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Bodog Brand Announces US Exit

By: Adam Baker, Wednesday July 27th 2011
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The Bodog Brand owned by Calvin Ayre services the United States online gambling market through the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group (MMGG) operated gaming site from Kahnawake. In an announcement that has taken the industry by surprise Bodog Brand announced that they will let their current license agreement with MMGG expire at the end of 2011, and exit the US online gambling market.

From henceforth the focus of the Bodog Brand will clearly be the United Kingdom and the emerging markets of Europe and Asia. Bodog88, which operates from the Philippines, is already an established brand in Asia. Last week Bodog had announced receiving a license from the Gambling Commission to operate from the United Kingdom. At that time Bodog UK's CEO, Patrik Selin, had stated that this license endows trust and credibility to the brand. This trust will not only draw customers to the brand but will also attract the best talent in the industry to work for Bodog. It is Bodog's view that in order to reap the benefits of the UK license it must avoid the negative perceptions that may accrue from possible untoward incidents in the United States. The reference is obviously to the crackdown by the Department of Justice on online gambling sites, the uncertainty in online gambling legislation and the difficulties being faced in payments processing. It is with this background that the Bodog Brand will no longer operate with the MMGG after December 31.

From January 1, 2012, US online casino players will no longer be able to access any Bodog branded website. As per the Bodog Brand statement issued at its web site, the understanding is that MMGG will launch under its own brand in 2012, licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. All Bodog players can withdraw their funds or have them transferred to the new MMGG online gambling site. In either event the funds of the American players will be safe. The statement ends, "This decision presents a fresh direction for the as it looks to create a new chapter in its history. The move will enable the Bodog brand to continue its growth and expansion and maintain its position as the world's largest gaming brand."

The decision would not have been an easy one for the Bodog Brand. It was in the United States that Bodog made its reputation of an online gambling site with an attitude. With the passage of the UIGEA Bodog ceased direct operations in the United States and sold the business to MMGG, retaining the ownership of the brand name. Then, followed a legal battle for a patent infringement claim, which was settled out of court by MMGG. There has been no formal reaction from MMGG as of now.

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