Billionaire Calvin Ayre, Founder of Bodog, Indicted

04/09/2012
By Tommie ClarkGoogle

This past week, the US Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice seized the domain name, Bodog.com. Shortly after, Bodog founder, Canadian billionaire Calvin Ayre and three of his associates, James Philip, David Ferguson, and Derrick Maloney, were indicted by the U.S. Attorneys Office in Baltimore on charges of money laundering and operation of an illegal sports gambling site.

 

The US government is alleging that Bodog Entertainment Group, operating as Bodog.com, conspired with payment processors to distribute over $100 million in payments to US gamblers, as well as Bodog’s business promoters.

 

Commenting on the charges, U.S. District attorney for Maryland, Rod J. Rosenstein stated, “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 four defendants face up to twenty-five years in prison if convicted. Currently, the Bodog.com domain name is inoperable. In an effort to save the business, the domain was changed to Bovada.lv in the United States. Morris Mohawk Gaming Group, located on the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake in Quebec, Canada, has taken control of the daily operations of the brand.

 

In response to the allegations against him, Calvin Ayre commented, “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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