Bodog Receives UK Gambling LicenseBy: Shirley Spicer, Saturday July 16th 2011
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The popular online gambling operator Bodog has announced that it has received a license to offer some online gambling services from the Gambling Commission of the United Kingdom. Currently Bodog operates three online gambling sites under three different licenses. Bodog.co.uk operates out of Antigua and services British and other jurisdictions. Bodog88 from the Philippines caters to Asian customers and Bodog.eu operates from Kahnawake. This earlier operated as Bodog.com but changed its domain after Black Friday.
Patrik Selin, CEO of Bodog Europe and new CEO of Bodog UK, indicated that it would take at least three months to get the online gambling site under the UK license up and running. Servers will have to be installed in a secure location, a staff of about 100 will have to be hired and the required infrastructure will have to be put in place. Selin refused to answer when he expects the site to start making profits. He said that the decision to have a license in the United Kingdom was not motivated by profit or market share. "We have taken a long-term view on the UK. It is the largest regulated market in the world today and we want to be part of that. … The key thing is to develop trust with the UK customer."
The current license permits Bodog to offer UK customers only online sports betting and online casino games. The license for online poker is in the works. Selin said that Bodog Casino would add further casino suppliers. Once the new site is ready, Bodog.co.uk will shift from the Antigua license to the UK license. All non UK players will then be blocked from the site and will have the option to migrate to the Kahnawake license. Bodog has intentions of a big advertising initiative in the United Kingdom. Selin said, "Now we are licensed we can do lots more deals with lots more companies, you can suddenly do a lot more with media companies, you can advertise more freely and there can be more co-operation with media. We are going to do a couple of big things that will surprise people once we do these deals. We are in negotiations at the moment." On the flip side Bodog will have to pay 15% gross profits tax in the United Kingdom, but it must have factored that in its calculations.
The Gambling Commission also issued Bodog UK with a non-remote sports betting license. Under that Selin stated that Bodog would open a small number of flagship retail outlets by the end of 2012. Bodog has timed its entry into the United Kingdom perfectly. Very soon all offshore online gambling sites operating in Britain will have to obtain a secondary license for an additional fee that will negate the advantage of the lower taxes they pay in offshore jurisdictions.
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