie Rydström for


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