Bodog Unraveling?

by , Sep 1, 2008 | 4:52 pm

It certainly seems that way … either that or they’re just going through some rocky times that the tough-do-it-my-way billionaire who built the company didn’t want to be part of. [Gambling911]

Reading this story makes a couple things “obvious” to me:

1. The is serious about the illegality of sports wagering online, as it really is the only thing clear in previous legislation.

2. Online poker sites that accept US players are having a hard time getting new players, because the American market is tapped out, and if you were a newly addicted European, why would you choose any site that runs into potential trouble from when you can play on super-legit home-continenters such as PartyPoker, Ladbrokes, 888, etc.? The exception to this, of course, are PokerStars (because they’re so damn big and have all the champions) and Full Tilt (because they have all the pros).

3. Pete Sessions’ HR 6663 really is a sensible piece of legislation in that it makes everything clear (even though it may not cow-tow to a few special-special interests): it spells out more clearly than anything else — sports betting on the internet is bad, online poker is fine, and other games need to be decided.

17 Comments to “Bodog Unraveling?”

  1. DanM

    The comments on this post have me wondering if the hedline’d question/assertion may be a bit of an overstatement:

    But we’ll see. Clearly not all is well in the Bodog camp. But then again, it never has been … and they’ve always seemed to effectively weather various storms.

  2. Poker on TV

    Ken Weitzner, who used to employ G911’s Christopher Costigan, has an interesting counterpoint . The top portion of the article is two Bodog press releases, the bottom is Ken’s comments.

  3. Poker on TV

    I’m not comfortable with HR 6663, and the PPA opposes it. You can read their reasoning at that link, but my impression is that it just throws poker sites that stayed in the US, like Stars and FTP, under the bus. It sounds like it was written by Party Gaming’s lobbyists: they’ve certainly been complaining about having to compete with sites that accept US players lately.

  4. DanM

    I’m not saying HR 6663 is the poker-law messiah or anything … but it gets straight to the point.

    I agree with you that it puts Full Tilt and PokerStars in jeopardy (and hence the PPA opposition) … but that’s a reality we may have to face — that some sites that have been operating in the U.S. despite the US Justice Dept.’s saying that it is illegal may have to publicly prove their legitimacy en route to a Fully Legal Online Poker America. (Hey, new slogan for the PPA? “See the FLOP!” Ok, maybe not …)

    Sure, for now FTP and Stars are doing fine by saying, “hey, innocent til proven guilty,” but eventually they’ll have to show their work to someone … because no law is going to pass that lets just any yahoo into the business.

    So when it comes down to who might be able to operate in the US:

    PartyPoker — no prob
    Full Tilt — should be all good, but have to answer some questions
    PokerStars — same as above
    DoylesRoom — sounds good, but let us doublecheck with the SEC

    Ultimate Bet — uh yeah … ooh, that’s a tough one to let in
    Absolute Poker — ok, seriously now; er, I mean Cereusly

    Bodog — with the sportsbetting, and Calvin Ayre’s fear of stepping foot in the U.S., I gotta think their best chance is laying odds on it all.

  5. DanM

    Just read the EOG article you referenced. Good stuff, I think, but leaves me wondering who’s shilling for whom?

  6. Poker on TV

    I think Ken was accusing G911 of the opposite of shilling. And one site has a much better reputation than the other.

  7. DanM

    ***one site has a much better reputation than the other***

    ahh, just like Stars/Tilt vs. UB/AP. In that spectrum, Bodog probably falls somewhere in the middle.

    Thanks for cluing me in, POT. I’ll be sure to take both sites’ reporting on Bodog with a grain of salt until I see more info elsewhere (or learn shit on my own firsthand, ha!).

  8. DanM

    Hey, so POT (or is it POTV?), I did some more reading on G-911, and you know what, I see your point even more clearly now. Costigan’s article on David Williams (a Bodog pro, interestingly enough) was such a mean-spirited personal attack … based on nothing but secondhand rumor, with checkable facts stated inaccurately … that it makes me want to dismiss the question asked in the hedline to this post.

    You know, really, though “media” is generally pretty protected, Williams could have a pretty good libel case here. To prove libel, you need to show three things:

    1) Blatant disregard for the truth — at least a couple factual errors, check

    2) Malicious intent — often the hardest to prove, but considering G-911’s easily provable axe-grinding with Bodog, check

    3) Actual damages — with a reputation that has plenty to do with his income potential, showing a little viral spread of misinformation ( ) theoretically goes a long way.

    of course all this applies in American courts — not sure where the Costa Rican system stands on these matters. So what levels of recourse a sports-gambling site and a sports-gambling conduit have against each other is a whole nother story.

  9. Poker on TV

    I like POTV.

    I’m not familiar with the David Williams article, but you can read my all-time favorite example of G911 “journalism” for a good laugh: Any Demise of Online Gambling Was Brought on by David Carruthers of BetonSports. I knew for sure that G911 couldn’t be taken seriously after reading that jopke.

    As for Bodog, I follow online gambling closely, and Bodog very closely. They’re certainly suffering from being the DOJ’s #1 target, but I’m willing to bet that they’ll be around and still taking US bets well after the football season ends. Contrast Costigan’s statement that vendors are getting slowpayed by Bodog with the posters on message boards reporting Bodog payouts within hours. Sure, checks take forever for some people, but that’s about difficulty finding/keeping payout processors, not a lack of money.

  10. Poker on TV

    I prefer POTV.

    I’m not familiar with the David Williams article, but you can read my all-time favorite example of G911 “journalism” for a good laugh: Any Demise of Online Gambling Was Brought on by David Carruthers of BetonSports. I remember writing at the time that that article was a new all-time low for G911.

    As for Bodog: They’re certainly suffering from being the DOJ’s #1 target. No one can know the future for sure in this legal climate, but if I were a betting man, and I am, I’d be willing to bet that Bodog is still around and taking US bets well after the football season ends. Contrast Costigan’s claim that vendors aren’t getting paid with the posters on message boards reporting getting Bodog payouts within hours. Sure, checks take a long time for some people, but Bodog is upfront about the speed of that payout method, and it’s caused by the difficulty of finding/keeping check processors, not a lack of money to pay. Bodog has long been regarded as one of the best sportsbooks in the world, and I doubt the guy that was once on the cover of Forbes’s billionaires issue (Calvin Ayre) is broke just yet, so I’m betting they keep on paying as they always have.

  11. Poker on TV

    Hmmm… my reply must be ending up in the spam filter. Tried it twice.

  12. DanM

    sorry about that … we’ve had some problems lately with a few overzealous anti-spam monkeys. you’ve been de-spammed, at least for now.

  13. Poker Shrink

    None of this explains why Full Tilt, Bodog and PokerStars cannot manage to pay money out to customers. They have no problem receiving money but that pesky payout is just too tough to handle. But, of course, there is the argument that as long as the lemmings are signing up, why worry about payouts; not to mention the interest on the float. Is Josh Arieh consulting for these companies?

  14. Ed

    Maybe I should try and take $100 out just for a test. Or go play the biggest table with what I have left and see what happens. OR OR…put the max down on a team during the MLB World Series.

  15. DanM

    Just remember what you built that bankroll from, Ed. (Nothing.) It’s real money … or at least in theory it is.

  16. Ed

    $35 put in…$1600 taken out since…I think I can count this money as play money and if I EVER see anymore I can celebrate. Now I just use it to play when bored with XBOX or tired of working on certain secret side projects.

  17. DanM

    ahh. then more time on super-secret sideprojects clearly seems the most prudent way to go.