By Samantha Williams
It has been touch and go for years for some of the best online casinos in the world; what with the American market looking so exciting to operators, and yet it not really being legal to offer these games. Operators argued that UIGEA contained too many grey areas and this is how they justified continuing to accept US players. Bodog is just such a site, but how they escaped US Department of Justice notice, since this authority closed down PokerStars, FullTilt and other gambling sites in the US; I really don’t?!
These sites were closed for business after their domains were seized by the DoJ on the 15th April. Gambling operators and fans alike, have dubbed this day ‘Black Friday’. So far it does not seem as though the best online casinos were affect, but the best poker sites certainly were and now one of the last men standing is getting out of the game. Bodog Europe is a very well-known online brand, and a modicum of their notoriety is garnered by the fact that they still accept US players. Up until now these real money gamblers have not been considered persona non grata. From the end of 2011 however this will change and no longer will any players from this country be allowed to use their accounts. At least they have been given time to close accounts and withdraw funds, unlike member of Full Tilt, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet. Bodog has also taken out a brand new license and been granted this by the UK Gambling Commission, and this is unusual in itself, as most operators choose to license offshore to escape the massive tax implications of running a gambling operation in the UK. But that is another story entirely.
Another implication for US players is – they will have to be extremely careful where they play, if they do. It could give rise to a spate of new charlatans coming online, in an attempt to part hard working Americans from their gambling money. Americans want to be able to gamble online, but the Government can’t see the woods for the trees and believe that they know better what residents should be allowed to partake of in the ‘land of the free’. Aaron Burr once said that freedom of speech in the USA was only as free as the politician they are allowed to repeat?!
Anyway – that all said and done, Bodog is on their way to concentrate completely on the UK and European market and US players are losing one of the last best online casinos – at least until these operations go legal, if this ever takes place.