U.S. Homeland Security Seizes Bodog.com (PocketFives)
Wednesday February 29th, 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 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.