Media Named as Co-conspirator in Calvin Ayre Indictment

by , Mar 4, 2012 | 4:18 pm

When Calvin Ayre got indicted this past week, some were wondering what took so long … because if the DOJ couldn’t nab the brashest of online gambling kingpins (Bodog did sports-betting for chrissakes!) then there had to be a formula — a legal-enough way to run an online gambling empire while steering clear of America’s internet police.

Stu notes that the investigation leading to Bodog’s shutdown wasn’t singular in scope, and asks who might be next on the DOJ’s hit-list. The answer to that question, I believe, is in the indictment itself — and though they don’t name any magazine or website by brand, the DOJ does reveal that after more than five years of investigation they consider certain media part of a criminal conspiracy to facilitate illegal online gambling.

Read and decide for yourself on the not-so-subtle nuances of the DOJ-Maryland office’s carefully chosen words:

6.Through these communications, members of the conspiracy caused the media reseller to create and execute an advertising campaign to increase the participation by gamblers in the United States on the website.

7. Through these communications, members of the conspiracy caused the media reseller to send invoices to BODOG ENTERTAINMENT GROUP S.A., d/b/a These invoices represented the costs and fees for the creation and execution of the advertising campaign.

8. Members of the conspiracy caused funds to be sent by wire from accounts located outside the United States to accounts located in the United States to satisfy the invoices sent by the media reseller. These wire transfers totaled more than $42 million during 2005 through 2008.

The DOJ has been telegraphing their next move(s) with virtually every court filing for two years or more, and with Ayre’s indictment, you can see the legal play being set up by calling it all a conspiracy, bringing charges of “aiding and abetting” into play, and putting a specific dollar amount ($42 million) on at least one media operation’s ill-gotten gains.

Yeow. So what unnamed media had such a deal with Bodog worth $42mm? I have few ideas can assure you it wasn’t Pokerati. There’s actually a remote possibility that since we’re talking about sports-betting here it’s not “poker media” at all … but assuming the DOJ understands the difference between rev-share and CPA, then if poker media isn’t in line for indictments or big money seizures of their own, then I’m pretty sure it means they’re cooperating.

6 Comments to “Media Named as Co-conspirator in Calvin Ayre Indictment”

  1. Rob C

    Holy crap, then what about ESPN and Harrah’s dealings with all of the poker sites? Those were much more public and apparent to the entire world.

  2. Dan Michalski

    That’s not necessarily the same … Running a dot-net commercial vs. being directly involved with profits from the dot-com site and/or getting money onto it.
    Though I do remover discovery channel losing a few million a few years back for running pacific poker commercials w WPT. Like ’04 or ’05 maybe?

  3. Paboo

    Has Bodog been shutdown?   Just the useless site is gone.

    I read this as a 3rd party company promoting Bodog.  So no trouble for the media and probably not trouble for 3rd party either.  Just ‘proof’ that Bodog was making money off of US players.

    I find it very odd that Bovada wasn’t mentioned any where in the indictment since Bodog isn’t technically involved with US player for a couple months now.

    I’m guessing a case will now be raised against Bovada and it’s not clear if Bodog will take any additional heat for allowing Bovada players to funnel to Bodog ‘network’.  Then again I wouldn’t be too surprised if MMGG is merely a shell company for Bodog.  Same principal owners?

  4. Jrw0413

    I highly doubt Barry would co-operate with anyone. 

  5. PDXRogue

    I’ve noticed that Poker News hasn’t posted any new material since Friday — do you think Tony G has been contacted by the G-Men?? (sorry for the archaic non-inclusive language – but G-People sounds like an 80’s disco band). 

  6. Dan Michalski

    What do you mean by no new content? Like NONE? I didn’t want to call out tony G, but I have noticed he hasn’t been in the US since shortly after black Friday. But that’s just a question, not a statement from me.